A Printable Version of Student/Parent Handbook is available here.
June Taylor School of Dance is committed to providing a complete education in classical ballet training and other dance styles. We maintain the highest standards by nurturing the talent of every student. In return, we expect each student to put forth their very best effort.
An important part of this education is the physical and mental discipline required to develop the strength and technique required for progression in this training and keep the developing dancer safe and injury-free.
June Taylor’s School of Dance proudly teaches the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Syllabus. The RAD is an international organization with headquarters in London. Through the careful development of a structured syllabus, the monitoring of teaching capabilities, and the assessment of progress and attainment through the administration of examinations, the RAD provides one of the most well-respected technical training programs in the world. It is taught in 89 countries and has 13,000 members.
Graded Ballet Syllabus
Students begin training with the graded ballet syllabus (Towards Ballet, Pre-Primary, Primary and Grade 1 – 8), which provides broad practical dance education and progressively develops technical, musical, and performance skills. Students develop basic movement skills, musical awareness, expression, and creativity with the Towards Ballet preschool curriculum. Themed classes encourage class participation, focus, and confidence to prepare the student for entry into the Pre-Primary levels.
Pre-Primary and Primary levels develop students’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. This strong foundation prepares students for a successful transition to ballet and other dance genres. These levels are appropriate for students between the ages of five and nine years.
Graded Syllabi Grades 1 — 8 provides broad, practical dance education that progressively develops the student’s technical, musical, and performance skills. Instruction includes Classical Ballet and Character. Classical ballet is the core of the syllabus. Character is the theatrical presentation of national dance using ethnic dance and music, which has been freely adapted for the theatre. Instruction is organized in levels appropriate for students from the age of seven years and up and can provide challenging and rewarding training to the end of high school.
The Vocational Graded Syllabus is the continuation of classical ballet training from the Academy’s Graded Syllabus. After completion of Grade 5, students may opt to add the vocational syllabus to their training. The Vocational Syllabus (also referred to as the Pre-Professional syllabus) is geared towards those engaging in the serious study of ballet. At the earliest level, pointe work is introduced. Each syllabus has been designed to give students the necessary training needed to study seriously, with a possible view to following a career in dance or dance-related subjects. There are six levels of Vocational Graded Examinations, starting with Intermediate Foundation and culminating in the Solo Seal Award.
Additional Class Offerings
In addition to ballet, we offer excellent jazz and tap programs for students age 6 and above. We also offer exercise and adult dance classes.
Each level in the syllabus is designed to meet the student’s needs to safely develop ability in an age-appropriate manner. Students move through the syllabus according to their mastery of the techniques as well as their physical and psychological development. Ballet is an exacting athletic art form requiring mastery of many seemingly mundane but yet fundamental steps and movements. In the long run, students will progress more efficiently if they commit to the time necessary to master these fundamentals rather than rushing ahead to the complex and faster-paced steps of a more advanced level. Each level follows a carefully constructed syllabus with requirements for a minimum number of classes each week throughout the school year. Without the minimum number of hours per week, a student will not gain the strength, memory, and confidence to master the syllabus at that level.
All students will not progress at the same rate, nor will students progress through each level at the same pace. Developmental stages, individual body types, mental focus, and outside time constraints all play a role. We discourage comparison between fellow students. A student’s age, prior progression, and experiences at other dance studios are rarely an indication of a student’s mastery of the syllabus. Class placement is determined by Miss June and the JTSD teaching faculty. Parents and students are not appropriate judges of placement or progression but we encourage both parents and students to make an appointment to discuss any concerns.
Minimum Class Requirements
Ballet is a strenuous athletic activity. Students need to practice regularly to gain strength and prevent injury. Students in Grade 1A (1st year) will be required to take TWO ballet classes per week beginning Winter term. Students in Grades 1B (2nd year) through Grade 5 are required to take TWO ballet classes per week beginning in September. Students in Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate levels must take a minimum of THREE ballet classes per week. Advanced Foundation students and above are required to take a minimum of FOUR ballet classes per week. All students must be taking THREE ballet classes per week in order to dance en pointe – please note that pointe classes do not qualify as one of these three classes. Students may be required to take ballet classes below their level to build strength and technique – this is particularly important for students recovering from injury, prolonged illness, or coming from another school – there will be no charge for these classes, but they are mandatory if requested by Miss June.
While examinations are optional, most of our students take Royal Academy of Dance exams once a year. The RAD sends a highly trained and experienced examiner to our studio to evaluate each student’s progress and mastery of the syllabus at each level. This provides information for both our teachers and each student regarding aspects at which the student excels and points out techniques that require further work. Miss June and the JTSD teaching faculty assess whether a student is ready to take a particular exam and recognize that it may take a couple of years before students have mastered the syllabus at a particular level. It is not necessary to take an examination before progressing to the next level, but it is necessary to have been identified by the teaching staff as ready to take an exam before progressing. Students may require additional coaching classes to ensure that they are prepared to do their best in exams.
The RAD USA office schedules our exams in concert with exams throughout the country to coordinate examiner schedules. We have very little control over the schedule. The Vocational exams’ window is February – March, while the Graded exams are usually scheduled in March-April.
June Taylor’s School of Dance has a dress code designed to encourage unity and discipline among our students and specifically complements the technical training offered at each level.
The following applies for all levels:
- No jewelry or makeup is to be worn in class.
- Shoes with BLACK soles of any kind must be non-marking. Have all NEW shoes checked by an instructor.
- When coming to and going from the studio, all students must wear outer clothing (i.e. pants, a skirt, a sweater worn over their dance attire).
- No dance shoes are to be worn outside of the studio under any condition.
- All clothing and shoes must be marked with the student’s full name.
- No warm-up shirts, leg warmers, sweatpants, or shorts may be worn during class unless prior approval is obtained from the teaching staff.
- All leotards need to be plain, without adornment. No straps that cross in the back.
- All ballet students must have their hair pulled back in a secure bun. Students may use a hair net that matches their hair if necessary. Stray hair may be secured with bobby pins. Ponytails are acceptable in jazz and tap classes. Ribbons, flowers, crocheted bun covers, hair barrettes, and headbands are not allowed.
- Dancewear is to be kept laundered and in good repair. Deodorant is suggested for older students!
The dress code for each level is shown below:
|Towards Ballet, Pre-Primary, Primary||Light pink tank leotard *||Light pink tights or pink ballet socks (Katz)||Pink leather full soled ballet slippers||Pink lace dance skirt (available for purchase at JTSD)|
|Grade 1, Grade 2||Light pink tank leotard *||Light pink tights (Bodywrapper theatrical pink) or pink ballet socks (Katz)||Pink leather full sole ballet slippers and black canvas character shoes (Katz Syllabus)||Black character skirt with pink |
|Grade 3, Grade 4||Mulberry tank leotard*||Light pink tights (Bodywrapper theatrical pink)||Pink leather full soled ballet slippersBlack canvas character shoes (Katz Syllabus)||Black character skirt with pink |
|Grade 5||Navy tank leotard *||Light pink tights (Bodywrapper theatrical pink)||Pink leather full soled ballet slippers (with ribbons); Black canvas character shoes (Katz )||Black character skirt with pink |
|Grade 6, Grade7, Grade 8||Class-specific colored leotard (see instructor)||Light pink tights (Bodywrapper theatrical pink)||Pink leather full soled ballet slippers and black canvas character shoes (Katz Syllabus)||Black character skirt with pink |
ribbons*; long chiffon skirt
|Vocational syllabus (Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1 & 2||Black camisole leotard (Mirella 201 or Mirella 207 or plain camisole approved by Miss June)||Light pink tights (Bodywrapper theatrical pink)||Pink leather full soled ballet slippers (Int F) or Broken downs (Int and above); Black canvas character shoes (Katz Syllabus); Pointe shoes as approved by Miss June|
|Saturday Non-syllabus classes||Plain muted color camisole leotard||Light pink tights||Pink ballet shoes|
|Towards Ballet, Pre-Primary, Primary||White close-fitting T-shirt or tank top; Black knit shorts||White socks (plain)||White leather full soles ballet slippers|
|Grade1, Grade 2, Grade 3||White fitted T-shirt or tank top; Black knit shorts||White socks (plain)||White leather full soles ballet slippersBlack canvas character shoes(Katz Oxford)|
|Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
All Vocational levels
|White sleeved or sleeveless leotard or fitted T-shirt (Bodywrapper), black stirrup tights||White socks (plain)||White leather full soles ballet slippersBlack canvas character shoes(Katz Oxford)|
|Other Dance Styles (Male and Female)|
|Jazz||Black jazz pants, plain muted leotard or fitted full-length T-shirt||Canvas black jazz shoes (Sansha Tivoli)|
|Tap||Black jazz pants, plain muted leotard or fitted full-length T-shirt||Black tap shoes|
Broken Downs and Soft-Block
A broken-down shoe which is also variously called a demi-pointe, pre-pointe, or a soft-block shoe shares many characteristics with pointe shoes. For example, its outer appearance resembles that of a pointe shoe and it has a toe box. although the box is softer and the wings (sides of the toe box) are typically not as deep as those found on pointe shoes. Broken-downs are secured to the feet with ribbons in an identical fashion to pointe shoes. Unlike pointe shoes, however, broken-down shoes have no shank and, as a result, they do not provide the support necessary for proper pointe work.
Broken-down shoes are most often used to train dancers who are new to pointe technique and the RAD requires them for all vocational levels except Intermediate Foundation. They serve to acclimate dancers to the feel of wearing pointe shoes and to strengthen the ankles and feet in preparation for dancing on pointe in pointe shoes. The toe box allows the dancer to experience the feel of a pointe shoe, while the insole and outsole work together to provide the resistance needed for developing foot and ankle strength.
Broken-downs can either be purchased or can be made by altering an old pair of points shoes. There are advantages to both approaches and dancers will need to experiment a bit to find what works best for them. Purchased shoes are usually referred to as demi-pointe or soft point shoes and come in a limited range of styles and sizes. While it can be challenging to find a pair of shoes that fits just right, it is important to remember that these shoes will need to be broken in and will usually fit better once they have been. An old pair of pointe shoes will probably fit you better initially, but it can be tricky to remove the shank without wrecking the shoes entirely, and old pointe shoes often look too ratty for exams. We will leave it to you to experiment to find what works best for you. Whatever route you choose, you should get these shoes approved by your teacher BEFORE you begin the breaking-in process.
Both purchased demi-pointe or modified pointe shoes will need to be broken in. The box should be soft but not completely destroyed and there would be some flexibility in the shoe. Hammering the shoe with a hammer, getting the shoes damp and wearing them for a short time, and standing on the shoe are all methods that have worked. Just be careful not to destroy your shoe in the process – and remember that these shoes need to look good for your exams, so try to protect the outer satin cover by first wrapping the shoe in a towel or soft cloth.
At June Taylor’s School of Dance, students register for classes each term, and tuition is paid based on the following:
Fall, Winter, and Spring Tuition is charged per class and may be paid in one of two ways:
- Tuition paid by term (Fall, Winter, Spring) – Tuition is to be paid in full at the beginning of each term.
- Tuition paid in 2 or 3 monthly installments: tuition is due on the 5th of each month. It may either be paid automatically using a credit card stored in our online vault or paid by postdated checks given to the office at the time of registration.
- Families will receive 5% off total tuition for attending 3-5 classes a week, 10% off for six or more classes.
Students with outstanding account balances will NOT be allowed to register for the next term. A $35 fee is charged for returned checks. Tuition is NON-REFUNDABLE. Students who do not participate in class or withdraw before the end of the term are obligated for the full term’s tuition. Make-up classes in the same or lower level are encouraged but must be made up in the same term. Pro-rated tuition will be considered on a case-by-case basis for prolonged illness or severe injury.
Summer Term Tuition must be paid in full before the term begins. Tuition will be pro-rated to accommodate pre-planned absences such as family vacations and summer school commitments at the time of registration.
Drop-In Fee: For teen and adult dancers, there will be a charge of $18 per 45 min. class, $19 per 1 hour to 1.5 hour class, and $20 for a 1 hour and 45 min. class. A one-time registration fee will be applied upon registration.
Private lessons are available for any student who regularly attends all classes and their ballet level and must be arranged and pre-paid through the office. Absences from class will result in the cancellation of private lessons during the same week unless prearranged through the office.
Attendance and Make Up Classes
Regular attendance is critical to consistent progression in syllabus ballet classes. All students must report ALL absences to the office before class time, and they are encouraged to make up their missed classes. Make-ups must be arranged with the office to determine which classes are available and to avoid overcrowding. Make-ups must be scheduled within the same term. Poor attendance will jeopardize a student’s class placement, confidence, participation in productions and examinations as well as increase the risk of injury. If a student is sick with a fever or in any way contagious, please stay home. Students who are not contagious but are not feeling well enough to dance are encouraged to observe class and take notes to avoid falling behind.
The studio calendar can be found on our website. Because the calendar is subject to change, families are encouraged to check this calendar frequently. Tuition paid for classes canceled due to low enrollment or permanent schedule change will be refunded or credited.
If the studio closes due to snowy or icy road conditions, a message will be placed on our website as well as on the studio office voicemail. A broadcast email will also be sent to all registered students. Students are encouraged to make up classes missed due to snow days and we will attempt to schedule additional classes at a particular level if we are forced to close for several days. Refunds or credits will NOT be given for snow days.
Rules and Regulations
As part of their training, students at June Taylor’s School of Dance are expected to behave in a responsible and disciplined manner and adhere to the rules and regulations outlined in this handbook. June Taylor School of Dance reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student or family whose attitude, attendance, or conduct is found to be unsatisfactory. June Taylor’s School of Dance has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of harassment, including but not limited to physical intimidation or injury, verbal or sexual harassment, coercion, theft, possession of weapons, and material destruction.
Students are expected to treat JTSD staff with respect and a positive attitude. Students may not enter class late or leave class early without the teacher’s permission. Students should not enter or leave the studio during an exercise but should wait for the current exercise to finish. There is to be no talking during class. Excessive talking is distracting and disrespectful to teachers and classmates. It is studio policy that students do not enter a studio before the teacher has given permission to enter but instead should wait in the lobby for the instructor to signal that class is ready to begin. Consistent tardiness will result in dismissal.
Conversation in the lobby and dressing rooms must be appropriate to be heard by all children and adults in the school. Gossip, vulgarity, and the use of explicit language is not appropriate studio conversation. Discussion of exam scores among students and parents is discouraged – we encourage any students or parents with questions or comments to make a personal appointment with Miss June for discussion.
Students and families are expected to treat the facilities at June Taylor’s School of Dance in a responsible manner. Barres are not to be hung on or sat on as they might break. Mirrors are also breakable and easily smudged; they are not to be handled or leaned on. Dressing room curtains are provided to allow some privacy in the dressing room when the door is opened – they are not toys to be wrapped up in or pulled on. Pianos are for accompanist use only and are not available to students or family members. Toys and books are provided in the lobby for the entertainment of siblings during class but we request that they be put away when through playing.
Except for water, food and drinks are restricted to the lobby and outside ONLY and are NOT allowed in any of the studios, dressing rooms, or bathrooms. Students are responsible for the disposal of their garbage. Please check the space you use for discarded toe tape, tissues, water bottles, hairpins, clothing, etc., when leaving the studio. The recycling bin for bottles and cans is located in the lobby near the drinking fountain – please empty before recycling.
The floors in both studios are expensive Marley and we must treat them properly. Street shoes should not be worn in the studio and dance shoes must be clean before entering the studio. A little bit of dirt on the floor can easily cause a dancer on pointe to slip and indentations or tears in the floor will require expensive repairs. Hair spray and other sticky substances are strictly prohibited in the studios.
Items left in the studios and dressing rooms will be collected at the end of the day and placed in the lost and found bin located in the lobby. The lost and found bin is emptied monthly, so frequently checking is advised. Shoes and leotards in the loaner bins are not to be used regularly but are provided for emergencies when an item has been lost or left at home. Borrowed clothing should be laundered and returned to the bin, while shoes should be neatly returned at the end of class. Gently used shoes, leotards, and tights may be donated to June Taylor’s School of Dance – please bring clean items to the office.
Lockers in the dressing room are assigned to dancers in advanced level classes and should not be used by anyone other than the assigned dancer. Items in lockers should be clean – excessive odor will result in loss of locker privileges. Food should never be stored in lockers.
Cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices
Students may not use cell phones during classes or rehearsals, and cell phones should be turned off (or silenced) during class. Parents are asked to keep cell phone conversations quiet in the lobby as it is disruptive to both the instruction in the studio and the parents wishing to observe a class.
Photographing or videotaping class requires advance permission from the instructor and is strictly forbidden in the dressing rooms.
Wireless internet is available to customers using the JTSDDANCE-guest network. The password is posted on bulletin boards in the lobby or from the office staff. We request the use of headphones for activities that cannot be silenced. Activity that is not appropriate for all children and adults in the building is prohibited.
Smoking, Drugs, Alcohol, and Junk Food
June Taylor’s School of Dance is a non-smoking establishment. Smoking is prohibited both inside the facilities and within 100 feet of the door to the studio. Any student found using drugs, consuming or under the influence of alcohol, or providing drugs or alcohol to another student will face expulsion.
As with most athletic activities, not maintaining optimal physical conditioning and body weight can lead to very serious (sometimes crippling) injuries in the worst case, and to overall poor progression at the very least. Dancers are expected to make healthy choices with respect to the things that they eat. Foods that are not healthful should not be brought to the studio. Dancers who are excessively light or heavy will be counseled and may be required to consult a nutritionist.
Students of ballet will experience minor aches and pains from time to time due to building muscle tissue and stretching tendons. Most minor aches and pains will go away in time. Should a particular pain start to become chronic, speak to your instructor. Injuries and accidents, whether they occur in ballet or elsewhere, should be reported to the studio office staff as well as the teaching staff. A note from your doctor detailing any injury and its impact on activities will help us facilitate your recovery. A student should not return to full activities until a meeting with teaching staff outlines the appropriate recovery plan.
Email is June Taylor’s School of Dance’s primary communication method – an up-to-date email address is critical. Information such as time changes, rehearsals, important notices, and announcements will be posted on studio bulletin boards and our website. These are important resources for students and parents, so please check these frequently.
Parents and students are asked to direct any comments, concerns, or questions to the office staff who will contact the teaching staff and make appointments for conferences as necessary. Please avoid long conversations with teachers between classes – it is disrespectful of fellow students to take up their class time. The office staff are not allowed to give out student or teacher phone numbers or email addresses but will pass the information on when appropriate.
Letters of Recommendation
If a student needs a recommendation letter, two weeks’ notice is required. Be aware that many students request letters of recommendation at the same time of year. Insufficient notice will result in short letters or none at all.
Northwest Dance Theatre
Northwest Dance Theatre is a separate organization from June Taylor’s School of Dance. Northwest Dance Theatre is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors and operating under its own mission and regulations. Currently, Northwest Dance Theatre is renting studio space at June Taylor’s School of Dance studio. Miss June and Miss Gretta are involved as Artistic Directors. Many but not all of the dancers with Northwest Dance Theatre are also students at June Taylor’s School of Dance. Students at June Taylor’s School of Dance have been invited to audition to participate in Northwest Dance Theatre productions along with other local dance students. June Taylor’s School of Dance does not have any authority over casting, schedules, requirements, or fees. While we will try our best to help you find the information that you might need, it is often best to contact Northwest Dance Theatre directly with any questions or concerns.