2023-2024 Student & Parent Handbook
(printable version available above)
14th & 17th 4:00-8:00PM Stop in to be measured for dance shoes!
28th – 31st Classes begin!
4th Labor Day No Dance & Tumbling Classes
1st 1st Costume Payment Due
31st Trick-or-Treat - No Dance & Tumbling Classes
1st 2nd Costume Payment Due
20th – 26th Fall Break – No Dance & Tumbling Classes - Happy Thanksgiving!
25th Christmas Show at Washington High School 1:00PM
Lighted Holiday Parade for Christmas Show Participants 5:30PM (Line-Up at 5:00PM)
1st Final Costume Payment Due
(3 payments only available if your costume total is more than $200)
25th – Jan 7th Christmas/New Years – No Dance & Tumbling Classes
1st Payment for Tights & Jewelry Due
8th Classes Resume
27th Competition Recital at Washington High School 3:00PM
1st Recital Fee ($75 per family) Due
4th – 7th Dance & Tumbling Pictures at the Studio
11th – 17th Spring Break
24th Competition 101 for Potential New Competition Families 2:00PM Recital 101 Class for New Stairway to the Stars Families preparing for the first Recital 3:00PM
1st – 4th Registration Information for 2023-2024 will be emailed
2nd Class Mom Meeting at the Studio 6:00PM
3rd Dress Rehearsal at The Riverside Casino arrive at 5:00PM
4th Recital at The Riverside Casino – 1:00PM & 6:00PM 15th Competition Placement Audition for the 2024-2025 Season 6:00-8:00PM (Solo Audition 5:00-6:00PM)
Absence Form If your child is going to be absent from class, please use our absence form. The link is also available on the Home Page of our website. Absence Form
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.
Attendance is very important in dance and tumbling as they are progressive in nature – each dance step or tumbling moves leads to the next. Please make every effort to be at class each week. If you must miss class, please complete our absence form: Absence Form
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 will not be following the school districts for winter weather cancellations. We will make our own determination about inclement weather and notify you via email. Cancellation announcements will also be on the studio website and the studio Facebook page.
Cell Phone Rules for Students
Students with cell phones are asked to set them to silent and place them in their dance bag 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 or three competitions that will fall during the months of February/March/April. We generally attend competitions in Davenport and Cedar Rapids. A registration link for Competition Dance will be available to you in the spring. Competition Dance Registration
If you have questions about anything studio related it is best to email us at:
We measure for and order the costumes for our spring recital in September. Costumes have an average price of $65-$85 each. We plan to distribute costumes as soon as they arrive (usually mid-December). 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.
Costume Information including Pictures and Instructions can be found on the Parent Portal:
- Costume Pictures: In your account, click on Info, choose Costumes from the drop-down menu
- Costume Instructions: In your account, click on Info, choose Documents & Files from the drop-down menu, choose Class Files
Dance Bag We encourage all of our students to have a dance bag dedicated to just the items that they need for dance class. It should be large enough to hold all of their dance shoes, socks, water bottle etc. Carrying dance shoes in school bags does not work well as they are often not added to the bag on dance day and don’t make it to the studio. Having a bag just for dance helps to keep students organized and prepared.
Drop off / Pick up We ask parents not to wait in the building. Students should be dropped off and picked up at the door. Our lobby is crowded, and this helps the flow of traffic. Our office, dance shop and stairways are also not to be used as waiting areas.
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 email:
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 and are billed to new accounts upon registration with a due date in January. Replacements may be purchased at any time in the office or via the Parent Portal. 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. Hair and Make-Up for Pictures and the Recital
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. The only times that we do not have class are listed in the Calendar of Events at the top of the page. There is also a printable version available: Calendar
Invoices will be emailed around the first of each month and periodically throughout the month to accounts with balances due. We have several payment options available for your tuition and other charges! Our tuition is a yearly charge that has been divided into 9 monthly payments (September-May).
• The easiest way to pay your tuition and other charges it to use our Parent Portal. You should have received a login and password for this when you registered. If you need this information re-sent to you, please email us at:
• Monthly Auto Payment: if you would like your tuition and other charges to be automatically charged to your debit or credit card, please complete the Auto Payment section on your account on the Parent Portal
• Monthly by Check or Cash: you can put your payment thru the mail slot in the front door during the day, leave in the office during class time, or send with your student.
• Venmo: @StairwayToTheStarz. We will email you a receipt.
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. The schedule will be APPROXIMATE. Please plan to arrive at the studio, ready for your picture, about 30 minutes before the time on the schedule (unless you are the first picture). Pictures will be taken at Stairway to the Stars in March. Be sure that you have gone thru all of your costumes and that you have followed the instructions that can be found on the Parent Portal after you receive your costumes. 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.
Each year our students perform in our Spring Recital. Recital paricipation is mandatory for our school year students. Our recital is held at the Riverside Casino in May. The weekend varies based on the schdule of the Casino, but it is typically the first of second weekend. It is booked 2 years in advance - you can see the dates in our calendar above. Dress rehearsal is always held the night before at the Casino.
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 5th as that is the day the rooms will be released to the public. It is not mandatory to stay in the hotel, but it makes a fun recital weekend!
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, please use the link on the Recital Tab.
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. New shoes should be ordered via the Parent Portal. Simply log-in to your account and choose Online Store. You will select the shoes that you need and enter your street shoe size - we will do the size conversions for you. 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 classes will not wear shoes, they will be barefoot. Link to our Used Shoe Waiting List: Used Shoe Waiting List
- 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 Mon 6:30 & Wed 6:30 need black slip-on)
- All Hip Hop Classes: black hip hop shoes
If you have used shoes that you would like to sell, please turn them into the studio. They can be dropped off at Stairway to the Stars or HOMEgirl Realty during regular business hours. You can also leave them on the landing in between our two buildings. Be sure that shoes are in a bag with your name on it. You will receive a credit on your account for used shoes that you turn in or they will be counted as trades for used shoes that you receive for this year. The shoes must be in good condition and must be a style that we use. We are not going to keep a waiting list for used shoes once classes start – they will be first come, first serve. If we have not found used shoes for you within the first 2 weeks of dance, we will order new ones for you.
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.
Theme Weeks Please remember that all themed weeks should not interfere with the student’s ability to dance!! Please remember to KEEP HAIR UP and out of face and make sure clothes are danceable and appropriate. Thank You!
- Homecoming Spirit Week/Favorite Team Week: September 25th – 28th
Wear your favorite team to class. Break out your jerseys, hats, t-shirts etc.
- Halloween Party Week: October 23rd – 26th Wear your Halloween costumes or a Halloween shirt!!
- Crazy Socks Week: November 13th – 16th
Wear your craziest socks!
- Holiday Party Week: December 18th – 21st
Holidays are here, wear your cheer! Ugly Sweaters, Santa Hats, Christmas Shirts, Etc!
- Pajama Week: January 22nd – 25th
Get cozy and wear your PJ’s to dance, but no getting sleepy!
- Crazy Hair with a Little Bit of Love: February 10th – 13th
Crazy hair, don’t care! It’s also Valentine’s week, so wear your hearts, pink, and red!
- Beach Week: March 18th – 21st
Wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt, tank top, or flower lei!
- Recital Preparation Week: April 22nd – 25th
Get ready for recital and wear your recital tshirt or your favorite costume from years past!
Recital tights will be ordered for all students in December. Returning students that have tights from a previous recital may bring them in for approval in the office to be worn again. Tights are $8 per pair (stirrup tights are $12 per pair).
- 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)
1 hour class $45.00 ½ hour class $35.00 Unlimited Student $135.00 (register for unlimited classes for a price of $135/month)
We have several payment options available for your tuition and other charges! Our tuition is a yearly charge that has been divided into 9 monthly payments. It is not a monthly charge. Tuition payments are due September thru May.
- The easiest way to pay your tuition and other charges it to use our Parent Portal. You should have received a login and password for this when you registered. If you need this information re-sent to you, please email us at:
- Monthly Auto Payment: if you would like your tuition and other charges to be automatically charged to your debit or credit card, please complete the Auto Payment section on your account on the Parent Portal
- Monthly by Check or Cash: you can put your payment thru the mail slot in the front door during the day, leave in the office during class time, or send with your student.
- Venmo: @StairwayToTheStarz. We will email you a receipt.
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. Punch cards can be purchased in the office or on the Parent Portal.
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