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info@thepointeschool.com
319-377-5292
225 Northland Court NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Get to the Pointe!

News from The Pointe School of Dance
10
Mar

Class Evaluations & Recommendations

It is SO exciting to get into warmer weather, and look forward to the summer and next year!  A big part of this planning is recommending classes and getting evaluations ready for families.  Please read this post for more information about our recommendation and evaluation process.

Our instructors here at The Pointe have done an incredible job preparing thoughtful evaluations and recommendations for each student! We are dedicated to helping every student be successful, reach their unique goals, and ensure that they get the most out of their dance journey. It has been an amazing year of growth and progress for our students so far, and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.

Which classes get recommendations emailed home?

Graded Technique classes have recommendations sent home now.  These are classes with the level listed right after the genre (Ballet 1, Jazz 3, Tap 4, etc). Beginning Ballet, Tap, and Jazz will also receive evaluations by email.  Dance & Discover students progress by age through kindergarten.  All-Boys Hip Hop dancers progress in those classes by age as well.

The Pointe’s Unique Evaluation Process

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to utilizing a great curriculum and evaluation system. These elements set our dance studio apart from the rest.  We use one of the most detailed evaluation reports in our industry because we know that students and parents value feedback. By giving as much information to students and parents as possible, we partner together to help our students achieve their unique goals.

Every instructor fills out an evaluation form for each class using our syllabus for each level.  The evaluation forms have three sections: Attitude, General Technique, and Key Skills.  Each item receives a 1 for a new skill/needs work, 2 for developing skill, and 3 for a mastered or completed skill.

The attitude section includes attendance, work ethic, listening, showing respect to other dancers and the instructor, etc.  The technique section covers fundamentals of that dance style (for example, in ballet: straight knees, pointed feet, tall posture, and musicality).  The third section covers specific skills to that class level (for example, a key skill in Ballet 3 is a double pirouette).  Following these, teachers write comments and their recommendations for classes for the next season.  Our teachers really pour their hearts into these recommendations and truly want nothing but success for each and every individual student.

One goal of ours is for students to know objectively how they are progressing. Students take written feedback to heart when it’s sometimes easy to forget comments said during class.

Tips for Parents to Make Evaluations Positive

Parents, please remember that most students spend at least two years in every Graded Technique level.  Sometimes, dancers who have progressed quickly through the early levels catch up to that average of two years in levels later on.  Every dancer’s journey is completely unique. Your dancer may not progress at the same rate as their friends or classmates, and that’s OK!

We email recommendations home because we know that kids may have an emotional reaction.  I remember going through exciting audition or evaluation results as a kid and wanting to yell with excitement, but knowing that wasn’t appropriate.  I also remember getting disappointing results and wanting to cry, but not wanting to cry around my friends.  It was so awkward!  We want to be sure students are able to process those feelings at home with you.

We hope these evaluations serve as practice for kids to handle both exciting news and disappointments with grace. Class placement seems like a big deal right now, but in a dancer’s career, placement for one year does not make a huge impact.  All of our advanced dancers have had disappointing recommendation or audition results, and they grew to that next level of skill and passion after working through that.  This can equip kids with strength and the ability to have a difficult conversation that will be an asset to them throughout their life!  Managing disappointments is a life skill that can only be learned through experience.  Dance class recommendations are a safe and healthy opportunity to practice that skill.

Navigating Disappointment (I’ve been there, too!)

I felt so disappointed when I made the “C Team” in middle school basketball.  That was the lowest team, my friends made the “A Team”, and I cried. I cried a LOT.  In fact, I wanted to quit when I saw the team lists posted.  My parents reassured me that the mission in basketball (or any activity) is being a part of a team, improving my skills, and the name of the team doesn’t impact that mission.  After SO MANY tears,  I reluctantly continued and one week later, the name of my team didn’t matter anymore.  Because of my placement, I was able to score several points in our “C Team” games. I realized when watching the “A Team” that I NEVER would have had the chance to get off the bench in any games – or if I did, I wouldn’t have been set up to succeed.

Later, I realized that my expectation to play at the same level as my friends who had been playing basketball competitively for years wasn’t fair.  I was a just-for-fun, sometimes-play-basketball-outside-with-friends player.  There is NOTHING wrong with that – but it wasn’t fair of me to expect to shoot and block as well as my friends who put in the hours of practice.  In dance, students who take more classes will progress through the curriculum more quickly than those who take fewer classes.  That’s completely okay!  We LOVE the fact that our studio has a great place for dancers at every commitment level – from one class a week to dancing almost every day.  Because our Graded Technique classes are set up to progress by skill, dancers may find themselves in a wider age range and having a different journey through the curriculum than their friends who have a different commitment level.

All of our teaching staff shares one goal: the success of each and every student.  Our recommendations for each student will help them be successful in dance.

Next Steps: After Reading the Evaluations

If you or your dancer has a question about their recommendation, please have them ask their teacher!  Written or typed comments about movement quality may be hard to understand.  If your student needs some clarification on their comments or evaluations, we’re happy to help!  Learning to ask for feedback from an instructor is a great skill to have in a career. This provides a safe opportunity to practice and develop that skill.

If your dancer feels disappointed by their evaluation, encourage them to turn that into fuel to do what it takes to level up.  Some private lessons or doubling up on a class for the summer and extra practice on specific skills at home can change a recommendation!  Ask your instructor for their guidance and help in planning.  These evaluations show recommendations based on performance today.  With a focused plan and some extra work, they can change! A conversation with your instructor can equip your dancer with the knowledge they need to meet the requirements for the next level.

Register for Summer and the New Season!

We will post the 2021-2022 schedule soon, and dancers enrolled in summer dance get the first chance to register. The second tier of registration is for current students who will take the summer off. Then, we open registration to the public.  Register for next year early – our most popular class times fill quickly!

We are so thankful for you and your dancer. We can work together to make this evaluation process a positive one!  Our staff is always available to answer questions. Instructors would be happy to make a plan to help your dancer reach their goals.

Check out these new flyers with more information about class recommendations, dance genres, and some FAQ’s.

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