What is the class attire?
Strive has an attire list pre-selected and available from June's Fantasy Costumes in Red Deer. All students are required to wear the correct attire for each of their classes. For girls hair should be in a bun for all classes except the Introduction to Dance class and Hip Hop. Proper attire is monitored and recorded by the teachers every class.
Why is attire important?
There are a number of reasons why the correct attire is important for every class. Wearing the appropriate dance attire (and no extra or baggy clothes) ensures that the teacher can see if the body is being held correctly, therefore enabling them to provide safe and precise corrections. Having the correct attire for class shows respect to the instructor and to the art of dance. It demonstrates that the dancer is focused on the style of that class and cares about their presentation. For girls having their hair in a bun allows them to safely train for jumps and turns, and allows for correct technique in spotting.
Why do you have a limit to the number of dancers in a class?
At Strive we believe in helping children to reach their potential. By keeping core class sizes small we ensure that each dancer gets individual attention and better training. It helps us to continue to nurture our family atmosphere within the studio and develops a strong team, with each dancer feeling like an important and valued member of the class.
Why are community events important?
We believe that educating dancers to be strong technicians, as well as encouraging an appreciation for the art of performing is key to dance training. At Strive we also emphasize the importance and value of being involved in our community and developing kind and caring citizens is a very important aspect of our training.
Strive Dance Academy participates in many different local community events and encourages all of our dancers to take an active role in supporting their community.
What if my child misses a class?
Absences due to sickness, injury, or other reasons must be acknowledged by the parent/dancer and communicated directly to the office by telephone message or email. When the teacher excuses a dancer for their absence, it is the dancer’s responsibility where possible to make an effort to learn the choreography missed. (Please also see ‘What is your Attendance Policy?’ and ‘What if my child is sick/injured?’)
What is your Attendance Policy?
Regular attendance is crucial and attendance will be monitored and recorded each class by the teaching staff.
It is the responsibility of the parent/dancer to inform the office and teaching staff of any absences due to sickness/injury/other, and notify the office of any prescheduled school field trips or extended vacations as soon as possible (beginning of the season). Excused Absences will be dealt with if seen to be excessive. Unexcused absences will be addressed with the student and parent and are not tolerated. It is the dancer’s responsibility where possible to make an effort to learn the choreography missed. (Please see ‘What if my child misses a class?’)
A maximum of 3 unexcused absences is allowed per season. (Please see ‘What if my child is sick/injured?’)
Parents/dancers and the board will be notified when a dancer reaches the maximum. In the case of excessive absences it is the teachers’ discretion to determine the outcome of missed classes. The dancer may be removed from choreography, or there may be other recommendations determined by the teacher.
Involvement in other sports/activities outside of the studio is permitted but dancers and parents are reminded that this level of dance requires commitment and dedication and that absences affect the other dancers, not just the absent dancer.
Strive must be the dance’s priority in terms of recreational activities.
Strive provides a yearly calendar to assist families in determining holidays to minimize absenteeism.
What if my child is sick/injured?
Dancers are requested to report a sickness by phone or email to the Strive office, and are requested not to attend with an active sickness that can be spread to other dancers/teachers. Where possible an effort should be made to learn what has been missed (Please see ‘What if my child misses a class?’).
In the case of injury, dancers and parents are asked to discuss the injury with the teacher(s) to determine appropriateness of involvement in future classes and regarding safety when dance resumes. Dancers with an injury may be asked by the teacher to attend and watch class(es).
Dancers are requested to assist in the prevention of sickness by regular hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and assisting teachers with regular cleaning of barres and mats.
Do you have summer camps?
Each year we present our "Broadway Bound" Summer Camp. This camp is a fun filled week of dance for 4-7yr olds. It allows budding dancers to experience what we have to offer here at Strive and try many different styles of dance. At the end of the week parents are welcomed to come and watch an entertaining showcase of everything your child has learnt. Truly an exciting dance experience for the young student!
In addition to this there may be other summer opportunities offered at Strive each season please contact the studio to find out what new and exciting opportunities we have this year!
What is involved in an assessment for Strive?
New students will have an assessment with the Artistic director and teaching staff to determine placement and appropriateness for this academy. There is no charge for this assessment.
The assessment is usually 1 hour in length and will consist of 20 minutes of Ballet, 20 minutes of Jazz and 20 minutes of Tap. (If dancers have not previously studied 1 or more of the disciplines we will likely introduce it a little during the assessment but not focus in that area.) If the applicant is successful we will then set up coaching classes to help in those weaker areas.
Invitations to join the Academy are extended to new students only after the assessment is complete and at the discretion of the teaching team.
Do dancers have to undergo an assessment each year?
No. Returning students do not attend a yearly audition to maintain enrolment in the Competitive Dance Program, however they need to display dedication and commitment to the academy to return the following year.
Placement of students in classes may be adjusted during the season and is at the discretion of the Artistic Director and teaching staff.
Do you have a recreational/non-competitive program?
No. Strive is a competitive dance studio.
We do have some non-competitive classes in our Introduction to dance for 3 year olds and our Pre-competitive program. These classes require less hours of commitment/training however we do not refer to them as recreational as we like to teach to the level that if these dances wanted to later transition to our competitive program we would be able to help them to achieve that goal. Our Pre-Competitive Program has 5 levels. Our competitive program is from 6-18yrs of age.
Do you have a minimum number of classes each dancer must take?
Yes. Each competitive dancer is required to take 4 mandatory classes (Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Stretch/Strength). The number of hours of each discipline per week will increase as the dancer progresses in level. All competitive dancers will participate in additional exam preparation classes and 3-4 competitions per season as decided by the board of directors and teaching team. They will also dance in the 2 year-end shows and the Strive Annual Gala. You will be given access to a Schedule and Calendar early in the dance season so that you know when to expect these extra classes. There may also be extra classes scheduled to prepare the group for competition. April and May take on a different schedule due to the participation of the studio in competitions and you will be informed so you can adjust your life around it.
How will I receive information?
Our wonderful Office Administrator, Toni-Lee Johnstone, can answer your questions and provide you with up to date information on all areas of the studio. Parents will receive information from us by email, regular newsletters, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and through our Website.
We kindly ask that teacher’s class time not be disrupted. Teachers will be happy to answer your questions outside of class time. If a teacher is unavailable please speak to our office administrator and she will ensure that the teacher gets back to you ASAP.
Can I observe classes?
Blinds in our studios are left open most of the time and you are welcome to watch your child dance through our studio windows. On occasion (especially with younger students) we feel that the dancers find it distracting to have observers and become unfocused. Therefore in the interest of quality teaching and allowing the dancer to get the most from their classes we sometimes close the blinds. Parents will be welcomed into the last ten minutes of class regularly so that they can see what their child is learning and each year we have a full week before Christmas for Parents, Grandparents and Siblings to watch what their dancers have learned.
Why does Strive promote Exams?
Strive Dance Academy believes in dance exams as a great teaching tool not only in developing dance technique but also in developing confident individuals. Exams encourage all students to work hard and achieve a goal. They also provide the dancer with an opportunity to demonstrate the work they have been learning each week in class to be evaluated by professional examiners. Dancers that are introduced to examinations from a young age are much better at handling pressure, and this ability to prepare for a challenging situation serves them extremely well in life. Passing dance examinations gives the student an individual sense of accomplishment and is a gratifying reward for the hard work that they put in all season long. It also gives them a certificate to show for all their hard work and accreditation for their dance training. Examinations create a worldwide standard and exam results can also be included on resumes. This will have a great effect of showing your commitment and seriousness to an extra curricular subject, which is an asset when applying for schools and jobs in any area.
What is A.D.A.P.T.?
A.D.A.P.T. stands for; Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers.
This is the certified dance syllabus for Tap and Jazz, which we follow at Strive Dance Academy. Students at Strive work towards examinations in the ADAPT syllabus. We feel this syllabus allows our teachers to maintain the highest standard of dance training excellence.
What is R.A.D.?
R.A.D. stands for; Royal Academy of Dance.
This is the certified dance syllabus for Ballet, which we follow at Strive Dance Academy. ‘The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world.’ Students at Strive work towards examinations in the RAD syllabus and our teachers follow the continuing professional development scheme in place at the RAD, ensuring that teachers are always up to date with current teaching methods.
What is Acro?
Acro is the short name for Acrobatic Dance. Acro is the combination of dance technique with acrobatic skills. It differs from gymnastics as the acrobatic skills are taught to fuse seamlessly with dance skills and combine musicality, expression, line and acrobatic skills with smooth transitions. Acro demands and teaches flexibility and strength and the technique includes balancing, limbering, tumbling, contortion and partnering. At Strive our teachers are certified in the Acrobatic Arts syllabus.
How does a Non-Profit Society Work?
Strive Dance Academy Society is a non-profit organization which utilizes its funds to operate the Academy. Any profit, which may be realized, is put back into the Academy for the benefit of the organization and its members. Strive is owned by the collective membership and operated/administered by the Board of Directors. While the Board of Directors is responsible for the Governance and Operation of the Society and Academy; the Artistic Director is responsible for the Dance Programming. The Artistic Director, Teaching Staff and the Board of Directors work collaboratively to address concerns and to nurture innovation and accountability in the operations of the Academy. The Office Administrator provides the link of communication to the parent/dancer membership and takes direction from the Board of Directors and Artistic Director as appropriate in the day-to-day operations of Strive.
What Is Extra Work and how do I get Extra Work?
Strive provides two areas of Extra Work.
1) Strive Sanctioned Groups
Dancers may be invited to participate in Strive sanctioned groups in the areas of Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe, Open and Competitive Travelling options. Dancers are awarded participation in these groups based on work ethic, attendance, technique, age and readiness.
2) Extra Work (Including Solos, Duets, Trios and Small Groups)
Dancers will need to complete an application form detailing why they would like to receive extra work and in what discipline. Successful dancers will be assigned a choreographer. (We have in house choreographers as well as providing the opportunities for our dancers to work with professionals from outside of the studio). Dancers are awarded extra work based on work ethic, attendance, technique, age and readiness.
Why is there no Musical Theatre option in the Strive Sanctioned groups?
Musical Theatre is considered part of our Dance Program at Strive. It is not considered a piece of extra work because dancers train in it all season and are taught various techniques throughout the year - vocal, acting, dancing and developing a storyline etc. Musical Theatre is an optional part of our program, which is open to all competitive dancers at Strive and it is billed as part of your program fees.
Dancers can apply to do Extra Work (Including Solos, Duets, Trios and Small Groups) in the genre of Musical Theatre if they would like additional musical theatre opportunities.
Do I have to sew my dancers costumes?
At Strive we take great pride over the quality and details of our costumes. Professional costumes are all part of the full package that we provide in training our dancers and they not only help our dancers to get into character and tell the story but they encourage our dancers to be proud of their hard work in training and look professional in their competitive performances.
All parents are expected to help with their child’s costumes however that is no reason to be worried. You are not expected to sew costumes from scratch (unless this is a skill you have and would like to share with us at Strive) and we have many people who can help you learn skills you would never have dreamed of. Costume jobs can range from counting rhinestones and sewing on snaps to fabric painting and making hats.
We will provide you with guidance for finishing on all costumes and though this may initially seem overwhelming, once tasks are shared and explained you will be amazed at what you can do and extremely proud of the final result.
Our hard working costume committee, along with the teachers, begin the costume preparation in September but the finishing process just before the first competition is due in part to availability of accessories and time. You will be required to put the finishing touches on your dancer’s costumes or in some cases you may be required to sew parts of your dancers costume yourself or find someone to sew it if you cannot. You will receive guidance and instruction from the costume committee. Many groups have work bees to get the costumes completed. Everyone comes together as a team and the unbelievable is accomplished, as you will see at our yearend performance. This is an exciting, busy time and the anticipation of the competitive season and the progress of our dancers outweigh any frustration as you watch your dancer compete and perform.
What is the parent commitment at Strive?
As of part a non-profit dance society our members are expected to volunteer in order to keep the studio running smoothly. To become a member the first year you are required pay a membership fee of $250.00/dancer and then $50.00/dancer each year after. There are two mandatory jobs you must take part in to keep your membership current.
Fundraising Gala – Each member will be required to take some roll in the Gala that takes place in June. This is Strive Dance Academy’s main fundraiser to offset the costs of running a business. There will be an information night in January that you must attend and you will have the opportunity to sign up for a duty.
Committee Participation - As a member you must also sit on at least one committee. You are not asked to chair that committee, just to be a part of it and take on a role to help the studio run effectively and efficiently. There will be an Annual General Meeting in September when you can volunteer for the committee that interest you.