Calendar and Policies

School Calendar 2019-2020

Fall 2019 Semester

  • Week of September 9 – Classes begin
  • Week of November 25 – Thanksgiving Break/No Classes
  • Weeks of December 23 & 30 – Winter Break/No Classes

Spring 2020 Semester

  • Week of January 6 – Classes begin for 2nd semester
  • Week of April 6 – Spring Break/No Classes
  • May 18 – Dress Rehearsal for Annual Recital at Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314
  • May 20 – Annual Recital: 6:00 p.m., with Brush-up Rehearsal at 3:30 p.m. at Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314

School Policies

Required Class Attire & Hair Treatment

All Dance Classes

    • No jewelry allowed that can fly up and chip teeth, hit eyes or simply distract a child’s attention. No dangling or clinking, noisy bracelets.
    • Please don’t bring toys to class. Caveat: Instructors will sometimes invite stuffy friends to watch class.
    • Students may wear colored leotards if that’s what they *already* have. But when it comes time to purchase a new leotard, please purchase a black one… So eventually, everyone is “in uniform.”
    • Students are welcome to bring an unbreakable, straw-style water bottle to class.

Ballet

    • Any style black leotard (short or long sleeved) and pink or skin-colored footed tights.
    • You can be creative with variations on black leotards. For example, a leotard with some rhinestone decoration or a short attached crepe skirt is just fine.
    • For ages 10+, it’s advisable to purchase “convertible” tights — i.e., tights that have a hole underneath the foot. These convertible tights can be rolled up to the ankle for stretching barefoot or attending to toes prior to Pointe work.
    • Optional: solid-color, short (mid-thigh), black or pink ballet skirt. The Motionwear Pull-on Wrap Crepe Skirt (Style #1011) is a great, easy-to-use option.
    • Please no tutus.
    • Optional if cold: close-fitting pink made-for-Ballet sweater. Both wrap-style and pull-on are acceptable. Close-fitting because instructors need to be able to see alignment.
    • Leather or canvas pink Ballet shoes (drawstring-less preferred, but often don’t work for wide feet). Please do *not* purchase Ballet slippers at a big box store, such as Target. The models sold there are quite stiff, which makes it difficult to point your toes.
    • For Ballet shoes with drawstrings: The teacher will help students trim strings and double knot them. Then the remaining short strings (about an inch), are tucked into the the ballet shoes. Please, no little bows on shoes that can come untied during class and be distracting.
    • Hair in a bun. There are many useful ballet bun-making tutorials on YouTube. Hair buns are part of the etiquette of Ballet and help dancers to feel prepared and in the right mindset, the same way a lab coat makes a doctor feel ready for work. For class, it’s usually not necessary to use hairspray, gel, etc.—we can reserve that for performances. It can be quite helpful to have a sturdy “snood” or bun cover. No ponytails – they whip the face and injure eyes during turns.
    • If short, hair must be off the face.

Tap

    • Black leotards or unitards with optional black leggings.
    • Black tap shoes, ribbon tie or Mary Jane strap style.
    • Hair away from face.
Boys (Ballet and/or Tap)
    • Close-fitting plain white t-shirt
    • Black shorts (preferably no pockets)
    • White/black ballet shoes with or without white socks
    • Black oxford tap shoes with or without white socks

Tips

    • NEVER WEAR TAP OR BALLET SHOES AS STREET SHOES; doing so tracks grit and street grease onto the dance floor.
    • Dancers are expected to carry dance shoes in a special dance class bag that also contains extra headbands, bobby pins, brush, tissues and other items necessary for class.
    • Please clearly label all dance shoes with permanent marker.
    • Please do not play at the park in your dance tights, which easily snag.

Purchasing Dance Shoes and Clothing

    • There are many online retailers, such as Discount Dance Supply, but choosing the correct size remotely can be very challenging and return shipping can be costly.
    • To be sure of sizing (particularly for shoes), we recommend visiting one of the following local businesses:
        • Robcyns, a family-owned business in the Bradlee Shopping Center that carries toys, books, scouting materials, etc. in addition to dancewear, located at 3660 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302. Phone: 703-379-7800
        • Footlights, a store that exclusively sells dance- and theater-wear. Located at 6448 Landsdowne Centre Dr, Alexandria, VA 22315. Phone: 703-373-3254
      • Staff at both stores are very knowledgeable about the different styles of dance shoes and correct sizing. Students can try on shoes and make sure that the fit is correct. They also carry dance apparel. If you visit their store and benefit from their expertise, please *do* purchase the shoes from their store.
      • For correct pointe shoe fitting, you *must* visit Footlights. Do *not* sew ribbons on pointe shoes until your pointe teacher has OKed the fit and explained exactly how to do it.

Drop-off & Pick-up

    • We are located in a residential neighborhood that already faces parking and traffic challenges. Given the additional traffic we bring to the immediate neighborhood, we have worked hard to build goodwill with our neighbors and want to maintain that goodwill moving forward.
    • Neighbors have asked us repeatedly to not allow drop-offs in the crosswalk or any double-parking. Please be courteous and respectful of neighbors at all times.
    • Please drop-off and pick-up students on Wilkes Street ONLY — never on busy Fairfax Street and never in the crosswalk on the corner, please!

Snow Days, Absences, & Make-up Classes

    • Two snow days per year are made up during the recital week.
    • If we have more than two snow days, they will be made up either on alternative days when possible or at regular class time where possible.
    • Personal absences are made up by attending the class at the next highest level.
    • Please encourage your child to regard each class as a building block with new steps and details being added each week. Each absence creates a gap, especially in the second semester as the recital approaches. Please help us impart the idea of getting to class on time and commitment to a group, of “being there” for a partner and being someone we can depend on, all of which is essential in the discipline of dance.
    • More than 3 absences in the second semester may disqualify a child for the recital unless absences have been made up.
    • If a child is ill or contagious and has to be absent, please send an email in advance to let us know.

Questions?

We are happy to answer any questions. Please write, call or text:

Laura Machanic
Phone: (703) 338-1330
Email: info@schoolforswans.com

School for Swans, LLC
430 S. Fairfax St. (basement level)
Alexandria, VA 22314

© 2019 School for Swans, LLC
BALLET AND TAP CLASSES IN ALEXANDRIA, VA
430 S. Fairfax St.   Alexandria, VA 22314
703-338-1330 | info@schoolforswans.com

Photos by Louise Krafft