225 Northland Court NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Get to the Pointe!

News from The Pointe School of Dance

Class Evaluations & Recommendations

We know this March is very different than normal – and while we’re continuing to adjust to our “new normal”, we are excited to look ahead to summer and next year.  Our students did an amazing job during Skills Testing Week before spring break, and our instructors worked so hard on class evaluations and recommendations, which will be emailed home to each family today.  At The Pointe, we take great care with each class evaluation.  Please read this article to learn a little bit more about our evaluation process for Graded Technique classes!

Which classes get recommendations emailed home now?

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).  Dance & Discover students progress by age through kindergarten.  All-Boys Hip Hop dancers progress in those classes by age as well.  Beginning Ballet, Tap, and Jazz dancers should proceed to Level 1 or touch base with their instructor.

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.  The Pointe uses 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 (dancers in three classes will get three evaluations) 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 have done an incredible job preparing thoughtful recommendations.

Know that our instructors invest a lot of time in each form for your student! We want 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.

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!

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 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.  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.

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.  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 the New Season!

We will post the 2020-2021 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 and to make a plan to help your dancer reach their goals.

In partnership,

Miss Vanessa & the PSD Staff

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