1. Exam Recommendations:
Examinations are offered through the Royal Academy of Dance, in the case of ballet, or the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, in the case of Modern Dance and Tap. In order to take an exam, a student must receive a recommendation by their instructor in the form of a letter, sometime before the end of December. Students who are not eligible to take their exam will not receive a letter. This does not limit them from continuing in the class or from progressing to the next grade or class level the following year. For those students who are recommended, the exam is optional. However, exams are strongly recommended since they offer many benefits including assessing progress from year to year, maintaining industry recognized standards and earning high school credits. For levels Intermediate Foundation and up every student participates in an examination whether it be an I.S.T.D. Examination or an NSAD In-House Examination.
2. Exam Eligibility:
Recommendations are based on a student meeting the minimum technical requirements necessary to pass an exam at their age level at the time the assessment is made. Exam recommendations are made carefully by our instructors in order to avoid failing or disappointing grades. In a few cases, if a student's technical requirements are considered borderline, the instructor may still recommend them, provided they take some private lessons. Such lessons would be in addition to the extra exam sessions as outlined below. Please note that a teacher cannot be held responsible if a student's attendance or focus on their exam work waivers after a recommendation is made and accepted. If there are any concerns in that regard, communication with the parents will be established and a reassessment and possible withdrawal may be required.
3. Extra Exam Classes and Mock Exam:
All students who take an exam are required to take four extra exam classes, one of which will be a mock exam. These sessions are not covered by the regular monthly fees. The cost, dates and times of these sessions will be outlined at the time recommendations are made. It is mandatory that students taking an exam attend these extra sessions and commit to them before accepting their exam offer.
4. In-House Examinations:
This is an examination opportunity for all students in Intermediate Foundation levels and up in both the R.A.D. Ballet and I.S.T.D. Modern programs. An "In-House Examination" hosted by NSAD, this experience is provided to students that are not yet eligible for an examination through the R.A.D. or I.S.T.D. Institutions. This is way to hold all students accountable for learning the syllabus and providing everyone with an equal opportunity to perform their technically abilities and accomplishments in front of a qualified instructor. We provide a feedback form and a certificate of completion. The "In-House Examination" is mandatory for all students not participating in an examination through either the R.A.D. or I.S.T.D. Institutions. There is a one time fee of $25.00 plus GST per student per level they participate in for an "In-House Examination". These type of examinations will be hosted on a weekend in the Spring; families will be provided significant notice of the examination date.
Participation in our Performing Class/Apprentice Program is determined through an audition process that takes place in June (early acceptance) and again in September (auditions for any remaining spaces). If a student cannot attend either audition, it may be possible for them to arrange a private audition with either the Artistic Director or Programs Director. Class levels are determined by age group; however exceptions may be made on an individual basis if a student is better suited to another class at the discretion of NSAD faculty.
2. Payment Policies:
In addition to the general studio payment policies, the following additional payment policies apply to the Performance Class Program/Apprentice Programs.
a. Even though our Performing classes are included in our graduated pay scale, there is an additional $50 plus GST monthly fee for each performing class to cover costume costs and competition entrance fees. These fees are to be paid in six payments from September thru to February.
b. Apprentice classes are included in our graduated pay scale, there is an additional $60 plus GST monthly fee for each performing class to covers 2 Harbour Dance Centre classes per month, guest instructors and/or bi-monthly workshop classes.
c. Student positions cannot be substituted easily once choreography has begun, costumes have been ordered and competition fees have been paid. Therefore, in the event that a student withdraws from a performance/apprentice class after our Sept 30th deadline, the full payment of the performance/apprentice class fee, will be due. Exceptions may be granted in cases where extenuating circumstances prevail.
From the beginning of September until the end of June, students are required to take part in various community performances, in three competitions and in our two recitals, "Snowmotion" and "In Motion". All of the performance and competition venues will be within the Lower Mainland or within a two-hour drive from North Vancouver. Overnight stays are not required.
Throughout July and August, additional performance opportunities will be organized but are not mandatory if students are unavailable or out of town.
a. Community Performances:
Our objective is to keep community performances to a reasonable number and provide equal performance opportunity to all classes over the course of the dance season. However, for each performance, the routines most suitable to that particular venue will be selected.
In terms of scheduling, some community performances can be arranged in advance while
other opportunities may arise within short notice.
Despite trying to keep performances during school hours to a minimum, some opportunities will require students to miss school.
The previous season's choreography will be resurrected if a performance opportunity arises early in the dance season when the current year's choreography and costumes are still incomplete. After the end of December, all performances will use the current season's choreography and costumes.
The specific competitions that each class participates (the Apprentice Programs do not compete) in throughout the season is determined by our instructors who make their selections based on:
- the date the competition takes place
- the theme of the competition (general or genre specific)
- the caliber of the other competing groups based on past experience
- the quality and usefulness of the adjudication based on past experience
- the overall popularity of the competition based on student feedback
One of the main objectives of a performing class is to participate in competitions. Adjudication is based on many criteria including costumes, dance technique, performance presence and choreographic skill. Our instructors design their choreography with all of these criteria in mind. Sometimes their artistry will include a section in a dance where one or a few dancers are featured over others. This is the nature of performing arts and a reflection of the creative process of the choreographer. Performing class students and their parents must accept this process.
5. Exclusive Dance School Policy:
It is against policy for any student taking classes within our Performing Class Program to enroll in classes with any other dance school. If it is discovered that this policy has been violated, the student will forfeit their space in each of their performing classes.
Dividing serious training between more than one dance studio presents a number of potential problems, from incompatible syllabi and teaching styles to major scheduling problems and conflicts of interest. We expect our performance class students to commit fully to our program and to our brand of training and choreography.
6. Commitment & Attendance:
Students who accept a position in the Performance/Apprentice Class Program must regard themselves as a team member and view their placements as a yearlong commitment including and especially, attending all three of the competitions. Performing class students must adhere to the following rules.
• Mandatory attendance of all three competitions (only exceptions being illness or injury)
• Regular class attendance (maximum of 3 absences permitted which is strongly enforced)
• Relaying of all absences by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Compliance with the Student Conduct Rules as outlined under Studio Policies
• Prioritizing dance over all other non academic pursuits *
• Careful maintenance and preservation of costume(s)
* this includes any non-academic activities through schools such as sports or theatre productions
Any student who does not follow the above rules runs the risk of having their class position(s) forfeited.
If a student encounters an injury during the dance season that has an effect on their participation, North Shore Academy of Dancing requires an email from the parent as well as being informed of an active plan of recovery. Students are still required to attend their classes by learning visually until they ca safely participate physically.