BITAEMO / WELCOME!
Welcome to “Yatran”!! When translated from Ukrainian, the word “Yatran” means bonfire. It accurately describes our burning fire of desire to share our love of our Ukrainian culture. Ardrossan Yatran was founded in and has operated as a non-profit society by volunteers since 1981.
The purpose of this Handbook is to outline the operations of Ardrossan Yatran Ukrainian Dance Association (Ardrossan 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.
We hope this season of dance is fulfilling for you, your dancer and your family. We are glad you have joined and we look forward to many happy returns together!
Ardrossan Yatran endeavors to preserve the ‘art’ of Ukrainian folk dance and Ukrainian culture. The society strives to provide dancers 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.
In addition to this Handbook, communication occurs most frequently through email by the Executive and typically by text or chat apps from our group representative. You can expect communications throughout the season to keep dancers and parents up-to-date. Please read these as they contain important information about schedules, activities and more and the timelines to read or respond may be needed quickly.
As mentioned, each dance group has a representative, a group representative, usually known as Group Mom, who is the liaison between the Executive as well as with the instructor. Group Moms are expected to be at the monthly meetings, assist with communicating with their groups as 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, making informed decisions and getting information out to everyone 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 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, and this period of 24 hours is helpful in making sure you’re bringing forward a concern that needs addressing in a way that helps everyone to reach a solution together.
SUPPORT OUR INSTRUCTORS
At Ardrossan Yatran, we want the best for your dancer. If an instructor disciplines your dancer, we recommend the parent should support the teacher. If you disagree with the behaviour modification, you are welcome to request a meeting to discuss the situation with both the instructor and an Executive member, after following the 24-hour timeline mentioned above. Discussing or challenging the teacher’s authority in front of your dancer, or any of the dancers, breaks a line of respect between teacher and student. Always handle a concern with decorum. You are a role model for your child and represent Ardrossan Yatran for the children of other families as well.
Ardrossan Yatran’s very existence and management depend 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 asked and encouraged to attend. These meetings are a means to update parents about the Association’s activities.
We ask you think seriously about assisting in a formal capacity! Elections for open Executive positions occur at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in May for the upcoming season. There are also many volunteer/committee positions that need to be filled and will also be discussed at the AGM and the first meeting in September.
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 Ardrossan Yatran. 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., 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 they can to give dance rehearsals and performances priority. In today’s times, dancers have many interests, and those other activities need to be balanced alongside the commitment made to Ardrossan Yatran.
Instructors also find difficult to run classes efficiently when dancers are often missing or late for rehearsals. The 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 also for the rest of your dance team. Please discuss any scheduling difficulties with the instructors in advance 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 who 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 scheduled rehearsal of every month, or as the instructor sees fit).
Chewing gum, food and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
DANCER GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Ardrossan 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 dancers for inspiration is good, however, making negative comparisons distracts dancers 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 dancers – negatively impacts the group and Association as a whole.
Criteria 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 a group is appropriate for a dancer after the initial placement. This may be based on factors such as dancer strength, coordination, stamina, the ability to memorize required choreography and following instruction in class. A dancer’s placement may be adjusted throughout the month of September.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s dance education (such as placement or progress), please request a conference with the President.
Weekly dance instruction and rehearsal is held every Tuesday and Thursday night at the Ardrossan Recreation Centre at the hours determined by the President, Vice President and instructor(s). The dance season runs 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 instructor(s), 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 either way.
DANCE REHEARSAL ATTIRE
Appropriate dance attire is essential to reduce risk of injury and to allow the instructors to accurately see body alignment and positioning.
Clothing must allow the dancer freedom of movement.
A dancer should always strive for a neat, clean and safe presentation of their attire.
Proper footwear is mandatory for maneuverability and support.
The following attire is to be worn for rehearsals and workshops, unless otherwise indicated:
Girl’s Hair, Shoes & Acceptable Clothing
If long, hair pulled into braids or bun, bangs pinned in order to see the full face
Dance slippers or jazz shoes
Either a body suit, dance tights, practice skirts, leggings, spandex shorts, form-fitted t-shirt, dark colours are requested
Boy’s Hair, Shoes & Acceptable Clothing
If long, hair pulled into braids or bun, bangs pinned in order to see the full face
Dance slippers or jazz shoes
Short-sleeve fitted t-shirt, either dance pants or longer shorts, dark colours are requested
SPACES IN THE REC CENTRE
We currently rent space from Strathcona County at the Ardrossan Recreation Center for our dance instruction, performances, meetings and special events. This site is an excellent opportunity for Ardrossan Yatran to be well connected and visible in the community. We have made sure to establish a mutually respectful relationship with the staff and we expect families to maintain Yatran’s relationship. As part of our contract with Strathcona County, we agree to adhere to their guidelines and policies when in the building, and being our own ambassadors, we treat the building and the people within it respectfully.
If you are approached by any Strathcona County staff ambassador with corrective advice or a particular request, please follow their lead and guidance. If you take exception to their request, stay respectful in the moment, and bring your concern to an Executive member, if you believe further action is required.
The Curling Club offers food, beverages and alcohol, whether we are there for a membership meeting or visiting within the membership. We are there as guests upon the generosity of the Curling Club – it is not our personal and private space. Hosting the occasional meeting in this location is very convenient since it is in the same location our dancers are rehearsing.
Yes, children are welcome! Please know that service priority is given to Curling Club members and remain mindful that this is a space for their group to unwind, visit and connect. Our membership should conduct our business as quietly as possible and we need to clean up after ourselves (food cleared, chairs pushed in). Our children should be involved in quiet activities when present - no running, jumping, chasing, active gameplay or horsing around. Keep in mind - when entering, when using and when leaving - courteous manners go a long way to maintaining this informal relationship with our good neighbours in the Ardrossan Recreation Center.
A final note about the offerings of the Curling Club - should you choose to drink alcohol, do so responsibly.
FIRE ALARM MUSTER POINTS
Established Muster Points:
For people in the Hall or PreSchool Room, exit via the Southside entrance and muster in the south end of the parking lot.
For people in the Aspen Room, exit via the Main Entrance and muster in the south end of the parking lot.
For people meeting in the Cedar Room, exit via the Southside entrance and muster in the south end of the parking lot.
For people meeting in the Ardrossan Curling Club lounge, exit via the Southside entrance and muster in the south end of the parking lot.
Competitions and festivals are discussed and decided early in the dance season. In coordination with the instructors, the Executive will propose competition venues to attend for the season and this gets voted on by the membership at a monthly meeting. We follow the guidelines provided by Festival hosts and when attending dance festivals/competitions, please note there is no video recording or photographing allowed while inside the theatre from backstage or when in the audience. This includes video messenging, tablets, video recorder, mobile phone, standard cameras, etc. Most festivals are moving to a digital world and will usually record the dance with adjudicators comments, so there may be an opportunity for families to get a copy and watch it in the weeks following a festival. Also, there's an increasing number of professional videographers and photographers offering photos and videos for sale.
Typically, Ardrossan Yatran will attend 2 – 3 competitions/festivals per year. We also like to attend Yarmarok, a Ukrainian festival that occurs every two years in Edmonton. Typically, this event happens in March. All adjudication comment sheets will be collected ONLY by instructors at all attended festivals.
Performances are booked by the Performance Coordinator. S/He will line up performances at a senior’s center and/or public venues. Please expect to attend at least two (2) public performances in the spring.
We also have a highly attended Family Dance at the end of February. This is the first event of the dance season where all the dance groups perform in front 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 held in May and showcases all that the dancers have learned and accomplished throughout the dance season. In the past it has been held at Festival Place in Sherwood Park and typically the last Saturday in May. Every year, a videographer is arranged to film the dancers performing in the final performance of the season and a digital copy of the show is offered for sale to the membership. Digital Copies can also be purchased by family and friends, and once sold, Ardrossan Yatran assumes no responsibility for the sharing of the data that is on the digital copy.
WORKSHOPS & RESCHEDULED CLASSES
If for any reason, an instructor is unavailable for regular dance practices, these cancelled classes are usually rescheduled on Friday nights or Saturday days 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 particular skills. These will be offered to the dancers at the instructor’s availability.
COSTUMING & MAKEUP
Ardrossan Yatran is so fortunate to have a fabulous costume department. Costume collections are very costly and require an immense amount of work to produce and maintain. We own numerous costumes that are rented to dancers for a minimal fee for the dance season. A damage deposit is required before getting your costume and there is also a hanger deposit (usually $15/costume and $5/hanger set). It is expected that you will look after these costumes as if they are your very own.
Costume fittings are usually done within a small portion of a regularly scheduled rehearsal night, depending on scheduling. Our costume team looks for:
a good fit on the dancers (measurements might be taken at this time),
any storage stains that might have happened over time,
good condition of costume accessories (headpieces, sashes, beads, etc.),
input from instructors about costume selection and accessories.
Once the costume sets are ready, the costumes are distributed at one time to all dancers, usually on a meeting night or a regularly scheduled rehearsal night. To pick up your costume, you will need to bring with you:
a costume damage deposit,
a rental payment,
a hanger deposit (separate from the costume damage deposit)
and a garment bag.
For any costume with a headpiece, bring a hatbox, a plastic bin, even a shoebox (if it’s the right size!) for storing and transporting your rented headpiece for the season. So much unnecessary damage can happen to a headpiece if it’s rolling around loose in the garment bag, or even worse, in the trunk of your car. To avoid your damage deposit being cashed, invest in an appropriately sized container for your given headpiece.
A costume will not be given to a dancer without a garment bag, so if you need to purchase one, we have some for sale with our logo for $50. Your garment bag doesn’t need to be Ardrossan Yatran specifically, but it does need to be in good condition.
Costumes are typically returned from all dance groups on one scheduled date, times varying by dance group. If the costume and hanger are not returned in the same condition as was given to you, the damage deposits will be cashed. If everything is in good condition, the deposits will be returned to you at the time of returning your costume.
PERFORMANCE & FESTIVAL EXTRAS
Prior to performances, each group will be informed by their instructors about what footwear to perform in, hairstyle and the makeup requirement. The same information will be communicated to the parents through the group reps.
All female dancers will need dancing tights (not nylons). The colour and manufacturer details will be shared when costumes have been selected. All male dancers wear black socks at performances in their shoes.
So you know, depending on the style of costumes, female dancers might need either a white camisole or a nude-coloured body suit and a pair of boy/short shorts. Some costumes may require bead necklaces. We are looking to have a set in our collection, but in the meantime, if beads are required for female dancers, these necklaces may need to be purchased by the families and you would then own them. If these items are needed, you will be informed about the specifics once the costumes have been selected.
These extra items, including shoes, do NOT have to be purchased new, but they should always be clean and in good condition for any performances or festivals. We have a collection of shoes available for purchase, that are inexpensive, in good condition for either rehearsals or performances. Oftentimes, families have body suits, tights and short shorts too that are in good condition that have been outgrown. At the beginning of the year, there’s usually a shoe and clothing sale of outgrown items for you to consider.
Clear hair ties/elastics and bobby pins for headpieces are an important investment for a dance season as are medium and large safety pins for securing accessories to costumes. For headpieces, we recommend extra-large bobby pins. If you are unsure about how to use these items, approach the costume crew to get a quick tutorial for tips and tricks for using bobby pins and safety pins correctly and keeping your dancer stage ready.
Guidelines for the Care of Costumes & Accessories
Treat your costumes with good care and attention at all times.
Be extra attentive when applying red lipstick while a dancer is in costume.
Always transport costumes in a garment bag.
As mentioned, headpieces should be in a separate appropriately sized container.
While in costume, a dancer should not be eating, drinking or climbing on things.
When storing the costume between uses, store it in the garment bag, zipper open 1/3 of the way to allow for air circulation.
Keep your costume & costume bag in an area of air flow, but out of direct sunlight and where there’s minimal exposure to fumes such as gasoline, cigarette smoke, etc.
Be aware there could be moths or other creatures that seek refuge in your garment bag while in storage.
We recommend washing body suits, tights and short shorts together with a gentle detergent and hanging them to dry. Putting these items in the dryer will shorten their life span.
Return your costume as is! We understand that some stains are par for the course and part of the regular wear and tear. Other stains or damage may happen and could affect whether a piece is usable again or whether major repair can save it. The costume team needs to assess the pieces as are, so you do not need to take any steps to launder or repair costumes.
If something does happen to your costume during the dance season, give us a chance to help! Bring it to the attention of a costume committee member as soon as you know about it and we will work with you to get the costume stage ready once again or find you a replacement.
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 arrive in full costume and makeup, hair in place. Payment for orders will be due at this time. Photos are optional, but attendance is mandatory because all dancers should be present in their group photos.
Ardrossan Yatran's Executive contact information can be found on the contacts page.