The Hiland Theater Student Handbook
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NDI New Mexico is founded with the knowledge that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children. The purpose of our distinctive programs is to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives.
For 30 years, our programs have made a measurable difference in the lives of New Mexico’s children.
Our Philosophy & Values
NDI New Mexico provides rigorous performing arts programming that builds technical skills and personal character and is accessible to all children. We provide a well-rounded experience in the performing arts.
NDI New Mexico provides programming that contributes to children’s success in life through healthy attitudes, rigor, discipline and creativity. Students’ experience is consistent with NDI New Mexico’s methodology of joyous learning while the teaching re-enforces the NDI New Mexico Core Four: work hard, do your best, never give up and be healthy.
At NDI New Mexico, we believe in excellence, respect, community, and safety. We are committed to creating an inclusive supportive learning environment so that all children can strive for their own personal health and excellence while feeling valued and safe. We promote open communication between staff, students, families and the community at large, and believe that a student’s success depends on a strong two-way relationship between The NDI New Mexico staff and the family. We believe that every child has the capacity to learn, experience success, and ultimately develop confidence and pride through participation in our programs.
We are happy that you are a student at NDI New Mexico and want you to experience success in your classes. In order to focus on your work, we would like you to commit to embodying the values of our school – excellence, respect, community, and safety. We will communicate openly and directly with you and your family. Please be assured that if you share information with us that concerns your safety, we will take quick and appropriate steps to respond.
TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS AND FAMILIES
We are happy that your child is taking part in NDI New Mexico programs. You play an important role in their success! We will communicate openly and directly with you about your student’s experience, progress, and behavior. We encourage two-way communication and hope that an open dialogue will create a safe, respectful, and excellent environment where your child will thrive.
As parents or guardians, you can also join in the process! You can be a volunteer, participate in a class, and cheer your students on from home! We hope you will take advantage of the many opportunities offered in our organization.
Each of us – students, teachers, and parents – is responsible for helping to create an environment, which is safe, respectful, and excellent. We take our responsibility seriously and ask that you do too. Thank you for your commitment and for being a part of NDI New Mexico.
Fall & Spring Classes Dress Code
Dress code will be worn as the foundation for performance costuming.
We believe in an inclusive environment that respects young people’s gender identification and preferred expression. Please speak with your Program Director if you have any questions or concerns regarding this.
- Hair must be secured off the face and neck for all classes. Ballet students with long hair must wear a bun.
- Girls Creative Movement: leotard of any color and pink or skin tone tights, skirt/tutu optional, pink or skin tone ballet shoes.
- Boys’ Creative Movement: white shirt and black shorts or leggings, black ballet shoes.
- Girls’ Ballet and Mini-Movers: pink or skin tone tights, black leotard, pink ballet shoes. *Girls 12 and older should wear a sports bra.
- Girls’ Jazz, Tap, and Hip-hop: black jazz pants or leggings, black leotard or camisole, black jazz or tap shoes, sneakers for hip-hop.
- Girls’ Modern: black leotard and footless/convertible tights, bare feet.
- Boys’ Ballet, Modern and Mini-Movers: black tights, leggings or biking shorts and a white close-fitting shirt. Black ballet shoes, bare feet for modern. *Boys 10 or older should wear a dance belt.
- Boys’ Jazz, Tap, and Hip-hop: black jazz pants or leggings, a solid white close-fitting shirt, jazz or tap shoes, sneakers for hip-hop. *Boys 10 or older should wear a dance belt.
- Remember to also pack in your dance bag:
- water bottle
- hair ties and pins
- dance belt
Repeated violations of the dress code is grounds for dismissal from the program.
Whenever possible, dancers should arrive with their dress code under their clothes. If a dancer needs to change their clothes, they can use the bathrooms. Locker rooms are used in a limited way for advanced team dancers only, and we discourage use of the locker rooms for the student body at large in order to ensure privacy and safety.
Summer Dress Code
Dancers will take different disciplines of dance each day of the week during our Summer Program.
Hair must be secured off the face and neck for all classes. Ballet students with long hair must wear a bun.
Please arrive each day in the following uniform:
- Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet:
Girls – black leotard, pink or skin tone tights, ballet slippers.
Boys – white shirt and black shorts or leggings, ballet shoes.
- Girls’ Ballet: pink or skin tone tights, black leotard, pink or skin tone ballet shoes. Pointe shoes if on pointe. *Girls 12 and older should wear a sports bra.
- Boys’ Dance: black tights, leggings or biking shorts, and a white close-fitting shirt. *Boys 10 or older should wear a dance belt.
Additional pieces to have in your dance bag:
- Girls and Boys: Black leggings or jazz pants for Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Hip-Hop. These can be changed into after Ballet or put on over tights. Bare feet and footless tights for Modern. Sneakers for Hip-Hop. Jazz and Tap shoes can be loaned. *Girls 12 and older should wear a sports bra and boys 10 or older should wear a dance belt.
Remember to also bring:
- water bottle
- small snack
Consistent and timely attendance is necessary for your student’s success and eligibility to perform.
Any student who shows a pattern of regular or repeated absence or tardiness may be removed from the program.
Make up classes may be taken at the same level or lower if available and at the discretion of the Director.
Dancers should bring water bottles to class. For the majority of classes, water breaks will not be given, so that the teacher can maintain supervision of the students at all times. Dancers in the Young Children’s Division are given water breaks as a group as a part of the class experience; all other dancers should have a water bottle with them and are given water breaks by the instructor.
Illness, Injury & Medical Conditions
Students who are injured, are encouraged to watch their class. Much can be learned from watching others and hearing corrections. However, students who are ill are asked to stay home.
It is our intention to guide students to dance safely and in a healthy and careful manner. Still, the nature of dance as a strenuous physical activity can result in frequent discomfort or even a more serious injury. Students who show a pattern of chronic injury (repeated sprains, or regular/constant pain) may be required to show a doctor’s note. Any student that has been under a doctor’s care for an injury must show a doctor’s note to return to class. While we want students to fully participate in classes, we also want to be certain that it is in their best interest physically to do so.
Please note, NDI New Mexico does not administer any medications to students, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription medications. Please notify the front office if your child carries prescription medication with them or if your child has any medical or behavioral challenges.
Class Cancellation Policy
Cancellation Policy for Adult classes
Adult classes with less than 3 students will be cancelled.
Cancellation Policy for Children’s classes
Class may be cancelled at the program director’s discretion if there are less than 3 students in attendance. If class is cancelled, we will call the parents and hopefully find a make-up option. To avoid this occurrence, we ask families to inform us if they will not be attending.
Student Assessment & Placement Policy
We are committed to continuously evaluating our students throughout the year and we will suggest a change in classes whenever appropriate.
A MESSAGE FOR DANCERS INTERESTED IN POINTE
To be considered for pointe class a student must be in a minimum of three ballet technique classes per week. The minimum age for consideration is eleven years old. Eight through twelve-year-olds are encouraged to take a minimum of two ballet classes per week to prepare for pointe. Flexibility and strength in the feet and ankles are necessary as is an intermediate level of ballet technique. The Director, with consultation from the ballet faculty, will invite dancers Pointe class when appropriate.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to be a part of your child’s programs, and as a non-profit organization we rely on parent volunteers to help make our performances possible! It’s also a great way to get to know other families and staff members at NDI New Mexico. We primarily invite volunteers during performance times. We seek volunteers in the areas of ushering, box office, merchandise sales, parking and backstage assistance. Throughout the year we may need extra hands for costume sewing or data entry. If you are interested in volunteering, please see the front office. We hope you’ll join us!
Rules & Regulations
Theft, vandalism, violence, foul language, bullying, drug or alcohol use or other harmful or inappropriate touch or behavior is grounds for dismissal from the program.
Weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited in NDI New Mexico facilities.
We believe in partnership with families to address any inappropriate behavior, and will work families to create structured, progressive discipline when appropriate, and also reserve the right to remove students from the program if physical or emotional safety concerns are not addressed or if behavior is egregious.
Repeat violations of the dress code is grounds for dismissal from the program
Students must be dropped off no earlier than 15 minutes prior to class time and must be picked up within 15 minutes after class and signed out by an adult. NDI New Mexico reserves the right to call the emergency contacts on the registration form and then, only if necessary, the police, for students who are not picked up in a timely manner.
Students being picked up late on a regular basis is grounds for dismissal from the program. Especially if you are a family member of an older student whose classes end in the evening, we firmly and respectfully ask that you honor this rule.
All students under age 18 must be signed out by an adult at the time of departure. Students who drive themselves must have a signed Student Driver Release: https://www.ndi-nm.org/student-driver-release/
Unaccompanied minors not enrolled in NDI New Mexico classes are not permitted inside the facilities.
Parking is not allowed in the fire lane for any reason. Reckless driving or speeding in the lot is strictly prohibited. Drivers violating these rules will be restricted from using the lot.
No food or drink is allowed in studios, lobby or dressing rooms. Speak with program staff to know of any designated areas where food and drink are allowed in the building.
Students must wear clothing over their dance attire when entering and exiting the building. It is recommended that students do not wear dance shoes outside because they are easily damaged.
NDI New Mexico requires that students do not engage in self-injurious behaviors. Students found to be engaging in such behaviors may be removed from the program. The student’s safety is our primary concern, and we will take appropriate steps in response to concerns about safety.
Students who do not follow these rules may be dismissed from the program at any time. Parents and caregivers, we greatly appreciate your support in following these policies, which are created to ensure that our programs are safe and positive experiences for students, staff, and families!