Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Parent Guide

Four things every parent should know before choosing a dance studio.

If most dance studios seem to have friendly teachers, experience teaching children, and a big show at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter at which place you decide to enroll? Yes! There are 4 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 4 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

Are the costumes, music, and choreography modest and age appropriate?

If you have attended a dance recital in recent years, you may have been surprised to see the costumes many of the students are wearing. It seems that things have become a little out of control, and that dancers’ costumes are leaving little to the imagination. Not only are the costumes inappropriate, but some of the song lyrics and choreography can make anyone feel a little uncomfortable. At the Wasatch Arts Center we take this issue very seriously. Our students dress modestly and appropriately for classes and performances. It is very important to us that children not be asked to grow up too quickly, but that they feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Students who are nurtured in a modest, wholesome environment will be able to excel in their field without any unnecessary pressures.

Are the instructors qualified?

Many studios hire current high school students to teach many of their classes. These instructors likely have not received the necessary training in order to effectively teach in a professional manner. All of our instructors have college level training and/or professional experience. Our staff understands and accommodates many different learning styles in the classroom in order to best fit the needs of each individual dancer.

What type of dance floor is used?

A proper dance floor is critical in the healthy development of young dancers. A floor should have a certain amount of spring to it in order to protect a student’s joints and growth plates. A sprung floor also helps reduce fatigue so that dancers can dance longer while better avoiding injury. The Wasatch Arts Center provides a professional “sprung” dance floor for its students. The floor consists of two layers of wood which float on top of over 4000 foam blocks. It is then covered with a “marley” type flooring which provides a controlled slip surface perfect for dancing. This is the same type of floor used by many professional dance companies, including Ballet West, Royal Academy of Dance in London, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Do students participate in recitals or competitions?

A very important aspect of a dance education is to show what you have learned in a performance atmosphere. The opportunity to perform in front of an audience can be an excellent tool in building self-esteem in young dancers. Performance opportunities should be provided for students so that they are able to have an artistic and professional experience. On the other hand, competitions may not always be the best atmosphere in which to nurture this artistic quality in dancers. Performing in a sports type environment for a panel of judges distracts from the performance of a classically and professionally trained dancer. Students at the Wasatch Arts Center participate in a year end showcase performance each June. Students are provided with a professional performance experience in a theater setting. Students spend much of their classroom time focused on proper technique and then are provided with an outstanding choreographic experience. Students at the center do not participate in any type of competitions. The Wasatch Arts Center is home to two performing groups which are given additional performance opportunities in the local community. We believe strongly that dance should be preserved as an art form, not to be displayed in a competitive environment.

For more information on any of our programs...
Please call our friendly office staff at 801-253-6323



Professional and University Trained Instructors

Emphasis on Technique- No Stressful Dance Competitions!

Modest Costumes, Music, and Choreography

Desk staff available during most class times to assist you

We Believe …
Our philosophy is to demand of each student the very best effort of which he or she is capable, and to give in return the care and attention the student deserves. All can experience the joy of dance and the benefits of disciplining the mind and body that this art form requires. Our primary goal is for the development of our students, their dance, music, or preschool education, and the enrichment that comes from studying the Arts. Our family oriented, positive atmosphere builds self-esteem and the love of this cherished art form.

Classical ballet provides the foundation for all other dance forms. It is the most demanding, most disciplined of all dance forms; but also the most rewarding. With a solid ballet foundation, classically trained dancers can transfer their skills into jazz, modern dance or any other dance discipline they might decide to pursue. Our program is specially designed to provide an increasing variety of special classes to make greater demands on the student with each year of study. Besides Ballet, our curriculum includes classes in Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Musical Theatre.

We Believe in Technique
Technique can hold back the most artistic dancer, musician, or actor or give him/her greater expression. Because the basic steps of build from simpler to more complex, a problem of technique in one area will be magnified in other areas. That's why learning the basic technique perfectly is so important. With the proper instruction, virtually any child can learn proper technique and perform beautifully. The training of muscles and mind must start early. Building discipline, developing strength and stamina, achieving grace in movement is the work of years of study; a process that really never ends.

We Believe Students Should Perform
The point of studying the Arts is to perform! Performing gives students the confidence they need to succeed in a professional career of any kind. Stage experience is available to all performers throughout their training at our year end showcase, enabling them to develop confidence, poise and stage manners. The annual June performance involves all students studying at our school. We believe that there's more to life than trophies, and that performances (rather than competitions) provide the best benefit for young dancers.

We Believe in You...The Individual
Every child benefits from quality dance or music training, even though he or she ultimately may choose another career path. In Performing Arts, children learn the cooperative teamwork necessary to produce a high quality work of art. They develop creative thinking skills and the ability to push themselves to higher achievements. They learn an immense amount about music and rhythm and are introduced to the French language through ballet and dance terminology. These skills will enhance your child's academic performance as well as their physical well being. Self-confidence and self-esteem continue to develop as a young person conquers new movements and grows more certain of his or her ability to apply themselves, work hard and master any task placed before them. Growing through this artistic process helps a child find the pathway to personal integrity and self assured adulthood. He or she enters society with the ability to do well at whatever life places in front of them; and with the ability to maintain the uncompromising high standards absorbed by their training at the Wasatch Arts Center.

We Believe in Quality Teaching
Quality teaching pays close attention to your child's artistic development. But of equal importance, quality teaching pays close attention to your child's health and safety, as well as their physical and emotional well-being. The Wasatch Arts Center is committed to offering the finest in performing arts education available in a fun and supportive environment. All classes are taught by our professional, university trained faculty.

Many teachers can pass along steps, but a truly experienced, professional teacher can guide a young performer through the gradual process of carefully and individually training their body; helping them not only achieve the unmistakable look of a ballerina, with long lean lines, but also an instrument that is technically strong, allowing freedom of movement and the capability of executing even the most rigorous exercises with grace and style. A good teacher also understands the honor and etiquette of the art, which must be preserved and continued through new generations and will lend insight from their own professional experience.

We believe that in building the students self-esteem, we will not only enable them to take chances and reach higher goals, but we can help build strong confident people who will excel in everyday life. We have a strong system of values at the Wasatch Arts Center and insist that our students respect and praise each other. When students give so much of themselves, doing what they love, it is comforting and meaningful to know that we are all among friends. Our goal is to utilize our experience and instincts to make a positive difference; never sacrificing our standards. We welcome enthusiastic families who would like to experience and benefit from the traditions of fine training in a nurturing environment.

We Believe in High Expectations and Hard Work
We deeply care about all of our students and want them to do their very best. That is why we demand a lot from them. The Wasatch Arts Center endeavors to help each student enjoy, cherish and treasure the hours devoted to their training encouraging them to love the arts for the sheer pleasure and sense of artistic fulfillment, rather than only for a sense of technical accomplishment. At the Wasatch Arts Center, we aim to instill a love of all art forms, so that one day our students will have a greater appreciation either as an artist or patron.

Finally, We Believe in Making our Performing Arts Training FUN and ENJOYABLE!
Our instructors take great time and care to plan lessons for our students that are not only educational and challenging but FUN! We believe the only way to encourage students to continue their dance, music, or preschool study is to make every moment, whether classroom instruction or performance based, highly memorable.

Call today! 801-253-6323