Commotion Contact details… Address: Shop 16, Mount Annan Shopping Village 2 – 4 Main Street Mount Annan NSW 2567 Phone: Ben Stokes – Director School of Performing Arts 0402 119 073 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 2009 Website: www.commotionkids.com Student Information Pack Shop 16, Mount Annan Shopping Village 2 – 4 Main Street, Mount Annan www.commotionkids.com Director: Ben Stokes Ph. 0402 119 073 Welcome to Commotion! Commotion School of Performing Arts was founded by Ben Stokes in 2002. Ben Classes… wanted to open a unique studio that was parent friendly and which provided a We have over 80 classes per week on our 2009 timetable, in a variety of styles. relaxed yet professional approach to performing arts. We cater to all ages and abilities, from beginner to advanced. The various classes we have on offer include… Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern Commotion aims to offer high quality performing arts education at a minimal Expressive/Lyrical, Ballet, Stretch and Strengthening, Acrobatics/Tumbling, cost to parents. Our policy includes low fees, inexpensive costume hire, flexible Glenn Wood Tap, Singing, Acting/Drama, Musical Theatre, Boys-Only Hip Hop, dress code and convenience of location. While remaining affordable and Fitness Boot Camp, Private Lessons and Performance Troupes (audition only). hassle-free, Commotion School of Performing Arts provides quality teaching We also have a range of classes for adults including Adult’s Hip Hop/Funk and with an emphasis on performance professionalism. "Dancing without the fuss." Fitness Boot Camp. Here is a breakdown of the classes we offer, and what to Our aim is to provide a safe, educational and recreational environment for all expect from each class: ages, with high-energy fun classes taught by experienced teachers in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. TINY TOTS DANCE Available… to all students aged 2.5 to 3 Operating out of our fully-equipped studio premises in Mount Annan, Requirements… black Jazz shoes Commotion School of Performing Arts offers a huge range of classes catering for students of all ages and abilities. Our 2009 timetable has over 80 classes This class is designed to introduce the students to dancing. Starting with the per week including Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, Modern Expressive/Lyrical, very basics and working through a large repertoire of steps and movements, we Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Fitness, Stretch, Acrobatics, Singing, Acting & focus on co-ordination, musicality, memory skills and most of all… fun! Students Drama and more. will mostly be developing their Jazz skills, but will also be introduced to basic Ballet and Tap movements throughout the year. Commotion School of Performing Arts, although only 7 years old, has fast become one of Sydney's most reputable dance and performing arts schools. FAIRY BALLET Our students have competed in numerous elite competitions at which we have Available… to all students aged 4 to 5 been very successful. In January 2009, 50 Commotion students travelled up to Requirements… a fairy dress and a wand (these can be purchased from our Queensland to perform at the Showcase National Dance Championships, front desk – or sourced from home) – Ballet shoes are optional, otherwise bare representing NSW against top studios from all over Australia. feet. Whether you do one class a week just for fun & fitness, or you train for many This very special class is all about being fairies. The students dressed each hours a week in our Advanced Dancer Development Program, Commotion week in fairy dresses with wings and wands will be led by their teacher, also School of Performing Arts is the place to be. dressed in fairy wings. The students will take a magical journey of the There's a class for everyone at Commotion! imagination as they are introduced to fundamental Ballet techniques including Tendus, Plies, Port de bra and Sautés. Dancing to popular music that students Inside this handbook… of this age group can enjoy, the fairies have so much fun each week whilst Classes ………………………… ……….. page 2 learning all about Ballet. Fees & Payments ………………………..page 8 Policies & Guidelines …………………..page 9 PRE-JUNIOR JAZZ/HIP HOP Timetable ………………………………….page 12 Available… to all students aged 4 to 5 The Benefits of Dance ………………….page 13 Requirements… black Jazz shoes Troupe.. ……………………………………page 15 Mixing important Jazz technique with funky Hip Hop choreography this class The Concert ………………………………page 17 offers young students the best of both worlds. Starting with a warm up and The Benefits of Drama & Acting ………page 18 stretch, the students then work on some technical progressions down the room Helpful Hints ..........................................page 19 (what we call corner-work), then return to the centre to learn some fresh Class Placement …………………………page 21 choreography. The students develop a large range of skills including the art of F.A.Q. ……………………………………...page 22 performance. This fun class is ideal for everyone and is guaranteed to put a Contact Information …………………….page 25 1 smile on any kids face. 2 PRE-JUNIOR MUSIC/THEATRE BALLET Available…to all students ages 4 to 5 Available… to all students aged 4 to 20. Requirements… pink Ballet shoes or foot-thongs This fun class introduces young students to Music, Singing, Dance, Drama and Acting. In this class, your child will learn new songs, poems and dances. They Many people say Ballet is the foundation of all other styles of modern dance. will also play Drama games and explore all areas of the Performing Arts Ballet is all about grace, strength and control. The techniques learnt in Ballet through play. Students will have enjoy learning and developing confidence and class are essential for all dancers, even if your specialty is Hip Hop. Those that building self-esteem while playing role-play games, using puppets, dressing up do Ballet will see improvement in all their other classes too. This year we have in characters and pretending to be pop stars. separated Ballet and Lyrical, so that our students can fully develop the necessary technique to take their dancing to a greater level. Ballet is where JAZZ students learn about the discipline of dance and focus on developing and Available… to all students aged 4 to 20. strengthening their technique. Requirements… soft black Jazz shoes (not Jazz Sneakers) We will be working with our own unique syllabus, which incorporates the best of The most popular of all of our classes, Jazz is the class where students can R.A.D, B.A.L and Checcetti. Commotion Ballet is fun and user-friendly. We use really develop the widest range of skills. We start with an extensive warm-up music from the pop charts, we avoid the out-dated old-fashioned exercises and and stretch, then do some corner work (ie. Kicks, Leaps, Spins etc.) We then we focus on developing the techniques and skills that are most relevant to return into the centre to learn some choreography. Each week students learn modern dancers. new combinations, this helps them develop the ability to quickly pick up new choreography and introduces them to a large variety of movements and steps. LYRICAL It also adds variety to the class, making it more fun and exciting. Most weeks, Available… to all students aged 6 to 20. the students will break into groups to perform the choreography for each other, Requirements… foot-thongs or bare feet helping to develop performance skills and confidence. ***Students must do Ballet to be eligible to take this class TAP Lyrical is a relatively new style of dance, which is a cross between Modern Available… to all students aged 4 to 20. Expressive and Modern Contemporary. Lyrical takes the techniques learnt from Requirements… black lace-up Tap shoes Classical Ballet and puts them into context with modern music. Students dance Tap dancing is all about rhythm and co-ordination. In this class students work to ballads from the current charts. on various Tap techniques including everything from shuffles to double pick-ups Lyrical dance is about expressing emotion and portraying meaning or story and wings. Each class at every level will be introduced to at least one brand through dance. It’s about breaking down the structure and rules of Ballet and new tap step or combination every week. Students are introduced to a variety of exploring new movement and feeling. Lyrical can not be categorised into a box tap styles including Traditional Tap, Broadway Tap, Street Tap and Stomp Tap. – it is an open dance style with endless possibilities and creative freedom. HIP HOP Available… to all students aged 6 to 20. SINGING Requirements… Hip Hop sneakers, sandshoes or “chucks” Available… to all students aged 6 to 20. Requirements… plastic sleeve folder for lyrics and notes Hip Hop is the most fun of all the dance styles, and the most modern. Students will develop isolation techniques and classic Hip Hop skills. Most of the time in Commotion School of Performing Arts offers group Singing lessons under the class will be spent learning new choreography and developing performance direction of our wonderful Singing teacher Hanna Hyeronimus. Students will skills. At Commotion we always use inoffensive music and keep the movements learn various techniques and styles from Musical Theatre to Pop. Other topics appropriate for the age group. in the course include scales, pitch control, microphone skills, performance techniques, breathing exercises, projection and harmonies. Commotion specialises in Hip Hop for children, and we are proud to provide up- to-date relevant moves and innovative choreography. We were recently Our Singing classes are kept to a small size so that each student gets individual crowned the National Champions of Hip Hop for all age groups under 15 at the attention. Over the year the class will build a repertoire of songs to perform. Showcase National Championships. Many students will get the opportunity for small solo parts within some of the songs. 3 4 DRAMA/ACTING DANCER’S BOOT CAMP Available… to all students aged 6 to 20. Available… to all students aged 8 to 18. Requirements… plastic sleeve folder for scripts and notes. Requirements… sneakers, sandshoes or gym shoes. Our Drama/Acting classes are fun and challenging. Under the direction of our Another new concept for 2009, this revolutionary class will benefit all dancers. Performing Arts Co-ordinator Marlee Hyeronimus, the Drama/Acting students Under the guidance and direction of Tony Wrightson, a fully qualified personal will learn a range of theatre and acting skills. Some of the topics covered are fitness trainer and Director of the Wollongong Fitness Boot Camp, the students Improvisation, Drama Games, Shakespeare, Various Theatre styles, Physical of this class will work on strength, flexibility, balance, core muscle development, Performance, Acting for Screen & TV, Scriptwriting and Play building, Speech stamina, aerobic conditioning and cardio fitness. Designed to help prepare the patterns and Accents, Projection, Monologues, Character work and more. body for the diverse physical demands of a dancer, this class is not about losing weight, or getting buff (although these things may happen), but actually about All of our Drama classes are kept to a small size to ensure plenty of individual improving your dancing abilities. attention for all students. Over the year, the class will learn several plays and scripts as a group, in pairs and also individual monologues. To see the many Carefully constructed so as not to put too much pressure on the delicate benefits of studying Drama and Acting refer to page 22 of this document. developing bodies of our young students, the class is constructed in a way that allows each student to work within their own limits. MUSICAL THEATRE You will break a sweat, and will escape your comfort zone, but you will LOVE Available… to all students aged 10 to 18. the results of this class. Guaranteed to leave you feeling happy and with a Requirements… plastic sleeve folder for lyrics, scripts and notes. positive feeling of accomplishment, try this class today! Musical Theatre is where Dance, Singing and Drama meet. In this class TECHNIQUE TRAINING CLASS students will learn a range routines and songs from Broadway Musicals. This Available… to all students aged 9 to 20. class is heaps of fun and will prepare students for a career in Musicals. Under the direction of our Performing Arts Co-ordinator Marlee Hyeronimus, students Compulsory for Troupe students, but also open to all other students, this class will enjoy exploring the exciting world of Musical Theatre, working on character, focuses on developing strong Jazz and Ballet technique to help dancers musicality, performance techniques and stage presence. The students will also improve in all styles. Students will master essential dance skills including learn about the audition process and what its like to develop and rehearse a pirouettes, fuettes, jump-splits and more, as well as working on strength and Broadway Musical. flexibility. Under expert instruction with individual attention for each student, the class will also learn motivation techniques and guidance in goal setting. $2 BONUS CLASS At the end of each year, the students will under-go a mock exam process and Available… to all students aged 6 to 11. will be assessed by the teacher. Every student will receive an individual report Requirements… Black Jazz shoes or Joggers outlining their strengths and areas to improve on. They will also receive a This brand new class is open to all students who are enrolled in at least one certificate stating that they have completed one year of the Commotion other class at Commotion. Each week the class will be taught by a different Technique Training Program. Senior Assistant Teacher. Each teacher will have undergone some teacher BOYS HIP HOP CLASS training with Ben, and will be at least 15 years of age. Sometimes the class will Available… to all students aged 7 to 12. be co-taught by two Senior Assistant Teachers. The style will vary between Requirements… you must be a boy! Jazz and Hip Hop, depending on the teacher. This is a really fun opportunity for students to be exposed to various styles of choreography and develop their Boys only! This class provides an opportunity for the guys to work on their skills. The Seniors of Commotion have a lot of experience and great knowledge dance skills in a safe, comfortable environment – free from judgement and to pass on to their students and they develop their teaching skills. criticism. Focusing on a more masculine style of Hip Hop and utilising strength and attack, the Boys Hip Hop class is carefully designed to suit the needs of This class is an open class, which means that you only pay for the lessons that young male dancers from Beginners to Advanced. There is an exclusive reward you turn up for – you can choose when you want to do this class. Your $2 system used in this to help motivate and inspire a love of dance. In addition to should be paid directly to the teacher at the beginning of each class. No-one will Hip Hop skills techniques and choreography, students will also learn dance know which teacher will be teaching next until the class begins… it’s a surprise. tricks and will be introduced to some basic Break-dance moves. 5 6 ACROBATICS/TUMBLING Available… to all students aged 6 to 20. Fees & Payment… C Classes at Commotion won’t cost you Our new Acrobatics program for 2009 features a brand new teacher, and will an arm and a leg. In fact, even though focus on a wider range of skills – everything from cartwheels, round-offs, Commotion School of Performing Arts walkovers, buranis, handstands, dive rolls, front flips, back flips, partner lifts, has a reputation as one of the best layouts and more. Over the year - there will also be an introduction to other dance schools in Sydney, we are still circus related skills, including juggling, fire twirling, pois and other circus one of the cheapest. performance skills. This year, the Acrobatics students will perform a spectacular Cirque Du Solei style routine at the end of year dance concert. Students who do more than one class per week receive a large discount. GLENN WOOD TAP Available… to all students aged 4 to 20. The above pricing is for all group classes. Private lessons are available upon Requirements… Black lace-up Tap shoes. request for all styles of Dance, Singing and Drama, and are $25 for 30 minutes. The Glenn Wood Tap Syllabus is fast becoming the most recognised Tap Troupe rehearsals are free, but there is a weekly $5 troupe membership fee syllabus in Australia. There are now hundreds of dance schools all learning this which helps to cover eisteddfod entry fees, and troupe costumes, which are unique and revolutionary style of Tap. The program breaks Tap dancing down also provided for free. Those that are “UNLIMITED MEMBERS” do not need to into a simple and user-friendly structure to help students learn and master a pay for troupe. wide variety of steps and techniques. There are currently 9 levels in the All classes missed must be paid for. If you are going to be away on holidays or syllabus, from Beginner to Advanced. Twice a year an examiner comes to our in the case of injury for more than 3 weeks and you let us know in advance, you studio and assesses the students on what they have learned. The creative won’t be charged for those classes. rhythms, clear structure and rehearsal repetition of this syllabus make this class the best and most effective way to become an expert Tapper. Payments can be made weekly, monthly or per term, as long as they are made in advance. (Please don’t wait until week 9 before paying for that term’s fees.) ADULT’S BOOT CAMP For ages 18+ Requirements… sneakers, sandshoes or gym shoes. Payments can be made in cash or cheques made out to Commotion School of Performing Arts. We have EFTPOS services available at the studio (Minimum Taught by fully qualified personal trainer Tony Wrightson, this class is $15, Credit card payments incur a 2% surcharge). If you require a receipt, they specifically designed to help you lose those unwanted kilos and tone up. Using are available upon request. a range of proven techniques and exercises, the students of this class will work on strength, flexibility, balance, core muscle development, stamina, aerobic Students that pay for the first term’s fees in full during enrolment week receive conditioning and cardio fitness. 10% discount. Refunds are not available for change of mind or change of circumstances. However, in some cases, you may be able to put the fees You will break a sweat, and will escape your comfort zone, but you will LOVE towards another class for the following term. If a class is cancelled, a refund will the results of this class. Guaranteed to leave you feeling happy and with a be given only upon request. This does not apply to Troupe rehearsals. positive feeling of accomplishment, try this class today! Students who don’t pay their fees on time may lose their position in their class. ADULTS JAZZ/HIP HOP FITNESS CLASS If you are having financial trouble, please arrange talk to Ben privately and For ages 18+ Requirements…sneakers, sandshoes or gym shoes. arrange a payment plan. Don’t let your kids have all the fun! This fun and challenging class is suitable for What is “UNLIMITED”? all adults, even if you’ve never danced before. In a relaxed, pressure-free Any student aged 4+ can become a Commotion “UNLIMITED MEMBER”. This environment, the students of this class will be taught all the latest moves – at a allows them to attend as many classes as they want. “UNLIMITED MEMBERS” pace that is easy to pick up and fun to perform. With a focus on dance for can even apply to dance in the classes that are above their own age. At only fitness, students will learn basic dance techniques and improve co-ordination, $50 per week, “UNLIMITED MEMBERSHIP” is great value. You also get a cardio fitness, strength and even confidence. Plus it’s a great way to make new massive 20% off all Commotion Workshops throughout the year, as well as friends. Put the kids to bed early and come down to the studio because it’s your 20% off all Commotion dancewear. Plus, our “UNLIMITED MEMBERS” receive turn now! an exclusive discount card for shops and business around Mount Annan. 7 8 LOCAL SHOPS Policies and Guidelines… Senior and Pre-Senior students are allowed to leave the studio during UNIFORM their breaks to buy food from the local shops, only with written There is no set uniform at Commotion School of Performing Arts. (“A permission from parents. We will keep the note on file and it will last for dancer should not be measured by the neatness of their bun or the the whole year. No student will be allowed to leave without permission. clothes that they wear, but by their dance skills alone.”) It is necessary, however, that all students wear appropriate dance attire to ensure that LOCKERS they feel comfortable and are able to move without restrictions. - no We have 50 lockers at the studio which are available for hire. The cost is jeans, heavy jumpers, skirts etc. Correct shoes must be worn for each $1.50 per week and is payable per term. If you have not made your $15 class. For safety reasons, no jewellery or watches should be worn to payment for each term by week three, then your belongings will be class. Hair must be neat and tidy. removed from your locker. If you pay for the whole year in advance you A will receive a $10 discount making the total only $50 for the year. Optional Commotion School of Performing Arts t-shirts, which are not compulsory, are available for $20. Orders are processed each term. See Some of the lockers have locks included, but others will need padlocks. the front desk to see when the next order is being filled. There is also a Most students should not require locks on their locker unless they are range of Commotion dancewear available at very reasonable prices. planning to leave valuables in there during the week. If you do put a padlock on your locker you must give a spare key to the ladies behind FOOD AND DRINKS the desk for emergency access. We will keep it safe for you in an Refreshments are available for sale at the studio at our front desk. We envelope with your name. have cold drinks, lollies, chips, chocolates and more. We now also have fruit for sale, as well as dinner options such as frozen dinners, 2-minute BAGS, RUBBISH AND NOISE noodles and soups. When called in for their first class of the day, students should bring their 2009 Canteen Price list: bags into their studio and put them along the wall in the designated bag Chips…………………...$0.80 area. No belongings should be left in the foyer. During breaks in Can of drink…………$1.50 between class, and short drink breaks within class time, students should Noodle cups…………...$2.50 Bottle of water………$1.50 remain in the dance room unless going to the foyer to meet with their Zooper Doopers.………$0.50 Poppers (Juice)…….$1.00 parents, buy something from the desk or go to the toilet. The foyer Frozen dinners.………..$5.00 Fruit………………….$0.70 should be left for parents and students waiting to begin their first class of Le Snacks/Muesli bars..$1.00 Chocolate Bars……..$2.00 the day. Lollies…………………..10c to $2 TOILETS Students should not enter the dance rooms until the teacher calls them There is a toilet on our premises which is to be used by Pre-school and in to begin class. Please don’t come in and sit down during the class Junior students only. All other students should use the toilet which is before yours, because it is a distraction to the other students. opposite our front door and next to the florist. The toilets there are All rubbish MUST be removed when you leave. There are bins provided locked so you will need to pick up the key from the front desk. If you lose in the foyer and in the dance rooms. If your drink spills or your bag the key, you will be liable to pay $70 for the replacement costs. For leaks, you are responsible for cleaning up the mess – please use the safety, students under the age of 10 are not allowed to go across to the mop or sponge from the kitchen. toilets without an adult accompanying them. Students under the age of Parents and students need to keep all noise to a minimum when in the 14 must travel in pairs. Please make sure that you look both ways foyer or waiting in between classes. Our studios are soundproofed, but before you cross the car park. PLEASE NOTE: Commotion School of some noise still leaks through and can distract the classes still in Performing Arts holds no responsibility for any accidents that may occur progress. as students cross the road to go to the toilet. It is up to the parents to decide if the student is capable to crossing safely. 9 10 0 DISCOS AND EVENTS HOLIDAYS AND WORKSHOPS Commotion regularly runs children’s discos and other fundraising events. Commotion follows the NSW public school terms and does not usually These are always themed and are lots of fun. In 2009 we will be having run classes in the holidays. We do however usually start the year one one disco per term. The tickets are $9 and the discos are open to all of week after school goes back, and we also finish the year one week early our students as well as their friends and family. All the money raised goes – so that parents can have more time to get ready for Christmas. towards improvements to our studio and towards the costume We sometimes don’t run classes on major public holidays. Students will department. always be notified, and details will be posted on the website, in the event TEACHER COMMUNICATION that a class is cancelled Commotion School of Performing Arts now has a faculty of nearly a During the holidays we do offer dance workshops for those students dozen teachers. Our teachers are talented, professional and dedicated. who want to extend themselves as dancers and learn new things. All of If you would like to speak to your child’s teacher, whether it is to discuss our workshops feature guest teachers, who provide a unique their progress in class or just to ask some questions, please ask for an perspective and innovative new choreography. appointment at the front desk. We now have a message book, where you We also run a Summer School for a week during January, with well can write your name and number and who you would like to speak to, and known guest teachers from within the industry and from TV. Our that teacher will contact you at their earliest convenience. workshops are open not just to Commotion students but also students If you only have a couple of short questions you might manage to catch from other dance schools too. Information about our workshops will be the teacher when they bring the kids out into the foyer in between posted on the website. classes. Please remember though that they have another class starting immediately and may not have much time. LABELS AND LOST PROPERTY Commotion’s lost property box has now reached gigantic proportions. At Under no circumstances should any parent enter the studio unless the end of every term, the box will be emptied and the lost property will specifically invited in by the teacher. If you need to give an urgent be given to Lifeline. Please ask your child to check if they have left message to your child please ask the receptionist at the desk to send in a anything behind as you leave the studio. Please also make sure that you note – rather than going into the dance room and interrupting the class. label all their belongings. VIDEOING To help students learn their routines for Troupes or for the concert, some SECOND HAND DANCE SHOES parents choose to bring in a video camera and record their child’s dance. If you have any old dance shoes sitting at home, you can bring them in This is only allowed for routines that we are working on towards to the studio and put them into our second hand shoe box. Just write performance, not for the different choreography that the students learn your name and number and amount you’d like to sell them for on the each week in class that is for the sole purpose of developing their skills. sole. When the shoes sell, the money will given to you. Commotion will keep 20% commission towards our costume fundraising. Please do not come in to video until the teacher has sent an invitation out in to the foyer. The class might be running late and the teacher may not be ready for you to video yet. A small note from Ben… There is a fine line between a supportive parent and a pushy stage mother. WEBSITE I believe that children can only excel in class, develop a love of dance and Commotion School of Performing Arts has an official website reach their full potential as performers under their own drive. A supportive www.commotionkids.com, on this site you can find all the recent parent is always there to give positive re-enforcement, help with getting newsletters as well as lots of information about our studio, the teachers ready for performances and to nurture a passion for improving and working and our class timetable. There are also lots of photos and a towards goals. My advice is to remember that your child’s dance education forum/message board. 11 is their own journey. 12 This timetable is subject to change. The teacher information and class duration are a guide only. Some classes will change rooms depending on the size and style of the class, please check with the front desk which room your class will actually be in. If you’re not sure which classes are right for your child, or if there is a clash of times, please call Ben on 0402 119 073. If any class does not have sufficient enrolments it will be merged with a similar class. For available private lessons and dance coaching times, please contact the studio. Use the code numbers in grey when you fill out your enrolment form. Once enrolled, you will be charged for the class regardless of attendance until you un-enrol from that class. …close to. I would never hesitate to call one of them for anything and I The Benefits of Dance… know they feel the same way. This weekend, I am missing a competition because of an important event in my business and the The following is an excerpt from a website about raising children written by a amount of Moms helping us out moves me. mother of two, Chantal Hubert. Confidence. I’ve said it over and over again; dance itself is not about I didn’t realize that there was such a stigma toward competitive dancing until my the scores they receive. They get up on stage, they smile and they daughters became involved. I suppose dance competitions are lumped in with perform. That in itself deserves a trophy and it’s the only thing I expect pageants, cheerleading, and other events that involve “showcasing” young girls. from them, the rest is just bonus. It’s not that I don’t understand the thoughts and feelings behind the strong Commitment and dependability. Both girls’ teams depend on them to opinions surrounding competitive dance (I held many of them myself before we attend practice, participate in their numbers and show encouragement started), I do. What I want to do is dispel some of the myths. You know the and dedication. They know what it’s like to have people invested in their ones. That dance Moms are living vicariously through their children, placing performance and attendance and vice-versa. They’ve learned not to let ridiculous amounts of pressure on their child and expecting only the best. others down and that it’s okay to expect the same in return. At least one of my daughters has been dancing competitively for two years. Our This is the time of year when studios are seeking dancers for the next dance nine-year old started dancing recreationally at the age of three, like most year. If you’ve been offered a chance, I would encourage you to open your mind dancers. Despite being asked several times, I resisted allowing her to attempt and give it some thought. I’m continually amazed at the strength my daughters competing. Finally, at age seven, I felt she was ready enough to handle the have gotten out of their dance experience, both in mind and body. I’m a Dance task. She loved dancing, and being with her teachers and friends, but I still felt a Mom and proud of it! small amount of trepidation that she would be too timid and shy to get up in Developed by Audrey Dascomb, RDE, Director of Dance Expressions Unlimited, the following chart front of judges to dance. It’s true, Erin tends to be on the shy side, but how she highlights the most common benefits of studying dance. There are physical, intellectual, artistic, social and individual rewards which can enhance and enrich lives. carried herself on stage turned out to be a complete surprise to me. Gone was the girl who twisted her feet into the ground and stared down when people talked to her. What I saw was a girl with a wide smile, confident gaze and a PHYSICAL INTELLECTUAL ARTISTIC SOCIAL INDIVIDUAL back straight with pride - and that was just being on stage, none of it related to Team any of the scores or medals she received. Intellectual Arts Confidence, Self- Fitness Exploration Stimulation Appreciation esteem & Cooperation The positive aspects of dance allowed me to be quite a bit more comfortable when it came to including our six-year old daughter this year. Totally opposite Musicality & Calculation & Coordination Rhythmic Communication Listening Skills her older sister, she seems born to perform. She can’t resist the stage or Planning Expression spotlight and I know she is in her element. Cardiovascular Creative Sequential Learning Camaraderie Self-Discipline Dance itself doesn’t have to be about competition or exams or hours of Conditioning Expression preparation. It can be a thirty minute creative movement class, ballet or a recital Patterns & spatial Sense of performance, but the benefits are undeniable… Flexibility Imagination Development Accomplishment Posture. Early on, dancers are taught that proper posture is essential Improved Academic Strength Innovation Persistence to peak performance. Dancers have straight backs and heads held Performance high. I’m amazed when I see my daughter walk into a room with better Increased Motivation posture than anyone I’ve seen. to Learn Accuracy Focus is essential to dance. I find that after a class or practice my girls Mental Flexibility, Open to New listen better and focus on tasks at hand. Problem Solving Ideas Friends. Our girls have made some awesome friends in their years of Right & Left Brain dance. Not to mention many of the other mothers I have become… Inclusion (Holistic Thinking) 13 14 close It is important that “Commotion Kids” Troupe members do a variety of classes “Commotion Kids” Troupe… to develop their technique and dance skills to a level that can compete against other schools. There are some pre-requisite classes and conditions for those Every year Commotion School of Performing Arts selects a few very advanced who are in our Troupes… dancers who demonstrate extraordinary skill, or great potential, in dance technique and performance to be a part of our exclusive performance group the Troupe students must do a minimum of 4 classes, but should do much “Commotion Kids”. more. These classes must include Jazz, Hip Hop and the Friday night Technique class. Students are auditioned in class over the first few weeks of the year. If your child has made it into our Troupes, they will receive an invitation letter with Students must have a good attendance record, especially to Troupe more details. rehearsals and performances. Split into various Troupes ranging from 6/under to Open Age, the “Commotion Students must be willing to work hard at all times in class, and take Kids” perform at numerous events and functions all around Sydney, as well as responsibility for knowing all of their routines. competing in several dance competitions. Students must purchase the compulsory Troupe Uniform which is to be The “Commotion Kids” are focused and dedicated dancers who work hard to worn to all performances and competitions. This will be available in late learn and perform impressive routines which consistently do very well at February and will be at minimal cost to parents. competitions. All of the trophies on display in the foyer have been won by the “Commotion Kids” over the last few years. If these conditions are not met, the student will not be allowed to continue in the Troupe. 50 of our “Commotion Kids” travelled to Queensland at the beginning of this year to compete against the best studios from all over Australia in the Those students that are chosen to be a part of the “Commotion Kids” Troupe Showcase National Dance Championships. We received several first place have the amazing opportunity to gain extensive performance experience which trophies and were crowned the “National Champions of Hip Hop” in each of the is vital to any young dancer in training. The team-work skills, discipline and self- Petite, Junior and Preteen divisions. confidence that students will develop from being in Troupe will help them grow not just as dancers, but also as people. This year, the “Commotion Kids” are going to focus on elite eisteddfods such as City of Sydney (The Macdonald Challenge), SourceDANCE Hollywood Please note that each year all students must re-audition for admission into Competition, Australian Dance Challenge and other competitions of this calibre. Troupe, regardless of whether or not they were in Troupe the year before. We also hope to perform at some large events like the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Students that enrol at Commotion after the auditions will have the opportunity to request a private audition. In some rare cases, we take on new Troupe At the beginning of each year, students are auditioned in class and invited into members halfway through the year. our Troupes. Parents must understand that being in Troupe is a commitment and that you must be available for performances and extra rehearsals. Throughout the year, parents of Troupe students will be able to find information about upcoming performances and rehearsals on the Notes page of the Troupe membership is only $5 per week on top of your regular fees, and website. includes all rehearsals, performances and even your costumes. In some cases, there may be some additional one-off fees to help cover the costs of a All members of the “Commotion Kids” Troupe receive their own trophy, particularly expensive competition, but this is very rare. inscribed with their name, at the end of each year. Remember students on “UNLIMITED MEMBERSHIP” don’t have to pay for This year, Ben is going to be working closely with a children’s talent agency to Troupe. help some of the “Commotion Kids” go for auditions and secure professional work. Some students may have the opportunity to get full representation. 15 16 The Concert… The Benefits of Drama/Acting… Have you considered enrolling your child into our Drama classes? Every year all the students at Commotion School of Performing Arts are invited to perform in our annual dance concert. This is usually held in late November Self- Confidence: Taking risks in class and performing for an audience teaches and is a huge event that all of the students and parents look forward to. This is students to trust their ideas and abilities. The confidence gained in Drama day when all students get to feel like a star. applies to school, career and life. For the last two years we have held our concerts at the Evan Theatre in Penrith Imagination: Making creative choices, thinking of new ideas, and interpreting Panthers World of Entertainment. This is a great venue which has professional familiar material in new ways are essential to Drama. Einstein said, lighting, tiered seating for 900 and excellent backstage facilities. “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Each class will begin learning their concert routine at the beginning of Term 3. Empathy: Acting roles from different situations, time periods and cultures The students work on this each week in class, developing their skills in the promotes compassion and tolerance for others’ feeling and viewpoints. process and learning the importance of rehearsal, commitment, performance techniques and teamwork. Cooperation/Collaboration: Theatre combines the creative ideas and abilities We hold two dance concerts, one is a matinee show which features all of the of its participants. This cooperative process includes discussing, negotiating, Pre-School and Junior students, and the other is for the Intermediate and rehearsing and performing. Senior students. Troupe students will have some routines in each of the Concentration: Playing, practicing and performing develop a sustained focus concerts. of mind, body and voice, which also helps in other areas of school and life. Tickets are available through the studio about 4 weeks before the concert date. Communication Skills: Drama enhances verbal and nonverbal expression of Prices are kept to a minimum, and are very low considering the calibre of the ideas. It improves voice projection, articulation of words, fluency with language venue. There is also a discount if you buy tickets to both shows. and persuasive speech. Listening and observation skills develop by playing DVDs of the concert are also available, for a very reasonable price, as well as drama games, being and audience, rehearsing and performing. professional photos and soundtrack CDs. Problem Solving: Students learn how to communicate the who, what, when, Rather than making parents pay hundreds of dollars buying costumes that their where and why to the audience. Improvisation fosters quick-thinking solutions, children will only wear once, we hire out our costumes for the concert from our which leads to greater adaptability in life. extensive costume library. Emotional Outlet: Pretend play and drama games allow students to express a The costume fee is cheap at only $35 for the first costume. For students who range of emotions. Aggression and tension are released in a safe, controlled are in more than one routine in the concert, the cost decreases by $5 for each environment, reducing antisocial behaviours. extra costume. (ie. second costume $30, third costume $25, fourth costume $20 etc.) This year there will also be a $10 concert performer’s fee, which covers Relaxation: Many drama activities reduce stress by releasing mental, physical the costs of the rehearsal and the medallion that each student receives at the and emotional tension. end of the year. Self-Discipline: The process of moving from ideas to actions to performances teaches the value of practice and perseverance. Drama games and creative More information about the concert will be released throughout the year. movement improve self-control. You can still purchase last year’s concert DVD. There are only a few available Trust: The social interaction and risk taking in drama develops trust in self, at the front desk. We also have Photo DVDs and the 2007 DVD available too. others and the process. Memory: Rehearsing and performing words, movements and cues strengthens this skill like a muscle. *The Singing, Drama/Acting and Musical Theatre students have their own special recital, which this year is going to be held at the Campbelltown Theatre. Social & Cultural Awareness: Legends, myths, poems, stories and plays used This will be held towards the end of the year, and will feature group and solo in Drama teach students about social issues and conflicts from cultures, past performances. All students will be featured. 17 and present, all over the world. 18 Helpful Hints… HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD IMPROVE? Firstly, you should inspire them. Take them to musicals and shows, rent dance DVDs and expose them to the potential of professional dancing. Secondly, don’t WHERE TO BUY DANCE SHOES? stand there and make them practise in front of you – the rehearsal process is a The cheapest and closest place is a little dance shop on Queen Street very personal one, and it is much easier without another person there to judge Campbelltown called DANCE HQ. Cheryl is the owner, she is really helpful and you. If you want your child to practice, suggest they put the music on and ask to knows a lot about what’s good and what’s not. This is often about 30% cheaper see the dance after they’ve practiced it – not during. Remember, they don’t than Bloch – but the quality is not quite as good. Their phone number is 02 want you to give criticism, all they want from their parents is praise & 4625 0882, and they are just across the street from the old Lone Star encouragement. restaurant. Alternatively you can go to Bloch at Macarthur Square. They sell a great range You could also consider purchasing a few private lessons either with their of quality dance shoes, but beware of the price. Every year, they organise a regular class teacher, or with one of the assistant teachers in the Dance Commotion Discount Weekend – usually in October, just in time before our Coaching Program. You’d be surprised the difference that a couple of private concerts, and give us all 20% off. They can be contacted on 02 4620 8588. lessons can make, especially for improving technique and lifting the student’s confidence. Remember – Commotion students should no longer use Jazz Sneakers, we prefer Soft black Jazz shoes for Jazz, and regular street shoes or “chucks” for Also, a lot of people only do one class per week and wonder why the other Hip Hop. students around them are improving so much quicker. The more you put into WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE LATE OR GOING TO BE ABSENT? your dancing training the more you get out of it. Try a few different classes to If you’re late for class, please make sure that you come in quietly and with your see which styles suit your child the best. shoes on ready to dance – even if it means putting them on in the foyer. Don’t interrupt the class to say Hi to your friends, just quickly apologise to your Please don’t underestimate the importance of eating healthy and staying teacher for being late and find a spot in the class. If your have missed hydrated. Dancers are athletes, and dance class can be extremely physically choreography – do your best to pick it up quickly. exhausting. Make sure your child has a drink (preferably water) with them, and some light snacks for during the breaks. If you are really too sick to come to class, or if you have other commitments that were unavoidable, then you should send an SMS to 0402 119 073 explaining that you won’t be there that night, and why. This is really important – especially Useful Dance Websites… for Troupe rehearsals. www.bloch.com.au – (national dancewear supplier) WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD SAYS THEY DON’T WANT TO GO TO DANCING TODAY? www.dancehq.com.au – (local dance shop) Children are fickle. Little things can change their mood so easily, and the reason they might not want to go to dancing could be something little like a fight www.dancetrain.com.au – (kid’s dance magazine) with a friend or even just wanting to watch a TV show – even though they might not admit it. www.dancelife.com.au – (online dance community) When I was young I absolutely loved dancing – just as I do now – but every www.dance.net – (international dance forums and advice) now and then I would beg my mum to not have to go. She had a rule; if I didn’t want to go to dancing three weeks in a row, then I was allowed to quit – www.glennwoodtap.com – (all about the syllabus) because it meant that I really didn’t enjoy it, not just that I decided on a whim I didn’t want to go anymore. She would ask me every week after I walked out of www.australiandancechallenge.com – (our own eisteddfod) class if I wanted to keep dancing, and my answer after class was always yes, even if before the class it had been no. www.sourcedance.com – (workshops tours and competition) I recommend that parents try this little test out for their children, if they say “I don’t want to go to dancing today.” www.dance.ten.com.au – (So You Think You Can Dance Australia) 19 20 Class placement… Frequently Asked Questions… For many of our classes we split the students into Advanced stream and Standard stream. This is because of the size of our dance school, and also so Q. What is the youngest age that you accept students? that all students can be working at their own level and get the most out of their A. We have a special Tiny Tots program designed to introduce children who are dance class. as young as 2 and a half years old to dance and music. We have a larger range of classes available for ages 4 and up. Upon enrolment you will be asked to help make the decision as to which classes your child would best fit into, but over the first few weeks of Term 1, the Q. How much does it cost? teacher will observe the students and may move them into the appropriate A. One class per week is $9. There is also a large discount available for those classes. This is only for the classes that are offered in two streams. Please do that do more than one class a week. Our "Unlimited Membership" is only $50 not be offended if you are moved from an Advanced class. per week and allows the student access to as many classes as they want. The staff at Commotion School of Performing Arts are extremely careful and Q. Do you have to pay for the lessons that you miss? concerned when choosing the correct level class for each student. It is very A. Yes. But in some cases you may be able to take a make up lesson at a important to remember that all students are individuals with very different different time in the week. talents and ability levels and they will not all progress at the same rate. In maintaining a high quality of dance education, it is therefore sometimes Q. Are parents allowed to observe the class? impossible to keep the same students together in a class year after year. Many A. We don’t allow parents into the classroom, because it can prove to be a students may need extra help and a slightly slower pace to help them master distraction for the students. We do have an exclusive DanceCam system set new steps that might come easily to others. This is carefully considered when up, with cameras in each room transmitting footage onto three LCD screens in placing students in a class. Many students are easily discouraged when they the foyer. This lets parents see what’s going on in class without distracting the are placed in too difficult a class. The most important thing is that the student students. enjoys the class and feels comfortable and happy. A happy learning environment is sure to yield progress. Remember, it is very common to see two Q. How much does it cost to enrol? children of the same age and with the same number of years training with A. There is no enrolment fee at Commotion School of Performing Arts. The only extremely different capabilities. Commotion is a very progressive school and all costs throughout the whole year are the regular class fees and the concert of our classes are challenging. costume fee at the end of the year. Please do not be a competitive parent and want your child in a certain class Q. Do you do exams? because you think it’s more advanced or a more difficult class. Class placement A. Most of our classes are non-syllabus, and therefore the students do not sit is the teacher’s decision. After all, that’s what he/she is trained to do. Every for exams. We are a progressive dance school, and we believe that students dancer is unique and we cater to the individual needs of every student. can get more out of their dance experience not being confined to the same steps week after week with the stress of examination. We do offer Glenn Wood Commotion School of Performing Arts has established itself as an institution of Tap in all levels and send students for exams with this syllabus twice a year. excellence in dance training. Please give the teachers the opportunity to Our exclusive Ballet Technique Training classes also do in-house assessments observe your child in class, so that he or she may be placed at the appropriate at the end of each year. working level. Q. Do you have insurance? At any point during the first semester, students may be moved between the A. Commotion School of Performing Arts has $10 million of Public Liability Advanced and non-Advanced streams. This may be because they are insurance which covers all students, teachers and volunteer workers. Our struggling to keep up with the others, or because they are excelling in class. If insurance is with AON Risk Services. Students are also covered by our you’d like to discuss class placement with your child’s teacher, please make an insurance whilst performing with Commotion anywhere within Australia. appointment. 21 22 …you see an empty hallway, and it tempts you to do a grande jete. You know you’re a dancer when… ...before everything you do you say 5,6,7,8. ...dance is life and the rest is just spare time. …you've read every "You know you’re a dancer when..." list known to man. ...you sit in a straddle when you are watching TV. …your housemates hear a loud "thud" and don't even bother to ask what ...your body cracks loud enough to stop class but you don't hear it. happened. ...you dance down the hallway instead of walk. …you only buy stretch jeans. ...you know most barres aren't in jails. …you know that doing the splits is not a way to determine if you are a good dancer or not. ...all your friends are eating dinner while you are in class. …when you wait for something in the microwave you’re dancing. ...you do plies and tendus while waiting in line. …you spot when you spin around in your computer chair. ...you do leaps in the parking lot and down the streets. …dance somehow comes up in EVERY conversation. ...you have the ability to balance your body on five toes, yet cannot bend over to pick the clothes up off the floor of your room. …when, while watching a performance, you catch yourself subconsciously imitating the dancer's movements with your head. ...every hard floor is like a place for practicing. …when you are sick you try to watch class anyway, until your dance teacher ...you actually sit up straight in your chair at school. sends you home. ...you have an entire drawer devoted to your dance stuff. …you can whip up a ponytail in 5 seconds flat. ...you suddenly can't count past 8. …you check the Commotion website before you check your e-mail. ...your kitchen floor has marks all over it. …you know the lyrics to every dance you’ve danced to. ...you bend over to pick up something and your leg shoots up to a 180* angle. …your watch is set up to the clock at the studio. ...you miss more school for performances than your do for being sick. …you choreograph in your sleep. ...when you refer to half time of a football game as "intermission". …you practice your dances in your chair at school. …when you find bobby pins in the weirdest places - the kitchen, the shower …you are stretching for gym and everyone goes, "WHOA!!" drain, your shoes. …your toes are pointed whenever they leave the floor. …you can't listen to the radio without choreographing moves in your head. …you never have to buy new Halloween costumes, you just use old recital …you forgot what your friends look like with "real" clothes. costumes. …nothing, absolutely nothing, is better then being on stage. 23 Can you think of any more? – post them on the forum on our website. 24 …you get angry when other people TRY to dance.