The Maine Dance Academy Policy

All dancers and tumblers are required to wear Black TMDA Logo’d dancewear to dance and tumbling.  These items are readily available in our dance store.  There will be no exceptions to this rule. Dance requires discipline and part of that discipline is wearing the correct dance gear. All outer clothing and footwear will be left in the locker room, not in the waiting area.  No dance bags will be allowed into the studios, these must be kept in the locker room under the bench or on top of the clothes racks.  All coats will be put on a hanger and not left on the floor in the locker room.  We will not allow any bags or coats to be left on the bench as this bench is for changing shoes only.  

Students will wait for their class in the designated waiting area. Upon arrival, students must change up in the locker rooms, hang their outerwear up accordingly and then wait in the waiting area for their class and for their junior instructor to line them up in the hallway. The bathroom is not to be used for changing into dance gear; you must use the locker room for that. All students must keep the noise to a minimum while waiting for their dance class and they also must be respectful of their junior instructor who is in charge of these classes until they are brought into their respective studios.  We will not tolerate any running, screaming or disrespect in the hallway of any kind.  Parents we ask that you watch your children carefully while waiting for the class as there is a tremendous amount of people in this area during class time.

All ladies taking classical pointe will be allowed to wear pink tights and black leotards to dance class.  No dance pants will be allowed into the classical pointe classes.
A classical pointe student must either wear a black leotard with our logo on it.  No pink leotards will be worn to class and no former costumes.  NO BLACK BALLET SHOES!  Hair must be worn in a bun.  No ponytails or loose hair will be allowed.  Hair must be worn neat at all times and not in the dancer’s face.

All students must be enrolled in a regular dance class before they will be allowed to take classical pointe.  The only exceptions to this rule are for college students who wish to continue taking pointe class.  I will not allow any student to quit their regular dance class and take pointe only, this does not make for a well-rounded dance student.

Students will be allowed to take classical pointe if they are 10 years or older.  Students must exhibit extreme love of dance and be committed to their art before they will be allowed into a classical pointe class.  Miss Colleen will have the final say on all new pointe students.  Students 5-9 years old will be allowed to take pre-pointe.  These students will be instructed in classical pointe technique, will learn how to tie their laces on regular ballet shoes yet, will not receive their pointe shoes.  If there is a student that is in this age group that exhibits potential for regular pointe classes, she/he will be moved.  This is at the discretion of the teacher and she has the final say.  All classical pointe dancers must earn their pointe shoes either by November 15 of the fall class or January 15 of the Spring class. Please note that the instructor will decide when this happens and even though your child is in a regular pointe class, she may not earn her pointe shoes her first year.  We know what is best for your child and we will decide when your child is ready for her pointe shoes.  All pointe dancers in the pre-pointe and pointe class will need 2 pairs of pointe/ballet shoes per year.  A clean pair will be required for all performances and for the recital.  SPECIAL NOTE:   Pointe dancers will not be allowed to go online to purchase pointe shoes, all shoes will be fit in our studio; this is for the health of your child’s feet.

Dancers 5 years and older will be placed into dance classes by skill.  This decision will be made collectively by all the TMDA dance instructors.  All new students (5 years and older) must audition for dance and then will be placed into a dance class based on his/her knowledge of jazz and tap.  Five classes have been designed for students who show a desire to better their dance skills and show amazing dedication to practice.  The four troupe classes and Company are expected to know their choreography each week without exception.  A Troupe/Company student is only given once chance for missed knowledge of dance choreography and the 2nd time will be placed into another class.  The top Troupe Class has only 16 members so please know that your child may exhibit some of these qualities from year to year however there might not be room for your child in the troupe class or another troupe class (mini troupe will never be larger than 18, Tiny 18 and Petite 16).  All Troupe students and their parents will be required to sign the Troupe Contract as this is not just an honor to be in the troupes, it is hard work.

Our decisions on dance placement are final.  (We will move students within the first month of dance if we feel we have made a mistake.)

No students will be allowed into the dance store without a parent.  If you need to purchase any dance items, please ask the Office Secretary (OS) to allow you into the dance store.  You may bring your child into the dance store with you but they can not be left alone in the store.  If you need to try on any apparel, please use the locker room and not the bathroom.  All items must be paid in full at the time of purchase. We ask that parents not “hang out” in the dance store as the OS’ s have duties they need to attend too. If you are paying your tuition bill, please place your payment in the envelopes at the office window and pass it to the OS’s.  There is no need to come into the dance store if just paying tuition as this will keep the traffic down in the dance store.    

Because dance requires different technical shoes, we are unable to tell you which ones each student will need each year until the music has been selected for that class.  The safest dance shoe to practice with in class is the dance sneaker.  I recommend the dance sneaker for all students 8 and older.  If your child is performing soft shoe Celtic, she/he will be required to purchase a gore boot and this will be needed for class and not just performances.  All students will be required to purchase tap shoes; beginners may purchase the lower end tap shoe while all advanced students must purchase the slip-on gore taps. Shoes you might be required to purchase are as follows; sneaker, gore shoe, slip-on taps, beginner taps, greacian sandal, lyrical sandal, ballet shoe, character shoe, pointe shoe, paws.
Your child may be asked to purchase a more technical shoe, depending on the level of his/her class. Before ordering your child’s shoe, please make sure of his/her shoe size as there is a $10.00 restocking fee on all shoes. Please try on a similar shoe that you will be purchasing as all dance shoes run differently. For example, my shoe size is an 8 and I wear an 8 jazz sneaker,  a size 8 gore shoe, a size 7 ½ tap gore shoe, a size 5 lyrical ballet shoe, and a size 4 ½ grecian sandal. You must try on all shoes before purchasing them.

There will be costumes that need to be purchased throughout the school year. All dance groups will perform at least 2 routines for recital so please be expected to buy 2 costumes. Dance groups that meet for 1 ½ hours will most likely dance to 3 routines and will then purchase 3 costumes.  Buying costumes for over 300 hundred dancers is no easy task so I ask that you be patient, be understanding.   Dance show tights are required for each costume and this year, YOU WILL PURCHASE YOUR TIGHTS WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR COSTUME!. I have instituted this rule as I am always purchasing extra tights at the last minute for parents who refuse to purchase tights immediately.  Therefore, everyone, without exception, will be required to purchase their show tights at the time of every costume purchase.  If all you need are black tights, then you will only be required to purchase tights once.  Ladies taking pointe will purchase 1-2 costumes for the year.  A $60 costume deposit plus tax must be made with your fall tuition payment in order for us to purchase your child’s costumes.  The $60 plus $3.30 sales tax will go toward the final costume that you pick up.   NO COSTUMES WILL BE ORDERED FOR YOU UNLESS YOUR DEPOSIT IS MADE AND IS MADE ON TIME.  YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SHIPPING AND LATE FEES IF WE HAVE TO ORDER YOUR COSTUME AT A LATER DATE BECAUSE YOUR COSTUME DEPOSIT WAS NOT MAKE ON TIME.

A schedule of costume prices for all classes will be posted on the website by Mid October.  This schedule will list costume prices for each class and when payment is due. Costumes are ordered by September 30th, so please know that you will be billed for these costumes as soon as dance classes resume.  I also will NOT refund anyone for costumes already paid for and you decide to quit TMDA!  These costumes are ordered just for your child, please remember that!!!  If you do not purchase costumes by their due date, a $10.00 late fee will be added each week to your child’s costume price.  I have said I would do this in this past, and I have not, however, due to lack of space and volume, I will adhere to this rule very strictly this year.  No student will be allowed to take spring classes until all costumes for the year are paid in full and I will not make any exceptions for this.  Please do not ask for special considerations with respect to costume purchases as all office secretaries are instructed to assess late fees if costumes are left in the office boxes.

Dance tuition payments will be made twice throughout the dance year.  Late fees will begin assessing after the first 2 weeks of dance if your tuition is not paid on time.    No costumes will be passed out until your tuition fee is paid for and this will be true for recital tickets as well. Those of you who have a difficult time making these two payments and need assistance can set up a payment system with your office secretary. (Please, we ask that you ask for a payment schedule only if this is your last option.  Keeping track of tuition payments is always hard as we are continually researching bills for these customers.  This takes up a lot of valuable secretary time and that is a luxury we just do not have. Thanks for your cooperation.)    You will need to fill out a payment schedule and sign it and keep to this payment schedule or late fees will be assessed to your account.   Your office secretary will answer all of your dance, costume, and supply questions. If they are unable to answer your questions, then they will meet with your child’s instructor for the correct answers. Please help your office secretary out, they have a tough job to do in a limited amount of time. Tuition fees are non-refundable after the first 2 weeks of each semester. Dance costumes will never be refunded as these costumes have been ordered specifically for your child only.

Snow days will be rescheduled at the instructor’s discretion. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

Secretaries will NOT be at your discretion during TUMBLING nights.  All bills must be paid on Tuesday and Wednesday of each week.  

Private lessons for students are available through TMDA.  All private lessons must be scheduled through the front office with the OS.  All private lessons will be taught by iNSTRUCTORS /Junior Instructors and will be scheduled at the discretion of the instructor.  If you want a specific Instructor, this will be first scheduled with them and then we will contact you with the time of the private lesson.  The private lesson will be billed at  $60.00 per hour/ $30 per half hour for an Instructor.  This fee will cover the cost of the instructor and the studio fee and it will be due when the private lesson is scheduled.

No junior instructors employed by TMDA will be able to offer private lessons on their own.  All private
lessons must be held at and paid through TMDA.

No junior instructors employed by TMDA will be able to offer private lessons on their own.  All private lessons must be held at and paid for through TMDA.

If you want custom music cut for your child, the cost will be $30.00 per hour.  Cutting music is very time-consuming so please schedule this through the OS. You will be expected to pay for this immediately when your music is cut and you receive your edited version.  

If you absolutely need a copy of our edited versions of our music, the cost will be $5.00 per song and it will be emailed to you.  The $5 fee must be paid before the secretaries will email you our cut version.

Each child must practice daily. We learn at a rapid pace at TMDA thus if your child gets behind, she/he not only will become frustrated but she/he will also slow the rest of the class down.  Practice makes for better for we all know that no one is perfect. We will speak to the child the first 2 times about not practicing and then we will speak to you, the parent. If we can not get your child to practice then we will place your child at a lower level, as we cannot stop to re-teach dance combinations each week that is why we tape all choreography for your children.  Please encourage your child to practice. I will reward practicing dancers by placing them in the front line, this is only fair. We cannot allow dancers who do not practice to be in the front as they will throw all other lines off. I will stick with this rule for classes with age groups of 6 and older. All dance schools have this rule, so please understand that we are just being fair and trying to encourage our dancers to take an interest in what you all are paying for. Thank you for your understanding as parents of these wonderful little dancers.

If your child misses more than 2 consecutive weeks of dance, we will call you. If your child has been sick, we will do our best to catch them up to the rest of the group. If they miss 3 weeks, we will assume they have quit dance and we will give that spot to another dancer. If your child is missing class due to an injury, she/he will not be part of the dance that he/she has missed. If your child is missing class due to any other reason than illness, she/he will still be required to have her/his classes taped and know her /his choreography when she/he returns. If they do not, they will not be allowed to participate in that dance. We will enforce this rule without exception as it is not fair to the other students that have been to class regularly and know their dance.  We are trying to be fair to everyone.
New dancers coming in the January semester will not be allowed to participate in any dances learned in the first semester.

All TMDA dancers are required to perform at all functions that his/her group is asked to perform at. Part of learning dance is performing dance and remember, your child is part of a group which only functions, at its best, with all of its members. Exceptions to this rule are illness and vacations. If you cannot make it to a function, it is your responsibility to tell your office secretary that your child will not be performing. You will be told well in advance when your child will be performing so please make arrangements to have your child at these performances. Do not assume that your child is the only one that will not be able to be at an arrangement; if all parents felt that way, we would sometimes end up with very few students at a performance.  If you do not show up to a performance and you have not notified your instructor or office secretary, this will be considered missing a class, and your child will have to sit out of the next performance.  Please understand that the reason we are doing this is so that we will be able to count on your child at all the performances.  

Parents will be allowed into the studio for “Parent Watch” once a month. This will be the first dance day of each month and it will be the last 10 minutes of class. You will be quickly updated on any new announcements, we will allow you to ask questions concerning the new newsletter and you will also be allowed to see what your child’s choreography has been for the previous month. This will be your chance to encourage your dancer and applaud his/her hard work.   No outer shoes from any parent will be allowed into the new studios.  All shoes must be removed before entering the studio. Absolutely no exceptions.  

We can handle crying children so please allow us to comfort them. If we cannot handle them, we will come looking for their parents. It is our experience that your children listen to us so much better without their parents watching. We hope you understand. There will be no drinks of any kind allowed at all in the new studios.  When your dancer changes his/her shoes, they will be allowed water at that time. The drinks create a mess in the studio and take up much valuable dance time with clean-up.

Students must go to the bathroom before class time.  Dancers will not be allowed a bathroom break during class time.  As soon as we allow one dancer to go to the bathroom, all the other dancers want to go too!!!  This creates an unnecessary loss of very valuable class time.  Please, have your child use the bathroom before she/he enters dance class.

Leaders will be chosen in some dance groups. A leader is chosen on his/her ability to replace the dance instructor; to lead the group without the aid of the instructor. Leaders are chosen by their ability as a dancer, knowledge of the choreography and their capability to direct the group. It is solely the instructor’s decision to choose the leader and their decision is final. We employ professionals and each and every instructor is 100% objective. We understand that most dancers want to be leaders and we will make our decision based on the above criteria with that in mind.

All classes will be videotaped and sent to you via Dropbox through your email address.  This recording of the dance choreography is an essential part of your child’s learning experience and we feel that by offering this to your children, they will develop into better dancers. If your child misses class, he/she is still expected to learn the choreography. Dropbox will be explained to everyone in the first week of dance classes.

Junior instructors are an essential part of all the dance classes. They will assist in lining up students in the hallway, taking attendance, filling in evaluations on each child, stretching, and progressions. They will also help teach choreography. These instructors are to be respected and listened to, just like your head instructor.   They are an integral part of your child’s learning experience and classes could not be run efficiently without them.  Thus, each class has two highly qualified dancers teaching your children.

If any of you need to speak to Colleen or your dance instructor, please do not do this during class time. Your 0S’s are be able to answer all of your questions and if they cannot, your OS will contact your instructors for the answer. If you need to speak to your instructor, you can email them at Miss(their name)  Nothing can be done about your concerns if you do not channel them in the correct direction. If you have any complaints, please refrain from making them in the student waiting area.

Your children must be watched at all times while you are waiting for class. Please do not leave any children unattended.  We are not responsible for unsupervised children in the waiting areas and we also expect the noise level to be kept at a minimum while classes are being held.  All dancers must have dance bags to keep their shoes in.  TMDA will never be responsible for lost or stolen items. Absolutely no running in the hallways and please, keep small children in your care at all times.

All children must be picked up immediately after their class has finished. There are too many children coming in and out for us to make sure each parent is there.
It is your responsibility to be in class at the correct time. The instructors will not be responsible for any children that are left after the class has been let out.

No children, parents or junior instructors will be allowed into the front office unless they have school business.  There are too many things going on in the office for anyone to be in there except for the OS.  Please respect this rule so that all the office dealings can be done efficiently.

No students will be allowed in the teacher’s room at any time.  This is only for teachers, junior instructors, and Office Secretaries.  All students must wait in the waiting room or the locker room for their classes, NO EXCEPTIONS!

Dance classes will only be canceled if all area schools are canceled.  Please consult the web for cancellations before leaving for dance if you have any doubt about the weather.  This cancellation will be posted on the moving cursor on the web site.  All cancellations will be made by 1 pm of the dance day in question. It will be left to the discretion of the dance instructor if any dance classes will be re-scheduled.  Dance classes will be rescheduled on Mondays.

The Maine Dance Academy will keep you posted on all news via its website at A newsletter will be posted on the first Monday of each month on the web and also on each studio wall.  If you have news to share with the TMDA family, i.e., a new birth, a pageant winning, please email your exciting event to A calendar of events will be posted each month as well and we ask that you print off this calendar and post it to your refrigerator door for reference.

Thank you so much for choosing The Maine Dance Academy for your child’s dance education. I and all of my dance instructors are committed to making dance enjoyable and challenging for your child.  We promise to give you our best while bringing out the best in your children.  We all love what we do and we hope your children will grow in their appreciation and respect for the art of dance.  Good luck and enjoy your dance year at TMDA!

The Maine Dance Academy
15 Sweden Street, Suite 3, Caribou, ME  04736