Demonstrator Handbook

A guide for parents, students and volunteers

About This Handbook

FOR OVER TWO DECADES the NORTH SHORE SCHOOL OF DANCE has been a leader in dance education. Our reputation for inspiring young people to be the best dancers they can be is one of the primary reasons for our success.

We believe a demonstrator’s influence on the future of a student is just as important as the teacher’s. Our philosophy is centered on instilling a passion for dance while building self-esteem and confidence in every child. You were chosen as a demonstrator because we’ve seen these things from you. Congratulations!

SECTION I: Dress Code

It is important as a demonstrator to always dress according to the NORTH SHORE SCHOOL OF DANCE’S dress code (see the Dedicated Dancer Handbook). You are a role model for our younger students and the students will copy your attire and want to dress similarly to you inside and outside of class. The best way to help our students learn to have respect for our dress code is by following our example. All demonstrators should also be dressed in appropriate cover-ups when entering the studio, as well as, when inside the studio. Although not mandatory, the studio does offer several NSSD logo cover-ups for purchase at the front desk. Remember, dance is a visual activity, so don’t forget to remove all unnecessary cover-ups when demonstrating.

All demonstrators must have their hair securely fastened for all classes, and no jewelry or watches are to be worn in class. All ballet demonstrators must have their hair in a bun, and must know how to make a bun themselves. If you are unsure ask the instructor to show you and practice at home. Many of our younger students are too young to make one themselves, come straight from school, or just need help.

SECTION II: Punctuality

Please arrive 10 minutes early so that you are ready to go when the class begins. Use this time to warm-up your body and engage your students in the hallways to get ready for class. Learning how to prepare to take a dance class is sometimes just as important as the class itself, we have to prepare/quiet our minds, as well as, warm up our bodies before class. While you are waiting in the hallway for class to begin, check that the students have their hair up, their shoes on, and are ready to go. If all of this is done before the teacher opens the door, the class will go much smoother. The kids will also love that “extra” special time that they are able to spend with you.

SECTION III: Attendance

Attendance in all of your dance classes is important. As a demonstrator, you are allowed 2 absences per semester for the class that you are demonstrating for. If you are going to be absent, please call the front office prior to class and leave a message for the instructor. Your presence in the classroom is necessary and valuable to the instructor and also the students. We understand that sicknesses and unexpected events occur, but by agreeing to be a demonstrator you are taking on a responsibility to the instructor and to the classroom. And to be honest, the students and instructor will miss you and will be worried about you.

SECTION IV: Discipline

Discipline and dance go hand in hand; students who understand discipline are usually the most successful dancers. Please assist the instructor with some of the basic discipline’s found in dance classes. Children should not be hanging on the barre, touching the mirror, talking during class, chewing gum, or being disruptive. If you feel that the problem is too serious to address yourself, please let the instructor know immediately. We ask that you also assist all students of NSSD in the hallways; if you see a child being disruptive in the halls, ask them to stop or let the front desk know. No child should be running or making lots of noise in the hallway; help us help them to have respect for the school, themselves, and each other.

SECTION V: Enthusiasm

It is important to be enthusiastic and a positive role model to each child right from the start. Let the children share in your passion for dance and your happiness to be there with them. If you show them that you care and are interested in them, they will want to be the best dancers they can be. Sometimes it only takes a smile! It’s contagious, and it offers students a sense of comfort which is especially helpful on those first days.

SECTION VI: Classroom

There are many responsibilities in the classroom that a demonstrator is expected to do. A demonstrator should always assist the instructor with late arrivals, hair and shoes, and sometimes helping them to find the bathroom. It is also your responsibility to learn all the students’ first names and try to acknowledge each child in every class. Remember, a smile is just as effective as a “hello”. If you pronounce a name wrong, remember the correct pronunciation the next time, it will make their day! At times, instructors will distribute notices, newsletters, and other information to their students at the end of class, please assist the instructor so that the next class can start on time. A demonstrator is also required to help with the basic arranging of students within the classroom. If the students are too close together at the barre, help them spread out. When the students move to the center or across the floor, ask the instructor how many lines he or she would like and help the students move into them accordingly. Most students need assistance counting, especially when they are moving across the floor. Make sure that you are counting the students in so they know when to begin the combination. If there are specific patterns or spatial shapes that the class is doing, assist the children into following that pattern or staying in that shape (circles generally). Keeping the students organized within the classroom makes for a successful learning environment and keeps the class moving.

SECTION VII: Technique

It is important as a demonstrator to keep up with your own technique in all of your classes. When demonstrating, the instructor expects you to have a good understanding of basic dance language and terminology that will be used in the classroom. By keeping up with your own technique; you should have no problem with terminology in your demonstrated class. All absences in your own classes should be kept to a minimum and always reported to the office. As a demonstrator, you should be dancing full out in all of your scheduled classes, as well as, in the class you are demonstrating for. If they see that you are lazy, the students will dance lazy too! You are also responsible for retaining all classroom combinations and all Spring Concert dances. If possible, you should attend the NSSD dress rehearsal, pictures, and Spring Concert for their class, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your own classes. During dress rehearsal and Spring Concert, please assist the instructor with class attendance and keeping them together. The kids love it when you are there with them and it helps them to stay calm.

SECTION VIII: School Rules

Demonstrators are expected to comply with the following school rules at all times:

  • Be professional at all times, showing respect for the art of dance and every student. Demonstrators should set a positive example by refraining from using foul language or demonstrating negative behavior. Respect for our school is a priority for everyone.
  • Be well informed. Check all bulletin boards, emails, and read all newsletters to stay up-to-date with school activities. Direct all parent questions to the front desk, do not answer them yourself.
  • All demonstrators will assist in the cleanliness and upkeep of the school. Inform the instructor of front desk of anything unsafe. You may also be asked to sweep the studio before class.
  • In an effort to avoid a conflict of interest or the impression of favoritism, we discourage personal relationships with the students you are demonstrating for. Younger demonstrators who socialize with their students can diminish the respect they need to be an effective role model.
  • Demonstrators will not be left alone in the classroom for an extended period of time, and are expected to participate in all demonstrator meetings.

PART X: Safety

The safety of our students is a priority. Demonstrators should be familiar with all emergency exits and where students are expected to go in the case of an emergency evacuation. In an emergency evacuation assist the teacher in making sure all students are accounted for assisting them where they need to go, and try to remain calm. If a student is injured during class, the instructor will need to stop all activity immediately and clear the area in the vicinity of the student. We ask that you assist the instructor in whatever he or she needs in order to keep the class running smoothly. Band-Aids are kept in each studio, but sometimes the instructor may ask you to get one. There is a first-aid kit in the hall closet, as well as, in the teacher’s lounge. If you are unfamiliar where these locations are, you can always ask the front desk to help you. Ice packs can also be found in the refrigerator in the teacher’s lounge and at the front desk.

And Finally…

  • Please take the time to read the entire handbook.
  • If you have not turned in your contract or expectations, do so immediately. Students without a signed contract will not be permitted to demonstrate until contract is received.
  • Demonstrators will be evaluated each semester.
  • Thank you for reading this handbook, and congratulations on being a demonstrator!

Download the Demonstrator Handbook in PDF