Performance Timeline + Steppin' Out February News

Now that we've fully transitioned into our performance-oriented curriculum, we'd like to share some details to help you know what to expect in the coming months. This month's newsletter includes some key dates that lead up to the performance as well as a tip to help your family get the most out of learning the performance choreography. Plus, to be inspired, this month's photo offers a "sneak peak" at one of the dances we're currently creating for the Advanced Teen Jazz Class.

STEPPIN' OUT 2016 PERFORMANCE TIMELINE
We know that many of you are eager to know the dates and times of this year's performance. While they will likely be in early June, we have not yet received final confirmation about the performance date. We will share this information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, here's what to expect in the next few months:

In February we'll be measuring the dancers for costumes. 

In March, your performance fee will be due. Performance fees are $30 for the first dancer in the family (regardless of how many classes a week she or he attends), $10 for the second, and $5 for the third, fourth, etc. Last year we eliminated tickets and moved to a performance fee model to cover performance-related costs, which meant no more long lines in the auditorium and the freedom to invite as many guests as you would like. This year we'll be continuing in that model with fees due by March 31st. As always, if any charge presents a financial hardship, please contact Angela. 

In April, costumes will start arriving and families will be able to bring costumes home as soon as they pay for them. We aim to keep most costumes costs to $30-$60 per class.

In late May, we will schedule a dress rehearsal in the performance space.

In early June, we will perform and then all classes will meet one final time after the performance to wind down and celebrate.

A quick note on performing: We understand that, for various reasons, your child might not be able to participate in the performance. Even if that is the case, she or he may still come to class and learn the dances! The performance is a lot of fun but it's the process of learning rather than the product that really counts.


MOVEMENT OF THE MONTH: PIROUETTE
A pirouette is a complete turn or spin on one foot, often with the other foot in passe position. This advanced movement is not always accessible to all young dancers, but it is possible to work up to it one step at a time. An effective pirouette requires the graceful combination of three elements: Spotting, which involves looking for as long as possible at one thing even while the body turns, core strength, which allows the dancer to balance while lifted on one set of toes, and strong arms, which initiate and stabilize the momentum of the turn. To work up to a pirouette, practice each element individually, building strength in the body and trying spotting on two legs before moving to just one. When your dancer is ready to put the elements together, have him or her start with a half turn and work up from there. Happy turning! 

BEAT THE RAINY SEASON WITH A BIRTHDAY PARTY AT STEPPIN' OUT
Skip the "no rain" dance and design your child's birthday party just the way you want it. We offer fabulous and fun movement-themed birthday parties of any kind, from basic to turn-key, at can't-be-beat pricing. You can even add on character appearance, goody bags or face painting! For more information, visit http://www.steppinoutsf.com/parties

BE INSPIRED BY MISTY COPELAND
In honor of Black History Month, we'd love to share the moving story of Misty Copeland who, last August, became the first ever African-American woman to be named principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. Copeland's story is incredibly powerful; she didn't even start dancing until she was 13 years old! After being turned down again and again for being "too old" or having the "wrong body," she has now become one of the most accomplished living ballerinas in the world. We at Steppin' Out particularly love this promo Copeland made for Under Armour, "I Will What I Want," which showcases her beautiful dancing while a voice reads one of her rejection letters. 

QUICK TIP: NOT LOOKING FOR "PERFECT," BUT PRACTICE STILL HELPS! 
Now that we have started working on the performance choreography in class, be sure to encourage your child to practice the steps at home (tap shoes not required). Your dancers will gain confidence, refine their movement quality and learn more quickly with even brief weekly out-of-class practice sessions.