2019-2020 Student & Parent Handbook
Arriving Late to Class
It is sometimes necessary for students to arrive late to class from a sport or activity. This is perfectly acceptable as we know how busy all of our students are. We do ask that they finish eating before entering their class and that they enter the studio quickly and quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the students. They should put on the appropriate shoes and join the class.
At Stairway to the Stars we consider good attendance to be very important and something to be celebrated! At dress rehearsal for our spring recital we present awards to our students who have missed 4 or fewer classes during the year. All are welcome and encouraged to receive this award! Attending a portion of your class or classes in a day counts as attendance. For example: if you have a music program at 6:30 and come to part of your classes but leave early you are not counted absent. The only exception that we make is for extended illness or hospitalization. You are afforded 4 absences, which for a class that meets only once per week is like missing one month. Please call the office when your child will be absent. Many thanks to all of the parents for helping our students get to class each week!
Attire for Class
While we do not have a specific dress code for dance (i.e.black leotard and pink tights) we do have an expectation for our student’s attire and hair for class. For our younger students we prefer any style of leotard and tights. If they are in tumbling and dance the same evening they will want to wear footless tights and bring socks for dance. Older students are expected to wear a leotard or tight fitting tank top with shorts and tights. All students should have their hair up and away from their face. It is best to leave necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry at home. All students will also need a dance bag with their name in it to keep all of their shoes and socks together in the studio. Outside shoes/boots should be placed on the shoe racks in the lobby. Jackets/Coats should be hung on a hook. Students will bring their dance bag into the studio with them.
We follow Washington Schools for winter weather cancellations. If Washington Schools are cancelled or dismissed due to winter weather our classes will be cancelled as well. We do not cancel for heat as we have central air. Cancellation announcements will be on the studio website, the studio Facebook page and KCII. There are occasions when the weather may take a turn for the worse in the late afternoon or on a No School day. In the event that occurs, the cancellation announcement will be on the studio website and the studio Facebook page. Your best bet is to Like our studio Facebook page as that is where you will find the most current information.
Cell Phone Rules for Students
Students with cell phones are asked to set them to silent and place them in the basket in the studio. Students will not be allowed to text or take calls on their cell phones during class. Parents needing to contact a student during class time should call the studio office. If cell phones become a problem during class we will be using a basket to hold them during the hours of class.
Competition Dance requires much more of a commitment of time than regular classes. It is also more of a financial commitment. We learn our competition routines over the summer - starting in June - with hopes that most of them are complete before school begins. Rehearsals for these during the school year are weekly or bi-weekly depending on schedules. We have a separate recital for our competition routines which is held in late January/early February. We then attend two competitions that will fall during the months of February/March/April. We generally attend competitions in Davenport and Cedar Rapids. A SignUp Genius email is sent in the spring to register for an individual conference to talk about competition dance.
We measure for and order the costumes for our spring recital in September. We plan to distribute costumes as soon as they arrive (usually mid-November). Your dancer or tumbler will bring home a large shopping bag with their costumes in it. Instructions for costumes will be emailed. Please try-on costumes immediately. It is a lot easier to deal with sizing issues or missing accessories right away. Please reference the instruction sheets as these should answer a lot of questions.
We do have a studio Facebook page and we encourage you to “like” it as we do post pictures and announcements during the year. You are welcome to tag yourself in any photos. We prefer that our Facebook page be used to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and not for questions. Questions should always be directed to the studio phone or the studio email. I do not generally have time to check Facebook at the studio so you will get a quicker response if you call or email. We also require that all of our students that have Facebook accounts be friends with my personal page (Melissa Westphal).
All students must have our standard rhinestone jewelry for pictures and the recital. This consists of a necklace and earrings (pierced and clip-on available). These pieces will be issued to new students with their costumes. Replacements may be purchased at any time in the office. The necklace is $15 and the earrings are $5.
Make-Up & Hair for the Recital and Pictures
Hair should be in a bun at the back of the head for all classes. No one should have bangs on their forehead – they should be swept off to the side. We want a uniform appearance onstage and in our photos. The focus of our performance is the dancing and having one or two students with intricate up-dos or other hair styles is distracting to the look of the performance. All performers must wear make-up which should include foundation, powder, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, blush and lipstick. The strength of the lights washes out most features, so we want to be sure we can see everyone. We may be offering a hair and make-up session in the spring for those that are interested. More information will be provided as the date gets closer.
A newsletter will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month to keep you informed on important information, upcoming events and deadlines. Please be sure we have your current email address and that you are receiving the Newsletters. They will also be posted on our website under the “Newsletters” tab.
No School Days
We still have dance and tumbling when there is no school for in-services, conferences, the Monday after Easter etc. We only follow the school for winter weather related cancellations. The only times that we do not have class are listed in the Calendar of Events at the front of the Handbook and on the website.
Each year we offer the opportunity for your dancer or tumbler to have his/her photo taken in each of their recital costumes. Individual and Group photos are taken. These provide a wonderful momento of the dance year and also offer the opportunity to see everyone together in the costumes and to make alterations or changes to them as needed prior to the recital. We are also able to ensure that everyone has all of the correct pieces to each costume. You will receive a picture schedule in the January and February newsletters. Pictures will be taken at Stairway to the Stars during the last week of February. Please be sure to arrive at the dance studio 30 minutes before your scheduled time. Be sure that you have gone thru all of your costumes and that you have followed the instructions that were emailed to you. Envelopes from the photographer will be sent home with your child 1 -2 weeks before pictures. You will need to complete an envelope for each costume that you intend to order an individual and/or group photo in. You will need additional envelopes for photos with siblings, etc. We would like everyone to have their envelopes filled out prior to arriving at the dance studio. Everyone should be in the group photo, even if you do not plan to purchase it.
Our 2020 Recital will be held at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. With seating for 1000 audience members and much larger public areas our audience is much more comfortable and able to enjoy our performance. We will be having two performances this year on Saturday, May 9th at 1:00PM and 6:00PM. Dress Rehearsal will be at the Casino on Friday, May 8th at 5:30PM. Please be sure to enter the Event Center on the East side of the building – do not use the Casino entrance.
We have a block of rooms for Friday and Saturday night under Stairway to the Stars. To make a reservation in our block please call Group Reservations at (877).677.3456 and indicate that you are with Stairway to the Stars. Please make reservations prior to April 12th as that is the day the rooms will be released to the public.
In order to make things go smoothly we will need a big group of parents to help out! If you are interested in being a part of our volunteer team ( Class Moms, dressing room help, backstage help) please let the office know. If you sign up to help at the recital by January 1st you will not be required to pay the Recital Fee!
We will not be having regular classes during the week of the recital. Please arrive at the Casino at 5:00PM for Dress Rehearsal on Friday of Recital Week.
All students must order their shoes thru the studio. This is to provide consistency in style, color and fit. Most orders arrive within a few days. We do have a used shoe program but we receive a limited number of quality pairs for resale each year. If you are waiting for used shoes and do not receive any within the first two weeks of class you will need to purchase new ones. Tumbling class will not wear shoes, they will be barefoot.
- Creative Dance: pink ballet shoes
- All Ballet Classes: pink ballet shoes (some older classes may wear Foot Thongs for the recital)
- All Jazz Classes: tan jazz shoes (some older classes may wear Foot Thongs for the recital)
- All Clog Classes: black slip-on clog shoes
- All Tap Classes: tan baby doll tap shoes (except Tues 6:30 & Wed 5:30 need black slip-on)
Text message is not the best way for parents to communicate with the studio. If your question requires a simple “Yes or No” answer a text message is fine. If you are asking a question which requires us to be able to look at your account, you should email us. Keeping track of text messages which require attention can become overwhelming – email is much easier in that regard. Also, if your child will be absent from class a phone call or email to the studio is much better than a text message or Facebook message.
Recital tights will be ordered for all students in January. If you still have tights from last years recital and have not been wearing them to class you may bring them to the office to have them approved for re-use. You must bring them in by December 20th or you will receive new tights. Tights are available in the office at any time for $8 per pair. All recital tights must be purchased through the studio to provide consistency with style, color and fit.
- Creative Dance: pink tights with feet
- All Tumbling Classes: tan stirrup tights
- All Tap & Clog Classes: tan tights with feet
- All Ballet Classes: pink tights with feet
- All Jazz Classes: tan tights with feet (some older classes may wear tan stirrup)
Waiting Between Classes
• Students: Students who have a break between classes are to wait in the lounge area in the lower level, not in the office or on the stairs. There are tables and chairs for doing homework and activities. There is also a microwave and utensils so they may heat up food brought from home.
• Parents: We encourage parents to use the drop-off/pick-up method for classes. We do not have room in our facility for large amounts of parents to wait during class. If you must remain at the studio while your child is in class please use the lounge area in our lower level and not the office, lobby or stairs.
Water & Snacks
We offer bottled water and a varying selection of snacks in our office. All items are 50 cents each. We also offer a punch card for $10. We encourage students to eat a snack after school before coming to class.
Our studio website is www.stairwaytothestarz.com. We have the calendar on our page and we also post the newsletter each month. If classes are cancelled due to winter weather this will appear in red at the top of the Home page. Reference this site to answer lots of your questions.
If you ever have questions please do not hesitate to call or email the office.
Missy’s cell: 319.461.2390