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MCD Code of Conduct and Rules
With the goal of creating a welcoming and positive experience for all students, Marin Conservatory of Dance hold students, faculty and staff to high standards of professionalism. MCD expects its students, parent(s)/guardian(s), faculty and staff to demonstrate respect for each other and the facilities. Ballet etiquette is taught and practiced at MCD to prepare students for the greater dance world and beyond.
MCD reserves the right to refuse business to anyone and will exercise that right by dismissing any student/parent(s)/guardians(s) whose conduct is found unsatisfactory or if payment for classes, performance fees or costumes is not received.
Code of Conduct and Rules for Students
· MCD has high expectations for the dedication and effort of our students. Consistent class and rehearsal attendance is key to your dancer’s training. Please keep absences to a minimum and contact your student’s teacher to report an absence as soon as possible. Refer to the Absence section of this agreement for further details.
· If a student needs to leave class early for any reason, please notify their teacher BEFORE class begins.
· Students are to arrive 10-15 minutes before class, prepared and ready to check in.
· Attendance is taken and classes start promptly.
. If a student arrives late, they must wait for a break, the teacher will acknowledge them and then they curtsy before entering the studio.
· Students are expected to use the bathroom before class and be standing quietly in a line prior to the start of class.
· All students are expected to address the faculty with Ms. or Mr. before their first name.
· Students are always to refrain from running around, yelling and screaming.
· Students are expected to curtsy/bow at the end of class as a sign of respect for the teacher.
· Students are asked to adhere to the MCD Dress Code which is outlined below.
· Students are required to treat the facilities with respect and to clean up after themselves.
· Please do not hang on the barres or stand on the furniture in the lobby.
MCD fosters an atmosphere of respect and professionalism. MCD expects all faculty, staff, students and parents/guardians to behave in a considerate and courteous manner toward each other at all times. Students or parents who wish to discuss an issue or policy with the Director should e-mail Ms. Melinda at Melinda@marinconservatoryofdance.org to schedule a meeting or phone call. Issues between individuals will be discussed calmly and respectfully. MCD will not tolerate disrespectful, challenging, or confrontational behavior toward faculty, staff or another family. If a situation arises when parents/guardians or students behave in an aggressive or disrespectful manner, it will be addressed privately, and the family may be asked to leave MCD and un-enroll from classes without a refund.
Tuition is non-refundable. Tuition is not refunded for missed classes or rehearsals or unforeseen circumstances. Only if a level is cancelled due to low enrollment, will you be given a refund of tuition and performance fees. If there is an option for another day in the same level we will automatically enroll the dancer into that class and not issue a refund. In very unusual circumstances the Director "may" issue a credit that must be used for the following session. If the credit is not used in the following session the credit will be invalid. MCD’s tuition commitment is for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Tuition is not transferable to private coaching lessons. For students in Levels 3-5, a minimum two-week commitment is required of MCD’s four-week Summer Intensive. Dancers being promoted from Level 2 to Level 3 are also required to attend a minimum two of the four week Summer Intensive.Tuition is discounted if a student is enrolled in multiple weeks of the Summer Intensive. Refer to MCD’s Private Coaching page for pricing. Dancers that cannot attend the Summer Intensive can schedule private lessons as an alternative. Dancers who do not attend or make alternative arrangements will not be promoted in level and or dismissed from the upcoming performance.
Costume Fee /Costume Rental Fee/ Performance Fee
Costume fee and or costume rental fees are collected early to mid-semester in the Fall and Spring; these fees may not be included in tuition costs. Costume fees and or costume rental fees are non-refundable. If a dancer is unable to perform in the Spring Showcase portion of the performance due to unforeseen circumstances, they will be given their costume. The costume rental fee is a fee paid towards the rental of costumes for the more significant production as in "The Nutcracker " , "Peter and the Wolf, and "Giselle." Dancers do not take these costumes home and are not purchasing these costumes. This fee includes alteration, cleaning, and usage fees.
The Performance Fee is a fee paid for the dancer to participate in any production at MCD. These fees are non-refundable and are included in tuition when enrolling.
Students are required to take pre-requisite ballet classes before advancing to the next level. If you are unsure of which level to enroll your child in, please contact MCD to schedule a placement class prior to the class registration deadline. At the end of the Spring semester, MCD’s faculty will assess each dancer’s progress and will provide parents/guardians with an evaluation and recommendation for which level to enroll in for the Fall semester. MCD's levels do not reflect other dance schools' leveling systems. As children progress physically at different rates, it is not uncommon to have children of different ages at different levels. As ballet is an art form that takes years to master, it is also common for students to repeat levels for many years before entering into the next level. Repetition of levels and years of careful training will ensure a healthy and productive growth period for each student studying the art of ballet. The School Director and Faculty will evaluate students at the close of each school year.
Roles in Performances
Dancers in Levels 1-2A typically have one piece of choreography in the Spring Showcase and one to possibly two parts in "The Nutcracker." Levels 1-2A do not participate in the more advanced and mature ballets that are not age-appropriate for children. All roles for all levels 1-6 are cast according to class and technical ability. The Director, not the teachers, makes all casting decisions. Our Conservatory is staffed with seasoned professionals both onstage and in directing who carefully consider many aspects when casting dancers. Please do not send emails inquiring about role assignments. Classical ballet teaches patience, perseverance, grace, and good sportsmanship, which helps dancers prepare for life beyond the Conservatory.
Absences / Injuries / Sickness
Students are expected to attend every class for which they are scheduled. Consistent attendance is paramount to the success of a dancer’s training. Dancers are to arrive on time ( 10 minutes early) , focused and ready to learn. Excessive absences will negatively impact your student’s progress and is taken into consideration for level promotion at the end of the year. If your dancer becomes injured please email so we can assist in a recovery plan. All dancers are required to sit and attend classes when injured or sick ( with the exception of Covid or highly contagious flu's / bugs and without a fever.)
Injury / Sickness Guidelines
1- Physical participation
There are several strategies you can use to make decisions about physical participation.
Medical Advice: If you are injured, ask your medical providers for suggestions on modifying movement and share those suggestions with your teacher.
Pain-Free Range of Motion: Basically, don't do anything that hurts!
Modify Movements: This means reducing the difficulty of the movements, modifying your exertion level, or limiting your participation to allow your body time to heal. In other words, "marking" the movement is more common than it seems to be. Marking is a great alternative to dancing "full out," both for dancers who are injured and for dancers who are tired and, therefore, more susceptible to injuries.
Remove weight bearing: Can you sit and continue to do upper body movements while decreasing the load on your lower body? Are there alternative movements that can train your body in the same way but can be done on the ground or in a chair? Ask your physical therapist, Pilates Instructor, and dance teacher for help figuring this out.
2- Mental Rehearsal
Mental rehearsal is a strategy used by professional athletes and sports psychologists to enable high-performing athletes to benefit from practice without adding strain to their bodies. As a result, you are again preventing and dealing with injuries. There is abundant evidence that this is an effective strategy for improving performance! The evidence supports that mental rehearsal helps you maintain neuromuscular connections and refine your movements. It can also help you analyze your dance habits and technique.
Mental rehearsal is most effective when the dancer alternates between 2 different perspectives.
Kinesthetic Practice: When you visualize yourself executing the movement from the inside.
Visual Practice: When you visualize yourself executing the movement from the outside as if you are viewing a movie.
While visualizing, notice the cues and instructions you give yourself about doing the movement. Recording those mental cues and teachings is one more way to deepen this strategy's benefits.
3- Written Class Observation
Observing class allows you to recognize how your movements can be improved and identify strategies for change by watching other dancers execute the moves you have trouble doing. You can also assist your teacher and the other students by noticing strengths and opportunities for improvement within individual dancers or the class. Here are some questions you can consider while you are watching.
What general or individual feedback comments did the teacher make? How does this feedback apply to you?
What do you see in your classmates that you can apply to yourself?
Are there any students in the class who are inspiring to you? Why specifically?
What do you notice about the relationship between the music and the movement? How are individual dancers responding to the music? Is there anything specific you want to emulate?
There are so many great ways to use class time, even if you can't dance. Physically participating is not the only way to benefit personally or add value to a class or school. By appreciating the abundance of ways you can contribute even if you are injured, I hope students and troupe members will be encouraged to take time to heal and to feel great about it!
To report an absence:email your child’s teacher prior to the scheduled start time. Please write “absent” with your child’s full name and level in the title of the email. Please include the reason for the absence. Please use the following faculty emails:
o Ms. Melinda – email@example.com
o Ms. Leilani – firstname.lastname@example.org
To report and extended absence: Please submit an email as stated above, but add “extended absence” in the title line along with your child’s full name and level. Please explain why your child needs an extended absence.
Absences Prior to Performance or withdrawal from Performance
Students are required to attend all classes four weeks prior to a performance, or they will not be allowed to perform. Additionally, in order to perform, all students must attend all mandatory rehearsals as detailed for each performance. Should you decide your child will not perform, please inform your teacher via email at least four weeks from the performance. Performance and costume fees are not refundable. This policy is in place to ensure a quality performance and fairness to all students. Choreography and staging are based on a consistent group of performers.
Make Up Classes
Make-up classes are available on a limited basis and must be taken within 30 days of the missed class. A maximum of four make-up classes may be scheduled per semester. Make-up classes may be taken at current or lower level classes, must be scheduled with your child’s teacher in advance, may not be available for some levels due to scheduling conflicts or if a class is full.
Withdrawals / Expulsion
If a student misses four or more weeks of classes due injury or illness, the Director must be notified in writing specifying the beginning date of the injury or illness. The Director may offer credit towards classes after the delivery of a doctor’s note. Situations like this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Credit is for children and youth classes only, and is for the student who withdrawals only – it is not transferable. The credit must be used in the succeeding semester following the withdrawal, otherwise it will expire.
MCD reserves the right to refuse admittance to classes and will exercise that right by dismissing any student/parent(s)/guardians(s) whose conduct is found unsatisfactory or if payment for classes, performance fees or costumes is not received. MCD also reserves the right to expel students from our program who bully, or who verbally or physically assault their fellow students or teachers. We will not give warnings there is zero tolerance for this behavior. Should a withdrawal or expulsion occur under these circumstances, no refund of tuition, performance or costume fees will be given.
Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures/Parking
Due to limited parking on site, we require our parents/guardians to use this drop-off/pick-up procedure. To ensure seamless drop-off AND pick-up, please let your dancer off. Due to no parking onsite, we require our parents to use this drop-off/pick-up procedure. We also need parents not to park onsite in the rear of the building, as these 3 spaces are designated for staff and our neighbor at the "Tea Fountain." Please do not congregate in the 55 La Goma parking lot before class or after class. If there is a need to speak with staff or drop off your child, please use Miller Avenue parking or 55 La Goma office building parking only after 5 pm, not beforehand. Please do not park in the designated green spots that say "True" at anytime. The 365 door is the entrance into the studios from the rear, 367 is not an entrance/exit to the studios. To ensure for seem less drop-off/pick up, please let off your dancer behind the studio in the rear of the building using the easement/alleyway right after the "Tea Fountain" and exit back onto La Goma Avenue. For pick-up, please use the same procedure. Younger dancers should be walked into class until they are familair with the pick up drtop off procedure. Please be prompt, so we don't have back up onto Miller Avenue; this will be a single-car line through the alleyway and the building's rear. I encourage you to do a dry run before your dancer's class to familiarize yourself with space. Our teacher assistants will flag vehicles to the entryway in the first week of classes per session and help students safely escort students to the studio. Level 1 and 1A parents are welcome to park on Miller Avenue or adjacent side streets and walk their younger dancers to the studio. Thank you ahead of time for your cooperation
Students must be picked up within 10- 15 minutes of the end of class. If you are unable to pick up your student on time, please call MCD at 415-326-5117. Parents will be charged a fee of $15 per half hour for any time the faculty or staff must supervise your student beyond the allowed pick up time. Please do not drop off your dancer or have your older dancer come to MCD more than 15- 20 minutes prior to class. Our space is limited and we do not have the staff to supervise dancers before or after their scheduled class time.
MCD highly encourages dancers to walk or ride bikes from Mill Valley Middle School or Tamalpais High School. Bikes can be parked at the back of the studio, please bring a lock.
*Conservatory uniforms are to be purchased from the MCD Ballet Shop. The link is under " More".
Students are required to dress according to MCD’s dress code which is as follows:
· all leotards are color coded by level and must be purchased from MCD, as well as the skirts.
· No dangling earrings or other jewelry (.e. bracelets, watches, necklaces) are permitted. Stud earrings are permitted.
· Girl’s hair must be neatly in a bun or pulled back with a headband and pinned if it is too short for a bun.
Please use the following links for tutorials about how to secure a girl’s hair.
Long hair link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvZM8EOOpVk&t=14s
Short Hair Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQmGh_RBp0c
We recommend Marin Dancewear and San Francisco Dance Gear for all pointe shoe fittings.
For demi-pointe and pointe shoe sewing instructions, please view these links: https://youtu.be/YAvjkwTwAZM
MCD requires that all parent(s)/guardian(s) read, execute and adhere to this Parent Agreement outlining our conservatory policies and drop-off/pick-up procedures, enrolling yourself or your child in MCD automatically adheres you to these policies. We appreciate your adherence to and understanding of these policies and procedures so MCD can offer your student the best possible experience, as well as run our business efficiently.
We look forward to having your student and family as part of the MCD community.
Ms. Melinda, Director