The Benefits of Online Dance Classes

Well, with nearly all of us confined to our houses, I bet you are just about sick of hearing about online subscriptions, at-home workouts, and “our response to covid-19”. But, I am going to test your patience here and keep talking to you about online dance classes. I know I am on thin ice but don’t worry, I promise not to mention the words “unprecedented times”…

Last week Main St Funk announced the launch of our brand new online dance program “MSF Live Online”.  As far as small-businesses-adapting-and-moving-to-the online-platform-during-a global-pandemic goes, you could say that we were a little late to the party. This is because we wanted to be sure this was the right move for our students and for our business. We wanted to be sure we could deliver an online dance program that was safe, effective, worthy of your time and money, and mirrors the culture and community of our school. 

Whilst we have had a lot of interest and support from our community, we also know, that with the current information overload we are all experiencing, we wouldn’t blame you if you briefly glanced at the information about online classes and thought “ugh, this all too hard.” We can understand why you might feel overwhelmed and under enthused about adapting and changing yet another aspect of yours and your child’s life. Trust us when we say we understand and that we feel exactly the same way. We even considered for a minute, not offering online classes and instead, waiting out this storm and returning to the studio to teach when it was safe to do so. 

When we decided to push aside our own doubts and fears, which were mostly personal and not related to the school (so likely what you are feeling now) we explored what the benefits of providing online classes would be. Yes, for us as a business but mostly how we would be impacting our community. So if you’re unsure, just like we were, about pursuing a dance education online, here are just a few reasons to give it a go.

 

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: This one is the most obvious and probably doesn’t need to be said but exercise and staying active is important for not only physical health but mental health and emotional wellbeing too. The department of health recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children aged 5-17 years of age. We know lots of our students usually participate in weekly swimming lessons, sport games, and training, gymnastics, and P.E class at school, all on top of their weekly dance classes. Children who are usually so active will need to maintain as much as their routine exercise as they can to ensure they don’t lose their fitness or skills.
  • A SENSE OF NORMALITY AND ROUTINE: Children thrive off routine and structure and in fact, so do many adults. Whilst in isolation, it’s important to maintain as much structure as possible, and scheduling your usual weekly dance class will help with this. You may also find when the social distancing directives are lifted and we can return to the studio, that your child is more mentally prepared to return to dance class then they would be if they had spent months not participating in a class.
  • IT ENSURES THEY WON’T FALL BEHIND: While Main St Funk won’t be working on concert work, we will continue to build on our technique, skills, musicality, and confidence. Dancers are known for their determination and work ethic. They owe it to themselves to not only continue with their growth and improvement but to also maintain the skillset they have already built. Not participating in the class does not only mean they miss out on “what’s next” but an extended period of time without dance can mean a loss of strength, flexibility, and technique. Just think how you feel when you miss a week or 2 of going to the gym.
  • THEY WILL FEEL CONFIDENT RETURNING TO CLASS: Missing class for an extended period of time can dampen confidence and self-esteem. Returning to the studio after weeks or months of not dancing can be daunting or stressful. If your child participates in online classes they will feel ready to return to the studio, knowing that they haven’t missed out.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE ADAPTABLE: It is such an important life skill to be able to say “the show will go on!” when life throws you a curveball. Our students will come out of this situation strong, versatile, and adaptable, knowing that there is always a plan B.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN LEARNING: What a great opportunity to take ownership of their motivation and energy. Dragging yourself off the couch and switching from “free time mode” to “dance mode” takes real strength. Being a self-motivator is a great skill to have and one that builds up over time. After this experience, your child will be further motivated to practice dancing at home because they are familiar, comfortable, and well-practiced in doing so.
  • IT KEEPS THEM CONNECTED: We hold a strong reputation for the community and family feel that runs throughout our school. Every student is valued, special, and is an important member of our dancing family. The friendships created in the studio are their own kind of special. Dialing into class each week will help your child feel connected to our community, will further develop their sense of belonging, and will help them maintain the beautiful friendships they have built at dancing as well as their relationship with their dancing teacher.
  • DANCING IS THEIR HAPPY PLACE: Dancing brings joy! Our students have already sacrificed so much of what makes them happy already, birthday parties, school, seeing friends, visiting family and grandparents, trips to the movies… by providing online dance classes we are ensuring there is just one less thing they have to give up. We hope that not only will we be assisting in continue your child’s growth and education, but that we will be supporting their happiness too.

 

It is hard to believe that we ever considered not offering online dance classes as an option when the benefits of doing so are undeniable. In this trying time, offering online dance classes at an affordable, discounted rate is our way of supporting our community and our students. We understand that you might find this new concept a little overwhelming, so we are here to help you through it. If you have any questions or need help setting up your tech or dance space. Please get in touch so that we can continue to support you and your children. Dancing is our happy place and that doesn’t have to change. The studio may be closed but our school is still open! We are working harder than ever to keep delivering the joy of dance.

To sign up to an obligation free trial class of our online classes, click here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk

P.S We know that participating in our online classes will not be a possibility for all of our students. If you just read this blog and are now worried because your child will be missing out, don’t worry! We understand and we haven’t forgotten you. We have a series of free pre-recorded practice videos available on Vimeo and we will continue to keep your child engaged with free and fun online activities. There are benefits in taking time off too, so please make a decision that is best for your family. We look forward to welcoming you back to class at the studio, with open arms, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Dancing with Summer

Attention all little MSF kids with itchy feet and ants in their pants…

Our gorgeous and clever assistant teacher Summer (who is only 11 years old!!!) has created an online dance tutorial just for you!
This class is suitable for all Petite, Mini, and Tiny dancers.

We recommend setting it up on the tv or a large PC screen, making sure your dancer has lots of space and we encourage mums, dads, and siblings, to join in too.

We would love to show Summer some photos or videos of the MSF kids taking her class so please send them through OR why not write Summer a thank-you letter or draw her a picture.

We are so very lucky to have such clever, innovative and thoughtful students like Summer, a dance teacher in the making!

P.S Please note the youtube links are set to “private” so you will not be able to search for these videos on Youtube. Make sure you save the links in case your little dancer wants to dance with Summer again and again.

Have fun everyone! xx

 

EPISODE 1 – BALLET PART 1: https://youtu.be/XG3BxugIDSo
EPISODE 2 – BALLET PART 2: https://youtu.be/Ox1kZg6iz-E
EPISODE 3 – HIP HOP PART 1: https://youtu.be/7QPL7p4d3k4
EPISODE 4 – HIP HOP PART 2: https://youtu.be/G1Dj1J2rRsc

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)

How To Maintain a Structured Day in Isolation – With Your Children.

It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed with this “new normal” business. 😅

Try to keep a structured routine for you and your kids and fill your day with fun, learning, and adventure. Their curious minds need stimulation and a challenge. 💪🏻

Remember quality over quantity. It is stressful times for children too and they do need to maintain a little bit of structure. What they really need is lots of hugs, books to read, family movie time and something to look forward to each day. 🧡

MAINTAIN A STRUCTURED DAY IN ISOLATION WITH YOUR CHILDREN (1)

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.

April 2019

Wow! Hasn’t term 1 just flown by? In a jam-packed 9 weeks, we have started learning new skills and techniques, made new friends, performed at two events and have now started our concert work. We are so pleased with how everyone has settled into their classes and the happy and positive vibes you bring into class each week.

CONGRATULATIONS….

  • To our fantastic tiny, littlie, junior, inter and teen hip hop students who performed at the Lendlease Aurora Meet Your Neighbours event. We received fabulous feedback about how amazing you all were, not just performing but your behaviour and the energy that you brought to the entire event.
  • To ALL of the students who performed at the Whittlesea Community Festival, there were over 90 of you!! You tackled tricky conditions and still represented the black and orange tribe so perfectly. We are very proud of our performers and our big supportive community.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

These school holidays Main St Funk are running danced based activities. It is a great opportunity for our students to get to know their classmates in a fun and relaxed setting. There is something different for each age group and further details have been emailed out. You must book online prior to the day (for catering purposes) and bookings close on Tuesday, April 9th at 4 pm.

ENROLLMENTS STILL OPEN

Enrollments are still open for 2019. It’s not too late to tell your friends about Main St Funk or to try another class. If you’re thinking about taking on an extra class, please get in touch with the MSF team to discuss your options and your multi-class discount.

BIG GROUP HUG – DONATION DRIVE

This Winter Main St Funk are holding a donation drive through the organisation Big Group Hug’s campaign; “Pj’s Singlets, Socks and Jocks make for warm & happy, Kids & Tots”

Big Group Hug wants to be able to provide brand new pyjamas, singlets, socks and underwear to disadvantage kids and struggling families in our community. We are asking for donations of brand new items sizes 2 to 16 for both boy and girls. Please drop off your donations to Main St Funk by Wednesday May 1st. We know our big and generous dance family will go hard and make a difference in our community.

MUMMY JAM – MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION AT MAIN ST FUNK

MSF Mamas get ready! In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, we want to celebrate YOU! From Monday the 6th- Saturday the 11th of May, you’re invited to come and join in the last 15 minutes of your child’s class. We’ve got some awesome and fun, dance based activities planned for you and your little one (or big one). Kids, don’t worry, if mum can’t make it you are welcome to bring one other significant grown up or just come on your own. You will still get a great class.

MID YEAR CONCERT

Every year we hold a casual and laid back mid-year performance. This year’s mid-year concert is called “In The Making” and it is a great opportunity to see what the kids have been working on all year and is a great chance for them to practice performing in front of an audience before they hit the “Big Stage” in December. This year, we are excited to have secured a venue that will accommodate a WHOLE school performance. Afterwards, you are invited to the “Main St Funk Mingle” to enjoy coffee and afternoon tea with your dancing family. Tickets will be sold prior to the event and seating will be allocated. Ticket sale info coming soon. If your child can’t make it, please ensure you inform the MSF team so that they can plan their choreography accordingly.

WHEN: Sunday June 23rd 2019

WHERE: St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. 212-226 Diamond Creek Rd Greensborough

DANCERS ARRIVE: 11.00am

AUDIENCE DOORS OPEN: 11.45am

SHOWTIME: 12.00pm

MINGLE: 1.30-2.30pm

DANCING DAYS – END OF YEAR CONCERT

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s end of year concert, “Dancing Days”, will follow the theme of a calendar year. The MSF Kids will take you on a journey from one new years eve party to the next and will highlight every special holiday, celebration and milestone in between. Think Valentines Day, Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, First Day of School and much much more. Each class will perform two routines highlighting two special events that occur each year.

Don’t forget, our whole school has been split into two casts. Please ensure you are familiar with which cast you are in and which rehearsal/performance dates are relevant to you. Make sure your family and friends know as well, so they know which concert to come to when they want to cheer you on. This has been emailed out to you but can also be found below. If your child will not be participating in the end of year concert/s, please inform the MSF team asap as we begin planning choreography and costumes.

CAST 1: Seniors, Teens, Inters, Monday Junior Hip Hop, Monday Littlie Jazz, Monday Littlie Hip Hop, Tuesday Littlie Hip Hop, Tuesday Littlie Ballet, Tuesday Tiny Ballet, Tuesday Tiny Hip Hop, Monday Mini Ballet, Monday Mini Hip Hop, Saturday Mini Ballet, Saturday Mini Hip Hop.

CAST 2: Seniors, Teens, Inters, Friday Junior Hip Hop, Friday Junior Jazz, Wednesday Junior Hip Hop, Saturday Junior Hip Hop, Saturday Junior Ballet/Contemporary, Friday Littlie Hip Hop, Friday Tiny Hip Hop, Friday Tiny Ballet, Saturday Tiny Hip Hop, Saturday Tiny Ballet, Wednesday Tiny Hip Hop, Friday Mini Hip Hop, Friday Mini Ballet.

DON’T FORGET THESE IMPORTANT DATES

COMPULSORY THEATRE REHEARSAL: The rehearsal is the one and only compulsory event we run throughout the year and attendance is mandatory for all students who wish to participate at the end of year concert.

CAST 1: Wednesday 20th of November


CAST 2: Thursday 21st of November

END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE:

CAST 1: Friday 29th of November


CAST 2: Saturday 30th of November

Our important dates page and google calendar are updated throughout the year to include things like; term dates, performance opportunities and mid-year concert. Check it out and sync your google calendar to ours so you never miss a reminder: https://mainstfunk.com/dates-events/

FRIENDLY REMINDER – MSF IS NOT A PLAY CENTRE 🙂

Please ensure your children are fully supervised when they are at the studio but not participating in a class. The lounge and foyer are not to be treated as a playground. Please do not run, cartwheel/flip, play on the stairs or climb on the furniture in our foyer and waiting areas. Over the past few weeks we have noticed a number of studio items damaged or missing as well as an increased mess (cushions have been thrown, water and soap spilled all over the bathroom, food scraps and rubbish over the floor) and the noise levels, from children playing and squealing, have increased to a level that is distracting our students and teachers. While we are pleased to offer you a comfortable place to wait, please treat our dancing home with the respect you have for your own home and remember that it is a shared space and is intended for comfortable waiting, not adventure.

STUDENT SAFETY

Please ensure you are walking your child from the car to the studio door when you drop them off and pick them up. As outlined in our child safety policy, students are not to walk through the thorough fair/car park on their own. Teen and Senior students, please walk together as a group to the gate and wait in the studio until you know your parents have arrived. Parents, we suggest you text your children when you are there. We don’t want students waiting outside in the dark. Thank you.

Wishing you all a fantastic and safe school holidays. We hope to see you all at our school holiday program, otherwise, we will see you all when classes resume on Tuesday, April 23rd.

Kristie, Carla and Chloe x

Please don’t ever hesitate to contact the MSF team should you have any questions.

E: mainstfunk@gmail.com PH: 0433220973

Make sure you’re following MSF on social media for daily updates, inspiration and friendship.www.facebook.com/mainstfunk | www.instagram.com/mainstfunk

My Baby’s First Dance Class – What Do I Do?

So your little girl or boy (or big girl or boy) has been asking to start dance classes? You know how much they love music, you see that they have an uncontrollable urge to move when their favourite song comes on, you’ve watched them obsess over dance related tv shows and movies and try to copy the dance steps in front of the TV. You would love to sign them up to dance class and make their dreams a reality but just as going to a new dance school can be daunting for your child, often it can be as equally daunting for you, a first-time “dance mum” or “dance dad”.

Never fear! Your guide to your child’s first dance class is here to help you get through the process; before, during and after.

BEFORE CLASS.

  1. Do your research. Google Maps is a monopoly board of dance schools in your local area. Each one of them will be different and have something that makes them special. Their “special” might not fit you and your child though. There are many factors to consider when picking a dance school; location, price, the culture of the school and qualified teachers to name a few. Think about what your ideal dance experience will be; do you want a high level of commitment and elite level performances? Do you want a recreational class for fun? Check out each dance school’s website and social media pages to find a school whose vision matches yours. Ask questions! Call up and inquire. Don’t be afraid to inquire at a few different schools until you find what you’re looking for.

  2. Book in. Just as you and your child need to be prepared, so do your teachers. Make sure that they know you will be attending class. Some school’s have an online booking system and others will take your booking via phone or email. Booking is important to ensure that there is space in that class for your son or daughter. Nothing is more disappointing than building up the excitement of dance class only to arrive and be told that that class is full. It is also a good opportunity to tell your teacher a little bit about your child. Maybe they have learning difficulties or a language barrier or are just generally very shy. A good teacher will take this on board and be prepared to create the best experience possible for your child.

  3. Talk about dancing. Often a dance class environment can be quite daunting for first timers, especially younger children. A dance class is a structured activity and while heaps of fun, is very different to just dancing around in the lounge room at home. Children who haven’t yet participated in a structured activity like school, kinder or lessons will take more time to grasp the concept of following directions in a group. The environment itself can be quite daunting too, a big echoey studio, loud music, other children and a new grown-up telling them what to, Talk to your child in the weeks leading up to class so these things will be less of a shock to them. Some things you can say are:
  • “Your dancing teacher’s name is Kristie and she is so excited to dance with you.”
  • “I’m so excited to take you to see your special dance room,  are you?”
  • “There are going to be lots of other little boys and girls dancing with you today, that’s exciting isn’t it?”
  • “Your dance teacher, Kristie, is going to teach you lots of special things. Try to copy and listen.”
  • And the most important one: “Don’t worry if it’s tricky. Just try your very best and have fun”
  • You could also show them photos or videos from your school’s social media pages of dance routines, the studio or even their teacher.

4. Be early. Arrive about 10 minutes early to give your child time to settle in, meet their teacher, go to the toilet, become familiar with the space, put their dance shoes on and relax. Arriving late or rushing in creates a stressful experience for the child who is most likely already feeling a little bit unsure. It is also disrupting to the teacher and the other little people in the class. When a child arrives late they miss out on class introductions, a comforting and settling chat from their teacher and the warm-up. All of these are essential to a well-rounded class.

DURING CLASS.

  1. Stick around. Depending on how old and how independent your child is, it’s a good idea to wait for them during their first lesson. Check with the teacher to see if it’s ok to watch their first class, every school will have a different policy. If you are allowed to watch, this is a good opportunity for you to get a feel for the school, see how the teacher engages with your child and to make sure they’re having fun. If you will be waiting for your child in the parent lounge, you could show them where you will be sitting to assure them that you aren’t too far away.

  2. Don’t take photos or videos. This is a policy most dance schools have in place as part of their Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct. It ensures the safety and comfort of all students and parents. Imagine you as a 4-year-old, in your very first dance class, looking up to see a grown-up you don’t know taking your picture. Or imagine you as an adult, looking across the room to see another adult you don’t know filming your child’s dance class. From a copyright standpoint – it is actually against the law. Dance schools pay lots of money to be able to use and reproduce music in class, concerts and social media videos. What’s more, it is very awkward for you, the teacher and the other parents when the class has to be stopped so that you can be asked to stop filming. If you would like to capture the special moment, a photo before or after class is a better idea.

  3. Try not to discipline your child. It can be so tempting to call out “Mia – listen to Kristie” or “Sienna – are you concentrating!?”. It is expected for little people to get distracted during class and your teacher will be prepared for it. If it’s your child’s first dance class, they need to learn that for the next 45 minutes their dance teacher is the boss, not mum or dad. It is confusing for them to have instructions coming from all different directions and often will have the opposite effect. Remember, your teacher is a qualified professional. If they think your child is particularly disruptive or not quite ready for dance class, they will have a conversation with you about it. Sit back and relax and leave it to the pros.

  4. Don’t be disruptive. Switch phones off and refrain from a catch-up session with the other parents. Chatter can be really distracting for students AND the teacher. If possible, ensure your other children are looked after and entertained, not disturbing the class. Younger siblings, in particular, can be a point of distraction for big sisters and brothers who want to look after their younger sibling or want them to join in the class.

AFTER CLASS.

  1. Ask your child what they thought. Did they have fun? Would they like to come back? Was it scary? What was your favourite part? Often what you watched in the classroom can be different from what your child feels. There are many factors that determine where you send your child to dance but your child’s happiness should be high up on your priority list.

  2. Chat with the teacher. You might have questions or concerns or you’re not sure if that was the right class for your child. Voice these with the teacher. He/She may ease your concerns or they might know of a class that would be better suited to your child.

  3. Try again. For many little boys and girls, it can take a few classes to settle into the dance school environment. As mentioned earlier, it is a structured activity with many variables; loud music, lots of other children and parents, a new place, a new grown up, all of these things can trigger nerves and emotions even in the most confident of children. If your child loves to dance but struggled with their first lesson, it may be worth persisting for a few more classes. Every child is different and like with all things, each child will take to dance in their own way and in their own time.  

  4. Relax. Remember not to expect too much from your little dancer. Dance is a progressive art form and the skills involved take time to develop. They won’t be turning, leaping or performing cartwheels in their first class. Remember it’s not just about the dance steps. It’s about developing the whole person. From social skills to confidence, musicality and counting, healthy muscles and bones and making friends!

And the last thing; cut yourself some slack. Signing your child up to dance can be stressful. It means more bills to be paid, more uniforms to buy, more emails and newsletters to read and yet another after-school activity to get to on time. It may take you a while to find your own dancing feet but if you are feeding your child’s passion for dance, you are already doing a wonderful thing. Just take a deep breath, do your research and trust your instincts.

By Chloe Jobson – Co-Owner at Main St Funk Dance School Epping

January 2019

Hello and welcome back to another fabulous and funky year at Main St Funk. We are so pleased to see so many returning students and as equally excited to meet so many new students and their families. We are ready and roaring for a big year of dance and hope you are too. Here a few things to note as we kick off 2019.

When do classes commence for 2019?: We start back on Monday, Feb 4th.

What’s new in 2019?

  • A brand new age group! We now cater to children as young as 2.5 in our new Petite classes. Spread the word!
  • We welcome Tiana Lay from our Teen classes to the assistant teaching team. She has been dancing with MSF for nine years and makes a fabulous role model.

Location: Our address is 6/13 Lydia Court Epping 3076. We are located behind Bunnings on Cooper St.

Parking: MSF Students and parents are not permitted to park inside the complex. There is ample street parking available. We appreciate your co-operation with this as it helps us maintain a good relationship with our neighbouring tenants who need access to their car spaces at all times. When you park in their spots, we get in trouble. It is also a safety hazard for our students who walk up and down the thoroughfare, to have cars pulling in and out.

Uniform: Over the next few weeks please ensure your child is equipped with the correct dance attire and shoes as outlined on our uniform guideline here: https://mainstfunk.com/uniform-guidelines/

Parents:  Main St Funk do not allow spectators in the classroom except in the case of it being a child’s first class or if the teacher specifically invites the parents in. Please make use of our comfortable lounge area and tea and coffee facilities while you wait for your child to finish their class or you are welcome to drop and go. During your child’s first class with us you are welcome to watch but please ensure other siblings are supervised, phones are switched off and talking is kept to a minimum to limit distractions.

NO PHOTOS OR VIDEO POLICY: As per Main St Funk’s Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct; parents, guardians, siblings and/or friends are not permitted to take photos or videos while class is in process. You are welcome to take photos of your child before or after class. The MSF code of conduct is agreed to upon enrollment. Please ensure you have read this: https://mainstfunk.com/code-of-conduct-child-safe-policy/

Fees: Term fees are due in the third week of each term and payable by online transfer, cheque or cash in a clearly labelled envelope. If paying online, ensure you put your child’s last name in the description.

Enrollment:  We are still accepting enrollments from new and returning Main St Funk students. If you haven’t enrolled or booked in for an obligation free trial class please do so asap on the parent portal. Many classes are already full with waiting lists but there is still lots of room for all of you. Enrol here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk

Important Dates: We are pleased to have locked in The Magis Theatre Loyola College (Watsonia) once again for our end of year performance and compulsory theatre rehearsal.  This year we will hold two concerts and two rehearsals. The school will be split into two casts – so each class will only perform in one concert ( and will be required for one rehearsal).  We will split the school later in the year when everyone has settled into their classes so please pencil in both concert dates and both rehearsal dates for now before we confirm which cast your child will be in. Senior and Teen students, you will perform in BOTH concerts. Petites will not perform in the concerts.

COMPULSORY THEATRE REHEARSAL: The rehearsal is the one and only compulsory event we run throughout the year and attendance is mandatory for all students who wish to participate in the end of year concert.

CAST 1: Wednesday 20th of November

CAST 2: Thursday 21st of November

END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE:

CAST 1: Friday 29th of November

CAST 2: Saturday 30th of November

Our important dates page and google calendar are updated throughout the year to include things like; term dates, performance opportunities and mid-year concert. Check it out and sync your google calendar to ours so you never miss a reminder: https://mainstfunk.com/dates-events/

Comp Crew: We are still taking expressions of interest to join our friendly and inclusive competition team. No auditions required. More info here: https://mainstfunk.com/crew-competition-team/

Social Media: Make sure you are following Main St Funk on Facebook and Instagram. We love to post daily to give you inspiration, a sneak peek into our classes and to stay connected with our dancing family.

www.facebook.com/mainstfunk

www.instagram.com/mainstfunk

The most important thing to remember this year is that Main St Funk students dance for fun and because they love it. We encourage an inclusive, harmonious environment where our students are dedicated to their class and committed to working to the best of their ability, as a team. We are proud of the way we have mastered the balance of working hard and having fun and we are happy to have each and every one of you on board for 2019.

We are so looking forward to seeing you in the studio for a big year that’s all about dance! If you have any questions please shoot us an email!

Kristie, Carla and Chloe. x

#BOYSDANCETOO – Why we choose to provide co-educational dance classes.

A wonderful thing is happening in suburban dance schools around Melbourne, and the world…more and more boys are taking dance classes! This is fantastic for the ever-growing dance industry but more so for the young males who will receive all the benefits that learning to dance has to offer. If you’re not sure of the benefits of dance here is a super quick summary:

  • Fitness and agility
  • Strength
  • Healthy muscles and bones
  • Confidence
  • Self-expression
  • Mental Strength
  • And more! The list is never-ending.

Slowly but surely the “girls do ballet and boys do football” stigma is being squashed and many parents are embracing dance as an engaging and beneficial way for their sons to release their never-ending energy, express themselves and have fun.

Once he has voiced an interest in dance and music, mum and dad usually set out on a hunt for a “Boys Only Hip Hop Class” and “Dance Classes for Boys”…. but why? In 2019 when the fight for equality is high and there is a strong push for embracing every individual and all of their quirks, and all stereotypes and stigmas are being thrown out the window, why do boys need a dance class all to themselves? At Main St Funk we say, they don’t. We pride ourselves on providing co-educational dance classes to boys and girls of all ages and experience levels, not just because we aim to be fair and equal but because there are clear benefits to both genders in a co-educational dance class environment.

So what are they?

  1. It builds trust, respect, and boundaries and prepares them for the future.
    Upon leaving the dance studio, your child will re-enter a world that is 50 percent female and 50 percent male. They will interact with the opposite gender for the most part of every day of their lives; school, work, friends, family, playgrounds, the shops…what benefit is there in separating them at dance class? Learning together in an intimate environment such as a dance studio allows both parties to gain a better understanding of each other. They will know how to speak appropriately to each other, they will learn to understand each individual’s boundaries and it will teach them to be more empathetic to the opposite gender. Learning together builds trust between the two genders and diffuses the idea that we should be wary of people who are different to us; no more “cooties” or “boy germs”. Dance class can often be a “hands on” environment, boys will learn how to treat and respect women, which is such an important quality today and one that all boys should be learning. 

  2. A career in dance means a career with girls.
    If your son’s love for dance develops so strongly that he decides to turn his passion into a career, he will have no choice but to dance with girls. Tertiary level full-time dance courses are typically not gender specific. Which means if your son was to further his training on a more professional level he would be spending close to 40 hours a week in a dance studio, with women. That would be a pretty big shock to the system for someone who has only danced in a male-only environment. What’s more, a lot of professional dance gigs are diverse in gender and if your son is not capable of working with female dancers, it could cost him a job, his reputation, and even his career.

  3. Partnerwork.
    As mentioned above, most performance opportunities, whether it be a  corporate gig or a role in a show, are co-gender. Many choreographers love to feature partner work and lifts (think the famous lift in Dirty Dancing). Older boys, in a co-educational dance class, will have the opportunity to learn partner work and add lifts to their lists of skills. If you can tell an audition panel that you are confident and familiar with safely performing lifts and stunts and dancing with a partner, you are already at an advantage and will stand out amongst dancers who do not share the same skillset as you.  This is also an advantage for female dancers. If there are males in your dance class, you have the opportunity to learn new skills and tricks that might not typically be available in an all-girl environment.

  4. Boys and girls learn from each other.
    Throughout my years as a dance teacher, I have experienced both co-ed and boys only classes. Generally speaking, the boys only classes were rowdier and less structured. Girls, on the other hand, are more naturally adapted to the structure and routine of a dance class, it’s in their nature. Even though the boy students so needed and would benefit from structure and routine, it was harder to implement into a class environment where the pack mentality was “it’s playtime”. In a co-ed environment, the students are influenced by the other children in the class. In particular, the boys gained a quicker understanding of the way a dance class is structured and why it is structured that way. When the rest of the class is following suit in warm up and activities and remembering choreography the boys caught on and did the same. They were still having fun but receiving the benefits of dance class much quicker! In the same way, girls are also influenced by male students. Boys bring the energy up and create a positive vibe in the studio, which as you’ve heard MSF teachers say before “energy is contagious” Boys are naturally brave and will give new steps or activities a go without much hesitation, this “go for it” attitude rubs off on the other students. Lots of boys love the opportunity to lead by example and be a role model. In a co-ed environment, they often rise to the challenge by setting a great example and encouraging their classmates. Voila! Now we have a high energy, productive class where kids are having fun and trying new things. Thanks, boys and girls!

  5. It promotes equality and fairness.
    Whether your child is male or female, young or old, beginner or advanced, at Main St Funk we treat all of our students as equals. We don’t want to tell boys that they can only participate in one particular style of class a week. We don’t want our female students to just accept that boys are entitled to a class that is exclusive and special just for them. Boys and girls, you are all important to us and we want you to feel comfortable in all of the many classes and opportunities we have available to you. And really, in 2019 when everyone is fighting for equality and acceptance, why are dance schools moving backward and continuing to segregate boys from girls? A good dance teacher should be able to cater to all of the individuals in the classroom and create a dynamic learning environment that benefits every student. It doesn’t matter if the class is co-educational or not, there will always be a variety of learning styles and personalities that the teacher needs to adapt to.

And so, the short version of this blog: “Why Should You Enrol Your Son Into A Co-Ed Dance Class?” A co-educational dance class will encourage your son to be a team player and to have a strong work ethic. Not only will he learn some killer dance moves but he will grow into a respectful, approachable and trustworthy young man who has an open mind and is prepared to live, work and dance in a diverse world where both genders play an important role.

During my time as a dance student I made many friends, lots of whom were male. So at the very least, a co-educational dance class might mean your child makes a few extra friends that they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to.

Right now, your son is probably just dancing for fun and to let off some of that after-school steam but at Main St Funk we see the bigger picture.

By Chloe Jobson – Co-Owner at Main St Funk Dance School and dance teacher to boys and girls for over 12 years.