Sunday, January 14, 2018

Why is Dance such a powerful educator in the early years?

Why is Early Dance Education so important?
I started my dance school, Stepping Out Dance Factory when I was pregnant with my first child.  I had previous to opening the studio taught for other schools that all had their own values and philosophies.  My own teaching has also been greatly influenced and inspired by my own study in a Diploma of Education and my experiences as a secondary school teacher.  I wanted to create a studio that not only taught the fundamentals of dance technique but also more significantly aspired to educate the cognitive, creative and emotional development of children.  

Movement plays a significant role in the development of children and dance as a discipline has a profound ability to educate them and shape their world. I am fortunate to be in a firm position within my career trajectory having already taught for twenty five years as a dance educator, twenty years as co-director of my own dance studio and enjoyed a twenty two year career as a secondary school teacher.  Extensive experience in early childhood dance education and in the special education sector has also placed me in good stead to have a wide and varied expertise in educational fields.  Further to this, is the amazing team that exists at Stepping Out, all wonderful educators with extensive qualifications.  Miss Georgie possesses a natural and nurturing rapport with her students and along with her BA in Dance from the Victorian College of the Arts is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.  Miss Emma is an energetic educator who along with her Bachelor of Primary Education also has a Certificate 4 in Dance Teaching and Management.  I have also completed additional study through the Royal Academy of Dance and along with my BA Dip Ed am also the proud recipient of a Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies. 

Our whole team are vibrant and enthusiastic educators who regard teaching as both a vocation and an honour.  As a mother of five, I am also highly aware of the need to address individual learning styles and to approach the education of children with kindness and consistency.  I am passionate about the impact dance can have on young lives and believe that we should be empowering individuals through safe and careful instruction of their hearts, minds and bodies.  Equality, diversity, openness, recognition, empowerment and inclusion are the cornerstones of my teaching philosophy.  We ensure that all children are valued, listened to and respected. 


My passion for teaching is probably best manifested through the teaching of young children.  The early years are a magical period of a child’s life and young children are in possession of an innate ability to move, express and create.  Dance offers the ideal conduit for supporting and igniting the development of their natural skills.  Children of this age are also highly unpredictable so teaching dance to them offers a reward yet challenging landscape to our own teaching and creative pursuits. 

In my nineteen years of parenting and my twenty plus years of teaching, I have noted that our children are growing up in an increasingly different world to the one we inhabited as children.  We need to preserve their innocence and unique way of viewing the world.  Preschoolers have the whole world within their grasp and my desire is to enrich and engage the magical and intoxicating years of childhood so we succeed in preserving every child’s innate sense to dance, create and express.

Starting Dance Classes



We are currently enjoying our first classes of the year and over the coming week will be welcoming many new faces to our studio.  This period is sure to prove to be a busy but extremely rewarding one.  Stepping Out is home to a huge amount of little people and we cherish the opportunity to introduce your little ones to the many joys and rewards of dance education.  We know that this is just as exciting and nerve wracking for parents as it is for our tiny dancers so I thought it was important that we all reflect on what this first big step might mean for our tiniest students.  At the core of teaching preschool children is our belief that at this magical period of time, children hold the whole world within their grasp.  It is our greatest desire to preserve the magic of childhood and ignite their learning potential through movement, music and imaginative play.


Our Angelina trial classes present a perfect example of the many little glorious temperaments that make up a typical early years dance class.  We have our shy ones, we enjoy the usually reserved ones who surprise their parents ( and themselves I am sure!), the super confident ones, the seasoned professionals ( third year of dance class anyone?!), the anxious ones, the overwhelmed ones and the ones who feel that their own choreography is probably the most fabulous, especially performed in front of that huge mirror and the silly teacher up front is just a distraction.  ALL of these unique little beings contribute something very special to our class dynamic.  I am in the very enviable position of having experienced many first dance classes and to this day, I remain in awe of what those first steps represent not only over the course of a year but in the bigger scheme of their life and how they will approach the myriad of learning opportunities presented to them over their lifetime.


We have been thrilled to hear news of mass excitement, sensations of butterflies and mad enthusiasm as we all await our first dance classes for the year.  For some of our students they will fling themselves through the door with confidence and ease but for some of our dancers, especially our beginners and our tiny ones.......they might feel more like clinging to their parents or nervous as to what their class will entail, who will be their friend and will they know what to do.  As a three year old, I was the very SHY one.  I clung to my Mum's leg.  I thank my parents every day that they persisted and realised I was just waiting for the opportunity to let myself open to the spell binding and magical world that is dance.


Your teachers are all excited and nervous too.  Stepping Out is also home to an energetic and dynamic bunch of committed teachers who know that along with the joys of being a dance teacher comes a lot of hard work.  Our biggest concern is YOU, our students.  We strive to create a beautiful and supportive environment where everyone feels welcome.  You are all very important to us and we have loved the opportunities to talk to your families, meet new little faces and hear about your goals for the year.  We want to dance alongside you.  We want you to have a haven for your creativity and self expression and most importantly of all, we want you to walk out our doors with confidence, self belief and a huge smile.  Energy is contagious.  We want to surround you with positivity and possibilities.

Parents, especially parents of little people, do know that for some children it will take a few weeks to feel completely at ease in a new learning environment.  It is overwhelming to suddenly leave the security of Mum or Dad, your normal routine and suddenly be in the spotlight in dance class with lots of new faces.  KNOW that it is very normal for your usually very gregarious child to suddenly turn very shy or the child who was up dressed in their tutu by 6am to suddenly be frozen and glued to your hand refusing to budge.  SO, if they just want to watch for a bit or there is tears, it's Ok, in fact it's more than OK, they are still learning and absorbing and bit by bit taking those first tentative steps out into the big world and next time it will be a little easier and a little less daunting.  As teachers, we have had the wealth of experience and the joy of many years helping our little dancers find their wings so we won't bat an eye.  We won't question whether your child is ready or label you a pushy parent.  WE trust and know that each child starts to engage at their own unique time.  It may be immediately or it may be the second or third week of class.  This is all very normal and encouraged.  I, for one am very glad that my parents persevered with my initial efforts as a fledging ballerina.

WHY DO WE USE MONITORS?

As mums ourselves, we understand and respect the enormous trust you place in us in the tuition of your children.  We are really proud of our dance curriculum and really want to show you that you have made the right decision in entrusting your child to us.  We do believe it is important that parents are able to witness the content of the class, our teaching philosophies and the knowledge of your teacher.  We know that the most enriching learning opportunities will arise when we have the full attention of your child and are allowed the opportunity to develop a rapport with them and within the dynamics of the class.  Children can be easily hampered by distractions and focus and discipline are important traits of any enthusiastic and engaged learners.  In 2014, we decided to place cameras in our teaching studios to ensure that we could enjoy the best of both worlds.  We have a monitor in our foyer that provides a window into your child's dance class without any of the distractions or differing temperaments that emerge when children have parents or siblings in the class observing them.

You are very welcome to wait in our foyer and be enthralled and entertained by your child's progress or theatrics but we are just as happy if you drop and go.  Trust that our goal is to have your child feel alive and energised within their own body and that we have the best interests of your child and the class at stake.  Even if a little one is teary, please allow us the opportunity to calm them.  Sometimes this special performance is just reserved for Mum or Dad.  If we can't settle a child after a short period, we will send for you.  OUR GOAL IS HAPPY CHILDREN.  Most times. it is less than five minutes and your child is skipping about and any anxiety is quickly forgotten.  If we believe that a child is not coping within the class, we will take your little one to you.  Please allow us the opportunity to get to know what works best for your child. We want your child to colour the world with their own unique colours and learning is all about discovery. We can't wait to see their unique world view and creativity flourish.


FOR OUR CONTINUING STUDENTS, it's ok to be a little nervous or hesitant too.  You've been out of routine and had a long break but your body will remember.  We look forward to getting sore with you and helping you to soar this year.
Together, with the support of parents, we will have happy classes of happy students progressing at their own unique rate in no time.  HAPPY DANCING EVERYONE.  We are looking forward to all the wonderful emotions the first few weeks will stir.
See you in class.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Concert Day Organisation

CONCERT DAY  Saturday, 2nd Dec 2pm and Sunday , 3rd Dec 11am Show & 5pm show
·       An Order of Appearance is on this note.  Please be aware that parents are required to change students if they are involved in more than one routine or make own arrangements to have another parent dress and change your child. 
·       Students appearing in the first half are asked to be at the venue by 1pm (2pm Saturday show) 10.15am (11am show) & 4.15pm (5pm show)fully dressed, with hair & make up done for first routine.  Please enter through back stage entrance ( Carrington Ave), locate your name ( in class rolls- as per order of appearance) and mark your name off.  Students will be supervised in large dressing room and called forth by our Stage Manager for their appearance.  Our first half of our program is timed for one hour and fifteen mins.  All Angelina students will appear in a special Tiny Tots finale at the close of first half.  After careful consideration, we have decided that we will present Angelina students with something special during their finale rather than conduct another Presentation.  We are mindful of how busy the lead up to Christmas is and didn’t want to impose any more pressure on our families. There will then be a twenty minute interval.  If watching the show please collect your child at interval if they have a ticket or ticket holders can return to audience immediately after their performance.  Students only appearing in first half and who don’t have family in attendance can be collected to go home.
·       Students appearing in the second half only are asked to be at the venue by 3pm (2pm Saturday show) ,12noon (11am show )  & 6.00pm (5pm show)and follow same instructions as set out above.  If students are watching the concert they need to report backstage for 2nd half ( if that is when their item is) at the times given.  The second half of the show has an estimated running time of one hour.  All students present are invited back on stage for a full cast Finale.  Following our Sunday 5pm show will be our 2017 Presentation ( for all students except Angelina dancers who would have already been presented.)
·       Parents leaving auditorium to dress performers throughout performance will be granted Back of House access through a door located near Door 1. ( foyer area past toilets)  We ask that you exit the auditorium from Door 2 and 3 only to gain access to this door to back stage.  Exiting from these doors will ensure minimum disruption to performers and patrons.  Please acquaint yourself with this door before the performance commences.  Likewise, students will need to follow same procedure if leaving auditorium to go backstage for a performance or change of costume.  This will only be possible if we have sufficient volunteers for each show to man the access doors.  Otherwise parents will need to walk around to Backstage entrance.
·       No one is allowed to sit in the aisles or on the steps under any circumstances (WH & S).
·       Mobile phones must be turned off during the performances.
·       Students who have tickets to watch are permitted to leave backstage area after they have performed.  All students must sign out on class roll and Students under 12 years of age must be collected from backstage area /dressing rooms/ Oxley Room by a parent or guardian.  We ask only one representative per student for collection due to the limited space and size of our cast.
·       ALL students will be reappearing in the Finales’ but it is at discretion of parents for young students if they stay for all shows or if they return home for a rest.  Students will be notified via a voice over when it is time to return backstage for FINALE’.  The 2017 Presentation will follow the 5pm Performance.  We would really like to acknowledge all students and have them present for Presentation. 
·       Refreshments will be served in the bar area.
·       Classes for 2017 will cease on Sunday, 3rd December.  There will be no Saturday classes on Saturday, 2nd December.  Our little superstars need to prepare for their performance and faculty will be at theatre preparing for a big but exciting weekend. We thank you for the tremendous support and enthusiasm shown by all students and their families throughout 2017 and we look forward to celebrating this in our production. Stepping Out Dance Factory truly is a special place made more so by the beautiful families within our fold. 2018 Enrolment Information will be available soon via an online Enrolment Form and our 2018 Enrolment Days will be advertised in Dubbo Photo News and on our Facebook Page.  Private Tuition for Eisteddfods will commence in early January 2016- Please register your interest with Miss Rikki on 041 336 1724.
·       GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU SHINE!
·       Order of Appearance
·       1. OPENING- “Light it up/Burning up/Firework-Eisteddfod Troupe Performance students with vocalist Bella Gibson
·       
2. Angelina students

·       3. 10 years Jazz- Time to party 

·       4. 14 Years Jazz- Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

·       5. Junior Jazz- Fireworks 

·       6. Intermediate Modern- Lanterns

·       7. 6 Years jazz- Uptown Girl featuring Willow Scott and Ayla Brown

·       8. Grade 1- Beauty and the Beast

·       9. Grade 3 and 4 Ballet- A moment lasts forever 

·       10. Senior Jazz- Pretty Young Thing 

·       11. Maddie Gibson – Guest Artist
·       
12. Intermediate Hip Hop- Star Wars

·       13. Pre-Primary Ballet -You’ll be in my Heart featuring Immy 

·       14. Grade 2 Ballet- Colours of the ‘Wind’

·       15. Inter/Advanced Tap- Aladdin 

·       16. Intermediate Tap and Junior Tap- Happy Feet featuring Jade Widdison 

·       17. Junior Modern- Moana featuring Zoe 

·       *5pm performance only – Angelina Class- Rapunzel
18.
·       Tiny Tots Finale’ 

·       19. Junior Performance- School of Rock 

·       Interval -20 mins

·       20. Senior Performance- 9 to 5

·       21. 8 years Classical

·       22. Junior Hip Hop- Construction Workers 

·       23. Senior Hip Hop- Work

·       24. 12 years Jazz- Super heroes 

·       25. Primary Ballet- You are my Sunshine 

·       26. Amelia Chapman- 2017 Scholarship Winner

·       27. Boys Class- Grease Featuring Bella, Cale and the Pink Ladies

·       28. Senior Tap-America 

·       29. Bella Keenan- Guest Artist

·       30. Senior Ballet- Amazing Grace

·       31. 8 years Jazz- Meet me at the ball game

·       32. Senior Modern- New York 

·       33. Intermediate Advanced Modern- Read all about it

34. Farewell Dance
SLIDESHOW 2017
FINALE’- all student

Sunday, November 19, 2017

DRESS REHEARSAL TIMETABLE

DRESS REHEARSAL TIMETABLE & INFORMATION
This year we are holding our dress rehearsals over two afternoons.  We understand that for some children this will mean they will be required due to their number of classes and segments they are performing in on both afternoons.  Please appreciate that every decision we make is in the very best interests of the students.  We felt last year that it was far too busy, congested in the back of the theatre and we needed more precious time on stage to ensure that our lighting, sound and other effects will best enhance our students and ensure that it is a magical and memorable time for them.  We also appreciate that it’s a busy time of year and people work and there is the rush after school so we understand that the students may not be picture perfect.  We know they will look absolutely beautiful on the days of the concert.  We do ask that if you are unsure of hair and make up that you do practise on the dress rehearsal days so we can best guide you. 
DRESS REHEARSALS-  THURSDAY 30th November  3.30- 4.30pm
This will be an exclusive time slot just for Angelina students.  All classes in the Angelina program will be required at this time.  Please arrive dressed 15 mins prior to the commencement of the rehearsal so we can settle the students, say their goodbyes and take them into the auditorium.  They will be dismissed at 4.30pm and taken through stage doors to meet their parents.  We ask only one family member picks them up as there is simply not adequate space for a huge amount of people in the limited area we are given for backstage collection.  They are only little so we don’t want them overwhelmed by a huge amount of people waiting.   Our Angelina students will feature in their own FINALE” which will conclude the first exciting half of our performance.
DRESS REHEARSALS- THURSDAY, 30th November 5pm- 7.30pm
STUDENTS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE SHOW NEED TO BE AT THE THEATRE BY 4.45pm dressed in costume and ready to perform.  All students in the first half will be dismissed at 7.30pm.  Students will wait in theatre auditorium unless they have costume changes where they will be permitted to access dressing rooms.
DRESS REHEARSALS- FRIDAY 1st Dec DEC 4.30 -7pm
Students appearing in the second half of the show will need to be at the theatre, fully dressed and ready to go at 4.15pm.  Students appearing in the second half will be dismissed from theatre at 7.00pm.  They will be sat in theatre auditorium whilst they are waiting but if they have costume changes they will be permitted to access dressing rooms.
Thank you to all the generous people who have volunteered to assist us on Concert Days.  We will need our volunteers to be inducted by Theatre Staff at 12.30pm Saturday, 2nd December.  This will give only those who are our volunteers and assisting in supervision and organisation access to back of house areas of the theatre. 
·       Entry to Dress Rehearsals is via Carrington Ave entrance.  Students are to be taken to back glass door ( stage door.)  Please ensure that you are dressed and ready to commence rehearsals at your nominated time.  This will be a full dress rehearsal in running order.
·      Students are to have their names marked off on their class roll as a sign in for rehearsal.  Performers and Parents are NOT permitted in the foyer area of the Theatre.  REHEARSALS ARE CLOSED.  ( Parents, friends etc are NOT permitted backstage, stage area or within the theatre auditorium.) Parents may wait in dressing room areas to assist with costume changes but only if your child has a costume change on that day of rehearsal.  Parents of young performers are welcome to stay in the Dressing Rooms Area.  Students are fully supervised in theatre.
·      Students are to wait to be called for each rehearsal. They will be dismissed from stage or auditorium at close of their rehearsal. 
·      Students with changes for rehearsals are asked to be prompt.  This is a good rehearsal for the actual day as there are a few quick changes needed.  Please set up side stage for the very quick changes.
·      No food or drink in the theatre auditorium during rehearsals.  Young students should not be eating and drinking while in costume.  Please ensure that all students have a water bottle that is labelled with their name.
·      Dressing Rooms are to be left tidy.
·      Students must sign out before leaving the premises. 

     Please note that there will be a $10 Dress Rehearsal fee per family for our tech fees.  Please bring to your first rehearsal in an envelope with your name on it please.  Thank you 


3.45pm arrival  FIRST HALF OF SHOW- ANGELINA STUDENTS ( students to be collected at 4.30pm sharp.
Times on next page
4.45pm arrival- FIRST HALF PERFORMERS- Thursday, 30th November 17
The following students can be collected from Carrington Ave, stage door entrance at 7.30pm
·       1. OPENING- “Light it up/Burning up/Firework-Eisteddfod Troupe Performance students with vocalist Bella Gibson
·       
2. Angelina students

·       3. 10 years Jazz- Time to party 

·       4. 14 Years Jazz- Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

·       5. Junior Jazz- Fireworks 

·       6. Intermediate Modern- Lanterns

·       7. 6 Years jazz- Uptown Girl featuring Willow Scott and Ayla Brown

·       8. Grade 1- Beauty and the Beast

·       9. Grade 3 and 4 Ballet- A moment lasts forever 

·       10. Senior Jazz- Pretty Young Thing 

·       11. Maddie Gibson – Guest Artist
·       
12. Intermediate Hip Hop- Star Wars

·       13. Pre-Primary Ballet -You’ll be in my Heart featuring Immy 

·       14. Grade 2 Ballet- Colours of the ‘Wind’

·       15. Inter/Advanced Tap- Aladdin 

·       16. Intermediate Tap and Junior Tap- Happy Feet featuring Jade Widdison 

·       17. Junior Modern- Moana featuring Zoe 

·       *5pm performance only – Angelina Class- Rapunzel
18.
·       Tiny Tots Finale’ 

·       19. Junior Performance- School of Rock 

DRESS REHEARSALS- FRIDAY, 1st Dec 4.30-7pm

STUDENTS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW NEED TO BE THERE BY 4.10pm dressed and ready for rehearsals.  They can be collected at 7pm.

·       20. Senior Performance- 9 to 5

·       21. 8 years Classical

·       22. Junior Hip Hop- Construction Workers 

·       23. Senior Hip Hop- Work

·       24. 12 years Jazz- Super heroes 

·       25. Primary Ballet- You are my Sunshine 

·       26. Amelia Chapman- 2017 Scholarship Winner

·       27. Boys Class- Grease Featuring Bella, Cale and the Pink Ladies

·       28. Senior Tap-America 

·       29. Bella Keenan- Guest Artist

·       30. Senior Ballet- Amazing Grace

·       31. 8 years Jazz- Meet me at the ball game

·       32. Senior Modern- New York 

·       33. Intermediate Advanced Modern- Read all about it

·       34. Farewell Dance
SLIDESHOW 2017
FINALE’- all students
All notes will also be posted on the blog and a link given on our FB page.
Stay Calm and Sparkle!



Costume Collection
The following groups can be collected from the studio on Tuesday 21st November.
·      Intermediate Hip Hop  Balance payable is $30
ALL ANGELINA CLASSES CAN BE COLLECTED FROM THE STUDIO ON Saturday, 25th November between 10.15am and 11am.
Balance payable is $30.
The remainder of Costumes will be available for the day that classes are attended.  Monday classes will collect on 27th November between 4.30 and 7pm. Tuesday classes will collect on 28th November between 4.30 and 7pm.  Thursday classes please collect on Tuesday afternoons. 
Balances are as follows;
Thursday jazz $30
Primary ballet $35
Pre senior jazz $35
Pre senior contemp $35
Pre primary ballet $30
6 years jazz $30
Junior tap $30
Junior hip hop $35
Junior contemp $30
Intermediate tap $35
Grade 3 and 4 $35
Grade 2 $35
Grade 1 $35
Boys class $35
9/10 years jazz $35
8 years jazz $35
12 years jazz $35