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Sometimes, the rigorous and demanding practice schedule of competitive dancing can cause conflict for middle school and high school performers as they are presented with school activities, social interests and academic challenges. Teens faced with making an all or nothing choice will often choose to drop from dance to pursue other interests.
At Onstage Dance Center in Southern California, owner/director Liz Gomez has designed her programs to provide a balance for students to be able to participate in both dance and school activities. Liz learned her compassion and supporting role from her parents, who helped 20 year old Liz turn her dream into a reality opening a small dance studio. At the start, her program attendance comprised of 100 students, but now, she has grown Onstage Dance Center to include two locations and more than 1000 students!
While ODC is proud of their competitive accomplishments, Liz is also grounded in the foundation of providing a family friendly, positive environment with the right amount of balance for her students. She limits competitions to 5 a year with practice times ranging from 6-13 hours a week - which allows students to participate more actively in school life.
When asked about what she attributes the success of her program, she noted that she loves her tight knit faculty, many of whom were her own students at one time. Peek into any class and you will see the instructor in dance attire appropriate for the style they are teaching. Liz believes this professional presence is good modeling for students and helps to model expectations. The faculty at ODC have created a solid curriculum and shared teaching philosophy which includes "hands on" shaping to help students feel their positions and is used by every teacher in the studio for consistency."
If each instructor had a different technique in teaching a skill, students would easily get confused. Students will progress faster if every teacher is making corrections in the same way." ~Liz GomezLiz keeps families in the know about student progress and performance with monthly progress reports that are mailed to parents. Instructors offer positive feedback, or share tips on areas that could use extra practice at home.To learn more about On Stage Dance Center, visit their website, www.onstagedance.com