Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Where Can I find your Novice - Advanced Dancer Schedule?
You can find the schedule by speaking with a staff member when registering an experienced dancers. If at any time you have questions, please email the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will I get my confirmation email?
It may take up to 5 business days to receive your schedule confirmation and registration fee purchase request. That said, most schedule confirmations are sent within one business day.
Why are September & May fees due at the same time?
Dance is both a sport and an art form that fosters relationships between dancers, teachers & choreographers. As a team endeavor, dance requires that all parties are committed and dedicated to a common goal. Having families pay for the last month of dance as well as the first demonstrates that their intentions are to participate in the entire season.
If a family chooses to pay in monthly installments, we require 30 days written notice of cancellation if at any time in the year they decide not to continue with dance. Though this is a rarity, by charging both the first and last month's fees, if written notice is not provided and classes are terminated before May but without notice, we are able cancel the remaining tuition without a payment penalty.
What do performance fees include?
Performance fees include the cost of the: costume, dress rehearsal theater rental fee, and festival/competition fees associated with a class. Each level (Novice, Junior, Intermediate, Advanced) will have progressively higher performance fees as their costumes will be more expensive and they will attend more festivals/competitions.
Why are the first payments of costume & performance fees due in September?
In order to receive our costumes in time for performances, we must order them and pay for them in October & November.
Similarly, festival fees are due in November.
Rather than have one large lump sum payment due right after school fees, we have chosen to spread the performance fees out over two installments. This allows us to have a significant deposit before paying for costumes and parents to have more time to pay off a larger sum.
Where can I find my child's attire requirements for class?
Attire requirements can be found in a number of places including: your schedule confirmation email, under the Policy section of our website (here) or at any of the local dance attire stores.
Where can I purchase my child's dance attire?
We also have several consignment items at the studio. If you would like to place your items into consignment or if you are looking to purchase a consignment item please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
Why is my child required to adhere to a dress code?
Our dress code exists for a number of reasons:
First and foremost, safety. Students must be in appropriate attire to allow for movement without restrictions and also for teachers/helpers to spot, correct and check alignment of joints/limbs/etc during performance of skills. Hair needs to be off of the face to allow for clear sight lines for travelling and turning.
Secondly it is a practical way for our teachers to gather younger classes of students and usher them into class.
Lastly, it is a way to show respect for your discipline, your teacher and your classmates. Much like you would come prepared to school with pencils, erasers and paper demonstrates your readiness to learn, arriving with the proper "materials" to dance class indicates that your are a serious student who respects the classroom environment.
What is the purpose of progress reporting at Ward?
Progress reporting allows students to receive individualized feedback on their dance achievements, in each discipline that they attend. Our approach to progress reporting is positive in nature: students can set meaningful and attainable goals with the help of their teachers. Rather than a means of tracking what is yet to be accomplished, progress reports celebrate the progression of our students and their successes in not only technique but classroom etiquette and teamwork. Additionally, progress reports are an integral part of class placement for the following year, allowing each student to be challenged and successful in the years to come.
What is Acrobatic Arts?
Acrobatic arts uses choreography to combine jazz & ballet techniques with strength, flexibility & balance. Acrobatic Arts dancers will use these skills as the foundation to perform tumbling, limbering, partnering and balancing tricks.
What is Dance Conditioning?
Every student who is registered in a Competition/Festival class in the disciplines of Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater, & Tap is required to take at least one 45 minute Dance Conditioning class per week. Students, realizing the benefits of this class, are welcome to attend multiple classes per week. Ward School of Dance has partnered with Core Movement to bring our students a unique conditioning program, the only one of its kind in the greater Edmonton region. Professional dance companies for years now have had Pilates as a staple in their conditioning regimes. Dance Conditioning is a Pilates-based class dedicated to increasing the flexibility, strength and control necessary in all disciplines of dance.
Benefits of Pilates include:
Feedback and Support
Improve Posture and Alignment
Strengthen Abdominals & Lower Back
Improve Muscle Tone
Enhanced Physical Performance
Improved Daily Activities
What is Hip Hop Training?
Students registered in Hip Hop Competition/Festival classes will be registered and required to participate in one Hip Hop Training class per week. This class will focus on maintaining the physical endurance required to perform hip hop choreography using exercises designed to increase both cardiovascular stamina and core strength. Additionally, components from each genre of hip hip will be highlighted and practiced. For example, popping, locking, animation, house, etc. Note: Students already taking Dance Conditioning will not be required to take Hip Hop Training.
What is Musical Theater?
Students enrolled in Musical Theater classes will be working on character development, story telling, acting and singing, in addition to learning dance choreography. This class is perfect for the student who likes to reenact their favorite scenes and songs from musicals or movies. Students registered in Musical Theater are also required to have a co-requisite class of any of the following: acrobatic arts, ballet, hip hop, jazz, or tap.
What is the difference between lyrical & contemporary?
Lyrical is a mixture of ballet & jazz technique which originated as a branch of jazz dance. Choreography is focused on the emotional connection between the dancer and their music, most commonly the interpretation of the lyrics of the song. Modern dance and contemporary dance represent a significant and purposeful departure from constrictive ballet technique and a return to ballet technique, respectively. Both place emphasis on creating new ways to move. That said, these two disciplines are often very difficult to distinguish and the boundaries between them are based more in history than in the steps themselves. In essence, modern and contemporary allow more freedom of creativity of movement as they are typically a departure from other styles.
Why does my child need to take two separate ballet classes in order to perform?
Ballet classes for students 6 and up are technique only. Ballet curriculum is rigorous and demands a set amount of hours/week/grade level to meet the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) requirements for training. As such, this leaves little time for choreography. Additionally, ballet is a requirement of solos, lyrical and contemporary classes. By having ballet technique and choreography classes separate, those students interested in performing a solo or lyrical/contemporary group have the ability to do so without adding to their festival/competition dances. If your child would like to participate in festivals/competitions for ballet, they will be required to register in a ballet choreography class as well.
Why is my child required to take ballet to perform a solo in festival or competition?
Ballet provides the foundation for body alignment and technique needed for all disciplines of dance. As one of the oldest forms of dance, ballet is the basis of, or is adapted to create, most other styles of dance including but not limited to Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, and Acrobatic Arts. Solos are an opportunity for a student to put their best foot forward, quite literally! Strong Ballet technique ensures that students will find the greatest success and have the greatest confidence when approaching the stage in a solo setting. Adjudicators, time and time again, encourage students to maintain their ballet technique and training, irrespective of the discipline that the student is performing at the time.
Why is my child required to take another discipline of dance to participate in Musical Theater/Novelty classes?
Students enrolled in Musical Theater classes will be working on character development, story telling, acting and singing, in addition to learning dance choreography. The wide variety of skills being honed in Musical Theater requires that students come to class with knowledge of common dance terminology and basic skills. (Many dance disciplines share similar skills and steps, though their nomenclature and technique may be slightly different.) Students taking acrobatic arts, ballet, hip hop, jazz, or tap in combination with Musical Theater will all have the skills necessary to be successful in Musical Theater.
Why is it important for my child to attend technique and/or dance conditioning?
While it may be easy to dismiss attendance in technique and conditioning classes as less important than choreography it is important to remember the purpose of these classes. Technique and conditioning classes are developed to maintain strength and agility throughout the season. As such, these classes protect the muscles and joints from injury. To attend choreography classes but not technique and/or conditioning would be equivalent to signing up to run a marathon without doing any training runs. Choreography class allows you to practice only those skills required for your dance. Technique and conditioning classes allow you to increase the depth of your knowledge, improve a greater variety of skills and maintain the foundation for future choreography.
Why are we required to show up 1 hour before our scheduled performance time?
Dancers, as athletes, need time to both mentally & physically prepare for a performance. A dynamic, full body warm should be no less than 30 minutes. Moreover, competitions reserve the right to run up to 30 minutes AHEAD of schedule. As such, it is important that students arrive to the practice area in full costume and makeup at least 1 hour prior to their scheduled performance time.
Why are you not allowed to attend festivals/competitions if you miss more than three regular classes?
Regularly attending class is a way to show respect for your discipline, your teacher and your classmates. Much like attending school everyday demonstrates your readiness to learn, consistent dance attendance indicates that your are a serious student who respects the classroom environment. For choreography classes attendance is also important for spacing and pattern changes and, most obviously, learning the choreography itself. It is easy to distinguish on stage which groups have a great dynamic because they have practiced so often together. This level of being "in sync" is impossible to fake; students must work together consistently to dance as one unit on stage. While it may be easy to dismiss attendance in technique and conditioning classes as less important than choreography it is important to remember the purpose of these classes. Technique and conditioning classes are developed to maintain strength and agility throughout the season. As such, these classes protect the muscles and joints from injury. To attend choreography classes but not technique and/or conditioning would be equivalent to signing up to run a marathon without doing any training runs.
Why is my child required to attend festival classes when registered in a Novice-Advanced choreography class?
The size of our studio (roughly 300-400 students in regular season programming) does not afford us the ability to offer both a competitive and non-competitive program. Instead as students progress from Novice to Advanced they are given more opportunities to compete within their choreography classes and/or take technique classes in place of choreography classes. If students are choosing to participate in choreography classes they are choosing to be in all of the performances with their classmates. When on stage students are relying on each other to demonstrate formations and pattern changes, elements of choreography like cannons and fades, and to maintain the morale and energy of the group.
Why do we not have viewing windows?
We want nothing more than for you to witness your child’s progression in dance. As such, we offer parent watch days allowing you to see the entire class in action as well as ask any important questions you may have. Our teachers teach with open doors allowing you the comfort of popping your head in to check on your child. And while many of us would like to sit and watch the class, it is important for our teachers to set expectations and routines without the student expecting parental input and/or acknowledgement. Moreover, this helps to reduce distractions for our dancers.