UA-33552849-1 FAQ | Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio
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Frequently Asked Questions

When looking into a new place to train, a program for your child, or a new fitness or artistic venture many questions should be addressed. You want to make sure that the experience is positive, enriching and constructive. It is important that instruction content and staff are quality, professional and current in their training and practices. You want a program you can grow with, will offer diversity and will prepare you for future endeavors and opportunities.

It is very important to us that our students feel comfortable and find accomplishment in their endeavor. Every program/school has it’s own unique approach and students may excel in some of these environments over others. By answering some very common questions, we hope to help you learn more about what Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio (ODPAS) is and how we help our students nurture their dreams. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.

How long as this studio been around?
The studio opened as a new organization (Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio) in 2008, however several of the staff have spent going on 18 years developing and nurturing our vision of being Waynesboro’s and the surrounding area’s leading technical and complete training program for dance and martial arts, while also incorporating other performance related activities. In this process we have defined our commitment to our students and community. Our growth has been primarily from word of mouth and we spend our energy developing excellence in our teaching, staff, students and programs. Our primary advertising is in the progress and success of our students.

Why are our prices lower than other local schools? Does that mean our quality of facility and instruction is lower as well?
We firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in healthy activities and receive the best instruction in the area. Our commitment to this is recognized throughout the community and we also have an extensive financial assistance and payment programs in order to meet the needs of more families.

To ensure quality, our instructors are carefully selected and come with extensive experience, backgrounds in their area and match our commitment in sharing their talents, experience, knowledge, time and skills with others. Our dance program successfully utilizes training techniques that are founded in tradition while creating knowledgable dancers through the application of up and coming techniques and approaches to develop strong, muscularly aware, technically proficient and artistic performers, athletes and artists.

While our facility offers equipment and spaces that are considered extremely high quality (including our professional vinyl and sprung dance flooring, mirrors, barres, competitive size gymnastics matted flooring, observation areas for all studio spaces, and other training equipment) we believe that those are requirements of offering the best possible training, and these expenses should not raise tuition.
If I (or my child) has trained at another school, can we take additional classes or transfer to your program and what measures are taken to ensure placement in appropriate classes or levels?
We welcome all students from all backgrounds into our programs. If a student comes from a background of previous training or is wishing for additional training from what their current program offers, an instructor from the appropriate division will be happy to discuss placement and levels. Either an individual assessment or appropriate ‘trial’ level class will be recommended. Following this, we will be happy to recommend appropriate placement.

We have an extremely successful history in students transitioning into our program and are consistently reviewing and adding classes to meet our growing interests and needs. Please understand that because we offer our own competition teams, if a student is currently on a competition team for another local program, we do have to take this into consideration as for the placement in our classes & programs. We also have several families (including many that also transferred from another program) whom have come to us welcoming the opportunity to talk to families considering placement in our program and support in making the transition. Please let us know if you would be interested in talking to one or more of these families.

I am looking for classes and training that will ensure preparation for college, professional or competition programs.
We hold strong to our belief that the highest quality training should be offered to all students. A student may enter a program just for fun, then later in life decide that they want to be an instructor, pursue college training or enter the professional world.

It is our purpose to make sure that all our students are knowledgeable and prepared for such opportunities (intensity of training does effect the quantity and diversity of preparation, but at all levels, in all classes, high quality instruction is equally offered to all students).

Students in our dance program are consistently recognized for their quality training, knowledge and artistry when participating in classes or programs outside of our studio. Dance students have also been regularly accepted into nationally/internationally recognized professional programs and careers in dance. Our martial arts students have been commended for their technical accuracy in training and have been awarded many medals at the Virginia Commonwealth Games.

Furthermore, our studio offers numerous performance opportunities throughout the year, has demonstration teams, regional & national award winning competition teams and ‘Progressions Repertory Dance Company,’ (our in-house dance company).

You website has a lot of photos, are they of your actual students?

Yes, all student photos used on our website and for publicity are of our actual students. Dance clipart images are also of our actual dancers.

What does the annual administrative fee cover?

Upon registration (and only billed once per year for each student) there is a $35 registration fee. This fee covers administration expenses and students should expect to receive any current documents (general or division handbooks). At times we do offer specials that include an ODPAS attire item with your annual fee.
How long are your contracts and can I make payments?
Contracts are offered in 2,4 or 6 month options and payments may be made in full at the time of registration or a monthly payment plan may be selected. Our staff is committed to being available and offering accessible administrative options. Again, our monthly payment option and variety of contracts options, make our program an option for a wider base of students - thus making proving our commitment to making our programs accessible to all. We accept a variety of payment options. Payment policies and details are included in our studio handbook and will be happy to discuss any of these details with you.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about your studio. Why is it a great place to train?
It is not our purpose to be like other schools in the area. It is our purpose to maintain focus on offering the best training possible for our students and producing successful results, while maintaining an atmosphere that is nurturing and instills development of the whole person and upstanding character traits. It has been pointed out to us by many, that for a person to truly see the value and quality of our studio, you have to observe our students (either in class, a performance, etc.).

While our instructors and staff continually participate in opportunities to improve themselves and their knowledge, we do this to become better teachers, artists and maintain a standard of current training techniques. We also maintain active relationships with professionals working in the fields of dance and martial arts in order to bring our students regular opportunities to experience classes, choreography and additional opportunities by other exceptionally qualified instructors. Again our focus is on the betterment of our students and the quality of training we offer.

As for our facility, we believe that high quality equipment is a requirement for training. Our dance studios have professional dance vinyl flooring providing safe surfacing for our dancers to train. We have a competition sized gymnastics matted floor for our martial arts program (as well as other programs that may benefit from such a surface). All studios have observation areas, that enable observation of classes without disruption.

In addition to our open office hours and front desk staff, our instructors and staff are all familiar with business practices and procedures, so someone is always available to help you with your questions or needs. Furthermore, all staff and instructors are instructed on and required to follow our philosophies and teaching policies. This ensures that all classes are maintained to our high standards of instruction, nurturing and positive environment. We regularly review each students performance and progress and make sure that they are enrolled in appropriate level classes. In doing this, we are able to ensure that class sizes, levels and instructional content are kept to ours studios requirement. This practice ensures that our purpose of addressing our students as individuals and meeting their needs are met.

Can parents/guests observe classes?
We offer observation areas for all studios (either by an observation window or in a designated space). Parents/Guests may always ask an instructor if they may quietly observe in a classroom. The instructor knows their class and students best and therefore will be able to determine if having guests in the classroom would be a distraction or create a discomfort for any students. We believe that for students, family involvement and support can be extremely important and because of this we feel that communication with families is vital to providing a young student with a successful experience.

Are performances required and if a student does not participate, will they be penalized? Are classes utilized for performance instruction?
Performances are not a requirement (unless a student is part of the dance company, competition teams or demonstration teams). Students who do not participate in performances are not penalized. Furthermore, the focus of class time remains on instruction of technique and related topics. We do not believe in using class time to become entirely absorbed by rehearsals. It should also be noted that it is extremely important that students involved in performances maintain their training and technique throughout the entire process and thus rehearsal time is generally scheduled outside of class time.

If my child starts after the beginning of a session or year, how can they possibly be up to level of a class?
As we offer classes year-round, we also offer new enrollment throughout the year. Prior to enrollment an instructor from the appropriate division will be happy to discuss placement and levels. Either an individual assessment or appropriate ‘trial’ level class will be recommended. Following this, we will be happy to recommend appropriate placement.

Instructors will make every effort to welcome new students and incorporated them into the class. Students may also be offered individual or small group instruction to ensure their confidence if they feel behind in any aspect of the assigned classes or level. Although this may sound unconventional, our approach has over a 9 year history and has proven to be extremely successful.

Performance costuming? I have heard this can become extremely expensive, how does your studio handle this?
It is true that costuming can be expensive, which is why we go above and beyond to minimize these costs. We utilize the many talents of our families and our extensive collection as an effective method in doing this. Many of our costumes are hand-made and are original designs. We have found this to be a way to surpass the quality and attention to detail to many of the retail purchased costumes, as well as enabling us to create an extensive costume collection (of which we utilize for every performance in combination with purchasing or requiring the purchase of new retail costumes). Furthermore, because we never want a student to have to make a choice about participation in a performance, we also offered financial assistance for qualified situations.

Is studio space available for other organizations or activities?
While our class schedule takes up a majority of open times, we are very supportive of our community and welcome the opportunity to consider requests for organizations or persons to utilize our spaces. There are strict guidelines for such usage, ensuring that our facility and equipment are not compromised for our students use.