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APA BLOG – Why does APA offer report cards?

Why does APA offer report cards?

“Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”

Have you ever heard this Tanzanian proverb?  It’s all about how the compound effect works, meaning that small steps of progress over a long period of time can become transformative in someone’s life.

This may seem like a pretty big concept, but it is one of the most important reasons APA offers report cards!  We believe that tracking each dancer’s development in their classes can lead to big progress over time—progress in skills, progress in technique, and progress in confidence!  Through our report card evaluations, we can continue building each dancer’s strengths and help develop the skills that need improvement.

Completing report cards each December and June allows us to objectively measure each child’s achievement and share that information with parents.  As you’ve seen from your child’s most recent report card, we base those measurements on each class’s syllabus of skills. At no time do we consider a child to be “failing” in a dance class; rather, we assess skills according to a 1 through 4 grading scale.  We consider a grade of 1 to be a starting point where dancers are learning the fundamentals, while a 2 reflects proficiency with skills but attention needed to execution. A grade of 3 demonstrates strong skills and minimal corrections needed, and a 4 shows an aptitude consistent with the next class level.

It is expected that your child will progress gradually with his or her grades and will be promoted to the next level after reaching 4’s in all skills.  Most dancers are in the same class level for two years so there is ample time to learn, grow, and master the class material.

We caution you and your child not to compare report cards with their friends.  No two dancers will achieve the exact same grades, even though they may be taught the same syllabus by the same teacher.  We want report cards to prompt celebration and growth, not comparison to others.

The best way to see progress is to track the work being done. We teach goal setting to help our dancers see that hard work pays off.

May Music Newsletter 2018

A Note From Miss Kayla

We’ve made it! Congratulations to all of our young musicians for making it to the year-end recital! Don’t forget to RSVP to the Music Studio Party on May 6th, so we can all get together to meet one another, sing some karaoke, and celebrate all of the hard work that has gone into this year!

Our new season begins on July 15th, so make sure you register to save your spot, as we are opening registration to the public this month.

Before the summer, we will be talking in class about our musical goals for the new season! Think about what you want to achieve through your music lessons next year. Perhaps you’d like to register for Festival, or challenge yourself to take an RCM exam! For your next lesson after the recital, prepare a list of 3-5 musical goals and bring them into class. We will discuss your goals, and make a plan to achieve your goals!

This month, we have an exciting new addition to our music program! We are receiving a brand new piano for our music room! It is a beautiful, acoustic upright piano, and we are very excited to give our students the opportunity to play on a real instrument!

Important Dates:

April 30- May 4- No classes (recital week)

May 2- Music Recital

May 6- Music Studio Party

May 18-21- No Classes (May Long Weekend)

Musical Fun Fact:

There is a “sea organ” in Croatia that plays music like an organ when the waves crash in and out of it!

APA May Dance Newsletter 2018

APA BLOG – How do I care for my child’s costume?

How do I care for my child’s costume?

There’s nothing else quite like a dance costume—it carries the excitement of performances yet to come, and of course, there are all those sparkles!  For many children, wearing a costume brings out the confidence and poise they’ve been working so hard on in class, and it is one of their most favorite parts about dancing on stage.  Taking good care of a dance costume is key to keeping it in tip-top shape for such an important task.

Because dance costumes are made from specialty fabrics, they can’t be treated like regular clothes.  From stretchy lycra-blended leotards to the embellishments of sequins and beading, costumes are made from finicky materials that require a little extra attention.  Taking care of your child’s costume is simple if you keep these three guidelines in mind:

  • Always store a costume on its plastic hanger (inside the garment bag) unless otherwise specified by your child’s teacher.
  • Make sure your child doesn’t eat or drink while wearing a costume.  This helps prevent irreversible damage that can be caused by the dyes and enzymes in food and drink.
  • If possible, do not wash your child’s costume.  Most costume fabrics do not wash well! If you must wash or spot-clean a costume, use cold water and wash it by hand with a gentle detergent.  Never use bleach because it will damage the fabric’s dye and elasticity. Hang the costume to dry (never put it in the dryer).

We also recommend that you remind your child not to wear their costume at home before the performances.  While it may be tempting to dance around the living room in all that tulle, there is also the risk that the costume will catch on something and rip, or that food or drink could accidentally spill on it.  Save the dress-up until after all of the performances are complete!

If you ever have a question about the best way to store or care for a specific dance costume, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher or Miss Tara.  We are always happy to help!


APA BLOG – Why is the APA lobby so busy during my child’s class?

Why is the APA lobby so busy during my child’s class?

You may have noticed that APA’s lobby can get super-busy at times.  It happens often during weekday evenings and Saturday mornings when our most popular classes take place.  We realize that a bustling lobby can be a challenge, so thank you for your patience with us (and with each other) when things get busy!  

Our lobby is small because during the construction of APA, Miss Tara made the decision to maximize all of our classroom spaces to create the best learning environment possible.  Since the lobby is a secondary space, less square footage was allocated there. With parents investing in their children’s arts education each month, Miss Tara knew that prioritizing classroom space would be very important to ensure the best value for each student’s experience.

We considered staggering class times to ease lobby congestion, but the benefits didn’t outweigh the consequences.  A majority of our dancers participate in back-to-back classes, so staggering times would have had a ripple effect of unnecessary wait times and the loss of some classes from the schedule.

If you have a child who takes dance class during one of our peak times, we encourage you to take advantage of that time to yourself!  There are some parents who prefer to use that time to drop off their dry cleaning, pick up a few grocery items, or grab a cup of coffee with a friend at Tim Hortons.  We always have your phone number should the need arise for you to hurry back to APA.

We appreciate your sensitivity to all of these important factors when it comes to our lobby!  We’re grateful to serve dance families who are so understanding and value dance education.

April Music Newsletter 2018


A Note From Miss Kayla and Miss Jillian

Spring is finally here! We are so proud of all of the hard work happening, and we just have one month left until our recital! It’s a wonderful experience to come out and perform for your friends and family, and to support your fellow performers! To celebrate all your hard work, all students of Miss Kayla and Miss Jillian are invited to a post-recital pyjama and karaoke party on Sunday, May 6. Stay tuned for your official invitation and party details!

Pre-registration is still open until April 9, after which we will be opening registration to the public. Our new season begins July 16, so don’t forget to register now to secure your spot!

Tickets for the music recital will begin on April 9 for those who have pre-registered, and general sales begin on April 16. All friends and family are welcome, we would love to see you out to support our young musicians!

This Month at the Studio:

March 31- April 5- Studio Closed for Spring Break

April 9- Pre-registration ticket sales begin

April 16- General ticket sales begin

April 29- Music Recital Dress Rehearsal

Music Fun Fact:

There is a music piece called “As Slow as Possible” which started in 2001 and has a duration of 639 years. It can take years for a single note to be played.


Dance Newsletter April 2018

Ambition Performing Arts March 2018 NEWS


Hoppin’ To The Beat 

Follow me and let’s hop, skip & jump down the bunny trail using some super cool Hip Hop moves!

Pre- Registration and Advance Recital Ticket Sales

Families registered by March 29 will have access to advanced ticket sales for the June recital. Ask at the office for more details

Photoday Regular Classes – April 22

Access Schedule Here


The studio will be closed for Easter Break March 30th – April 5th, 2018.  See you back in class April 6th, 2018.


Get the APA merchandise at the office! Shirts, sweaters, sweats, AND MORE!


APA Blog – Understanding Class Placements

Understanding Class Placements

Every year, APA sends out class placement recommendations in March for pre-registration of the next dance season.  To help you better understand your child’s class placement, we want to help you make sense of all the dance lingo and make the pre-registration process as easy as possible!

Class placements are intended to be your guide to the classes best suited for your child, according to his or her teacher.  Sometimes a teacher might recommend a new style of dance, a new level, or a unique opportunity, such as a Performing Group. This is an excellent time to talk with your child about his or her favourite classes, or find out if there is a new dance style they’ve been itching to try.

You are not obligated to follow through on class recommendations right away; however, pre-registration does offer you priority when it comes to signing up for next season’s classes.  Because we have many families who take advantage of pre-registration, sometimes classes do become full early on.

Remember that class placements are not made lightly.  Our teachers at APA spend hours upon hours reflecting on their students’ report cards and overall progress in order to make the most constructive and favourable decisions.  Your goal and our goal are the same—we want your child to thrive! We only recommend classes that will set your child up for success.

If you ever feel unsure about which classes to register your child for, or if there is something you don’t quite understand about your child’s placement, please ask.  We are always willing to help you through the class selection or pre-registration process!

APA Blog – How to get the most out of Parent/Teacher Interviews

How to get the most out of Parent/Teacher Interviews


Parent/teacher interviews are being scheduled and will take place soon, we encourage you to sign up for a time slot.  We look forward to this point in the year when we have the chance to personally interact with our students’ parents.

Once your parent/teacher interview time is on the calendar you might be wondering, “How can I make the most out of this time with my child’s dance teacher?”  Here are few tips for having a successful parent/teacher interview at APA:


  • Arrive early


In order to be respectful of everyone’s time, parent/teacher interviews are conducted on a strict timetable.  We recommend arriving five minutes early, which helps us keep the day running smoothly for all involved.


  • Bring your child’s report card


Having your child’s report card handy will be an excellent reference point during your conference.  You may have a question about one of the skills, or perhaps you want to ask the teacher about one of the comments.  


  • Have your questions ready


We recommend preparing a short list of questions prior to your interview.  Knowing in advance what you hope to gain from the discussion will help keep the conversation on track with your expectations.


  • Plan to take notes


It’s easy to think you’ll remember everything you talked about with your child’s teacher, but taking notes is a much safer bet!  Although it is a short amount of time, you may be surprised at how much you are able to discuss.

Having this opportunity to connect with you means a lot to all of us at APA, and we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day for your parent/teacher interview.  We thank you for choosing APA for your child’s dance education!