Hi Everyone!  I wanted to share some words of wisdom with my DKDS peeps.  It’s a long one, but I urge you to take a moment… 

Class Levels and Placement:  Being a dancer and dance educator for the past 41 years has given me a lot of insight in the idea of levels and class placement.  During this time of the season, I feel that it is extremely important to touch upon a few things and help to educate parents and dancers even more in this process.

Being a parent that may not know about dance can be scary.  It a cause insecurities as a parent because you aren’t sure how to help your child and I totally get that.  You already are winning at being a dance parent because you have your child at the amazing training facility that is Dance Kraze Dance Studios!  There are times when parents have their children at a studio where they are not being taught properly and have wasted time and money without knowing.  I hope this helps to shed light onto the subject of levels and class placement.  You are doing great parents!  You can do this!  Enjoy!  Putting dancers in a class or level they are not ready for is doing a dancer a huge disservice as critical elements will be missed.  This will ultimately hold a dancer back in the long run.  We wouldn’t learn to write a paragraph before writing a sentence.  Maybe the sentence is written with beautiful dialogue, but the handwriting and grammaticism need work.

  1. I am a dance educator, my staff are dance educators.  I trust our knowledge and our training.  Most parents are not dancers and therefore cannot access their child’s ability.
  2. All of my staff takes levels and placement very seriously.  We all talk about each dancer together for our core technique classes and regular classes extensively in the beginning of every season and throughout the season.  Yes, this is the truth.  It takes time and it can be tedious… we do it because we care.  We want to be on the same page and we do it because we want each and every dancer to be in our minds and be on their correct journey whether dance is for fun or wanting to take dance to another level.
  3. Our staff will meet every month to discuss each child’s progression and class placement to ensure no one will ever fall through the cracks.
  4. Dance levels are not like school grades.  This can be a hard concept to grasp as dancers do not move up every year and may be in the same level for several years.  The choice parents and dancers have is to trust the placement given by our staff or do not trust.  If we are not trusted the most obvious decision is to move to a studio where you feel you can trust.  In my experience… if a parent or dancers does not trust one studio, they will not trust any studio.
  5. The power of getting better and progressing as a dancer is in the hands of the dancer.  I often see parents and dancers getting frustrated with instructors or programs if a dancer is not “getting better”.  I can say with 100% conviction that the programs at Dance Kraze Dance Studios are programs that will give each and every dancer the best foundation to build from.  We do not have the power to make a dancer great alone.  I always say to dancers , “you are all taking the same class and are getting the same training.  It is how you use the tools given to you that will help you to grow.  You have the power… we do not”.
  6. All bodies are different and this may have an effect on a dancer’s level and ability.  Some dancers are born with amazing facility, rotation, open hips, flexibility, beautiful feet, etc. and some are not.  This is a fact of life.  I am not one of those people that was born with great things and I had to work ten times harder for everything as a dancer.  This has also made me appreciate where I am today.  This has made me so driven that it is annoying at times! lol
  7. Just because a dancer tries their best, does not mean they will be moved up.  The saying “you can do anything if you try hard enough” is not a true statement and it gives children the idea that there is always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  There isn’t… but trying your best will foster a strong work ethic, drive and determination and through this there are limitless possibilities for success in life!  BAM!
  8. I hear a lot of people get disgruntled when they are not in the highest level.  Well, what about the people who are?… that have worked their entire lives to get there and are finally there.  We have had graduating seniors that started in the highest level 3 or 4 years ago, but have been at the studio for 10 or more years.  It takes time.  Should an 18 year old dance with a room full of 12 year olds, if the 12 year old is not ready to be there?  That’s like saying a 12 year old should be dancing with a room full of 6 year olds.  That’s Weird!  With that being said… there may be 12 year olds in the highest level.  They are not in the class because we like them more and your child less.  They are not there because they bought me a coffee or sent me to Hawaii… They are there because that is where they should be based on how they compare to the strongest person in the class.
  9. In every class there will be a strongest dancer and a weakest dancer.  So when people get upset that their child is dancing with a person in the same class that they don’t think should be in there… I say “don’t think”.  You are not a dance educator.
  10. Be a parent, be supportive and help your child to fight for themselves.  Help your child to understand that life will have disappointments.  Help your child understand that getting to the top (whatever that may be for them) should take a journey.  No one ever felt accomplished betting to the top of Mount Everest by getting dropped off in a helicopter.

We love our students… each and every one.  We will continue to help our dancers become the most confident and amazing dancers, as we take pride in giving your child the Ultimate Dance Experience!