Welcome to West Main Studios

Our School offers a complete program for the young dancer! Thank you for choosing us as your Dance Home!

What to Expect on the First Day
We are very excited to welcome your little one to our dance program.  We look forward to seeing all of the beautiful little dancers all dressed in their ballet and tap attire! We know that as a parent you have a vision for how you think the first day will go. I am writing this letter in order to give you some ideas of how it might go, and how it might not. You may take this advice for whatever it is worth to you. All children are different and react differently in situations.

We want you to know right from the start, that it is completely normal for a young dancer to feel timid or shy as they come into the studio for the first time. Usually a brand new 2 year old will cling to mom as they walk in the studio door, as they are unaware of their environment. Everything to them is new and separation anxiety is one of the most common issues on the first day. You may overcome this by explaining to your child before they arrive that mommy (or daddy) will watch them through the window during the class and that mommy (or daddy) won’t leave. The more you talk about it at home the better! Make sure you prepare them for their first day and please arrive early on the first day in order to get them acclimated to their new teacher and environment.

Our dance classes are designed as a teacher/child class. Our policy is that all parents need to be in the lobby when class is in session. We also need to keep the door to the studio closed during class, in order to avoid any wandering dancers. We will work with you and your child to achieve success in bringing happy dancers into the classroom without mom. This is a gradual process for most babies. 

Have you ever noticed that when one 2 year old begins to cry, the others follow suit? We have observed this as well and it is why we need to have any crying child wait with mom outside at the window until they feel confident to come back in. We know this sounds harsh, but we will make every attempt at calming your child and getting them to join the class that we possibly can, before we ask the mom to exit the room. Sometimes the child is actually upset just being in the room, so you may calm them down more effectively outside. In the past we let the parent of an unsure child remain in the room with the child; however, we found that this practice can distract other dancers, and the inability for Mom to leave the room in subsequent weeks, as the child has learned, “my mommy stays with me”.

Most of the time our little dancers come into the room right away and never look back. Sometimes our little dancers aren’t ready for a teacher/child class. As parents, we won’t know until we try. Please remember that it sometimes takes a few weeks in order for the child to warm up to the idea, even if they LOVE to dance.

Lastly, our goal on the first day is to get every child into the class without mom and without crying. If we have done that we have succeeded. But please don’t be alarmed if your child doesn't come in the first day. Or if they choose to sit and watch, or just stands there holding her ribbon and stares at the teacher jumping up and down. They are simply observing their environment. They will dance when they are ready!!! We hope you all have a positive experience at our studio. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or concerns

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Is there required attire for my dancer?

    • ​Yes. We require dancers be in a leotard and tights, with proper ballet and tap shoes. We've found that having specified attire prepares our young dancers for the classroom. They know that when they are in their leotard, tights and shoes that it is time for class. It also helps them feel like part of the group. We have often seen that dancers that do not have proper attire feel different from their fellow classmates and it can often change their participation levels in class. 

  • How should my dancer wear their hair?

    • We recommend having our dancers hair out of their face. If you're able to have it in a bun or a ponytail, great! However, we do know that our 2-4 year old dancers can be difficult to manage when it comes to hair. Sometimes, it just isn't worth the fight. By age 5, dancers should be having their hair pulled back in a ponytail, or bun. 

  • Is it normal for my dancer not to participate?

    • ABSOLUTELY! Each dancer is different. Some dancers may jump right in, while others may take several weeks to fully feel comfortable in class. This is completely normal! We have seen dancers take up to 5-6 weeks to become a full participant in class. Remember, everything is new to them. They have a new space, new teacher, new friends, new music, new clothes. This can be very overwhelming for our young dancers. We know that some dancers may take longer to acclimate to the classroom setting. This is why we require a minimum 2 months enrollment for class. This timeframe allows our dancers enough time to really understand the concepts in class and become more comfortable with their surroundings. 

  • How can I best prepare my dancer for class?

    • Come early for your first class! Help them get acquainted with their new space and teacher!

    • Talk about it at home! The more you discuss the format of class, and expectations, with your dancer the better! Remind them that mommy/daddy stay OUTSIDE the classroom during dance class. We should also be talking to them about classroom behavior (e.g. listening to their teacher, taking turns with other dancers, etc.). One of the biggest things our young dancers learn isn't even dancer related. We teach our young dancers basic social and classroom skills to help prepare them for pre-school and kindergarten. 

    • Come to class on a consistent basis! Consistency is key at a young age. The more they are able to keep their weekly schedule, the better they will do in class. 

    • Be on time to class! We realize that sometimes things happen that may cause delays in getting to class, however, being on time is HUGE! Having them be there from the time the teacher calls them in, takes role, and gets class started helps in setting their expectations and behaviors for class. When a dancer is late, they lose those first moments of preparation which can impact their entire class and their behavior. 

  • My dancer wanders off during class, and isn't always paying attention? Is this normal? How should I handle it?

    • Yes, this is completely normal for our younger dancers. This is why we structure our classes to split time between tap and ballet each week. Changing activities throughout classes helps to keep our young dancers engaged. However, it is completely normal for them to become distracted, or wander during portions of class. There are many things that can alter how our dancers participate. Lack of sleep, hunger, injury, etc. Everything has an impact. Our teachers will work to ensure our dancers stay as engaged as possible. We ask that you please do not enter the classroom, or tap on the viewing windows,  to try and help your dancer as this is just another distraction, not only to them, but also to the entire class. 


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