Help Save Our World.

We ALL know that this year has been anything but rainbows and butterflies. Small, and even medium and big, businesses are feeling the brunt of this global crisis.

We know that our small, suburban, family-run dance school, is just one tiny speck in our big giant planet that is currently crashing and burning. 

But the thing is, those four walls in Epping, those mirrors, that barre, the staircase and the mezzanine that we fought so hard for, the pictures your kids drew for us that are stuck up on the wall and THEM, their smiley faces, their laughs, their tears….those things are our world. Our whole world.

This is not just business for us. This is where our own kids dance. Where 14-year-old Chloe discovered a passion for teaching and eventually became “co-principal” alongside Kristie and Carla. This is where we watch our students work hard and turn into assistant teachers and then teachers themselves. This is where Nakarin felt at home. And where we celebrated his Australian citizenship. We’ve helped write resumes and provided reference letters. We’ve given advice and taken it too. We’ve celebrated all of your success and we’ve felt all of your loss. We’ve announced babies and engagements here and we’ve cried tears of joy and tears of angst too. We’ve cheered for every milestone and cheered for every milestone that was just missed. This is where we show up after the longest and hardest days and let it all go. This is where we feed our children, where we chuck our dinner in the microwave and get on with it, where we do homework, where our family shows up unannounced, where our family shows up when we need them. It’s where we have quiet cups of teas and loud, passionate “discussions ” too. Where we catch up with friends because our work and social life are all intertwined. This dance school is so much more than a small business. For one thing, it is HUGE in purpose and impact. It’s our whole world. And we hope,  at least a big part of yours or your child’s world. 

In term 1 2020, we opened our doors to our anticipated biggest year ever. MSF was thriving. Classes were full, the parent lounge wall to wall with happy, chatty, parents and kids. We felt like a full-time call centre because our phone was constantly buzzing and if we weren’t answering calls, we were replying to emails. 

Numbers were never important to us but, we did celebrate when we reached an incredible 300. 300 enthusiastic boys and girls of all ages were filling our world with even more dance and even more purpose. 

Then covid hit and in that last week, before the restrictions were announced, the studio felt eerily quiet. Not the calm before the storm but the quiet after. 

In term 2, like many dance schools and with little choice, we moved online. 85 students joined us on zoom to trial our classes and 62 enrolled…

The prospect of term 3 returning to face-to-face classes was exciting! We had held out hope that our dance family would come back to us and we were right. We had 200 kids ready to return to dance and a huge number who were waiting in the wings, riding out the wave. Then lockdown 2.0 came crashing in like a tsunami.

It’s now time for us to resume online classes and so far we have 30…30, important, special, valued individuals who will join us for class online. Just 10percent of our term 1 family.  This is the smallest student base we have ever had. Even smaller than our first year back in 2007.  

Dance family, we need you now more than ever.

The simplest way to support our dance school is to enrol into our online classes if you can afford it. This way, you are also supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of your child and their dance progression. Not only will you be making a small financial contribution to our school but you will be helping our community to stay connected, to stay as one.

However;

We know that the structure of online learning does not suit everyone. If it’s not for your child or they are not interested, we understand. We don’t want to pressure them into doing something they don’t want to do.

We know that an overwhelming majority of our families are experiencing some form of income loss or employment loss. We don’t want you to spend money on dance classes if you can not afford to. 

What we don’t know is how far will we get, without the continued support from YOU our big, extended dance family.

So, if you won’t be continuing your dancing online, there are other ways you can show your support and help us see through this crisis to the other side.

  • Please follow and keep engaged with our Facebook and Instagram pages.
  • Please share our post about online classes (or any of our social media posts) on your Facebook and Instagram pages
  • Tag people who you think might be interested in online dancing
  • Tag people who might be interested in dancing at the studio when this is all over
  • Leave a review on our Google or Facebook page 
  • Upload a photo of you/your kids at an MSF event 

These gestures might seem small but they will make a huge difference to us. We are so grateful to every single MSF student and parent. Whether you’ve danced all the way through iso or we haven’t seen you since term 1. Even if you’ve just been keeping up to date with our emails, we are thankful. Hey, if you’ve come this far on the longest social media post ever, that says a lot!! 

We said in a recent email, this year has been a rollercoaster. And it has, but one that has broken down right before the free fall and left us hanging. Stomach-churning, heart in our throat, we are just hanging out here looking out over the world. OUR world and that’s you, our dance fam. 🧡

With lots of love, we hope to see you on the dance floor soon.

The MSF Sisters,

Kristie, Carla and Chloe. xx

Active April

Hi Dance Fam,

We hope you are well and staying safe (and sane!) and are adjusting to our new normal.

As promised, we have a range of activities planned to help keep The MSF kids active, engaged and dancing away the boredom.

Please find attached our Active April calendar. There is a different challenge or activity planned for every day of the month!

Feel free to print it out and get the whole family involved.

We would love to see your kids having a blast and trying new things so please take photos and videos and tag us when posting to Facebook, Instagram, and your stories, using the tag @mainstfunk #MSFathome. If you don’t have social media, please feel free to email us instead.

The first challenge is “re-design the MSF t-shirt.” Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox for a t-shirt template coming your way.

This is just the beginning, we have MUCH more planned and while we are missing our gorgeous students, we are excited to stay connected with you all and to keep the fun going.

Dancing is our happy place and with the studio temporarily closed, that does not have to change.

Keep dancing dance fam, keep in touch and keep looking after each other.

The MSF Team xx

www.mainstfunk.com
www.facebook.com/mainstfunk
www.instagram.com/mainstfunk
mainstfunk@gmail.com
#MSFathome

MAIN ST FUNK AT HOME (1)

Dance Family

What does it mean when we call you our “Dance Family”?

Over the years, or weeks if you are brand new, you might have heard us refer to Main St Funk as our “Dance Family”. This might mean a lot to you, to know that you are so valued in our community that we consider you, family, or, maybe you’ve just signed up and the phrase doesn’t hold much meaning yet. But why are we a “dance family”?

Back in 2007, when MSF was first opened by sisters Kristie and Carla, we were a small school with about 50 kids. Classes were held in one big room, separated by just a partition. Kristie would teach on one side and Carla on the other. Little sister Chloe was a student and an assistant teacher. Everything we did, we did together.

Routines were choreographed and practiced in the lounge room, weekends were spent shopping for costumes, late nights were spent editing music and staff meetings and brainstorming happened around the dinner table. Our family members jumped on board to volunteer their time and get involved with every new project we started; Photos and DVDs (which we used to shoot and edit ourselves, what!?), costume sewing and performance days. Everything was a family affair and it still is! Our mum, dad, sister Bianca, our partners, and our children, all live and breathe Main St Funk, almost as much as we do.

It has always been about teamwork. It didn’t matter who taught what class, we were always stepping in to help each other with new ideas and advice. Like sisters do, sometimes we disagreed or told it like it was but we knew that we always had each other’s back and best interest of the MSF kids at heart. That kind of love carried over to our “studio” and classes.

We didn’t hide behind a professional face. We were always genuinely and proudly ourselves, three sisters working together. We treated our students with the same respect, kindness, and honesty that we gave each other. Sometimes that meant being a should to cry on, sometimes that meant giving out some tough love.

The feedback that we started to receive was that MSF students felt so included and welcomed, that we had created such a safe space and that we were “different” from the other activities that the kids participated in each week.

But why were we different??

It was only years later that we could put our finger on what it was. It was because we are family. Our students and the entire school, are an extension of us. You are our “dance family”.

So much is different now, 14 years later and you might have noticed our family members now far exceed that right-knit little group of 50 we once were. But please know, our sentiment is still the same. We are still that shoulder to cry on, that little dose of tough love when you need it, voices of reason if you ask for it and we are always here to listen. We will continue to be genuine, honest and grounded. We have learned a lot over the years, but we are still those same three sisters.

Whether you are an OG member or you just signed up today, we hope you know that you are so valued, that we welcome your conversation, we care about your wellbeing and even though we are welcoming new family members every day so far these holidays, you are more than just a number to us.

So when you hear or read us referring to MSF as our dance family, please know that we don’t take that phrase lightly.

It is not a marketing strategy, it is not a “slogan” and it’s not something that dance schools say, just because!

It is the culture of our school, the backbone that has driven us this far and will continue to do so, it is a feeling amongst our students that grew organically over time and with a bit of TLC and a lot of hard work, it grows stronger and more prominent every year.

Past and present students, as we say goodbye to another year, we thank you for being apart of our journey and hope to see you in 2020.

With love to you, our dancing family, forever and always!

What to expect during Concert Season.

So we’ve hit the second half of the year, which means in the dance world, it’s officially #CONCERTSEASON! For some of our first-time parents and students, this might sound a bit scary or daunting. For our more experienced families, you probably felt a shiver of excitement shoot down your spine. If you’ve been with Main St Funk for the better part of this year, you may have caught on that we do things a little bit differently to other dance schools and concert time is no exception. Or, maybe, this is your first time ever being involved in an activity like dance and performance and you have ZERO ideas of what to expect. That’s ok! We’ve put together a little bit of a guide to help you brace yourself for what’s bound to be the highlight of your child’s year.

1.COSTUMES

Main St Funk holds a reputation for being grounded and down to earth and for the most part, we are pretty casual. However, when it comes to concert season, Main St Funk pulls out all the stops. Expect bright and funky hip hop costumes, gorgeous and glittering jazz and ballet costumes. The cost of these is included in your term fees and require no sewing on your part. We aim to keep cost and hassle low, so all costumes are creatively sourced and created in a way to suit our budget. This means that you might receive a costume that is not your exact size, or requires a slight alteration (by the MSF team) or maybe, it’s just simply not your style and not what you would pick when you head out to the shops. Trust that the MSF team are professionals and know what looks good on stage. We would never let you on stage in a costume that didn’t match our high standards. So, when trying on your costumes, if it doesn’t seem right at first, remember that the MSF team know all of the tricks of the trade to make it work and please be patient, remembering that your child’s costume is one of the hundreds that require our attention.

After your child has been fitted into their costumes, they will be taken home. The costumes will become your responsibility from then until concert day. Please look after them, to ensure your child looks fabulous on stage. Missing or damaged items may incur a replacement charge. All costumes will be returned to Main St Funk on concert day after your child has performed.

2.THE SUPERMODEL LIFE

Every year Main St Funk hold a professional in house photo-shoot with a professional photographer. Every child is given the opportunity to pose in single photos and group photos in their dance costumes. These make gorgeous keepsakes, thoughtful Christmas presents for relatives and they are the perfect way to keep the memories of a beautiful dancing year. Participating in the photo-shoot comes at no extra cost and all photos will be available to purchase in hard copies and digital formats.

3.DATES AND TIMES 

Now that the fun is amping up, so are the commitment levels and opportunities for your children. We run many optional performance opportunities, the photo day, a compulsory rehearsal and annual concert in the second half of the year. If your child is participating you will need to know call times, venue addresses and important dates. Often at these events, we are running to a strict timeline. So being late may mean that your child misses out on their opportunity to dance, even on concert days! Check out our events page to ensure your child doesn’t miss out: https://mainstfunk.com/dates-events/

4. COMPULSORY THEATRE REHEARSAL

As mentioned above, and in every newsletter released this year, Main St Funk only hold one compulsory event throughout the whole year! The theatre rehearsal, held in the week prior to the concert, is a strict requirement for all students who wish to participate at the end of year concert. Why is it compulsory? The rehearsal is the only opportunity the students have to practice their routines on stage, before the big show. A theatre can be a big and daunting place for a little person. The rehearsal ensures all students feel safe and in familiar surroundings when they arrive on the concert day. Professional theatres cost thousands of dollars a day to hire and our students having access to the theatre prior to their performance is an absolute privilege that comes at no extra cost to our students.  At Main St Funk our priority is to give every student a positive experience on concert day. This compulsory rehearsal aids us in doing so.

5. HAIR AND MAKEUP

When you perform on stage, it is important that you look the part. Stage make up is a requirement of all students (all ages and genders) who perform on concert day. The MSF Team understand that putting makeup on young people may feel uncomfortable for some parents. The purpose of stage makeup is to enhance the dancer’s natural features on stage. On concert day, the MSF kids dance under professional stage lighting. This can make the performers face appear “washed out” or blurry from the audience and on the video footage. Wearing the required amount of makeup ensures that you will be able to see your child’s smiling face from the audience. Main St Funk does not use makeup for glamour purposes but rather to highlight the child’s features. We ask parents to use neutral tones and natural colours, to ensure our students do not look “overdone” or “made up”. Makeup is compulsory for concert day and optional for photo day. As well as makeup, each age group will have an allocated hairstyle. You will be required to do your child’s hair on photo day and concert day. You can expect to add “Hairspray. Gel. Hairnet. Bobby pins. Bobby pins. And, bobby pins.” to your shopping list. Slick and neat hair ensures each student looks uniform, presentable and groomed on stage.

6.EXPECT TO WORK HARD

As your moment on stage draws closer, choreography will be finalised, positions will be set in stone and performance skills will be refined. Your teachers will be pushing you to dance bigger, work harder and to take responsibility for knowing your work. You will be expected to be trying your best, to be working as a team player and to take pride in your craft and especially as you get older, you will be held accountable for missing class, being late or not pulling your weight. The MSF teacher’s see your fullest potential and it is their job to draw the best out of you! Once again, our priority is to ensure that every student has a positive experience on concert day. Arriving to the show underprepared can leave the students feeling even more nervous and overwhelmed than what is expected on such a special day. We want our students to be able to put their best foot forward and to walk off stage with their head held high, knowing that they gave it their all and have put in the work to give their best performance.

7. THE MSF BUDDY SYSTEM

During concert season, you can expect your child to act independently and confidently without mum and dad! Main St Funk has a “no parents backstage” policy. All of the younger students are buddied up with an older student who looks after them backstage on concert day and during the rehearsal. We are pretty proud of this buddy system. It teaches independence, responsibility and teamwork and ensures that every single parent gets to sit in the audience and see their child shine on stage. The theatre rehearsal is a parent free-zone as well which keeps the performance a big surprise for our mums and dads and is great practice for concert day. If your child (or yourself!) may take some time to get used to the idea, it would be a good idea to practice attending dancing independently by dropping your child off for their weekly class and coming back to pick them up. You can build up the amount of time you are away from the studio each week. This will help to further build yours and your child’s trust in their teachers and the MSF team and help them to feel comfortable and safe when they attend dancing events.

8.TEARS

Expect tears. Tears of joy! Nervous tears. Tears of frustration. Tears of pride! Tears from laughter. Tears when you say goodbye to your dancing friends, your favourite routines and beautiful costumes. Tears from mum and dad who are blown away in the audience. Tears of pride from your teachers, who see you dance every week but can’t help but feel SO PROUD when they see you on that stage. Concert season is a beautiful and emotional time and like all things that we are passionate about, will have its highs and lows. Dance is an art form. It’s for the big-hearted, not the faint-hearted.

9. BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES AND FOREVER FRIENDS

Whether your child will dance for years to come or never again, the memories created at dancing and during concert season will be cherished for a lifetime. Years from now you and your grown-up dancer will look back on your dancing photos and concert videos with love and fondness. You won’t remember all the emails you had to read or all the rushing to and from the theatre you had to do. You will remember squeezing their little nervous hand as you walked them to the dressing room. You will remember tucking in laces for tiny feet and hair spraying back little baby hairs. You will remember the goosebumps you felt sitting in the audience waiting to see your child on stage. You will remember thinking “I’m more nervous than they are!” and feeling like you could burst with pride. Years from now, you won’t be able to bring yourself to throw away their old, tiny dancing shoes because they hold such treasured memories.

Your child will make beautiful friends. Concert season has a way of bringing people together. The experience bonds children in a way that only “dancing people” understand. Dancing friendships are famous for lasting a lifetime, even years after you stop dancing. 

As a grown-up, your son or daughter won’t be able to help themselves but dance when they hear old “dancing songs” on the radio.  They will remember the hard work, the butterflies in their tummy, the itchy costume that looked gorgeous on stage and the teacher that believed in them more than they believed in themselves.

You will both remember one thing, “it was all worth it.” 

The MSF Team know that concert season is super exciting but can also be daunting, overwhelming or stressful, especially if you are new to the dance world. We will always do our best to ensure you are kept in the loop and will give your child every opportunity to have the best time in the studio and on stage. All information will be provided to you and available on our website but we also always welcome questions. If you are ever not sure, just get in touch by email or phone. 

IMPORTANT DATES: https://mainstfunk.com/dates-events/

LATEST NEWSLETTER: https://mainstfunk.com/2019/07/11/july-2019/

mainstfunk@gmail.com 0433220973

Getting Funky in Epping

Children and Teens in the City of Whittlesea are discovering the relaxed and fun vibe at Main St Funk dance studio in Epping.

Run by three sisters who grew up in Epping themselves, Main St Funk welcomes anyone who loves to dance, no matter their experience.

Kristie Hocking, co-founder said “Back in 2007, we saw that there weren’t many options for kids who just wanted to dance for enjoyment, so we started a few Hip Hop classes with a simple vision of being relaxed, fun and inclusive.  “We find that kids really progress and get the most out of themselves when they feel supported and encouraged to give it a go without fear of failure”

Last year, after over a decade of running classes in Thomastown and Lalor, Main St Funk opened the doors to a brand new studio located in Epping.

Word quickly spread and soon nearly all their classes were at capacity. In September 2018, they added a second studio to accommodate their growing community of enthusiastic and passionate kids from all over the Northern Suburbs.

In just one year, the Main St Funk dance family doubled, as local families embraced their unique combination of high energy, quality classes, with a focus on teamwork and at an affordable cost.

“The response from the community has been amazing. Our existing students are loving having our own space and all the extended class options, and so many new students have discovered us and are settling right in”

Students joining Main St Funk in 2019 can expect a high energy class in a friendly atmosphere. They can choose from Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary classes available for students as young as two and a half.

They offer an obligation free trial class to all new students, so book in and experience the joy of dancing for yourself.