Kids FAQs

Registration for 2018/19 is now open! 😊

 

Q. Why should I choose FHDP?
A. Because our focus is on you and giving you the best experience possible. We are here to teach and to celebrate your successes, no matter how big or how small. We pride ourselves in providing an inclusive, safe environment for everyone. No crazy dance moms here. No snobby attitudes. Just a lot of fun, great dance education, and people who care!
Free House Dance Plus has been around since 1987. We are proud to say we have a great reputation and have many success stories from former students. Our school is the sole occupant of a superior facility designed specifically for dance with 4 classrooms. We are located in the quiet inner-city community of Briar Hill, 2 blocks west of the North Hill Shopping Centre & Lions’ Park LRT station, with plenty of free parking.

Q. Do you participate in competitions?
A. No. Our program focus is on education, training, performance and developing a love and appreciation for the art. We’ll leave competition to the world of sport and SYTYCD.

Q. How is your year structured? How do I find out about important dates and events?
A. The school year runs from September to June. Division 1 & 2 classes (WeeBop™, Combo, PrePrimary, Primary, and Junior levels) finish the Thursday prior to the first weekend of June. Division 3 classes (Teen, PreIntermediate,¬†Intermediate and Senior levels) continue to the third week of June. There are no classes Thanksgiving, Easter Friday, Family Day/teachers’ convention or Victoria Day holiday weekends. A two week break during the Christmas season and a one week Spring break are scheduled. Please review the calendar below. NOTE: This calendar is on the home page of our website.

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Q. How big are your classes?
A. Classes sizes vary depending on age, level and room size. We want to ensure that each child receives proper attention.

Q. Can I register my child mid-way through the year?
A. Our children’s programs are full year so coming in part way through can be quite challenging for students as they will be behind, especially in technical classes. For younger children it can also be tricky because the class structure and dynamic is already set. Our goal is always for the student to have a successful experience, so we invite potential latecomers do a trial class or two to assess if the class will be a good fit for everyone.

Q. What should my child wear to class? Where do I purchase dance attire?
A. Each dance class has different dress requirements for the comfort and safety of your child. We offer a limited selection of second hand dance shoes available for cash purchase and we also provide a bulletin board where families can sell their used dance shoes.  Click here for details and suppliers.

Q. Why do we have to remove our outdoor shoes at your facility?
A. The same reason we do it at home. Dirt and grit get tracked in and find their way onto our dance floors causing issues for dancers. Rolling on dirty floors or stepping on rocks is no fun!

Q. Do you have accompanists in your ballet classes?
A. Yes! We have talented musicians who accompany classes when schedules permit. The experience of live accompaniment creates a very different and beneficial class experience!

Q. How does my child progress through levels of classes?
A. Our programs are designed such that students spend two years in each level once they are at Primary level. Some of the classes are age specific. Progress reports are given to each student in each class at the end of the year with recommendations for future placement.

Q. Are there exams or evaluations during the year?
A. Mid-year evaluations are done near the end of January for all children in jazz, tap, ballet and modern programs. They provide a terrific opportunity for our dancers to perform for a respected dance professional and showcase their knowledge of class work. Feedback from the evaluators offers a snapshot of their skills and helps set goals for the rest of the year. Class advancement is not determined by our evaluations.
Progress Reports (report cards) are prepared for all students and handed out late April. These indicate recommendations for the following year.
Internationally recognized ISTD examinations are offered for ballet & modern students should they wish to take on the challenge. This is a teacher initiated process.

Q. What if my child misses a class?
A. In order for your child to get the most out of class, it is important that they attend regularly. If your child is sick, please contact the office via telephone or email. If you are planning to be away, please advise the teacher and the office of specific dates. Absences from March to June may affect participation in the year end show. Classes missed are still charged for.

Q. What if my child has a medical condition?
A. At registration you are required to advise us of any medical condition that our teachers need to know. We encourage direct communication with your child’s teacher if there are any important details/special procedures they need to be aware of.

Q. What if my child gets injured?
A. We recommend that serious or repetitive injuries be assessed and treated by a Health Care Practitioner. Communication with the office and the teacher(s) is critical. Modifications can be made in class to accommodate healing. Should an injury happen in class, all Free House Dance Plus Faculty have current Emergency First Aid Certification. Note: Missed classes are still charged for.

Q. My child is going on an exchange for a period of time. How are fees handled for this period?
A.¬†When you register your child in a class, that spot is their’s¬†for the duration of the year. Classes missed are still charged for. We can arrange for¬†your exchange student to take classes at no additional charge. Please familiarize yourself with our Withdrawal Policy.

Q. What if my child is not enjoying class?
A. We will do our best to find a class that works better to meet the needs of the student.The teacher is your first point of contact as they are the ones most familiar with your child and their experience in the classroom. The administrative team are happy to facilitate communication with the appropriate people and often have advice that they are happy to share, especially in terms of process. Should that not work out, please refer to our Withdrawal Policy

Q. Do I stay while my child is in class?
A.Only if you wish to. For your comfort there are two waiting areas: one upstairs and one in the basement. Hallway benches are provided on the main level.

Q. Can I watch my child’s class?
A. Parents are invited to watch their children dance on 3 scheduled weeks during the year, one in each of October, December and February. This timing is optimum to allow parents to see progression of the dancer though the school year. Information and dates can be found in our newsletters and on our website calendar. Please review the calendar below.
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Q. Am I able to take photos in my child's class?
A. Due to Privacy legislation, recording an individual’s image in any way without consent is not permitted. During Parent Viewing weeks, cameras will be permitted provided all students and their parents agree. Should any student or parent object, everyone in the class will have to forgo any and all recording.

Q. Why do classes at higher levels occur twice weekly?
A. More advanced levels require increased strength and technical expertise to achieve the skill level. Just as in sport, this can only be achieved through frequency and effort. Dancer safety and injury prevention are our goals.

Q. Do you offer classes for teens who are new to dance?
A. Absolutely! We have Teen classes for students with little or no dance experience. Great for those just discovering a passion for dance and who want to be with their peers!

Q. Do you have a performance at the end of the year?
A. Yes! Free House Dance Plus puts on annual performances in June at the University Theatre, celebrating the accomplishments of our dancers. There are different shows (and dates) for each of Divisions 1, 2, and 3. Check our calendar for details.

Q. How is costuming handled for the year-end show?
Costume requirements are outlined by teachers at the February Parent Viewing. Each class is different so it is important to attend. Parents may be called upon to help with shopping, measuring, fee collection, accessory and/or prop creation.

Q. Are volunteers needed for the year-end show?
You betcha! Our parents are a very important part of our shows and help us provide the best experience possible for our performers. Parent volunteers provide safety and support with supervision and costuming.

Q. What is the Christmas Show and is my child in it?
The Christmas Show¬†is an annual event performed by our Performance Division students. These students audition in May and rehearse from September through December. FHDP families and their guests are invited to purchase tickets and enjoy the festive family friendly event. Don’t confuse this with Parent Viewing Week prior to the Christmas break, when all classes do an in-class festive choreography.

Q. What is the Performance Division?
A. Performance Division is a program designed for the serious dancer with a passion for performance. In addition to regular classes, students attend a weekly “PD” class which is choreography based, exposing them to a diverse range of styles and dance techniques. Performances include the annual Christmas and Spring productions, as well as opportunities that present themselves in the Calgary community.

Q. Do you offer a Teaching Assistant program?
Yes! Students at Intermediate and Senior levels are welcome to apply for this opportunity to further their dance foundation, gain volunteer experience, and mentor younger dancers. Teaching Assistants help build a strong dance community here at Free House Dance Plus.