Please click these frequently asked questions for answers.
How do I register?
Please email us to express your interest or to seek more information. Belle Academy will guide you in the process of registration and then provide helpful info regarding attire and shoes.
Why wait until age 3?
Most children age 3 and older are ready to try group activities because they are able to listen to and follow directions, and they have an attention span that allows them to enjoy the activities and the ability to retain instruction over several weeks’ time. Most three-year-olds can communicate with the teacher and other children. They also are more prepared to handle the physical coordination in the activities. Additionally, it is best if children are potty trained. It is true that children under the age of three can benefit from musical listening and movement activities, however, parents can easily provide this type of training at home with CD players and homemade musical instruments. Movement can be a rocking motion to lullabies, marching, jumping with two feet, hopping on one foot, clapping to the beat, twirling, twisting, etc. To young children, this is dance!
What will my child wear to dance class?
Dancers wear dance apparel and shoes according to the Belle Academy dress code. Female dancers are assigned a specific color of leotard according to their level of development at Belle Academy, determined at the time of registration. They wear dance capris, leggings, or shorts as allowed by the dress code. Please be sure to know the specifics that pertain to your child’s level, as there are minor differences at some levels. Male dancers wear black dance pants and a white t-shirt. Appropriate dance shoes correspond to the type of class – ballet, tap, jazz, or modern.
Belle Academy feels uniformity of appearance enhances the classroom experience. Class is about learning to dance rather than deciding what to wear and checking out what everyone else is wearing. Having this type of dress code helps a class look more cohesive in movement together and also cultivates conservative apparel.
The last week of each month, students may wear dance apparel of any color.
Where do I find dance shoes and attire?
- The Dancewear Place 6632 Northwest Blvd. Davenport, carries a selection of dance shoes and clothes and will assist you in fitting the shoes properly. The store is located next to a dance studio called The Dancer’s Place and tucked behind The Pizza Shack. Phone number is 563-386-0777. Call ahead for hours.
- Body and Sole Dance Supply, 2660 E. 53rd Davenport, IA 52807. 563-355-7082
- Mark’s Dancewear 6212 Merle Hay Rd # D Johnston, IA 50131. (Des Moines) (515) 270-0744. http://dancewearbymark.com/ This store is highly recommended for variety of shoe styles.
- All items can be purchased through online discount dance supply stores. When ordering online, read the sizing charts and recommendations for every different style and brand of shoe. These are some popular and reliable online stores:
- All items can sometimes be found at local discount stores such as WalMart, Target, Famous Footwear, etc. Quality may be sacrificed.
- Belle Academy has previously-owned shoes and dance attire that parents sell when their children outgrow theirs. Most items run around $3.00-$10.00. Please ask if you are interested in seeing what is available so we can suggest a time to stop by.
Questions? Contact Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org
What does your children’s combo class offer?
The combo class includes simple tap, ballet, and tumbling skills, along with games and activities that develop musicality, creativity, and appreciation for movement expression. A basic routine and set procedures are followed each class which help develop confidence and discipline in the children as they learn what to expect and what is expected of them.
At what age do the combo classes end and children can take just ballet or tap?
In first grade the three-part combo class transitions into a 50 minute two-part class of tap and ballet. Then in second grade, tap and ballet are two separate 45 minute classes. The children may take one or both of the classes.
Do I have to stay for the class?
Belle Academy allows and encourages parents to watch any class at any time through the window between the waiting room and the instruction area, as long as they are not a distraction to their child in class. Many parents of young children stay during the class. However, once they are comfortable with the class and they know their child has adjusted and is also comfortable, many parents do leave to run personal errands, to take a walk, or just sit in the car and read. 🙂
What if my child is ill or can’t attend for some other reason?
Although excellent attendance is important for steady growth and understanding of the skills being taught, absences sometimes are unavoidable. However, absences can have an impact on a teacher’s lesson plans, so we ask that parents inform Belle Academy of an absence as far in advance as possible. There is a variety of ways to do this:
1. Email the director of the studio.
2. Call the studio to leave a message on the answering machine.
3. Inform your child’s instructor directly the week before the absence.
Sending notification with another student is not considered an excused absence.
My daughter has “X” many years of experience. How will you choose the best class for her?
After a brief conversation with the parents regarding the dancer’s training and experience, we will temporarily place a new student in a class that seems to be a good match, and the teacher of that class, as well as the studio director, will assess the dancer’s level of development. This often takes at least two classes, sometimes more, as the dancer’s true strengths will be more evident as she/he becomes accustomed to the new environment.
Why doesn’t Belle Academy participate in competitions?
Belle Academy desires to emphasize the emotional performance aspect of dance over the element of competition. Dance developed as a form of expression and communication. Dance can tell stories and reveal emotions in ways unlike any other art form. It can move an audience to cheer, cry, and laugh. This is what we desire our dancers to learn.
What time of year is a good time to start classes?
- At Belle Academy, registration for the school-year season starts in August and continues through October. Classes begin in September.
- Preschool children may join a new Combo class in January/February.
- Registration for summer classes begins in the spring and continues through July.
May my child and I visit a class?
Yes! Indeed you may visit! Just contact us!
May I watch my child’s class?
Belle Academy allows and encourages parents to watch any class at any time through the window between the waiting room and the instruction area, as long as they are not a distraction to their child in class.
My four-year-old seems interested in only ballet. Is that an option?
Belle Academy offers combo classes (combo class includes ballet, tap, and tumbling) for children age three to six. One of the biggest reasons, is that young children have a very short attention span. A class would have to be very short to work on ballet, only – 30 minutes, top; perhaps 20 minutes, depending on the age. Young children can’t do very many “ballet moves”. What they can do would have to be repeated so much, that the class would/might become monotonous to a young child. Granted, other activities can be added to a ballet class to change it up, but we do that at Belle, too, even with the tap and tumbling included.
Second, young children might not even know how fun tap is – it’s good to expose them to something unfamiliar. Tap is excellent for developing an understanding of rhythm and counting, and it also enhances the ballet education by working on hops and jumps, which are used in ballet, but in a different style. Additionally, kids have a lot of fun making sounds with their tap shoes!
Last, our simple tumbling program is a great addition to a young child’s class because it works on large muscle strength and coordination which are both important for any dance or sports program. Children age 3 and 4 in the autumn who are quite uncoordinated and have little strength in their arms, legs, and core, can make vast improvement over the span of the school year with simply the once-a-week dance class that includes the tumbling. Besides that, it’s just plain fun, and the kids love it! It’s also a way to explore gymnastics! Some children and their parents have discovered that gymnastics is the child’s true love and have added gymnastics to the child’s weekly activities. Some have even left dance to focus on gymnastics, and that’s ok! That’s what childhood is all about – discovering preferences and talents.