Frequently Asked Questions

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What type of dance do you teach

Young Dance offers All Abilities Dancing, Afro-Modern, Ballet, Choreography, Dance and Technology, Modern, Creative Movement, Dance Together, Hip-Hop, and the Young Dance Performing Company. We teach all classes from a concept-based perspective, emphasizing the elements of Body, Action, Space, Time, and Energy. Students explore technique, improvisation, and choreography, developing skills in physical expression, observation and describing, and group participation. Our classes impart a commitment to one’s self, to the group and to the larger community.

How can my child join the Young Dance Company?

To join the company any interested participant is asked to partake in a scheduled audition class. Auditions are held in the Fall and Spring. Auditions are planned for participants to understand the approach and commitment of the Young Dance company while evaluating for themselves if we are a good fit for them.  At the audition come prepared to move and have fun! All you need is your bare feet and comfortable clothes. If you’ve never danced before, don’t worry the class is structured for students of all ages and abilities. Even if you don’t have a dance background, we encourage you to come learn about Young Dance.

Where is Young Dance located?

Young Dance is located at 655 Fairview Ave N. St Paul MN 55104. Young Dance occupies the North/ East corner of the building. The building is run by the CO•MOTION Center for Movement, a non-profit organization which supports a collective of movement and fitness organizations with education and inclusion at the core of their programming.

What’s a good age to enroll my child in dance classes?

Any age! Our Dance Together class is open to children and their caregiver beginning at age 1. Our concept-based approach means that students can join at any age without prior experience, because classes are taught in a way that allows students to learn at their own pace, skill level, and ability. This approach also eliminates “better” or “worse” and “right” and “wrong” and stresses risk-taking, personal expression and exploration, and confidence.

Can I try a single class and see if it’s a good fit?

Yes, of course! Contact us at info@youngdance.org and we’ll set that up.

Should my 3 year old enroll in Dance Together or Creative Movement I?

You know your child best, so you may want to consider: Do they have an easy time separating from a parent or caregiver? Have they ever taken a structured class before, or will the format be foreign to them? You are welcome to try one and switch if it feels better suited. As always, please contact us at info@youngdance.org to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

What is dance improvisation?

Dance improvisation is freestyle movement, generally performed within some parameters set forth by the teacher. Through improvisation, students can explore movement concepts of body, action, space, time, and energy in their own unique way.

What does it mean to have a “concept-based” curriculum?

The concepts we teach are Body, Action, Space, Time, and Energy. We believe teaching modern dance technique through these concepts gives students agency over their movement choices and promotes creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! Scholarships are available. Please email info@youngdance.org to receive a scholarship request application.

What is the difference between the class and company education programs?

The Young Dance Company is open to students ages 7 and up. Company members take weekly classes and attend an additional rehearsal each week, Sept-May. The company frames its annual season around a theme that immerses dancers in artistic inquiry and produces high quality, innovative performances. Dancers work with professional artists to investigate and collaborate on choreography relative to the selected theme. Their work is presented in venues throughout the year and in a season finale concert each Spring. The company is open by auditions, held in May and September.   

Our weekly dance classes are open to all ages and require no audition. Students can join at any time throughout the year, depending on space availability. Two performance opportunities at the end of each term. These performances showcase what the dancers have been working on in their classes. Dance Together and Family Dance participants will have an in-class celebration scheduled the last day of each session.

What performance opportunities are there?

Every spring, the Young Dance Company presents a professionally produced performance that showcases works created by professional and youth artists. The company also has opportunities to perform throughout the year at community venues and festivals. 

Class participants are invited to perform in Young Dance annual events. The Fall Round Up is an informal showing and community gathering where each class has the opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned for each other and their family on the stage. This approach allows for more class time devoted to exploring the concepts, rather than refining a routine. The Spring Round Up is an all school, end of year performance scheduled in May. Each class learns a dance that showcases and culminates the skills they have learned throughout the academic school year. Class participants are encouraged strongly, but not required, to participate in these performances. All participants are engaged in the curriculum, regardless of whether or not they perform. Young Dance does not require families to purchase costumes for any performance. 

Are there costume fees in addition to tuition costs?

Young Dance does not require families to purchase costumes for any of our performances. We do teach about production, and production elements as part of the curriculum. Young Dance students will be deciding on costume ideas with their teachers related to the themes of their dances. The costume ideas will be simple, and should be items that students already have at home. For example, choosing a certain color to wear. Young Dance may purchase or produce simple costumes for dances performed by the Young Dance Company. 

What should my dancer wear to class?

There is not a specific requirement on attire. Dancers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that they can move freely in. No long dresses, jeans, or jean materials are allowed. Dance shoes are not required for all classes except Ballet and Hip Hop. If able, these classes are performed barefoot. Footed tights and socks are slippery- if a dancer wears tights to class please make sure they are footless. Clean tennis shoes are required for Hip Hop. Ballet shoes are required for Ballet. Hair should be pulled back and off of face and eyes.

Can I observe my child’s class?

We ask that family and caregivers do not stay in the classroom during class time. This helps the dancers to keep their focus on the teacher. Each term, there are designated observation days, and in Creative Movement I, caregivers are invited to watch the last five minutes of every class. If you have special circumstances, have a family member in town, or you would like to watch class on a day outside of the scheduled observation times, please contact us at info@youngdance.org.

My child has been in the same level for several years, are they learning anything new?

Yes! Our classes are structured to be multi-aged. A dancer who enrolls in Creative Movement I (for ages 3-5), when they’re 3 years old, may take that class for two or three years. With concepts at the core, they develop a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of the elements as their brain matures. When considering placement, we look at the median age for the class, as well as the student’s social development. We want them to feel confident in class, so appropriate placement is important.

What is your winter weather policy?

When St. Paul Public Schools are closed or after school activities are canceled, Young Dance classes are also cancelled.

In light of  the COVID-19 pandemic, will you be holding in person classes?

For Fall 2020, we will be holding all classes virtually. Considering the rising numbers in COVID-19 cases, we believe this is the safest option for dancers and Teaching Artists. We will reassess in November and decide about future sessions based on state and federal trends and guidelines.

When will in-person classes resume?

We look forward to welcoming our community back into our studios as soon as it is safe to do so! We want to ensure that students receive the best possible experience and that our Teaching Artists are able to provide a safe and rigorous dance class. At this time, we feel that this is best achieved through distance learning. Our 2020-21 year is divided into trimesters so that we can reevaluate in November, and again in February, if needed.

Why are ZOOM classes scheduled for a shorter period of time than in person classes?

Zoom classes may be shorter than in-person classes because the structure of the lesson doesn’t require as much time. When dancing in person, students may be taking turns dancing across the floor or in center. We have found that the same material doesn’t necessarily require as much time when distance learning.

In addition, Zoom classes may be shorter to accommodate the attention span of the students. Staying engaged over the screen for a prolonged time frame can be difficult for some, and we want to ensure that students receive a quality experience without feeling fatigued by the screen time.

What is Young Dance protocol if by chance a Young Dance community member contracts COVID-19?

If a Young Dance community member informs of a positive COVID-19 status, we will first notify anyone who came in direct contact with that person, followed by a message to our community at large. Details of the person and points of contact will not be shared to the general community in order to protect the privacy of those affected. 

Have a question that wasn’t answered? Email us at info@youngdance.org.