Studio Guidelines/Policies/Code of Conduct:
Welcome to DancEncounter and our dance family,
The DancEncounter Staff takes pride in the discipline of dance and sharing it with students of all ages, in a focused and nurturing environment. The studio has existed since 1993 in Geneva. DancEncounter offers recreational and professional dance education for students with various aspirations, providing a sense of body awareness, confidence, and self-esteem found by performance experience and dedicated weekly training with “fun” in the “discipline”. Pre-school classes teach dance and much more, through creative and imaginative means, supporting physical, social and emotional skills and development.
Positive, smiling faces usually fill our Little Yellow House and while we know we all have bad days and hard times, we ask that we all do our best to present a positive attitude and allow the 'dance' to be our outlet. Please advise us of an injury or distraction your dancer may be dealing with, so that appropriate consideration can be offered. Our door is always open to an appointment to discuss any concern you may have with DE or your dancer. The dance room is a magical place ~ it is our class room yet simultaneously our playground... we recognise that we are not necessarily training the next prima ballerinas but that does not mean, the dancer is excused from doing their best. There are many benefits from dance - one being the art of dance itself, but many others like, balance and strength, physical control, fitness, good posture, composed body language, sequence memorization, prioritization and organised thinking, musical phrasing and counting, leading and following and swiftly interchanging the two, stress relief, artistic expression, cameraderie, friendship, teamwork..... and many, many more advantages of which, dancers should not shortchange themselves. Our staff have been dedicated teachers for many years and look forward to sharing the "fun" in the "discipline" and nurturing the growth and development of the dancer within the person, as well as the person within the dancer.
DancEncounter School Policies Registration, Payment, Absences/ Attendance & Communication:
Online enrolment is now preferred and requires school policies to be checked/ agreed. Pre-Registration is highly encouraged to avoid disappointment! Phone enrolment and payment is still accepted. Please note: Payment of the Registration fee and first tuition instalment also implies agreement to having read all policies and understanding of operation. Policies will be posted on DE website or emailed by request. Guarantee of a teacher's availability is not possible without pre-registration ( as the class is subject to meeting minimum enrolment). "Going" classes aim to be determined within 3 weeks of start of a session. Typically there are no refunds for registration/ tuition as a free trial is usually recommended to new students. While DE can pro rate tuition for 'going' classes or late start-up classes, please understand tuition fee instalment dates are clearly set out along with all other company, costume or event fees and are subject to Late Fees. Late fees accrue after a grace period at the rate of $10 per item, per week late. Returned check fees are $30 (make payable to DancEncounter Ltd). 2 returned checks and an account is deemed cash in advance only. In the event a class is permanently cancelled, in part or in full, fees applying to the cancellation will be returned. Acceptance of policies, agrees to tuition fees being paid in full per the plan chosen and signifies understanding and agreement to the no refund, no credit policy for classes missed for personal reasons, including injury, sickness and other 'life' events. DancEncounter offers a 'make up lesson' opportunity for time missed, by booking attendance at another age/level appropriate class. Make-up classes should be completed during the session, during which the absence occurred. Occasionally a teacher is unavailable and substitution will be sought. However, should DancEncounter need to postpone a class due to weather or illness, every effort will be made to offer a make-up date or alternate arrangement. Communication of weather cancellations is first via email and website announcement, with follow up via text. DE will aim to use online classes to aid in make-up options. DancEncounter reserves the right to student placement in appropriate technique level. Instructor discretion is used in moving students up a level, as well as promoting to pointe shoes. Punctual, regular attendance is important to your dance education and etiquette. Warm-ups are an important, integral part of class and should not be missed. Class enrolment is a session commitment and to receive benefit from your dance training, consistency is important at any level. Company dancers should retain good attendance in all technique classes as well as rehearsals. If a student has to miss class or rehearsal, please email or telephone the studio so that desk staff/ teachers can excuse the absence. Unexcused absences, or consistent lateness take a toll and could curtail placement in a dance or company. Your communication is appreciated. Likewise, should someone other than a known parent be chaperoning/collecting your dancer from class or an event, please advise accordingly. Please keep your contact details & medical information on our files up to date. Thank you.
Attire, Code of Conduct (Online & Offline), Covid Awareness:
ancers are expected to wear leotards and appropriate style dance shoes with hair up. Ballet dancers level 1 & up typically wear a black leotard with pink or nude tights and hair in a bun. Skirts or black dance shorts are optional. Younger levels may wear any solid color leotard ( with skirt). All levels wear pink professional ballet shoes. Tap and Jazz classes wear black or tan dance shoes and should all have matching color shoes for recital performance. Lyrical and Contemporary classes would typically wear pink or nude half soles. Hip Hop or Musical Theatre styles would wear jazz shoes or dance sneakers. Dance shoes should not be worn outside. Hair in all class styles should be worn up and back from face but very long braids or ponytails should be wound and clipped to head. Hair up is not just for 'look' but to preserve hygiene and to avoid eye injury during turning exercises. Class clothing should always be geared around a leotard. Camisoles or shirts maybe worn over in non ballet classstyles if they are modest and fitted i.e. not baggy and inhibitive of instructor's view of body position and use. No inappropriate language, symbols or innuendo to adorn clothing or behaviours at the studio. Boys should wear black, navy or grey dance tights, jazz pants or shorts with a white or solid color t-shirt. Sweaters, jackets or hoodies may only be worn during warm ups. Please label all shoes and personal items for ease of "lost and found" management. DE can take no responsibility for your attire or personal items and ask that they are kept neat and tidy in dressing room/ lobby areas. Unclaimed items in the "lost and found' bin, will be donated at the end of every session.
Coronavirus Times Code of Conduct:
What to expect from DancEncounter:
• Online or By Phone or Mail Service for Registration/ Payments
• Disinfected facility with regular touchpoint/ bathroom cleaning per incoming group with cleaning wipes available for user to clean bathroom after their use ( where age appropriate)
• Appropriate monitoring and communication as needed of health screenings.
• Masked, where possible physically distancing staffing and contact free dance class.
• Frequent use of Hand Sanitizer/ wipes for choreography rehearsal where contact is used.
• As much as possible, minimal crossover of age groups/ level or time between for cleaning. Limited access to the building to dancers and staff and Pre-School age parents when accompanying a dancer (one parent/adult per dancer).
What DancEncounter expects:
Before leaving for class:
• Go over all policies with student, so they know what to expect.
• Assess how you, your family and your dancer are feeling in the previous 48 hours. Do not come to the studio if you/ your dancer or someone in your family currently or in the 48 hours prior displayed/ displays:
High temperature/ fever/chills Muscle aches/ runny nose/ new cough/ headache Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea Loss of taste or smell Rash
• Communicate directly with studio if you or someone in your family has been diagnosed or exposed to Covid-19. It would be necessary to self-quarantine as per CDC guidelines (may take online class if well enough). Self-quarantining for 10 – 14 days from onset of symptoms will be needed and no return to class/studio until two negative Covid-19 tests are produced and fever returns to normal without medication.
• Communicate directly with studio if you or someone in your family has travelled outside of our region or to a hot-spot area. Follow State, CDC or IDPH guidelines. It would be prudent to take precautions and take online classes. It has been typical to isolate for 10 – 14 days if exposed to high risk situation/ location.
• Update medical info for those that suffer allergies with a doctor’s note detailing they are an allergy sufferer with coughs/ sniffles. Extra attention should be taken to other wellness attributes and temperature during allergy season. DE will send home staff/dancers displaying sniffles that are not noted allergy sufferers.
• Remind students to use a Kleenex or elbow to cover sneezes or coughs.
• Remind students to keep a physical distance and wash hands. On arrival to DE Please plan to arrive 15 mins before your class! Drive slowly when entering the lot!
• There will be hand washing stations set up on the patio along with spray painted stars that are 6ft apart on patio, along sidewalk and fence line at the Kiss ‘n’ Drop area, for any time there might be a line, or students are on an outside break for fresh air. It will be expected that dancers and parents will abide by social distancing and to please wear a mask upon arrival or exit (unless on a fresh air break from class).
• Students will have their temperature taken and recorded. We strongly advise this becomes a routine for families before taking the trip to the studio, to avoid any unnecessary drives. Anyone above a temperature of 99.9+ degrees will not be admitted to class and asked to return home. (Health Evaluating, Screening and Communication will need close and continued attention)
• Dancers will have specific areas/ chairs to store their ‘minimal’ belongings/ overclothes and should use this area regularly. We ask that only necessary items are brought into the studio for that day’s lesson ( no toys/ no snacks but if health requires food, please use disposable bags- no reusable containers).
• Dance Bags should be sanitized and possibly have a small shoe bag that travels in and out of the studio ( so large bags stay home) but fits inside or changes over to the bigger dance bag for events. Dancers should be dressed with hair done upon arrival so that use of bathroom is minimized for the necessary but please ensure use of bathroom before leaving for class. It will be asked to remove outdoor shoes by the front desk and to carry them to your staging area, where dance shoes can be put on & over-clothes stored.
• Once in class, using the same spot at barre or on the floor (same sticker for younger dancers) and maintaining distance will be needed.
• Class may operate a little differently given physical distancing i.e. going across the floor individually as opposed to groups, no partnering, no major formation change or moving around the room.
• Teachers and Staff will wear masks. Dancers are encouraged to. Older dancers are welcome to exit the front porch and steps, if a fresh air break is needed, at an appropriate point, or upon permission.
• No Toys or re-usable water containers. (Unopened/new water bottles may be kept at dancers spot at barre). Dancers cannot wander around drinking their water but certainly hydrating remains important.
• Young dancers will likely do barre work in centre.
• Assistance in wiping off used areas (age appropriate) at end of class and following protocol a teacher sets for any equipment or prop that ‘might’ be used ….
• Stickers and stamps to be awarded to students on a sticker card, that will be kept in dance room, with their name on, and sent home at intervals.
• It likely will be needed to exit classroom in a staggered method. Gather belongings up, put dance shoes in dance shoe bag. As possible wipe down chair holding personal items.
• When called by staff, carry shoes to front desk to put on. Exit as directed by staff to manage flow and head to a painted star to wait for ride. Enrolment, and the day/ time of class will dictate the exit routine but having a smooth flow with no congregating will be the aim.
• Walk-ins can no longer happen. Make- Up lessons will need to booked in advance or done via Zoom.
In Person Service or Zoom/Facetime Conversation/Meetings:
• These will need to be set by appointment and booked in advance but we are happy to assist via these methods if phone or email do not suffice.
Illness at DE:
A student taken ill while at studio will be isolated from the group but under adult supervision, while waiting for a parent to collect as soon as possible.
Should remote dance class take place via video conferencing, it is the parent responsibility to manage and maintain dancer's activity space and behavior before and during the class time. A floor space should be free of debris, loose rugs, coffee tables etc. A sturdy chair may be required for barre substitute (for light touch for balance control). DE frowns upon children jumping on or off of furniture or eating/ drinking ( unless water) while in class. Chat functions of video conferencing should not be used while in class other than maybe at the start or end. Dancers should also be aware of modesty in front of the proximity of the camera and continue to wear good class attire with hair up. It should not be practise to minimize screen unless a technological interruption occurs and as much as possible, camera/ screen should afford full body view. As with regular class at the studio, all dancers under video conference/ online class in their own home, participate voluntarily and at their own risk. Teachers amend, shorten and avoid certain elements during video classes due to the impracticalities and to lessen the limitations that are imposed under these conditions. However, if a live class is being taken online, good judgement by parent and dancer should be taken as to floor surface and surroundings, as some elements of a regular class are a challenge at home on a non professional dance surface or with obstacles or lack of close professional eye (no Pointe or Tap shoes). There are many advantages, however, to continuing to stretch and condition, practice choreography sequences, or learn in elementary levels via interactive video and by allowing their child to participate in a video class means the parent has assessed and assumed all risk.
DE is a supportive dance environment where dance can be enjoyed by all ages, abilities, and physicalities. DE has worked with many special needs students, welcomes all cultures and works towards a respectful and inclusive environment for all. This is to include our student in-classroom respect, our student/company team spirit at public events and our student/staff social media etiquette particularly when pertinent to dance/ studio related subject or comment. DE will not tolerate any blatant or implied disrespect or intimidation that may cause obvious or underlying emotional or mental health distress. Instructors and staff will work towards maintaining a disciplined and healthy atmosphere while training healthy and disciplined bodies and behaviour. Dance Arts require proper physical execution and teachers will correct dancers. Consistent application of these corrections are needed and repeated commentaries are never intended to diminish a student. Occasionally, a student may be stopped from a step, an exercise, a style, move or trick until sufficient correction, execution, strength or healing is acquired or risk lessened, since safety is a priority. Parking Lot, Lobby & Use.
Parking & Reception:
Our parking lot and lobby offer cosy convenience. We ask that drivers pull all the way forward into the diagonal parking spaces or the one parallel spot by the east fence, close to the fence. Additional parking alongside the house on the entrance drive may also be used, if available but please, no waiting on the entrance drive or by the patio fence... this is a "kiss & drop" drop off point only, so traffic can keep flowing in and out of the property. Please be considerate of the neighbor's access to garage and private parking infront of the white building. Further parking can be found on the side street, Sandholm, just east of the studio... There is off street parking by the park and just east of Sandholm is the strip mall parking by Jose Maria's restaurant. Our lobby offers TV viewing of the dance rooms and parents and siblings were usually welcome to wait but in social distancing times, DE reserves the right to limit capacity, direct patrons to another part of the building or close the lobby other than dancers . Specific directions would be issued as we understand young children will need assistance and DE will always care for the well being of our dancers and ask that parents understand the guidelines will be set forth for the best interest of the individual as well as the group and whole studio. We ask that noise is kept to a minimum due to the lobby's location inbetween both dance rooms and dancers being distracted by loudness.
Also, we ask food and drink be kept only as necessary, and only in closable, disposable bottles or bags. Respect should be given to the following incoming dancers and parents by keeping the lobby and dressing room tidy, wiped/ sprayed after your use and garbage free. Dancers may bring a new, plastic water bottle into class that contains water only. Alternatively, a bottle of water may be purchased for $1. Personal, re-usable bottles should not be brought in as they are so often left behind and present potential health hazard. Any forgotten water bottles will be disposed.
Students are not permitted in the dance room without the instructor present or without permission of the director. Use of barre should not entail any hanging, swinging or undue force. Waiting and watching on the stairs is not permitted as it is a hazard and no outdoor shoes are permitted in the dance room.
All building use outside of class schedule is subject to rental agreement and/ or permission of the director. Building is unlocked 15 minutes before the first class of the day ( or shift) and locked up 15 minutes after the last class of the day ( or shift) gets out. Please call ahead or make arrangements if your dancer will be dropped off or picked up more than 15 minutes before or after class.
DE Performances; DEPC; Fundraising:
DancEncounter offers an annual performance to all class students, covering all styles, every Spring. However, The Nutcracker Ballet has long been a bi-annual traditions for ballet classes (in the odd numbered years). In the school year of a Nutcracker Ballet, ballet students will not have class dances in the Spring show. To participate in a dance performance, purchase of a costume is required ($85) and there is a ticket fee for audience members viewing the show ( approx. $20-$25). DancEncounter productions are usually held at Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Participation is not mandatory and not doing a show, should not exclude someone from a class. However, all fees should be up to date in order for a student to participate in the performance. Separate individual paperwork focusing on shows, costume orders, or garment orders etc. are all emailed and should be signed, paid and returned for inclusion, since the commitment and cost is over and above the registration in the class. Fully paid costumes become the property of the dancer after the show or should be returned until fully paid. Occasionally, certain costumes will be rented and should therefore be cleaned and returned. All scenery or props are the property of DE unless rented by DE from a professional organization. Please note dancers during a DancEncounter production remain backstage and should be able to do so for the entire show, so they may take their bow at the end of the show. Understanding and abiding by backstage guidelines is important for the safety and security of all dancers. Parent volunteers under studio direction, are a necessary and valuable part of the success of our shows and the dancer's experience.
DancEncounter also offers a Performing Company for dancers that would enjoy more performance opportunity. Membership is via audition ( usually in May or June but in pandemic time possibly September) and requires certain classes and actively dancing over summer, as well as fulfilling good attendance in the required classes year round, as company is a year round commitment. DEPC has its own fee structure, incurs further costume fees as well as event fees. More detailed information is available for anyone whom would choose the option to audition. Membership is not guaranteed, and is offered by staff discretion. Age is a guideline but not a deciding factor for both company membership or class placement.
A Fundraising Foundation - a separate entity to DancEncounter - was set up in 2004 to embrace support for furthering the dance performance experience of both the individual and the group.... There has been and will be periods of fundraising for the improvement and longevity of our mission: to provide and inspire dance training, art and performance for community, cultural and individual education, enrichment and entertainment.
DancEncounter is dedicated to your experience being as fulfilled as possible. While we may not be able to cater to all personal services, please ask should there not be something on the schedule for you - we can open classes with 3 or more students ( 4 is our usual minimum), book personal lessons, hold birthday parties, or special group workshops based on instructor and facility availability. In this case, fees should be paid in full, in advance and are non-refundable, should personal cancellations be made. DE would return any and all fee, should it be DE creating the cancellation. Private lessons need at least 24 hours notice to be re-arranged with no forfeit. Small class settings running below minimum enrolment, should expect class time to be shortened, when in a one on one situation( one student to one teacher) due to other's absences. Duration of class runs differently and more quickly with one student, and can be a lot more intense for the student.
As the landscape of operation changes, so may these policies be reviewed as new circumstances evolve.
C reativity &