5 Key Words Every Dance Parent Should Remember.
In 2018, Main St Funk have welcomed a record number of new enrollments. Lots of little people and lots of big people too, who are either new to the dance world or at least new to the world of Main St Funk. And of course, these gorgeous people wouldn’t exist without their parents. A new dance class (a new environment, new people, learning new skills) can be daunting for young children but it can also be overwhelming for new dance parents. While your child is finding their dancing feet you also need to find yours so we’ve put together a short and sweet article to help you be the best dance mum (or dance dad, grandparent, aunty, guardian) and no, we don’t mean THAT kind of dance mum.
If you are reading this article, good job, you are familiar with our first key word…READ! At Main St Funk we believe that communication is key. We put all important pieces of information in writing via email and our website. This is the most effective way to feed you everything you need to know. While it may seem simpler to you for us to simply TELL you all of the information, with over 100 parents to talk to each week, it is much easier for us to type it all out once. We know how busy you are, so we only include things that we think you absolutely need to know. Therefore, the rule of thumb should be “there are words on my screen from my dance school, I definitely need to read this.” When you skip over important newsletters or emails you miss out on information about rehearsals, concert dates, special events, uniforms, class rules – you being familiar with these things are VITAL to your child having a fulfilling and successful year at dancing. Don’t let them be the kid who shows up without their correct costume or shoes or who misses out on the concert because you didn’t make a note of all of the important dates. Be informed – READ!
HOT TIP: If you receive an email from us and think “I haven’t got time to read this” – flag it in your inbox and set a reminder on your phone for a time when you will be able to sit down and take it all in. 9pm? The kids are in bed, dishes are done. Set yourself up with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and get to reading!
So, you got through step one and you’ve read everything you need to know. Give yourself a pat on the back, you’re already ahead of the game. The next thing you need to do is “Respond”. Newsletters may often include a quick form you need to fill out. These could be order forms for new uniform items or a participation form for upcoming events. Fill it out then and there while it’s on your screen, then you don’t have to remind yourself to come back to it later and your teachers will appreciate your prompt reply. If there are no forms to fill out, simply replying to let your teachers know that you received their message and relevant information would be appreciated. This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you have or to confirm any points that you are not sure of. We LOVE answering questions at Main St Funk, it ensures we are all on the same page. So please, ask away!
Dance studio owners all over the world put their heart and soul into their work – we are yet to meet a fellow dance studio owner who doesn’t give their job absolutely everything they’ve got and the MSF team are no exception. What is just a 45 minute dance class to you has taken years of training on our behalf, hours of planning and lots of late nights choreographing. Our studio, is not just a venue to run a dance class. It is a dream come true and our second home. Your classmates and fellow dance parents are cherished members of our dance community, just as much as you are and our staff are beloved members of our family who we handpicked to provide classes to your children. So, RESPECT:
- OUR DANCE SPACE: Keep it clean and tidy, keep noise levels down, don’t treat it as a play area or babysitting centre, share the space with others.
- EACH OTHER: Main St Funk are a bully free zone and dancing is our happy place. Talk to each other with kindness and encouraging words, greet each other with a smile, make friends, help each other.
- OUR TEACHERS: Do as they ask, don’t interrupt while they are teaching or talking, say please and thank you.
- THE CHOREOGRAPHY: Our teachers will make choices about music and choreography based on age, skill level, concert themes, appropriateness and artistic choice. Never suggest changes or make negative comments. Dance is an art form and our teachers are artists who make lots of considerations when creating their dances. The are very proud of their work, as they should be.
We know you will remember this one because as busy parents, you probably don’t have a lot of it….TIME. The perfect dance parent is never late, in fact they are probably 5 or 10 minutes early. Punctuality is important to ensure a smooth class free of disruptions. Coming early is even better because it gives your child the opportunity to settle in before class starts. Children are often affected walking in to class late, it can be daunting arriving in the middle of an action packed class. It is also important for your child to participate in the entire class. Warm ups at the beginning of each session are important in preventing injuries and our little debriefs at the beginning of class are a great way to get to know fellow classmates. Don’t forget that you have paid for a full 45 minute or 1 hour class as well. Get your money’s worth AND your child will get the most out of their training, win win. Seperate from class, during rehearsal and performance season, you may have call times specific for your group. Be familiar with what they are, aim to get there early to allow for traffic and travelling to a theatre you may not be familiar with. To summarise, our 4th keyword is “time” and we want you to be on it.
Sit back and relax and let your child go at their own pace. It may take a while for them to find their feet. They may not be the most confident or the most capable in the class. They may find themselves in the back row where they can see and copy the more experienced kids. That’s ok! We could’ve titled this paragraph “trust” as well. Trust in your teachers that they are making the right decisions for their students, this might mean not pushing kids beyond their limits. Trust in the process, good things (like awesome dance moves) take time, trust in your child’s ability to itch away at something until they master it. At Main St Funk we raise hard working, determined dancers. So sit back and relax (enjoy a coffee in our parent’s lounge) and if your child comes out of class smiling, you can trust that their time at dancing is fulfilling and positive.
So there we have it. The perfect dance mums (and dads!) do exist. They read every newsletter and email and respond promptly. They are respectful and always on time (or early!) and now they can relax while their children reap all of the benefits in dance class.
We appreciate all of our dance parents and are so thrilled to have each and every one of you on board. If, after reading this, you feel inspired to ensure you are up to date with all the MSF info. Check out our latest newsletter and important dates + events page on our website.
By Chloe Jobson; not a dance parent but an observer of sorts.