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 execute. 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 a 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.