Hand Book

BITAEMO / WELCOME

Welcome to “YATRAN”!! To become better acquainted with this Association’s operation and procedures, we ask both parents and dancers to take time to read through this handbook and sign and return the form at the back to one of the executive members. The purpose of this handbook is to outline the operations of the club. We hope this season of dance is fulfilling for you.

 

When translated from Ukrainian, the word “Yatran” means bonfire. It accurately describes our clubs burning fire to share our love of our Ukrainian Culture.

PHILOSOPHY

The Ardrossan Yatran Ukrainian Dance Association endeavours to preserve the “art” of Ukrainian folk dance and Ukrainian culture. The society strives to provide students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation for Ukrainian dance and attain the highest personal level of achievement possible.

REGISTRATION & FEES

Registration takes place in early September. Specific dates and times will be available on our website. Registration fees are due at this time by monthly payments or a lump sum. Cheques are to be made payable to Ardrossan Yatran Ukrainian Dance Association or Ardrossan Yatran. Additional costs can also be expected for costuming, photos, group travel, and solo/duet/trio rehearsals. We also offer a pre-registration discount as an incentive for any dancer returning or new. It also allows the executive to have a preliminary idea of membership to help with planning and budgeting for the upcoming dance season. Pre-registration forms are required to be handed in to the President or Vice President by the deadline of July 15th of the current year. We also offer a multi-family discount if there are 3 or more dancers in the same family pre-registered for the following year.
Refunds will not be given after September 30th.

 

FUNDRAISING

A fundraising fee may be applied on a yearly basis. Amounts will be decided at the Annual General Meeting in May of the current dance year for the following year. Any additional fundraising required by the club, will be decided by the executive, dependent on but not limited to, Yatran’s financial status.

 

COMMUNICATION

 

In addition to this handbook, a newsletter will be distributed at the beginning of each month throughout the dance season to keep dancers and parents up-to-date. Newsletters will be emailed to the membership and may be accessed on our website with a password. Please read these as they contain important information about club schedules, activities and more so it is important to read each one. Each dance group has a representative that is the liaison between the club executive as well as the instructor. Group Reps are expected to be at monthly meetings, assist with communicating with their groups when needed as well as other minor responsibilities. When you receive a message from your group rep, please try to respond within 24 hours. Responses help with planning and getting information out to the club faster.

 
THE GOLDEN RULE

Treat others as you would like to be treated. If the conduct of a parent or dancer is presented in a manner that is disrespectful, antagonistic, demeaning, or aggressive, the club executive reserves the ability to deny dance instruction, based upon consideration and discussion. If you are upset with someone or a policy please wait 24 hours before approaching the executive with your concern. Many times emotions get the best of us and can alter our behaviour.

SUPPORT OUR INSTRUCTORS

We at Ardrossan Yatran want the best for your child. If an instructor disciplines your child, we recommend the parent should support the teacher. If you disagree with the behaviour modification then you are welcome to set up a meeting to discuss the situation with the instructor and executive member after following the 24 hour rule. Discussing the teacher’s authority with the instructor in front of your child breaks the line of respect between instructor and student. Always handle a concern with professionalism. You are a role model for your child.

 

PARENT EXPECTATIONS

Ardrossan Yatran Ukrainian Dance Association’s very existence and management depends on parent input and cooperation. Parents are strongly encouraged to become actively involved by volunteering their skills, talents and efforts. General meetings are held monthly throughout the dance season and parents are encouraged to attend. These meetings are a means to update the parents about the clubs activities. We ask you think seriously about assisting in a formal capacity! Elections for open executive positions occur at an annual general meeting held in May for the upcoming season. There are also many volunteer/committee positions that need to be filled, and will be discussed at the AGM and the first meeting in September.

 
DANCER EXPECTATIONS

The goal for any dancer is to enjoy improving one’s skill in the art they love. Therefore, dancers are encouraged to exhibit dedication and commitment to their dance studies and the Ardrossan Yatran Ukrainian Dance Association. As Yatran dancers, you are ambassadors and role models for others. It is important that you present a positive and appropriate character at all times.

 

Membership in the group requires dancers to attend all rehearsals. Regular attendance is necessary to attain full understanding and progression in your discipline. Any dancer who has inexcusable absences jeopardizes his/her participation in performances and competitions, at the discretion of the instructor. If a dancer will be absent due to illness, injury, schooling, etc., it is the parent’s responsibility to provide notification to the instructor, group rep or someone on the executive. Injured dancers, where possible, should strive to observe rehearsals. For the respect of all dancers in your group, any absence (excused or unexcused) in the week prior to any performance/competition may result in the dancer being pulled from the upcoming performance.

 

Ardrossan Yatran requests that families do all that they can to give dance rehearsals and performances some priority. Instructors realize that dancers also have other interests, but it is difficult to run classes efficiently when dancers are often missing or late for rehearsals. Dance season is fairly consistent every year with the first group performance at the end of February and performances/competitions from the end of March to the beginning of May. Each dancer is choreographed into specific positions and when a dancer is missing, it is difficult not only for the instructor but the rest of your dance team. Please discuss any scheduling difficulties with the instructors in advance, as to avoid major disruptions and to assist with classroom planning.

 

Dancers are to arrive on time for rehearsals. While in the waiting area, dancers are to avoid creating undue noise so as not to distract the dancers whom are in rehearsal. Dancers/parents are not to enter the dance studio until such time as the instructor invites them to do so (viewing of progress will be the last 5 minutes of class on the last Monday of every month or as the instructor sees fit). Chewing gum is strictly prohibited.

REHEARSALS

Weekly dance instruction and rehearsal is to be held every Monday and Thursday night at the Ardrossan Recreation Center at the hours determined by the President, Vice President and the Instructors. The dance season will run from September to May. A rehearsal schedule will be established at the start of each season and instructors will determine class arrangements during placement night at the beginning of September.
In the event of inclement weather, the President and Vice President, in consultation with the instructors, will decide if dance classes or performances should be cancelled. A phone/text/email fan-out will be initiated to notify all parents and dancers if classes or performances are cancelled.

 

DANCE REHEARSAL ATTIRE

The following attire is to be worn for rehearsals:

 

Girls – hair pulled back in braids, bun or ponytail, dance slippers or jazz shoes, body suit, dance tights, practice skirts, leggings, spandex shorts, form fitted shirt, dark colours are requested

Boys – dance slippers or jazz shoes, short sleeved fitted t-shirt, dance pants or longer shorts, dark colours are requested

 

Appropriate dance attire is essential to reduce risk of injury. Proper footwear is mandatory for manoeuvrability and support, while clothing must enable the instructor to ensure proper body positioning and to allow the dancer to facilitate use of costumes. A neat, clean and safe presentation should always be strived for.

 

AUDITION/PLACEMENT NIGHT

The first night of dance in September will be placement night. An email will be sent out prior to that evening with times for each dancer’s arrival. Classes will be structured by the instructors. After each dancer has been evaluated, they will be placed into groups accordingly. Criteria that will be used in the decision making process will include, but not limited to; ability to perform choreography, effort, listening, following instruction during class, being respectful to teachers and preparedness for class. An instructor may feel a change in group is appropriate for a dancer after initial placement. This may be based on factors such as student strength, coordination, the ability to memorize required choreography and following instruction in class. A student’s placement may be adjusted throughout the month of September.

 

Yatran encourages you not to compare your child’s ability with their group mates. Watch for this behaviour in your children as well and encourage them to focus instead on their own accomplishments. Looking to other students for inspiration is good. However, making negative comparisons distracts children from focusing on their own strengths and becoming stronger dancers. In addition, speaking negatively about your child’s teacher, fellow students, or other parents in front of your child - or other students – negatively impacts the group and the club as a whole. If you have questions/concerns regarding your child’s dance education (such as placement or progress), please request a conference with the President of the club.

 

CLASS SPACES

We currently rent space from the county at the Ardrossan Recreation Center. Monday evening classes are held in the hall space across from the curling rink and Thursday evening classes are held in the playschool room upstairs. Ardrossan Yatran has received use of a storage room on site, in which costumes and club supplies are stored.

PERFORMANCE/COMPETITIONS/FESTIVALS

Competitions/Festivals will be discussed early in the dance season. In coordination with the instructors, the Executive will propose competition venues to attend for that season which will be voted on by the membership at a monthly meeting. Generally, Ardrossan Yatran will attend 2-3 competitions per year. We will also attend Yarmarok, a Ukrainian festival that occurs every 2 years in Edmonton. Typically this performance happens in March.

Performances will be booked by the performance coordinator. He/She will line up performances at senior centers or other public venues. Please expect to attend at least 2 public performances in the spring.
We also have a Family Dance at the end of February. This is the first time our dance groups will perform in front of an audience of family and friends. This dance requires parents to help at work bees to prep for this event, ticket sales, set-up, and clean up at the end of the night.

The Finale performance is at the end of May which showcases all the dancers have learned and accomplished throughout the dance season. In the past it has been held at Festival Place in Sherwood Park, the last weekend in May. There will be a videographer filming all dancers in the final performance of the year and a copy of the DVD will be offered for sale to the club membership. DVD’s are purchased by family/friends of Ardrossan Yatran. Once DVDs are purchased Ardrossan Yatran assumes no responsibility for sharing of data on DVD.

 

Extra dances that have been arranged independently by parents with the instructors for solos/duets/trios can attend competitions with the club with the understanding that all competition fees and rehearsal rental spaces are the sole responsibility of the parents.

 

WORKSHOPS / MAKEUP CLASSES

We sometimes require makeup classes, if for any reason an instructor is unavailable for regular dance practices due to illness or prior commitments. These classes are usually re-scheduled on Friday nights or Saturdays and are coordinated by the Executive and the Instructors.
From time to time our Instructors may offer a skills workshop for fun and to hone skills. These will be offered to the club membership at the instructor’s availability.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP

Ardrossan Yatran has a fabulous costume department. Our club owns numerous costumes that we are able to rent to dancers for a minimal fee. We do require a cheque for a damage deposit, as these costumes are very costly and require an immense amount of work to produce. It is expected that you will look after these costumes as if they are your very own. If the costume is not returned in the same condition it was given to you, your damage deposit cheque will be cashed. Ardrossan Yatran has special costume hangers that require a deposit. The deposit will be returned when the costume and hangers are given back to the costume department at the end of the dance year.

Costumes are always to be transported in a garment bag. If you do not have one, the club has a few for sale for $30 each. While in costume each dancer is expected to not eat, drink or climb around as these costumes are very expensive and we would like to be able to utilize them for years to come.
Each group will be told footwear, hair and makeup requirements for any dances by the instructors prior to performances. Most of the time, this information is communicated to the groups through group representatives.

PORTRAITS

Individual and group photos will be taken in the spring of each dance season. We also offer sibling/family photos as well. Dancers are to come in full costume and make-up. Payment for orders will be due at this time. Photos are optional but attendance is mandatory, so all dancers can be in the group photos.


CONTACT

The Yatran Executive’s contact information can be found on the contacts page