Magazine article Dance Teacher

High Five

Magazine article Dance Teacher

High Five

Article excerpt

Between choreography, costuming and scheduling, you've got more than enough to stress you out during the competition and convention season. The last thing you need to worry about is your dancers-and their families-adding unnecessary pressure. Dance Teacher asked five studio owners to share their rules and expectations for dancers and parents, and how they keep everyone in line. -Alison Feller

"I host a parent meeting prior to auditions and convey my expectations regarding commitment, behavior, fees, costumes, etc. I also try to explain my mindset about casting. There is always someone who is unhappy with my decisions after auditions, and it comes in handy if I can reference what I talked about in the meeting. Dancers and parents sign a code of conduct, and parents also sign a financial agreement covering fees and what happens if they quit or fail to follow through with their payments."

-Sue Sampson, The Dance Studio of Fresno

Fresno, California

"During the dress rehearsal before our first competition of the year, we sit down with all the parents and dancers. Our main focus is teaching the dancers respect-we want them to be respectful of the other studios and of the competition. They are told to sit together at awards wearing our studio sweatshirts, clap for everyone and behave onstage and backstage. It's important that they're kind and supportive so the competition world is a nice place to be, instead of a competitive one."

-Lisa Bunker, Vision Dance and Learning

Center, Herriman, Utah

"Each year the dancers write down their goals, and we put them all in our 'good luck charm. …

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