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Parents Handbook

Welcome to Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts CIC

Please take time to review the following information, the HANDBOOK contains all the information you need for the year. 

On this page:

See also:

 

Important Dates 2021/22
21st August - 5th September 2021 Closed for Summer Break
6th September 2021 (Monday) Open for Classes
16th October 2021 Whitworth Mayor's Charity Fundraiser - An Evening with Seán Ruane and Friends featuring Dansworks Students
25th - 29th October 2021 Half Term Break
30th October 2021 (Saturday) Open for Classes
21st November 2021 (Sunday) Tapathon (World Record attempt for BBC Children in Need)
19th December 2021 (Sunday) (TBC) IDTA Exams (TBC)
20th December - 7th January 2022 Christmas Break
8th January 2022 (Saturday) Open for Classes
14th-18th February 2022 Half Term Break
19th February 2022 (Saturday) Open for Classes
21st - 25th March 2022 Show Rehearsal Week (no classes
26th March 2022 (Saturday) Show Dress Rehearsal Day 
27th March 2022 (Sunday) Show Day 
28th March - 18th April 2022 Easter Break
19th April 2022 (Tuesday) Open for classes
2nd May 2022 May Day Bank Holiday 
3rd May 2022 (Tuesday) Open for Classes
29th May - 3rd June 2022 Half Term Break
4th June 2022 (Saturday) Open for Classes
24th July 2022 (Sunday) (TBC) IDTA Exams (TBC)
30th July 2022 (Saturday) Fun Day and Open Day (Class times as usual)
1st - 5th August 2022 Summer Break Midweek Only - No midweek classes
1st - 5th August 2022 Theatre Week - Hairspray
6th August 2022 (Saturday) Open for Classes
8th - 12th August 2022 Summer Break Midweek Only - No midweek classes
8th - 12th August 2022 Theatre Week - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
13th August 2022 (Saturday) Open for Classes
15th - 17th August 2022 Summer Intensives for Inters and Seniors
18th August - 4th September 2022 Summer Break

 

Communication & Correspondence

Throughout the year all communication will go out to you in the following ways:

Email: This is our primary communication method. We use emails to communicate important news, reminders, order confirmations, personal notes, and more. Please make sure you add our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your address book / contacts / safe senders list. Also, please make sure you keep your primary contact email address updated - you can do this on your Account Details page.

Social Media: We post immediate update notices on Facebook and we also keep updating our other social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin. Please follow and join us – notice the links to these at the bottom of all our pages below our contact info.

Paper copies at dance class: For certain personal important information, such as Show costume info, Show ticket info, Exam details, we do need to send home a paper copy. 

We try hard to make sure our families know what’s happening well in advance, however if you don’t read your notes/emails/Facebook page, you’ll be missing out on important info. Please try to stay up to date and find the information you need in the above locations first, and if in doubt contact us and we will get you fixed up!

 

Guidance for Attending Group Classes

Click here for the PDF

ABIDING BY THESE GUIDELINES IS ESSENTIAL FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS.

WE NEED TO ENSURE DANSWORKS REMAINS A COVID SAFE ENVIRONMENT.

THE FUTURE OF DANSWORKS IS IN YOUR HANDS.

Before Attending Classes

  • Make sure no one in your household is feeling unwell or has had any contact with anyone unwell. If you have been told to isolate, please attend the classes via live stream.
  • Go into your Student Info page > click the edit icon next to each student name > then select the options next to ‘Symptom Free & Not asked to isolate’ and ‘Attending’, then click 'Save'. YOU WILL NEED TO UPDATE THESE EVERY SUNDAY AS THEY ARE CLEARED EACH SATURDAY AT MIDNIGHT.
  • If you are isolating or are unwell but don’t want to miss the class, you need to select ‘Remote’ next to ‘Attending’ and you can then access the class via Live stream 
  • To find the Live Stream Link - Go to your account details page and click on the i symbol next to the class.

Which Entrance Do I Use?

  • Please make a note of which studio your children’s class is in. You can find this in your ‘Account Details’ Page. The main entrance is via the main door on Alma Street. If you arrive late, please press the buzzer for the studio where your child's class is taking place.

Waiting for Class to Start

  • Do not use the door entry buzzer unless you are late for class, the door will be opened when it is time for your lesson to start.
  • DO NOT arrive early for class – arrive on time and wear a mask. Secondary School age children must also wear a mask.
  • Preferably wait in the car until the door is opened and then, if your child is old enough, send your child alone to the door.
  • If parking does not allow, or your child is too young to go alone – ONE parent only must walk them to the door.
  • If you want to give any information to the teacher, please text 5 minutes before your class starts and the information will be passed on.

Attending Class

  • Wear SOCKS!!! Bare feet are no longer allowed. 
  • ONLY bring dance shoes, water bottle and snack/lunch. SPACE IS VERY LIMITED.
  • NO OUTDOOR SHOES WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE STUDIOS. You will be asked to remove shoes BEFORE entering the dance space.
  • Hand sanitizer must be used when entering the building. There are stations positioned around the building and in every studio, so students do not need to bring their own.

When Class is Finished

  • DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY OR LATE FOR PICK UP. The teachers have a limited amount of time to clean the studios ready for the next group arriving. 
  • Preferably wait in the car until the door opens. If this is not possible – PLEASE WAIT OUTSIDE THE BUILDING.  Dansworks reputation is in your hands!!

 

 

Classroom Attire

Dansworks uniform is not compulsory for classes, but we do INSIST on appropriate dance wear and hairstyles for ALL classes.

Dansworks uniform IS compulsory for ALL Exams, Rosette Tests and Public Performances.

All Dansworks uniform is available to purchase on the website here https://www.dansworks.co.uk/register/shop.  If you have any questions about which items your child needs or sizing, please contact us before ordering.  Personalised items cannot be returned.  All other items can be changed if they have not been worn.

 

Nothing should keep you from dancing!! Including not having the right ‘gear’. 

We do not want you to rush out and buy everything the first week, so we have loan dance shoes, but after a few dance classes it is essential to begin to purchase the necessary items.

At Dansworks we do our ABSOLUTE best to source dancewear that is high quality but affordable, as well as being as environmentally friendly as possible.

Your child will need the official Dansworks uniform anyway for exams, tests, and performances, so it makes more sense to get the right ‘gear’ from the outset.

All Dansworks uniform is available to purchase on the website here https://www.dansworks.co.uk/register/shop.  If you have any questions about which items your child needs or sizing, please contact us before ordering.

HAIR SAFETY – LONG HAIR MUST BE SECURELY TIED BACK, PREFERABLY PLAITED. 

Most dance styles include floor work or jumping, so loose hair can get caught, stood on, whip someone in the face, etc.  Hair is also a MAJOR source of distraction, with younger students spending long periods of time putting hair up and down or examining it in the mirror!

NO JEWELLERY (SMALL, PLAIN STUD EARRINGS ONLY)for health & safety, please leave all jewellery and watches etc at home.

NO OUTDOOR SHOES IN DANCE STUDIOSMost dance styles have floor work.  Outdoor shoes bring in a LOT of bacteria and dirt plus tiny bits of debris which can damage our specialist dance floors.

STUDENTS MUST HAVE A SUITABLE, NAMED BAG FOR ALL THEIR DANCE EQUIPMENT outdoor coats and outdoor footwear etc. must be left in reception.

ONLY SUITABLE CLASS ATTIRE CAN BE WORNStudents must be well prepared for the classes they are about to attend.  If students are not wearing appropriate clothing / shoes, they may not be able to fully take part.  PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING SECTION: -

Appropriate dance class attire is essential for several reasons: -

  • Safety & Decency Dancers need to be appropriately covered and safe for the activity. Most dance styles involve floor work or jumping – loose clothing can move too much and cause embarrassment or can get caught around fingers, hands, feet etc which can cause injuries.
  • Street Dance Footwear – We know dancers like to be cool and wear the ‘latest trainers’, but twisted knees and ankles are NOT cool!

Our specialist dance floors are designed to be non-slip for health & safety reasons and therefore any trainers worn MUST be low tack, low tread and preferably with ‘spin spots’ (circular tread to allow for twisting, spinning).  Whilst we do not make dance sneakers compulsory (we know they are not cool!), they are specially designed for dance movements, impact, support and for use on dance floors.

  • Technique – Proper dance attire enables the teacher to be able to see the dancer’s movements and positions. The teacher can then correct them so they can dance safely, with correct technique and without injury.
  • Distractions – Students who attend class in their favourite ‘dress up costume’ or brand new ‘sports outfit’ tend to be more distracted in class and less attentive to the teacher as usually the outfit is unsuitable and needs constant adjustment and they like to keep checking out their appearance in the mirror.
  • Discipline – Whilst all our classes have happiness and fun at their heart - a formal uniform helps to distinguish the dance class and outfit from other activities and therefore getting the student in the right frame of mind and be ready for the class.

DANSWORKS UNIFORM & SUITABLE CLASS ATTIRE

STREETDANCE

Uniform & Exam / Performance wear

Dansworks Tracksuit bottoms / Dansworks leggings

Dansworks Black T-shirt with student’s name

(girls – preferably with a crop top or leotard underneath as baggy t-shirts can move around with energetic movements)

Dansworks hoody / Dansworks Team Jacket for Warm Up

Suitable clean trainers or dance sneakers (NO outdoor trainers - NO high tack or grip soles)

Other suitable class attire - Stretchy tracksuit bottoms, shorts, leggings & t-shirts, crop tops.  NO jeans or non-stretch fabrics.  NO skirts.

NO OUTDOOR TRAINERS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

 

MUSICAL THEATRE & ACTING

Uniform & Exam / Performance wear

Dansworks leggings / Dansworks tracksuit bottoms

Black Dansworks t-shirt with student’s name

Dansworks hoody / Dansworks Team Jacket for Warm Up

Black Jazz shoes

Black / tan heeled dance shoes (older students only)

Other suitable class attire - Plain tracksuit bottoms, shorts, leggings & plain t-shirts, leotards, crop top.  Ballet shoes, NO TRAINERS.

 

CONTEMPORARY MODERN / LYRICAL / MODERN JAZZ

Juniors - Dansworks Vest or Crop Top & Dansworks Shorts

Inters & Seniors – Black catsuit

ESSENTIAL for warm-up - Cross over cardigan or close fitting, long sleeved running top or Dansworks Team Jacket.  NO BAGGY WARM-UPS.

Other suitable class attire - Plain black leggings, cycle shorts or black tights with any leotard, tight vest top or crop top. 

 

ACROBATIC DANCE 

Uniform & Exam wear

Dansworks Vest or Crop Top

Dansworks Shorts

ESSENTIAL for warm-up - Cross over cardigan or close fitting, long sleeved running top or Dansworks Team Jacket.  NO BAGGY WARM-UPS.

Other suitable class attire - Plain black leggings, cycle shorts or black tights with any leotard, tight vest top or crop top.

 

BALLET

GIRLS

Uniform & Exam wear

Regulation class leotard

Ballet socks or ballet tights

CLEAN ballet shoes

Cross over cardigan for warm up (ESSENTIAL)

Other suitable class attireAny leotard, Dansworks shorts and / or tights, Close fitting, long sleeved running top for warm up.

BOYS

Uniform & Exam wear

Regulation BLACK leotard

Dansworks Boys Shorts / Dansworks Boys Leggings (Grade 2 and above)

Black ballet socks

Black ballet shoes

Close fitting, long sleeved running top for warm up (ESSENTIAL)

Other suitable class attireAny leotard or tight vest with black cycle shorts or black running leggings.

 

TAP

GIRLS

Uniform & Exam wear

Regulation class leotard

Dansworks Shorts (Grades 1 – 4)

Plain white ankle socks (Grades 1-4)

Tan fishnets (Grades 5 & Above)

Black Tap shoes

Cross over cardigan or close fitting, long sleeved running top or Dansworks Jacket/Hoody for warm up (ESSENTIAL)

Other suitable class attire – Any leotard with Dansworks shorts, Dansworks leggings, plain black leggings, or plain black tights.

BOYS

Uniform & Exam Wear

Regulation Boys Black leotard

(Exam Wear ONLY for Grade 1 and above - Smart white shirt and blue bow tie)

Black Dansworks boys’ shorts / Black Dance Trousers (Grade 1 and above)

Plain black socks

Black Tap shoes

Dansworks Jacket/Hoody or close fitting, long sleeved running top for warm up (ESSENTIAL)

Other suitable class attire – Any leotard or fitted vest with black cycle shorts or plain black running leggings.

 

 

Fundraising

Check back here for more info on our fund raising events and opportunities!

 

Attendance

We cannot stress enough how important good attendance is in dance! It is difficult to create awesome dance choreography when children are absent often. As much as possible, please try to commit to the classes you are registered for. If your child is unable to dance/attend, we still encourage her/him to come to their class to watch or to complete the class via video link where possible. Your child is part of our dance family and we miss them when they are not there! If you are planning a long vacation where your child will miss more than 2 weeks of a class please contact us.

 

Studio / Building Rules

PLEASE SUPERVISE YOUR CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES WHILE YOU ARE WAITING.

NO SMOKING OR FOUL LANGUAGE INSIDE OR AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING.  Our windows are usually open and smoke and language do drift into studios.  We are a safe, family environment and bad language or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances! 

You're welcome to stay & wait for your dancers under normal circumstances, but you are also more than welcome to leave and come back to pick up at the end of their class. We have all your contact details, so we can always contact you in case of an emergency.  Other instructions may be put in place during special circumstances.

We strongly advise you NOT to stand at the viewing windows, as this is very distracting for all children but especially younger students.  We have a screen in reception which is linked to the CCTV cameras in each studio.  If you would like to check on your child or have a look at what they are doing in class, please do this via the TV screen.  You can use the mouse to double click on an individual studio if you wish.

 

 

Festivals and Competitions

We like to reward our dedicated students by giving them the opportunity to take part in competition work.

Theatre Festivals and Street Dance Competitions are amazing at increasing students confidence and performance.  There is however an extra level of commitment, as students will be required to attend Team classes for Street Dance and or Private lessons for solo / duo routines.  On top of this, you will need to purchase costumes and pay entry fees - but we do our best to source quality costumes at the best possible prices, and always at wholesale prices plus postage.

Each year we usually partake in around 6 Street Dance Competitions, 3 Contemporary Competitions and 6 Theatre Festivals around the North West, and they are always at weekends.  So be prepared for some early Sunday mornings!!

Dates for competitions are emailed out with appropriate entrance fees and venue addresses etc. Please note, there will be additional door entrance fees for parents or anyone else attending to watch. If you think your child would be interested in this, please start the discussion now, as we have limited private lessons spaces. Registration for this is available online under Dancing > Competitive > Festival Work

 

Exams

We are an IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association) and LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) studio. We believe in providing the opportunity to take Performing Arts exams for all our students aged 3+. 

All Graded Exams are OFQUAL regulated and give the students credits to use towards College and University places in the future.

We usually hold two IDTA exam sessions per year, in July and December, and one LAMDA Session in October.

Please note that these exams, rosettes, and medal tests are not compulsory.

See Also Our Exam FAQ

Welcome to Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts CIC


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About Us

Dansworks is a Performing Arts Academy with a difference; we provide a friendly and encouraging learning environment for everyone. We don’t care whether you can dance like Darcey or have two left feet, whether you can sing like Sinatra or can’t carry a tune in a bucket, we welcome you to join our family and achieve your goals.

We foresee a world full of love and laughter, so put on your dancing shoes and come and join us! Read more

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Testimonials

Dansworks is an amazing place, kids love it, everyone is friendly, caring and supportive. Xx

Kristy J. - Parent

In my daughters words "The teachers are nice and really helpful when you are struggling. The choreography is great and creative".

Kay H. - Parent

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