Halloween Costumes in Class + Dance Class Costume Ordering Time!!

Hi Families! June is very far away (a little too far if you as me, a summer baby) but because costume houses take 5-7 months to fulfill orders it’s time to process costume orders for our end of season performance!

This performance is the culmination of our season and a great time to reflect on the progress of each student and the success of each class throughout the year as we look onwards to the next! We just love teaching students not only about DANCE but about performance, confidence, responsibility and THEY love hanging with friends backstage. Such a special time for memories!

So, some important dates. This info was emailed in a newsletter a few weeks ago (make sure you read correspondence from us!) and also sent home in print from the classroom with your student (check their dance bags!)

Invoices: Emailed on or by Friday 11/2

Auto-Charge: Friday 11/16

Checks: Due by Thursday 11/15 ($10 late fee)

Delivery: April/May 2019

Includes: Tights, Accessories, Hair Accessories, Garment Bag, Hangers

Does Not Include: Shoes, Make-Up, Undergarments

EMAIL: Info@musicinmotionva@gmail.com

CALL: 757-340-1534 if you have any questions!

What's in your bag? Dance Class Edition

School has started, classes and subjects are new. You’re trying a different dance style this season (different shoes!?) but you’re also giving art lessons and swimming a try too!

Let those awesome parent time & object management skills trickle down to your kids and help them organize a “Dance Bag” so no matter if the bus is late, you’ve removed one stress inducing obstacle for your student’s psyche and set them up for success!

Let’s start with the number 1 tenet of Dance Bag Items

LABEL EVERYTHING

This doesn’t need any further explanation. Just do it! I’m talking BOTH Right and Left Shoes, the tags of the tights and the dance sweaters, DEFINITELY THE WATER BOTTLE.


Dance Bag Essentials:

  • Pack of Hair Ties

  • Pack of Bobby Pins (we recommend the longer pins for better hold)

  • Brush

  • Headbands to hold back wispies or for girls with shorter haircuts.

  • Deoderant

  • Baby Powder - to put in shoes to help them slip on and off easier and to reduce sweat and smell.

  • Extra tights (we sell them at MIM for $8). Because you forgot about that HUGE HOLE or RUN.

  • All of your dance shoes. We use TAN Jazz Shoes and TAN Tap shoes!

  • Sweater or pull-over for colder days. No baggy sweatshirts or hoodies. We allow a cover-up for the first few warm-up exercises.

  • Dance Shorts - to pull over leotard & tights for jazz, acro & modern classes.

  • Snacks: granola bars, crackers etc. We are a nut-free studio!

  • Water Bottle

  • “Personal Items” kit: including;

    • Advil/Ibuprofen as needed or allowed by parents

    • Allergy medicine as needed or allowed by parents

    • tampons & pads

    • Contact solution

    • bandaids

    • chapstick

    • Anything else you may need to feel comfortable!


Last but not least, every now and then we will release important printed materials to go home with your student! So, check the dance bag for paperwork every now and then relating to the dance studio.

Am I In the Right Class?

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Scene:
A new dance year has started and it is the first class. Dancing is very personal, it involves your whole body and your emotions too, so imagine for your young student, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable fast. There’s a new teacher, and new kids in the class too! Dance class is slow to start, the teacher starts to learn names, asks about goals for the year and teaches review steps to assess the skill & knowledge of the class.

Scene:
Your student comes home from the first class and has a few reactions:
1. The other kids are younger than me.
2. I think I should be in the older/more advanced class.
3. I don’t think I liked that teacher/this dance style.

You as a parent may have some of the same questions yourself! You probably didn’t dance growing up but you know that your child wants to and you want to support that drive. The learning curve for being a “Dance Parent” is not too steep!

“Level Up Challenge”

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Step 1: Set a reasonable commitment expectation for your child.
Everyone knows the adage ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Don’t judge the content or quality of a class experience by the first class. Give each class AT LEAST 1 month (4 weeks) or more to allow the students, teacher, and class content to “gel.” Engage your student in a process to understand what they may like or dislike about a class before withdrawing. This will teach reasonable instead of reactionary (read: instant gratification) attitudes.


Step 2: Step up to the Challenge

Every year in school, students of the same peer group change grades. In dance classes at Music In Motion, we have students of 2 age groups in 1 level at a time and students will stay in 1 level for 2 years.
This means it is likely that at some point your child will be the “older” student in class. Step up to the role. Teachers in each classroom teach to the highest level, and it is the job of the new students to grow to the higher level over the year. Students in the second year are asked to:

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  • Step to the front of the classroom

  • Demonstrate steps

  • Go across the floor first

  • Placed in the front of routines



All while MORE is being asked of them exactly because they are older and more experienced than the younger students in their level. What a place and a time to grow! Tell your child to enjoy this experience now, instead of being “the young kid” in class too early…



Step 3: Ask yourself if you really want a teenager already!
Age vs ability is an old as time argument in ‘The Dance World’ and levelling students. In our nearly 40 years as a dance training center, grouping students into appropriate age groups has always been successful. Children in 1.5-2 year age groups (such as 9-10 & 7-8) share experiences together:

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  • Know each other or their siblings in school (friendship matters)

  • Parent’s & neighbors know each other (community & carpools matter)

  • Maturity and energy levels align (think chattiness vs focus in the classroom)

  • Growth spurts & body maturity align.


Possibly the most important point when it comes to dance technique is the maturity of the body, when and at what age students begin to develop muscle tone and brain development for understanding more complex rhythms and patterns in dance. There ARE specific age markers for many things vital as a dancer that we as adults take for granted (example '“Cross-Body” movements are difficult to process even up to age 9!)

Your child likely wants to “move-up” so they can hang with the older kids, not because the content of the class was too easy (it’s not!) or the other kids were too young (they are within months of each other in age!).

Moving students into the next level before they are ready is more of a disservice than a reward. They are constantly the youngest student in class, having to play “catch-up” to the more experienced students, all while missing out and lacking the proper and safe technique that is learned in an appropriate progression through classes and ages at the studio.

Let’s step back and let kids be kids at the right age & level.




Step 4: Set Goals

I am SO PROUD of all of the students at Music In Motion and how hungry they are for more dance, more challenging moves and WE ARE HERE FOR IT!

So, let’s set some goals….

From a personal & emotional level:

  • You want your child to stimulate their creative side and develop self-expression

  • You want them to to build their self-esteem and to feel "at-home" in their body

  • Most importantly, you want your child to be engaged in an activity that is healthy and very, very FUN!

  • You want your child to develop a life-long appreciation for music, dance and the arts

From a technical & physical standpoint:

  • You want your child to develop coordination, grace & physical fitness

  • Safety first; you want your child to learn the “right way” of doing things so that they can avoid injury and pain from overuse and overstretching.

Ask your child about specific “Dance Moves,” we encourage practice at home!
Examples:

  • In Jazz - get a double pirouette by Spring Break (that’s a turn!)

  • In Ballet - Improve my stamina in Petite Allegro (small jumps) - straighter legs and higher off the ground in Jete (BIG JUMP) by Winter Break.

  • In Modern/Contemporary - Memorize combinations faster.

  • In Acro - pick a “skill/trick” and master it for the June Show!

If you child can show us this determination, I’m certain that we will be moving them up to the next level next season!


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Inclement Weather Policy

A silver lining around some stormy clouds is that we get to effectively review our inclement weather policy right at the beginning of the year!

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Music In Motion's Inclement Weather Policy

We will post announcements in THREE Places:

Click Here to Add the Music In Motion STUDIO BAND to your Phone

 
The Policy:
We will follow the recommendation of the Virginia Beach City Public schools closings during inclement weather conditions.  However, if the weather is FAIR and our teachers agree to safe driving conditions, Music In Motion will OPEN even when VBCPS is closed on occasion. 

Absences are excused and classes are not mandatory, please exercise your personal caution when choosing to attend classes or not. Please contact us at info@musicinmotionva.com if you wish to schedule a make-up class. 

Our aim is typically to get kids out of the house and moving and to give the parent's a break! 2 such examples of this are TODAY, Tuesday 9/11 when students were out of school but it is a beautiful sunny da = classes are ON! And Winter Storm January 2018 when school cancellations went on FOREVER, we opened as soon as we were able and could dig out!

 

Check facebook, website or Band app for announcements on class updates, time changes and more. 

Days When MIM IS OPEN and VBCPS is closed.
Monday October 8th - Professional Learning Day
Tuesday, November 6th - Election Day
Monday November 12th - Veterans Day
Monday January 21st - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday January 28th - Staff Day
Monday February 18th - Presidents Day
Friday March 29th - Staff Day

We Close for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break and Memorial Day ONLY

Signing Up For Summer Classes

Summer dance is fun!  Now, let's get the students signed up for classes... Watch the video below to see on the website and computer how to move through our registration system with ease or follow the step by step directions listed here.

View The Summer Schedule:  HERE

Log Into Your Online Account: HERE
need help remembering your username/password?  Email Info@musicinmotionva.com

Choose the "Summer 2018 Tab"

Scroll Down and hit "Sign Up Now" under the class you wish to register for.

HERE'S WHERE IT GETS TRICKY!!

  • 2 Options:  Choose the specific dates of the classes you are in town for and able to attend
    OR
    Sign up for all 6 scheduled classes
  • BLUE BUTTONS: Make sure to always choose "Payment Confirmation Pending." 
    This will allow you to sign up for multiple classes after registering for the first one.  
    This will also allow Ms. Lauren to double check for your best payment options and email you to confirm your choices. 
  • BLUE BUTTONS: Make sure to choose the button that lists your STUDENTS/CHILD'S name.  All students are "connected" to their parent/guardians accounts, they will show up when all registration options are available. 
  • The LAST page you will see will say "no scheduled sessions."  This means you did it right and the class ended up on your child's profile!

You can always email to confirm!

Not ready or confident using the system?  

Simply send your class choices and dates over to Ms. Lauren at Info@MusicInMotionVA.com and she will get you signed up right away!

 

The Next Round

It's been a ton of fun so far this week seeing students dress up in their "Spirit Week" Gear at the studio the week before Spring Break.  All the teachers also LOVE seeing their June Show costumes for the first time in person, JUST AS MUCH as the students do! 

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Overhead: "Oh my goodness, it has glitter in it, excellent.  I love glitter"   "Right? It looks even better in real life" 
- Ms. Lauren to Ms. Jess K about Ballet 1's beautiful baby blue tutus... 

But, more than a few classes are left waiting.  I just got off the phone with our costume company and without further adieu, here are the dates of our final arrivals:

Ballet 3: Remaining Costumes Tuesday 4/24
Ballet 4: Monday 4/16
Ballet 5: Wednesday 5/9

Move & Groove; Thursday 4/26
Hip-Hop 1:  Thursday 4/26

Jazz 4: Wednesday 4/25
Modern 1/2: Thursday 4/26

Some costumes take longer than others to make, some are shipped from different distribution centers and some are more popular than others so the stock is low.  All we know is we can't wait!

Other than our personalized Garment Bags on sale for $10: ORDER HERE

We're doing a NEW "Student Group Picture Week" and "In-Studio Dress" the week of
MAY 14 through May 18th

What To Expect:

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·       Dancer’s should arrive to their first class of the evening each night of the week DRESSED in their costume for that class.  If dancer’s take multiple classes in 1 night, they should bring the costumes for their other classes in a hanging garment bag, clearly labelled.

·       At the beginning of class – Teacher’s will “Pose” the class as a group for 1 Group Photo.
Parent’s are welcome to enter the classroom to snap a team photograph, in costume, of the group!

·       The classes will do a “costume run” of their dances in the classroom in costume.  This way, we’ll be able to assess any issues with headpieces, accessories, straps, sizes etc. 3 weeks prior to the show. 

·       We’ll make a list of any issues that may need to be fixed, adjusted for you so that parent’s can make sure it is taken care of prior to the performance (much better than overnight between Dress Rehearsal and Show Day!)

Dancers will be photographed in full costume with hair-style as close to show style as possible: clean, slick back buns or ponytails.  Make-up is optional, but light make-up may be recommended. Due to time restrictions, we will only be able to allow parents into the classroom for one group photo per dance group.  We welcome you to pose your student outside at home in costume for amazing pictures for free!  Watch their creativity flow as they find dance poses from their dances.

 

**If you do not feel comfortable with your student’s photograph being taken in a group, please let us know ASAP so we can make sure to adjust.  Most parents have filled out photo and video release waivers which allow us to to post and share as well! Be sure to TAG @musicinmotionva on Instagram and @musicinmotiondancestudio on Facebook.

Utilize our SNAPCHAT Filter for the week!

For copyright and child safety reasons, we do not allow any photographs to be taken during the show by anyone other than our contracted photographer/videographer. All parents must submit a photo release form on our website: www.musicinmotionva.com/forms

Receiving Your June Show Costumes

June Show Costumes are slowly beginning to trickle in...

Can you believe there are just ELEVEN more weeks until we go on stage at the Hackney Theater at Norfolk Collegiate on Saturday June 9th?!

Several student's classes have already received their costumes for the June Show:
Monday 4 pm Acro
Monday 4 pm Ballet/Tap
Tuesday 5:15 pm Tumble/Tap
Wednesday 4 pm Tap 3
Wednesday 5 pm Modern 4
Friday 4:30 pm Acro

The following classes will be receiving their costumes THIS WEEK:
Monday 4 pm Contemporary 5
Monday 5 pm Tap 4/5
Monday 5 pm Modern 3
Monday 6 pm Jazz 3
Monday 7 pm Hip-Hop 3/4
Tuesday 7 pm Contemporary 2 (will be keeping skirts to practice in)
Wednesday 6 pm Jazz 5
Thursday Pointe 2/3

COSTUME DISTRIBUTION:
Our costume company has a NEW 45 day return/exchange policy.  This means that instead of waiting for a single 2 week period for ALL costumes to be given out on a date that is closer to the show - we have accelerated the timeline to a "trickle effect."  

Q: Where is my student's costume, it's not on this list?
A: Not all sizes and costumes are available or are in-stock this early in the year.  Several classes have costume ship dates as late as end of April or Early May.  Often, they ship early!  Once we receive a "complete set" for ALL students in a class, we will distribute the costumes for that class. 

Q: I'm not sure about the look/fit of the costume that was sent home, what do I do?
A: Costumes are tried on in class and the teachers and owner, Mrs. Lauren approve the fit of the costume before sending home.  

  • If a costume is DAMAGED, we will keep it to exchange.  This is free of charge. 
  • If a costume does not fit and needs to be exchanged, we will keep it to return.  This is free of charge if you completed your student measurement form.  If you did not complete a student measurement form, there is a $5 shipping fee. 
  • We will be having an ALTERATIONS DAY with our studio seamstress on Saturday May 19th at 1 pm.  We will be emailing our list of desired alterations based on in-class try-ons to come in on this day.  If you would like additional alterations, inexpensive pricing has been arranged. 

Things to note about costume fitting:
Children's bodies are vastly different shapes and sizes, even more so than adult sizes if you can believe it!  Ideally, all costumes will have a little "room" so that there are no itchy, uncomfortable areas from sequins, fringe, tutu's etc.  This also allows for growth between now and June.  Some costumes will be a little tight.  All students will be wearing tights under their costumes as appropriate to cover the legs and bottoms for modesty.  Some students get lucky and get a perfect fit. 

The reality is, that the students wear the costume on stage for a fleeting 2 to 4 minutes, and we can make it through that time!  

Costume Procedure:

1. Store the costume immediately on a hanger in the PARENT'S closet, away from the prying hands and eyes of the student. 

2. Do Not Take the costume out again or try it on until Photo Week May 14-16.

3. Hang Tutu's upside down from the crotch of the leotard to keep the tutu fluffy and not squished. 

4. Place all head pieces in a plastic bag and attach directly to the hanger. 

5. Label the inside of the costume with your students name/initials IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIVING. 

6. Place in a garment bag to protect. 

 

Purchase a PERSONALIZED Music In Motion Glitter Logo Garment Bag with your students name! 

HERE


 

On Point Dance Competition with Music In Motion Dance Company

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The schedule comes out 2 weeks before the scheduled competition on February 16th-18th and hearts drop as we realize, the venue has been changed from the close by Sandler Center in Virginia Beach to Chrysler Hall in Norfolk - no time to book hotels for a place to hang for lengthy times between scheduled routines. 

On Point Dance Competition is SOLD OUT and a popular one, for a good reason! The directors run an "On Point" and tight ship, with on time performances, great rewards and feedback and few mistakes.  The event is also well attended by other Hampton Roads area dance studio's - making it a reunion of sorts for dance teachers who went to school together but now own schools or who teach or choreograph around the area and cheer each other on.  And for dancers, whose friends from school dance around the city as well and can get to see their friends.  

The event begins at 5 pm Friday sharp, students begin to filter into the Chrysler Hall, searching out dressing rooms downstairs underneath in the cavernous space of the backstage of this iconic performance space in Norfolk, where opera's, philharmonics and professional dance companies perform.  Dancers drag their duffels, packed to the brim with costumes, shoes, hairpieces, make-up, water and food while parents and siblings mill about.  

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Getting ready backstage is such a special ritual to see the students perform.  One student arrives and then carves out a tiny space for her bag and then decides what to do first.  Another younger student is so proud to have been able to apply her lipstick and eyeliner but needs help with her eyelashes.  Co-director Jessica Haynes along with junior student Bri Corcoran feverishly put the team's hair in 2 dutch braids, this season's determined team hair-do, until all girls who are performing hair-style is complete, let's hope they don't take it out before Sunday!

Dancers from different studios filter in and out of the dressing room to go upstage to perform, pieces are short, just 2 and a half minutes, a fleeting moment of adrenaline and excitement on stage.  As the clock ticks and the numbers of the dancers #53, #54 "Ok, we have 15 dances to go, let's go run this upstairs," our groups leave to run through dances for memory one last time before going onstage. One director will stay with the group backstage, checking them in and ushering them onstage, while the other team members not dancing as well as parent supporters and directors will go to the audience to watch. 

The good news is that On Point is our second competition event of the year.  Music In Motion Dance Company attended DanceMakers convention in Richmond, Virginia in January, a 3 day competition and convention and overnight team building travel trip with some amazing master teachers!  So we've already performed all of our pieces on stage. 

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At On Point, #mimdanceco dancers performed 15 dances including group pieces, solos, duets and trios across a variety of genres.  Over 3 days we performed as late as 10:15 pm and as early as 9 am and participated in 5 awards ceremonies.  The students take home adjudicated scores detailing their technique and performance quality - the only true "competition" is their previous performance or next performance.  The teachers take home video-taped notes with feedback, it's always beneficial to have secondary information on choreography and for students to learn from other master teachers. 

Saturday rehearsals, extra weeknights, long talks about dedication and applying yourself, watching the excitement of the dancers and seeing them excel and express themselves in such a beautiful and honest way on yet another stage makes it all worth it!