A few questions we frequently get asked....
Am I too young/old to start dance lessons?
The minimum age we take ballet students is 3 years and Modern/Jazz/Tap is 5 years. You can start at any age above that even if you have no experience.
We do know that it may be difficult to commit to a whole term at first without knowing whether your child would like it. So we offer a two week taster session. Please contact us if you would like to try this.
*** Taster sessions are for new students only.
How do we join your School/Academy?
Give us a call and have a chat with us. We will give you some options of classes you may wish to try. You enrol using our online form found on this website.
What do I wear?
All students wear RAD/ISTD regulation uniform but for the first two weeks we would advise you wear something comfortable and a pair of pumps until you are happy and wish to continue.
Where do I buy the uniform?
We stock all the uniform and you can order and pay online. We will make sure it is at your class for you to collect. If you are not sure about sizing you can ask one of our teachers who would be happy to advise you or alternatively you can give us a call.
Can I watch the class?
Although we actively encourage parent engagement through the School/Academy, in some areas this is not possible. However, we do hold a watchweek at the end of term so parents can see how much the children have learnt.
Curtis School of Dance and Academy
Policies and Guidelines
Code of Conduct
Curtis School of Dance states that any unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated, either within the Dance Studio or at any event/performance where the Curtis School of Dance is being represented.
Unacceptable behaviour may result in the pupil's exclusion from the school. Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated off parents/carers or other family members and could result in parent/carers or family members been banned from events/performances.
Unacceptable behaviour includes - swearing, spitting, fighting and derogatory comments towards others.
Most importantly whilst at examinations/performances/events you are all ambassadors and representatives of the Curtis School of Dance and we expect you to behave in an appropriate/acceptable manner.
You are encouraged to fully support your school and the dancers within it.
Should any issues arise that are a cause for concern, please let Deborah know and we will deal with the situation appropriately.
• Arrive on time
• Wear the appropriate footwear and dance wear
• Act in a polite and well mannered fashion towards teachers and students
• No food in the studio
• Only capped water bottles allowed in the studio
• Ask if needed, permission to leave during a lesson
• No hot drinks or takeout food allowed in the waiting premises
• No bad language to be used
• No smoking or drinking of alcohol
General School Policies
If your child is more than ten minutes late then they will not be allowed to participate in the class as we will have warmed up by this point and it is not safe for your child to join a class without warming up.
After attending the dance school for one month you will be expected to wear the correct dance uniform. Students need to ensure they are wearing the Curtis School of Dance uniform to lessons, no other brands or logos should be worn. To ensure health and safety is met during lessons students should not wear jewellery, tie their hair back and not chew gum during lessons.
I am aware that some students have breaks and sometimes get dropped off early and like to wait before their lessons start. I am happy for this to continue as long as parents understand that I am not responsible for them during this time. I would certainly advise that younger students are not left by themselves during break times. The dance school is not responsible for any items or valuables during lesson times. For more guidance please see the unsupervised child policy.
Collecting your child
All parents/carers must come into the centre to collect their child if they are under 12yrs.
Possible bad weather disruptions or cancellation of classes
In the event of bad weather I will make a decision as early as possible as to cancel dance or not. Notices will be sent out via text and email. Notices will also be put on the school website, facebook and twitter. The above procedure will also apply if lessons are cancelled for any other reason. A full refund will be given for any cancelled classes.
Attending other dance schools
I am happy for students to participate in other dance or performing art opportunities outside the dance school. However, I would strongly advise students do not take lessons in the core subjects at other dance schools and also at mine as this causes confusion for the child as the techniques used may conflict. The core subjects are Ballet, Tap and Modern. I also need to be made aware if your child is attending another dance school as it affects the pin number I give them for examinations. If your child’s commitments to another dance establishment starts to conflict with the ethos of the Curtis School of Dance your child will be asked to consider giving up lessons at one of the establishments.
All people using the waiting areas need to show respect to all other members of the school. Please ensure that your conversations are child friendly and no student should overhear bad language or swearing.
Please note that waiting areas are for students and their parents/carers only please do not bring friends/boyfriends/girlfriends to wait for you during classes.
If your child has poor attendance they may not be entered for exams or performances. In popular classes where there is a waiting list, if your child’s attendance falls below 80% (in a half term) your place maybe given to a student on the waiting list
If a child is ill and not able to dance, please do not send them to class. Due to Health and Safety and the health of other students, students who are ill will not be allowed to watch the class either. If a child becomes too ill to dance during a lesson I will phone their parent/guardian and they will need to be collected from dance.
If your child is injured (for example broken arm, sprained ankle) they may be able to watch the class, however this needs to be discussed with Deborah prior to the lesson.
If your child is returning to dance after a serious illness or injury a disclaimer will need to be signed to ensure your dancer is fit to participate in class.
Guidance and Policy for Unsupervised Children
What age can children be left unsupervised at dance (including classes, exams, shows or other events run by the CSD)?
•The NSPCC recommends that all children under 13 years must be supervised by their parent, carer or guardian. This is due to concerns that they may not be mature enough to deal with an emergency or certain situations.
•It is a parent’s decision as to what age they allow their child to attend dance venues unsupervised.
•It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their child how to respond to emergencies or situations that may arise outside the house, so they feel confident when their child is not under their supervision.
CSD & CDA policy on unsupervised children
•Children in lessons are under the care and supervision of the principal teacher and or any other cover teacher
•Children who have breaks between classes or wait for classes to start are NOT under the supervision or responsibility of the dance school, the venue in which classes take place are also NOT responsible for your child during these times. Children under the age of 13 years should be supervised during any break times when taking dance classes. It is the parent’s responsibility to put plans into place to find suitable supervision during break times and the child should be informed of this.
•At dance events such as shows and performances the CSD will ensure all children are supervised by the correct amount of chaperones backstage. These chaperones will have attended an in house child protection meeting and be aware of the dance school’s policy regarding supervising children.
• At other dance events such as exams and competitions children under the age of 13 years old should be supervised by an adult over the age of 18 years+
Health and Safety
Curtis School of Dance takes seriously their responsibility to ensure the safety of their pupils. All pupils must complete an Enrolment Form when joining the school with clear information regarding emergency contacts and any relevant medical history.
A copy of emergency contact numbers will be kept on class registers.
1. It is the parent's responsibility to notify the school of any changes to their emergency contact details
2. In case of a Fire emergency all teachers have a clear understanding of responsibilities. They must be understood by all following the procedures of the relevant centre.
3. The School will undertake regular assessment of risks regarding premises hired and any concerns will be raised with the providers
4. We are committed to ensuring all employees/volunteers are competent to do their tasks and to give them adequate training
5. It is the school's responsibility to keep a fully equipped First Aid Box at all hired premises. In case of an incident – an Accident / Incident report must be made
6. If required the school will contact the emergency services first, then the parent / guardian of the student(s) involved by the telephone number on the class registers
7. Parents understand that dance is as active as any sport, and whilst every effort is made to avoid them, injuries can happen. The school accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained via any means other than a teacher's negligence
8. Pupils will be supervised during class time only and parents / carers must ensure the safety of their children in the waiting, changing and toilet areas
9. Students/parents or guardians should inform the teacher of any special health considerations or existing injuries before participating in class
10. Parents must be responsible for ensuring your child's punctuality. Teachers are not available to supervise late pickups. Students may be refused entry if they are continuously late for class as they are missing out on warming up safely for class
11. Dress code must be observed at all times, especially footwear for safe dance practice. Only indoor dance shoes to be worn in the studio to protect the floor and for health and safety
12. Pupils should not wear any jewellery that may pose a risk to themselves or others (stud earrings, and jewellery worn for religious or cultural reasons are acceptable)
13. No food (or chewing gum) is allowed in the studio. Water is permitted in cap bottles
14. Please ensure that the elastics on your child's ballet shoes are secure and neither too loose nor too tight
Public Insurance Liability
The principal of CSD & CDA has public liability insurance and the certificate is kept in house. Any locum teacher who teach classes will be either covered via this insurance, or will have their own personal insurance.
CSD & CDA has a non-smoking policy, and smoking is not permitted anywhere within the centres where lessons take place. This is due to the health hazards of smoking and passive smoking, and also because the centres regularly hold activities which involve young children.
Drugs & Alcohol Policy
Curtis School of Dance has a strict no drugs & alcohol policy. Any pupil, teacher or volunteer found using drugs or alcohol whilst attending classes or working at the school, will be presented with a verbal warning. Parents will be advised if the pupil is under the age of 18 years.
Child Protection Policy
Curtis School of Dance believes that:
• The welfare of children is vital
• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
• All staff (paid/voluntary) working in dance have a responsibility to report concerns to the principal or other identified staff
The dance school has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in dance from harm. All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. The dance school will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in dance through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines.A child is defined as under 18 The Children Act 1989.
The aim of the Curtis School of Dance Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:
• Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of the studio
• Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues
Promoting Good Practice
Curtis School of Dance will encourage the following:
• Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)
• Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity
• Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals
• Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with dancers (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child)
• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process
• Making dance fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play
• Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the RAD & ISTD. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained. Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered
• Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in dance
• Involving parents/carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs
• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people
• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism• Recognising the developments/ needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
• Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
• Requesting written parental consent if dance centre officials are required to transport young people in their cars
Practice not acceptable You should never:
• Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games• Share a room with a child
• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
• Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
• Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
• Reduce a child to tears as a form of control
• Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
• Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves
Guidelines for use of photographic filming at dance events
Videoing as a training aid: there is no intention to prevent the use of video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, dancers and their parents/carers should be aware that this is part of the coaching programme and care will be taken in the storage of such films. If any other kind of photographic material or video of your child is required e.g. DVD of a performance or for advertisement material then parental permission will be accepted as as given when form of participation is filled in. Students/parents/carers are not allowed to record or take photos during classes or performances.
Recruitment and selecting staff and volunteers
Curtis School of Dance recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. When undertaking pre selection checks the following should be included:
• All staff should complete an application form. This will elect information about an applicant’s past and a self disclosure about any criminal record
• Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau (DBS CHECK)
• Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact
• Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)
Responding to suspicions or allegations
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the Dance Studio in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.The dance school will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague/volunteer is or may be abusing a child.When there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:
• A criminal investigation.
• A child protection investigation.
• A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation.
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the principal who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in dance
• Take all signs of bullying very seriously
• Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns• Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone of authority
• Create an open environment• Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe
• Speak with the victim and the bully/ies separately
• Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell anyone else
• Keep records of what is said (what happened by whom, when etc)
• Report any concerns to the Principal
Action towards bullies
• Talk with the bully/ies explain the situation and try to get the bully/ies to understand the consequences of their behaviour• Seek an apology to the victim/s.
• Inform the bully’s parents
• Provide support for the teacher of the victim
• Impose sanctions as necessary
• Encourage and support the bully/ies to change behaviour
• Hold meetings with the families to report on progress
• Inform all appropriate members of the action taken
• Keep a written record of action taken (whom, when etc)