Choosing the right performing arts school for your child is critical to their success. We know that parents have questions when it comes to choosing the right class for their child. Over the past 16 years of providing arts programming for kids in Elko and Spring Creek, we’ve had loads of questions from parents just like you. We’ve complied them for you here. We invite you to come in for a complimentary tour of our school or to take part in a trial class before registering.
- How do you differ from other dance schools?
As for other dance schools, we cannot comment on their teachers or procedures, but we do have several distinct differences from other dance schools in the Elko area. Our floors are one of our major differences—our professional floating floor system offers additional cushioning and support to help prevent injuries and fatigue. We also keep our class sizes small with our 3-5 year old classes limited to only 10 students and the rest limited to 15.
- What type of flooring do you use?
The type of floor on which dance is taught is just as important as the instruction. We have specially designed floors that have a built-in “spring.” Dance is a highly impactive pursuit and we believe that a dancer’s body need not absorb all this impact. Ours is the only dance school in Elko equipped with 2 state of the art “floating” floors topped by the Gold Standard in Dance Flooring known in the dance world as “Marley.” Our “floating” floors absorb some of the shock of dance which enables students to dance more efficiently and for longer periods without excess fatigue or injuries. Our third classroom has a dense foam flooring specifically designed for martial arts, tumbling, or dance classes where bare feet are required.
- Can I start lessons partway through the year?
While it is best to begin classes in September (the beginning of our teaching year), students may be able to join classes partway through the year. Provided there is space available in the class, it is possible to be assessed to determine whether a student can catch up to the rest of the class. Students must be willing to take private lessons until the teacher feels they are ready to join the class. We often offer new classes in January.
- What type of curriculum do you use?
Our dance curriculum incorporates movement concepts such as space, rhythm, direction, and dynamics in addition to dance skills and terminology. We have found that these concepts are not only useful in the study of dance, but are applicable to other movement activities. We believe the study of dance is more than simply learning skills and choreography. Our students will be exposed to a number of subjects relevant to the study of dance including anatomy, physiology, history and career opportunities in dance and the arts.
- How will my child advance in dance classes?
The Academy offers a graded curriculum for all our dance classes. This means that every student has his/her own progress sheet and we hold skills testing each year. In order to advance levels, a student must physically demonstrate proficiency in every skill at their level. Once they’ve passed off a skill level, advancement will occur.
- Who teaches your classes?
Our school has a number of highly qualified teachers who are dedicated to providing proper dance technique. Our teachers’ backgrounds are as diverse as the styles in which they teach. All have extensive experience working with students of all ages and abilities.
- What about boys?
We encourage and welcome both male and female dancers. The performing arts are a wonderful supplemental activity to sports. In fact, many professional athletes are required to take dance as a means of increasing flexibility, agility, and prevention of injuries.
- What do I wear to class?
Students attending the Academy are expected to come to class in the proper attire. Dress codes serve to create cohesion and a sense of camaraderie in class. In addition, it enables our teachers view the alignment and placement of bodies in movement. For your convenience, we’ve created an online store to purchase the majority of your dance wear needs. Additional items such as practice tutus for ballet, t-shirts for boys, and optional Academy t-shirts are available at the school. Click to SHOP our online dance wear store.
- My child has never danced before. Do you have classes for beginners?
Absolutely! The study of dance may begin at any age. We strongly believe that everyone has the ability to dance. Children that are new to dance will be placed into classes based on a number of factors.
- I'm confused. What is the difference between jazz, hip-hop, modern, and contemporary?
Hip-Hop is a street influenced style of dance and can be seen in music videos. Jazz is a more classic style of dance characterized by more upper body movement, isolations, and is more graceful than Hip-Hop. It is the type of dance commonly seen in Broadway shows.
In comparison to Hip-Hop, Modern dance is a more eclectic and grounded style. It is based on the work of pioneers such as Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Jose Limon. This expressive style utilizes floor-work, off-center body shapes, contractions, and flexed feet.
In today’s vernacular, Contemporary dance is a style that incorporates and is influenced by a number of other styles including Jazz. Our contemporary class fuses various styles of jazz, including lyrical, with the idiosyncratic style of modern dance.
- What type of music lessons are offered at the Academy?
We currently offer classes in piano, voice, violin, guitar, and flute.
- Who teachers your music lessons?
All Academy music teachers are University trained and are dedicated to providing proper music training. Our teachers’ backgrounds are as diverse as the styles and instruments in which they teach. All have extensive experience working with students of all ages and abilities.
- How long are music lessons?
For beginning students, our music lessons are 30 minutes once per week. As students advance, they may receive recommendation from their teachers to attend 1-hour lessons.
- Can my child start partway through the year?
Yes. Our music lessons run year-round and you may begin lessons at any time.
- What about make up lessons?
We want you to get full value out of your tuition. Music theory classes are offered once per month as a make up for missed music lessons.
- Are performance opportunities available?
Yes! We believe that performance is one of the many rewards of studying music. Music students may participate in 2 optional showcases per year – one in January and another in June.
- When can I begin voice lessons?
Ideally the older the better. The changes that happen as the child matures physically, such as development of lung capacity, vocal chord changes, etc. will effect how they progress. Many concepts can be understood young, but not all can be practiced because the body won’t cooperate. The children’s choir is a good option for children before age 11. We do take younger children for private voice lessons, but they need to be aware that they will have to do some vocal technique such as scales and vocal exercises. If it is not working, in the best interest of the child we will suggest that they hold off for a year or two and then try again.