Guidelines for parents and carers in order to establish and maintain a nurturing, safe, enjoyable, productive environment for the dancing children.
For all classes:
- No shoes in the dance space; please remove outside shoes before entering the dance space. Parents are to be without shoes during the class and children are in ballet shoes or to start with in bare feet.
- We request that you disconnect from technology whilst in class; this means phones on silent, no talking on the phone, no taking photos or video footage with your phone.
- No chatter at all during class with your friends or other parents or on the phone; even a quiet murmur is distracting for children and teachers.
- Arriving to class on time to settle child into the beginning circle. We know arriving late can sometimes be unavoidable, we have found it can be overwhelming for some children to enter into an already active dance space.
- Minimise coming and going from the room.
- Extra guests are to be kept to a minimum please double check with your teacher when it's okay to bring relatives.
- In the last class of term keep photography or video footage to a very bare minimum and please be subtle. Some parents are very eager to capture every moment, however we encourage you to put the music on at home and do it there. It’s very disruptive to the flow of the class, too often parents remove their child from the class to take photos, or step into the dancing space in front of teachers or other children to take photos.
- Respecting the privacy of the other children, parents and teachers in the class is very important also.
- We prefer that siblings are not present in the class and that you have made alternative care arrangements for any other children you may have. If this is completely impossible you are to take siblings outside if they become restless, or share sibling care with other mums in the class, or what has been really successful this past year is that mum (& siblings) start the class together and after the circle work is complete – mum and siblings play outside in the park for the duration of the class, leaving the dancing 2yr old in the care of staff.
- If you have been unable to organise alternative care arrangements for your newborn - to best assist your dancing child - have baby in a front pack, sling, or Moses basket.
What is Parent Participation?
- The carer’s involvement in the class can be everything from, being physically with the child for the whole class holding hands or carrying them, to intermittently encouraging and joining in with them, to being able to put your child in the circle at the beginning of class and watch from the side for the duration of the class.
- As you will know every child is different and everyday is different for the children, so it’s best to adjust and adapt the support you provide, working with your child and the teachers, according to what the child needs on that day, without comparing yourself to other parents and children.
- Children learn through example and modelling what’s required is an important way to teach children about behaviours and practices.
To start with we expect that:
- You will be embracing a very 'involved' style of parenting which means a direct, one-on-one interaction as you focus all of your attention on the joint activities in the class - this 'modelling' is required rather than using words and telling your child what to do, (words and telling don't work.)
- Children really want to learn from their parents and working together in this manner not only promotes healthy bonds and attachments but also gives children a close-up view of mature thinking in action, a model of how to observe, organise and remember details and ideally to find joy in intellectual, physical and creative discovery.
- Until your child is confident on their own, in the dance space and can follow instruction, your active or intermittent participation and demonstration is required, physically maneuvering, chasing after and assisting your child is also required.
- If words are used they are to be softer than the voice of the teacher.
Eventually you’ll be able to retreat to the perimeters of the room:
If your child no longer needs you to participate with them, they want to be autonomous, sitting quietly at the side continuing your support of them through attentive observation is required – especially for the little ones who like to take off and run back to parents.
Holiday's and extended time away
Our classes run for 40 weeks of the year, for 12 weeks of the year our classes are not scheduled.
We encourage you to take holidays or have extended trips away during the regular breaks we have throughout the year, when our classes are not running.
If you decide to have holidays or extended time away when our classes are running that is totally okay but please note, credit or refunds or discounts or reduced fees or part payments are not offered.
If there is space in our classes you are more then welcome to rejoin our classes once you return from your trip.
Encouraging your child:To verbally support your child, please have a voice softer than that of the teacher and remember to encourage only the positive behaviour you see – don’t comment on the negative at all.
Don’t label what your child does as good or bad, use phrases like
♣ 'Wow! You're balancing one foot,'
♣ ‘I noticed how well you walked along the white line’
♣ ‘You listened so well to your teachers’
♣ ' You jumped so high,'
♣ 'You made lovely squiggles with the ribbon',
♣ 'You did it! You climbed through the hoops & out the other end, '
♣ 'I noticed your fantastic crocodile statue, you looked so real',
♣ 'You danced so beautifully all by yourself'
Focus on the 'you' or 'I noticed.' And never threaten to leave the class if they don’t want to participate. It’s okay for them to sit and observe if they need to.