Studio Handbook 2018-2019
About This Handbook
For 36 years, the Helmer Dance Studio (HDS) has been a leader in dance education and professional training. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing the finest quality training in an environment that is nurturing, challenging and disciplined. Our goal is to educate the mind, body and soul of each student. We believe that our success comes as a result of quality training and passion and staying true to the traditions of dance as an art form.
We believe in education and teaching skills that will last a lifetime. Our dance classes provide our students with the confidence needed to instill pride and a higher self -esteem.
We have created this handbook to provide our students and parents with a clear understanding of the commitment and responsibility that is required to train at HDS. All students and parents are required to abide by the rules, guidelines and regulations outlined within this handbook. It is the responsibility of every student and parent to read and understand this handbook.
To The Parent
HDS relies on a positive atmosphere for our faculty, dancers and parents. Our program promotes a positive learning experience for all participants. We believe that the dancer’s success depends on the support of parents or guardians. Your commitment to the process makes an enormous difference. We encourage you to be a supportive part of your child’s dance education.
To The Student
Students are expected to treat Helmer Dance Studio staff and fellow students with respect and a positive attitude. Dance class is not just for socializing. It is a time for focus, dedication and learning. Excessive talking in class is distracting and disrespectful to the teachers and classmates.
Contact with Parents and Guardians
Helmer Dance Studio will generate informational emails to the parents at least once a month. We try to keep our newsletters fairly short so there may be a few sent out in any given month. Parents should check their email periodically and read what has been sent. We will be informing parents about costumes, cancellations, holidays, recital tickets, etc., etc. If parents do not read our newsletters, they will not know about picture dates or rehearsal dates. It is very important that you read our email messages.
All recreational classes are geared to a certain level. Those requirements are shown on the schedule. When registering for a class, pay particular attention to the number of years of training required to join the class. We want all our students to be comfortable and self-assured. A student in the wrong class will be frustrated and unhappy. Ask for help in placement if you are unsure.
Split Family Policy
The staff and faculty of Helmer Dance Studio, LLC, are always happy to assist parents in any way possible to make their dance experience a pleasant one. In split family situations, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that both parents are aware of what is happening. We are hoping that parents will provide us with contact information for both parties upon registration. That way, both parents are able to access their portal to view the financial ledger and to make any changes to their account. The parent who first sets up the portal would need to provide the access ID and password to the other parent. All the newsletters and other communications will be sent to both parties by email and both parents will have access to registration and class information.
It is not up to the employees of Helmer Dance Studio to make sure that the non-custodial parent is aware of rehearsal and recital dates, picture dates, or any other dance activity. It is for the sake of the child that both parents are informed about these activities and involved. If we have contact information for both parents, then both receive the exact same information and are well informed. If we do not have that information, then we, at Helmer Dance, have no further obligation.
Both parents have the right to make decisions regarding their child’s activities. If we need a decision from the parents about any financial issue or any given activity within our dance program, we will not mediate between the parents. The parents must communicate with each other and the primary parent in our system who is the billing contact will provide the decision to our office.
If either parent contacts Helmer Dance requesting a financial report for any given period of time, he/she will be directed to the parent portal on our website. If the parent refuses, or is unable, to access the portal to retrieve the information, we will provide the information, but there will be a charge of $25.
Unless there is a specific court order in place, employees of Helmer Dance will not become involved in domestic disagreements. Both parents have the right to enter the HDS premises, the recital facility and any competition facility. We will not refuse a non-custodial parent’s request for information regarding his/her child’s activities based solely on the “wants” of the custodial parent.
Parents may direct any questions regarding this policy to the Helmer Dance office staff.
Our dress code is fairly strict. We have tried different combinations over the years and have found that this is the one that works. We require a basic uniform, but the students are given some options. All dance shoes are to be purchased through Helmer Dance. Helmer Dance also carries tights and leotards. Tights and leotards may be purchased elsewhere as long as they conform to the following styles and colors
Little ones, age 2-5, in pre-dance and tap/ballet classes are to wear a black leotard, pink tights, tan buckle tap shoes and/or pink ballet slippers. The leotard may not have any cute little rhinestone hearts, bows, ribbons or skirts, just plain black. However, it may be a tank, short sleeve or long sleeve leotard. Tights are mandatory.
Children, age 5-9, in tap/jazz classes are to wear a black leotard, black or tan tights, tan buckle tap shoes and tan jazz booties. A leotard is mandatory for age 9 and under. The leotard may not have any rhinestones, stripes, bows, skirts, just plain black. Students may wear black booty shorts or black jazz pants over the leotard. The shorts must be dance shorts and not athletic shorts and the jazz pants need to be tight to the leg. No designs, stripes, rhinestones, etc. on the shorts or pants. Tights are mandatory. If tights are cut off, then white or black socks must be worn. No bare feet for safety and sanitary reasons.
Children in Kindergarten to 2nd grade who are in tap/hip hop classes are to wear a plain black leotard, black or tan tights, tan buckle tap shoes and sneakers. The leotard and tights are to be worn for the tap portion of the class. Then additional clothing may be added for hip hop; i.e. skirts, hats, vests, t shirts, tanks., etc. No designs on the leotard, just plain black.
Students, age 10 and up in tap/jazz and jazz/lyrical classes are to wear a black leotard or black dance tank and black booty shirts or jazz pants (Jazz pants – Tap/Jazz only). The shorts must be dance shorts and not athletic shorts. The top can be no more than 2 inches above the shorts. No bra tops. All items are to be plain black with no designs. If a bra is needed, students should wear a black sports bra under the leotard or tank. No other colors. White, tan and black regular bra straps are not to show. Black or tan tights are mandatory with booty shorts. If tights are cut off, white or black socks must be worn. Tan buckle tap shoes and tan jazz booties are also to be worn for tap/jazz.
Tan turners are to be worn in the teen jazz/lyrical classes. Students in the 4th-6th grade jazz/lyrical class will wear tan jazz booties.
All students in ballet/lyrical or Company ballet classes must wear a plain black leotard, any style, and pink tights. Pink ballet slippers are mandatory for ballet classes. Tights must be full footed and cover the foot. If a bra is needed, a black sports bra should be worn. No other color in the sports bra and no regular bra straps may be showing. Hair must be in a neat bun. No messy buns or ponytails. Students in the ballet/lyrical class will also wear tan jazz booties for lyrical.
All Students in hip hop classes may wear just about anything that is age appropriate. No bra tops in hip hop classes. Examples of funky clothes to wear are: leggings and a tee shirt, sweat pants and a tee shirt, capris, tanks, baseball caps and other hats, vests, and jackets. If a skirt is worn, then tights or booty shorts should also be worn. A clean pair of tennis shoes is required for the first month or two. They should not be worn in off the street to protect our floors. In November, students will need to purchase recital shoes that can also be worn in class.
Helmer Dance carries leotards, booty shorts, tights and shoes.
If dancewear is purchased elsewhere, we recommend Step N Stretch in Woodbury or www.discountdance.com
Attendance and Make Up Classes
We ask that parents notify the office if a student will be absent from class. A makeup class may be arranged in cases of illness or a death in the family. We do not offer make up lessons for students who are participating in sports or other activities, or have too much homework, or have to babysit, etc., etc. Good attendance is critical to consistent progress and advancement.
Students missing an excessive number of classes during the year will not advance. They will also hold back the other students in the class. It is difficult for the teachers to choreograph the dances if there is always someone missing.
Punctuality is also critical. A student arriving 10 minutes late to class has missed the warm up and exercises at the barre. This is technique that all students need in order to stay at the same level as everyone else in the class. It is difficult to advance the entire class if the teacher must backtrack every week to re-teach a step because someone was gone last week.
On the other hand, if your child is sick, please keep him/her home. We do not want your child to be uncomfortable in class nor do we want to pass on an illness to others in the studio.
Parents must pick up their children promptly when class is over.
Injuries, Illness & Allergies
Your acknowledgment online is certification of your child’s ability to participate in his/her dance class. Please note any chronic illnesses or physical conditions, allergies or recent injuries on the registration form. Students who are injured, but not ill, are asked to attend class and observe.
Inclement Weather and Holidays
Helmer Dance will always hold classes on President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Columbus Day. The studio will close Halloween night, Thanksgiving week, 2 weeks at Christmas TBA, one week in March for spring break and one week in April for picture week. A calendar of events and closings will be on our website every month. In case of inclement weather, check out our website for closing announcements. We will also send out a mass email or text to all students if the studio is closing due to bad weather. Check your email.
If you haven’t opted in for text messages yet, you may do that at any time. Just go into your portal, go into “My Contacts” and check the box that says “Receive Text Message Notifications”. Then you will receive a text message announcing a studio closing. We will usually make a decision about closing by 3 pm.
HDS reserves the right to cancel any class at the beginning of the year with fewer than 6 registrations. The week before a class is scheduled to begin, enrolled students will be contacted and offered an alternate class. If a student is unable to attend any other class, a full refund will be given, by check or credit card credit, including the registration fee. We are unable to reverse EFT payments at this time, but will refund with a check.
Fall/Winter Class Withdrawals
It is our hope that, once registered, students and parents will commit to the dance program for the entire year. It can be difficult for remaining students and the teacher if a student drops mid-year. Often, the dances must be re-written and students must learn new and/or different parts. Children need to learn to finish what has been started. Make this a life lesson.
The parent must contact the office to report the withdrawal of a student. Do not tell the teacher or send word with another parent or student. Call the office at 715-377-9862 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This must be done prior to the 23rd of any given month because that is when tuition payments are processed.
A withdrawal fee of $45.00 will be assessed if a student withdraws after November 30.
Tuition and Payment Policy
All tuition is paid by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or credit/debit cards. Costumes, dance wear and other fees will also be processed through EFT or credit/debit cards. All tuition payments will be processed on the 24th of each and every month. The last payment of the year will be May 24 for June. All Helmer families must have a routing number and bank account number or credit/debit card number on file with the office. This may be done by entering your information in the parent portal on our website.
Non-Refundable Registration Fees - $20.00 Single………..$25.00 Family
30 Minute Class once per week . . . $40.31 per month
45 Minute Class once per week . . . $46.68 per month . . $399.11 Full Year
60 Minute Class once per week . . . $50.92 per month . . $435.37 Full Year
Company and Performance Lines – Your tuition base is different from the above. You will receive that information in a Separate communication.
There will be 33 classes in the 2018-19 dance season. Tuition is based on an annual fee that is divided into 10 monthly payments for your convenience. Snow days are factored into the annual tuition cost. There are no tuition refunds for missed classes or classes canceled for weather.
2018-19 Discounts for recreational students only
$8.00 per month for 2nd student in family or 2nd class taken by one student.
$8.00 per month additional for the 3rd and all subsequent family members.
There are no additional discounts for Company or Performance Line students as their tuition fees are already discounted and fixed.
To qualify for the family discount, siblings must be living in the same home and have at least one parent in common. There can be only one discount per family.
5% discount for paying for the entire year by the first day of class. Payment may be made by EFT, cash or check. No credit or debit cards for full payment. New 2 and 3 year olds may not pay for the entire year in September. We want to make sure they will want to stay for the entire year. See the office for our payment policy.
Recital Costume Payment
Costume fees will be processed by EFT or credit/debit cards on November 1, 2018
Recital Costume Package
Age 2-5, Pre-Dance, Tap/Ballet, Tap/Jazz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 99.00
Age 5 & Up, Tap/Jazz, Tap/Hip Hop, Hip Hop, Jazz/Lyrical . . . . . . . $ 109.00
Jazz/Lyrical Classes – 2 Costumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 189.00
Package costs are plus sales tax.
Girls will receive tights, headpieces, hats and any other accessories with their costumes. Students will also receive a garment bag, a recital tee shirt and a digital video of the show.
The costume bundle does not apply to Company or Performance. Company and Performance Line members may purchase a recital tee shirt and/or a recital video separately.
A family with two or more students in class may expect that their students likely will not be in the same recital. We do the best we can, but it doesn’t always work.
Lost and Found
Items left in the studio will be collected and placed in the red lost and found box in the boutique. Students are encouraged to leave jewelry, Ipads, cell phones and any other valuable items, at home. Students who bring their cell phones to the studio may leave them at the front desk for safe keeping while they are in class.
Students are also encouraged to write their names in all shoes, team jackets, Helmer sweats and tees and any other items of clothing that are near and dear to them. Please write the full name and not just initials. Helmer Dance Studio is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
There may be some times when your child’s class has a substitute teacher for the night. This is all right. All of the Helmer teachers are trained in the same curriculum for all age groups and ability levels.
Helmer Dance will have 4 recitals in June, 3 evening shows and 1 matinee for pre-schoolers. The dress rehearsals and the recitals will be held at the Hudson High School. Dress rehearsal will be June 12 for all students. The recitals will be June 13-15. Recreational students will be in one show only unless the student participates in more than one dance class. Then there is a possibility, that he/she will be in more than one show.
Recital tickets will go on sale April 2, 2019. Tickets are purchased through a ticket agent, Tututix. Cost is $15.00 for the evening shows and $12 for the matinee. There is a fee charged by Tututix of approximately $1.50 per ticket. We urge everyone to get their tickets early. Shows do sell out.
At recital time, we present 5 year, 10 year and 15 year pins to students who have had continuous dance education at Helmer Dance for those milestones. The purpose behind this presentation is to reward the student for his/her accomplishment in staying with the program and becoming a skilled dancer and performer. Students who leave Helmer Dance and then return a year or two later will need to start all over. We do not reward just for time spent at the studio, but for the effort and dedication it takes to stay and learn.
Graduating Senior recognition policy
Every year we acknowledge and recognize graduating seniors by including their senior pictures and a biography in the recital program. We will also acknowledge them onstage when the loyalty pins are being awarded. In order to be acknowledged in the printed recital program, a student must have been with Helmer Dance at least long enough to receive a 5 year pin. Only Company and Performance dancers will be included in the slide show.
Helmer Dance Building and Grounds
During nice weather, students and/or siblings may wish to play outside. That is perfectly all right. However, children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Neither parents nor children should be on the property or by the building of “Healing Waters” next door. Stay on Helmer Dance property.
For the comfort and safety of all our guests at Helmer Dance, please do not bring your pets to dance.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the grounds, in the building or in the parking lot.