Academy Policies

General Studio Expectations:

  • Our vision is for the CODC Academy to be a safe place to develop artistic, technical, and creative excellence. Please refrain from solicitation, aggressive or degrading behavior, and from words or actions non conducive to learning. We appreciate your active participation in making this a school where all students are shown dignity.

Student Expectations

  • Arrive early to warm up and change from everyday clothes. Class begins on the hour, so aim to be at least fifteen minutes early to allow yourself time to prepare. Tardiness is not permitted. If the student arrives later than the first two exercises, he/she will be encouraged to observe class from the front and engage by watching classmates.

  • Hair is to be pulled back off the face and neck (into a bun for ballet). Short haircuts and bangs are permissible, but must be clipped or gelled back if it is long enough to get in the students’ eyes.

  • The dancer should have a labeled water bottle in class. School-age children will not be permitted to leave the room to get a drink. Unless the teacher dismisses a student for an emergency or an excused absence, students should not expect to come and go from the classroom.

  • With the exception of young potty-training children, there will be no bathroom breaks during 1-hour technique classes. Go to the bathroom before or after class. There will be a short break during sessions longer than 1.5 hours.

  • Adhere to dress code. If the student is not in proper attire, he/she is encouraged to observe class in warm ups or sweatpants.

  • No stuff allowed in the studio except water, light warm ups, and pointe shoes. Keys, phone, and shoes can all be stored in the available lockers or cubbies.

  • If a dancer must leave a lesson early, it is his/her responsibility to inform the teacher at the start of class.

  • If a dancer is injured or cannot fully participate, it is the dancer’s responsibility to inform the teacher at the start of class. Compensation is serious and can lead to more serious injury, incorrect placement, or dangerous habits. Our goal as the staff of CODC is to prevent injury by careful rehabilitation. It is never worth it to be careless or push past healthy limits.

  • When students miss a class, they can make up for the absence by attending a “make up” class in their own level or below, never above.

Parent Expectations

School-aged children require lots of teamwork from their community of adults in order to offer them a well-rounded education, extra-curricular activities, and to help shape their worldview. We want to partner with you to develop your student to be the best they can be, not only in the arts, but as an individual. Here are some ways you can participate in their growth as a dancer!

  • Provide a nutritious snack after school. An hour of dance can burn 300 calories, and if your child has not eaten since lunch, he or she might become cranky or fatigued without it.

  • Arrive as timely as possible. If class begins at 5:30pm, aim to arrive by 5:15pm so your child can remove their shoes, put their clothes in a cubby, and be ready to dance when class begins.

  • Students with long hair will need it pulled up in a bun (ballet) or in a ponytail off the face. If you can assist them before they enter the studio, they can arrive prepared to dance.

  • Ask you dancer about class! Research shows that teaching a subject helps us learn it better for ourselves. Engaging in discussion about dance helps your student remember the things we taught them. It also shows them how much you care, which is an enormous confidence booster.

  • Ask questions! New things make everyone feel weird. If level placement and technical terminology sound like a foreign language, please ask the teachers and office staff. We want to be helpful so that you can understand your student’s interest and not be frustrated with scary unknowns.

  • Level placement: Our directors carefully and objectively place students in their level. We understand that you want the best for your kid, and we do too! We write an annual evaluation to give students constructive feedback to help them stay on track. You can help them understand and practice the constructive comments on the form, but you cannot change the placement or push them ahead. If a student is struggling consistently for an extended period of time, the CODC Academy directors reserve the right to reconsider placement in order to keep your dancer safe. As teachers, we use discretion to place your student just where we think he/she needs to be to succeed. Our goal is for you to have the best experience possible and for your child to flourish. If you suspect a misplacement, please discuss this privately with the instructor, and not with other parents. Keep in mind that we understand the specific hurdles your child will face in a given level.

  • You see our blind spots! If your child is complaining or asking questions, let us know. You know your child better than we do, and we need your eyes to catch things like changes in eating habits, sleep or stress patterns. For example, if your child is complaining about pain or muscle tightness at home, you could be the first person to see any red flags. Students are often reluctant to report injuries for fear of missing out or even being thought less-of due to rehabilitation. Children do not want to feel punished by losing an important role or having to sit out of class.

  • Support your student! They watch you. They hear your conversations. Students need confidence, and their inner voice often sounds like your own. Brag on them publicly, buy flowers and come to their recitals, tell their aunts and uncles how proud of them you are, and ask them how they might want to pursue art or music in their future. Dream with your child and encourage them to explore opportunities to further experience dance. Your dancer might not want to be a professional entertainer, but this experience is valuable in developing discipline, artistry, and teamwork. Encourage that!

  • Remember that the CODC faculty are not doctors, therapists, or personal trainers. If a child is consistently struggling with a popping joint, suffering from growing pains, managing an injury, or asking questions about weight fluctuations, anxiety, medications, or eating disorders, these will require the attention of trained medical professionals. We have a list of doctors and therapists we recommend and partner with, and can begin that discussion with you to help you and your child work through recovery.

Staff Expectations:

  • Professional - Dance teachers are prominent role models, and as such, they are to conduct themselves in a respectful manner. They set the standard for dress, punctuality, respect, and behavior. Your instructors and office staff honor the art form, honor your time and investment, and honor the students. This includes their conduct in class, in the office, and around students.

  • Punctual - Your instructor will always be at the studio a half hour early, ready to teach.

  • Proficient - Our staff have a well-rounded understanding of the art form, are skilled at conducting a classroom, and come prepared with a lesson. The teachers are qualified to demonstrate and safely correct the students. The office staff is well-informed to answer questions, handle finances, and keep class information, the website, and the calendar as up-to-date as possible.

  • Personal - We care about parents and students, and our goal is to see you succeed in artistic, technical, and creative excellence. We have a clearly defined syllabus and a regimen of goals so that your student can excel at the proper pace, with first-rate dance education. Teachers learn every student’s name, love to answer questions, are available for private lessons, and appreciate your initiative to discuss your trajectory as a dancer.

  • Privacy-minded - While we are approachable, we do reserve the right to protect the confidentiality of our students and clientele, so any conversation over money, a student’s progress, or a complaint will be handled privately, and not publicly.* A meeting, email, or phone call is a more appropriate place to address any personal or sensitive concerns.

* If the complaint affects other parents or students (ie. schedule conflict), it may require more public discussion following the initial conversation. In such a case, the directors reserve the right to adjust accordingly for the benefit of the academy, staff, and students.

Slander and gossip are inappropriate in all circumstances.