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A collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  How are Oculus Danceworks lessons different from other dance lessons?
Oculus Danceworks classes promote more than just mimicry of the instructor's choreography. Lessons will challenge you technically while also providing creative tasks to complete with your own movement choices. You will be encouraged to develop artistry and compete against personal goals rather than against the abilities of your classmates. Oculus classes will "shine light" on what is possible within your unique movement capabilities.


2.  How do classes work? Could you explain how activities are used to engage students creatively?
First, all Oculus Danceworks lessons are structured to include technique training in a selected dance discipline. Like any other artist, dancers need tools to create—dance vocabulary, standardized positions, and knowledge of dance traditions provide a necessary framework. Along with learning basic dance skills, students are given opportunities to use these skills in creative and personal ways.

A creativity exercise can be as simple as asking dancers to think of various ways to jump, or by using guide words such as "melt", "sweep", and "slide" and challenging students to move across the floor by choosing movements to reflect these guide words. A more complex creativity exercise could involve two or more dancers working together to create a short movement phrase—perhaps with everyone using a poem or idea for inspiration. At times, "class phrases" are formed using specific choreographic principles and movement contributions from each class member. It is common for class participants to give feedback about the movement choices that others have shared.

The creation segments of classes are overwhelmingly greeted with much enthusiasm. Students gain respect for each person's movement choices and unique style through this practice. It is also through these exercises that the preservation of dance as a creative art is maintained.


3.  What is the appropriate clothing/footwear for class?
Dancers should wear clothing allowing for the line of the body to be seen. Leotards, tights, dance sweaters, very close-fitting tank tops, T-shirts, shorts, and pants (cut above the ankle) are usually acceptable.

Class material includes a full range of movement. Do not wear clothing that is uncomfortable for stretching or that will become too revealing. It is advised to dress in light removable layers as you will get warmer as class progresses.

Those studying Tap should have appropriate shoes for this dance form. Contemporary classes are usually taken in bare feet or with half-socks. If you are participating in an Audition Preparation or Performance Coaching session, please bring the necessary costume pieces and shoes that will be utilized in your audition or performance.

Hair should be arranged to prevent it from falling or "flying" into the eyes on turns or quick movements. This is strictly enforced.

Please remove jewelry before attending class!!!


4.  I am new to movement classes—are there any helpful guidelines?
Arrive for your lesson a few minutes ahead of time so you can enter the dance space relaxed and ready to learn. A bottle of water is recommended and is the only beverage allowed on dance studio floors. Absolutely no food or chewing gum should be brought into class.

If you are going to be late or miss a lesson, please phone or email as soon as possible to alert your teacher about the situation. Other students on a waiting list may be able to fill your space and will appreciate your courtesy.

You are not expected to warm up prior to your lesson, although you may certainly do so if time/space permits.

If you have any injuries or soreness please inform your instructor before class begins.

It is considered very bad manners for students to leave class unless an emergency absolutely warrants it. If you must leave class to use the restroom, please do so quickly and return quietly. Try to use the restroom before class begins to eliminate this problem. If you must leave class due to an injury or other health concern, tell your teacher immediately.

Dance instructors often find it necessary to use hands-on corrections to demonstrate proper technique. If you are uncomfortable with this practice, it is important to discuss your concerns prior to beginning lessons.

It is customary for dance students and teachers to share a few moments to thank one another at the end of class. The entire group may share a series of movements, a single bow, or just clap to show appreciation. Please follow your teacher's preference here.


5.  What are some benefits of dance training?
The study of dance may provide benefits never before imagined. Through dance classes, many students have realized a newfound confidence, better posture, stress release, improved strength and flexibility, grace, heightened concentration and expanded ways of interpreting the world via movement. Personal responses to attending dance classes can be different for each participant. While the results mentioned above are not guaranteed, new dancers are welcomed to Oculus Danceworks to discover what is possible.


6.  May I invite my friends and family to view classes?
Yes, at the end of each dance series Oculus Danceworks classes are open for informal class showings. Students are always given advance notice of the showing dates.

Parents, coaches, and directors are welcome to attend private lessons or coaching sessions at any time.


7.  I would like to schedule lessons. How do I proceed?
Please contact Kimberly Stinson Serrano via email kim@oculusdanceworks.com or via telephone (650) 468 4872 to request a private lesson. Be sure to note all of your day and time availability when making a request.

All students are required to submit completed registration forms prior to beginning movement classes.