umdgc policies & faq's

 

 

Safety Warning

  • There is an inherent risk of injury, including paralysis and death, when participating in any activity involving height, rotation, or movement.
  • Only currently enrolled students with instructor permission are permitted in the dance studio and gymnastics areas.  Everyone else must remain in the waiting areas.
  • UMDGC is only responsible for participants actively involved in programming.

Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you do not like a class, let UMDGC know.  The staff will do its best to provide you with an enjoyable and pleasant experience.  UMDGC will:

  • provide a 100% refund or credit if UMDGC is notified no later than the end of the 2nd class of the session or 24 hours after the first day of camp. 
  • switch to another group if appropriate.
  • switch participant to another class that is not filled.
  • provide a prorated UMDGC credit.

 

General UMDGC Policies

ATTENDANCE & PUNCTUALITY

At teacher’s discretion, students who are late may not be permitted to participate in class, but may observe the class.  For safety reasons, participants must be properly warmed-up for class, especially at higher levels.  If two or fewer dancers show for class, the class will be held for half of the scheduled time. 

 

ATTIRE & APPEARANCE

Participants not in proper attire will not be permitted to participate, but may watch class at the discretion of the instructor.  For clothing, footwear, and additional restrictions, see each class description for details. 

  • Hair: Long hair must be in a bun, ponytail, or braids so that it cannot cover or contact the eyes.  Hair should be secured by scrunchies and hair ties.  Headbands and clips are usually not sufficient to keep hair tied back.  Hard headwear can be uncomfortable and dangerous for participants. 
  • Jewelry:No jewelry is permitted it except medical bracelets.
  • Earrings & Piercings:  Dancers, gymnasts, and tumblers may only wear stud piercings and earrings; cheerleaders are not permitted to wear any earrings and piercings  Any permitted piercings must be completely covered.  UMDGC is not responsible for any injuries to the participant caused by the piercings. 

 

BEHAVIOR AND CONSEQUENCES

In order to ensure a safe, family-oriented, and productive environment, all individuals entering UMDGC must follow posted policies, and behave in an age-appropriate, thoughtful, and considerate manner. UMDGC reserves the right to reprimand or remove uncooperative participants and visitors.

  • Do not enter the studios, gym, and restricted areas without UMDGC staff approval. 
  • While waiting in the lobby, supervise your children at all times.  Keep behavior, conversations, and noise levels classroom appropriate. 
  • No flash photography. 
  • Don’t interact with the staff or participants while they are in the gym workout areas and studios.

 

CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS

Prices, scheduling, policies, instructors, and descriptions are subject to change without notice.  Programs may be canceled due to low enrollment or if an instructor is not available. Check www.umdgc.com for the latest info.

 

COMMUNICATION

Email is UMDGC’s primary and preferred method of communication.  Make sure to keep your information, including email addresses, updated with the front desk.  If you ever wish to be removed from our email or mailing lists, email us at umdgcllc@gmail.com. 

 

CREDITS

Credits never expire, may be transferred to other participants, cannot be turned into refunds, and will be applied only when the staff is notified at the start of the transaction.  They may take up to 2 business days to be issued. 

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

UMDGC will consider closing if NWS Mount Holly issues a winter storm warning for either ice (.25”) or snow (4”+).  Check our voicemail at 610-731-0022 no more than one hour before the start time of your programming in order to check its status.  We will also attempt to:

  • send out emails (put umdgc@umdgc.comcastbiz.net and umdgcllc@gmail.com and on your safe senders list).
  • post to our Facebook page (like us at Upper Merion Dance & Gymnastics Center, LLC.).
  • post to our Facebook account (friend request us at FrontDesk UMDGC).

Cancelled classes will be issued a UMDGC credit.  Due to call volume, class status messages will not be returned.  If you feel unsafe driving, see “Missed Classes” for info about submitting credit requests.

 

LATE PICK-UPS AND EARLY DROP-OFFS

When participants are left unattended, supervision rates will be $5 per five minutes per carload.  Payment is due before participating in additional UMDGC programming.

 

LEVELS AND GROUPS

Because every person will learn new skills or combinations at different rates, UMDGC tracks each participant’s progress separately.  When staffing permits, participants are grouped based upon skill level, age, and/or gender.  Groups are reassigned each session; you are not guaranteed the same instructor each session even if you enroll in the same class.  If requesting to be grouped with friends, requests must be submitted every session no less than 72-hours prior to the start of the session.  If we are able to accommodate the request, higher level participants will be grouped with the lower level participants.

  •  Dance Classes:  Hip-hop classes are divided by age.  Many of UMDGC’s other dance programs are divided by age and into levels based upon experience.
  • Gymnastics, Cheerleading, and Tumbling Classes:  These programs are split into levels with up to 30 skills per level.  The date each skill is mastered is stored in a database for future reference. Because skills at higher levels build upon lower level skills, the participant must master all of the skills at the current level and pass a skills test before moving up.  Skill testing will be done in-class starting the second week of each session or by special appointment.  The participants are given their skill sheets on the last day of class; however, you may ask the front desk staff for an updated skill sheet at any time.

 

LICE POLICY

UMDGC follows the school guidelines set forth by the CDC (www.cdc.gov).  Following is an excerpt:

Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.  Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.  Both the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that "no-nit" policies should be discontinued.

  • Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as 'casings'.
  • Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
  • The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
  • Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by nonmedical personnel.

Supplemental Measures:

Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and cannot feed. You don't need to spend a lot of time or money on housecleaning activities. Follow these steps to help avoid re–infestation by lice that have recently fallen off the hair or crawled onto clothing or furniture.

  1. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry–cleaned      OR      sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
  2. Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, the risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a rug or carpet or furniture is very low. Head lice survive less than 1–2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the human scalp. Spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
  4. Do not use fumigant sprays; they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

OBSERVATION

UMDGC's goal is to instill confidence and independence.  To achieve this goal, as well as reduce distractions, all guests must observe classes from the studio window or gym observation areas, and are not permitted to enter the studios or gym areas unless invited by UMDGC staff.  If children are timid/crying, parents can stay for the first few minutes of stretch time.  If the child is still not comfortable after stretch, the student may sit in the observation areas with parents until ready to come in by themselves.

 

PERSONAL PROPERTY AND LOST & FOUND

UMDGC is not responsible for damaged, stolen, lost, or misplaced property/money.  Bring at your own risk.  No personal toys, stuffed animals, games, etc. permitted in the studios and gym areas unless specified by instructors.  Any food-, drink-, or clothing-related items will be thrown away at the end of each night unless UMDGC is notified.  All other items will be held for 7 days before being donated to charity or thrown away.

 

Levels and ages groups

Ages and levels may be combined in some sessions.

 

Male Attire

Attire for all males in dance programming is non-restrictive, athletic clothing.  For shoe and female attire requirements, see each class description. 

 

Recital

Students enrolled in eligible classes are invited, but not required, to perform in the annual dance recital in June.  Students who do not wish to participate in the recital or commit for the entire Spring session should choose the monthly tuition option; let UMDGC know and/or note on the registration form when your dancer plans to finish classes.  Recital dancers must be 4 years old by the first day of the Spring dance class.

  • Agreement:  The recital agreement must be signed and returned to UMDGC before costumes will be ordered. 
  • Attendance Requirements:  At the instructor’s discretion, students ages 8 & up missing more than three classes after Feb 1 will not be eligible to perform in the recital.
  •  Level 3+ Attendance Requirements:  Dancers in level 3 or higher classes must enroll in the Fall and Spring sessions.  
  • Costumes:  Cost will be $60-$75 per costume.  UMDGC is not responsible for alterations.  Once ordered, costumes are non-refundable for any reason.  Sizing will take place in early January. 

 

Shoes

All dancers must have proper shoes for each class.  See class descriptions for specific details as each type of dance has a special shoe that provides the proper support and grip on the floor.  Extra shoes are not available to borrow.  Dance shoes should never be worn outside.  Shoes are available for purchase from:

  • UMDGC:  Shoes are ordered from Revolution Dancewear and are discounted up to 25% off the suggested retail price.  Orders take approximately one week for delivery; schedule an appointment with Michelle Elbin at least seven days before your first class.
  • Flocco’s:  www.floccos.com; 110-114 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA 19428; 610-828-5544. They carry the correct ballet and jazz shoes.
  • Dance Line:  30 W. Lancaster Ave. Paoli, PA 19301; 610-251-2344

 

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

<Download Dance Birthday Flyer> 

At this time, only dance parties are offered.  To schedule a birthday party, contact Michelle (umdgcmichelle@gmail.com).

General Info

  • Parties are offered on select Saturday afternoons starting at 3:00p, from September to May.
  • Due to insurance reasons, all guests MUST be the appropriate age on the date of the party.
  • A deposit, for the birthday child and up to 10 guests, will be due at the time of booking.  Balance for additional guests, up to 16 total, is due at the end of the party. 
  • Deposit is fully refundable up to two weeks before the party date.  After two weeks, only half the deposit is refunded. A dance party registration form and release must be completed/signed by the birthday child’s parent/guardian. 
  • All parties are 1-1/2 hours: 50-60 minutes in the studio, with the remaining time for refreshments in the party room.
  • All refreshments, party supplies, and decorations are the responsibility of the parents.  A refrigerator, freezer, and microwave are available for use.  Piñata’s are not recommended.
  • Parents may stay and observe the dance party from our observation window if desired.  Parents may come into the studio at the conclusion of the dance portion to film the dance and take photos if desired.
  • For safety reasons, all guests must adhere to all posted rules and instructors’ guidelines during the party.
  • Please let UMDGC know music selection at least one week prior to the party date.

Princess Parties

Girls ages 5-7.  Birthday party guests will enjoy learning basic ballet steps and a dance to princess music of the birthday child’s choice.  Guests will also practice dance steps across the floor, and jumping over Gypsy, the princess bear.  Party games such as Freeze Dance & Kiss The Frog (a modern pin the tail on the donkey game) are also included.   Guests may dress up in princess attire if desired.  Bare feet or dance shoes only please.  Magic wands may be used in the dance. 

Hip-Hop Parties

Boys and girls ages 6-14.  A fun and hip party for all!  Guests will enjoy age appropriate party games, followed by a light stretch and warm-up before learning a dance routine to the music of the birthday child’s choice.  Party guests will enjoy freeze dance, four corners, and additional dance and party games.  Comfortable clothing and clean, dry sneakers must be worn.  

 

FUNDRAISING

This is a great way to raise money for your group and have them practicing gymnastics or tumbling at open workout. UMDGC will donate a portion of each open workout pass that the group sells.

 

GROUP LESSONS

Set up a single or multiple private workouts for your group with members of the UMDGC coaching staff. If you wish to schedule classes for a session at a time, please contact Mr. Dave no later than the foll0wing dates so that a time slot can be reserved for you: Jun 10 for a class between Sep and Jan; Nov 1 for a class between Jan and Jun. Past groups reserving special class times include cheerleading squads from: St. Joseph's University, Eastern University Cheerleading, Methacton High School, Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School, Carrol Catholic High School, St. Teresa's Catholic School, MDP Catholic School, PW Spartans, and the Conshohocken Golden Bears.

 

PRIVATE LESSONS

If a participant is interested in working specific skills, elements, and/or combinations, privates and semi-privates may be the solution.  Reach out to a favorite coach directly or contact the front desk for a list of individuals that offer private lessons.   Following are the rules and policies related to private lessons. 

  • Availability of staff and the facility are not guaranteed.  When contacting those on the private lessons list, only those that are available to coach will respond.
  • Make all arrangements directly with the instructor, including prices, times, payment, and availability. Direct all questions or concerns about the private to the instructor.
  • No more than 3 people may participate concurrently.
  • UMDGC's facility usage rate is $3 per 15-minutes per person ($12 per hour). This covers the liability insurance and other overhead costs.
  • Times, names, and birth dates for all participants must be submitted by the instructor no less than 48 hours prior to the private lesson.  Requests cannot be more than one month in advance.
  • All new participants must submit a registration form prior to having their first timeslot reserved. A new form must be completed September 1 of each year. Digitally complete or download the registration form from www.umdgc.com.
  • Cancelations must be received at umdgcllc@gmail.com no less than 24-hours in advance to avoid paying the scheduled facility usage fee. No further privates will be scheduled until the fee is paid in full.
  • Privates are not permitted during open workout and peak times.
  • Normally scheduled UMDGC programs have priority usage of all equipment.

 

RENTALS

UMDGC permits groups (e.g. cheerleading squads, scout groups) to rent the studio or gym for tryouts or extra practices.

AGE AND LEVEL RESTRICTIONS

To ensure a safe, consistent, and productive workout environment, nearly all classes are split into levels and/or age groups.  Do not register for an inappropriate class because of convenience or friends.  Those registered for the wrong class will be moved to the correct class, or receive a credit for the class; no refunds will be issued for incorrect age or level as free evaluations and trial classes are permitted.  Age is determined on the first day of the class session or week of camp; or on the day of registration for pay-as-you-go classes and open workouts.

 

DISCOUNTS AND INCENTIVES

Discounts are available only through online and in-person registration done driectly with UMDGC/UMAS. Customer must notify the staff member prior to starting the transaction of the discounts they believe they are eligible for. Percent discounts are taken after all dollar amount discounts and prorating have been applied. Discounts apply only at the time of registration; previous registrations are not eligible. Non-paid registrations (e.g. alternates on UMAS) and pay-as-you go programs do not count towards nor are they eligible for discounts. 

  • Add-A-Class, Gymnastics (50%): Starting the second week of each gym session (gymnastics, tumbling, parkour, circus arts, parkour, etc), enrolled participants may register for additional classes in the same session at 50% off. Fees will be prorated for missed classes, but no other discounts apply.
  • Early Registration (5%-15%): Receive a discount when you register early for select programs. Discount amounts and deadline dates are listed on the schedules.
  • Employee Discount (20-25%): UMDGC employees scheduled to work a minimum of one hour per week are eligible during the session or week of camp that they are working.  This discount is in lieu of the family discount.  The employee receives 25% off and all family members living in the same household receive 20% off. 
  • Family Discount (10%): Receive 10% off the total fee if two or more participants in the same household register for classes and team programs concurrently. Campers from the same household who are enrolled in camps concurrently are also eligible for a 10% discount.
  • Free Recital Tickets: Receive two free recital tickets if you pay in full before the first day of class for spring dance programs that will be participating in the recital. 
  • Military (10%): Receive 10% off if the participant or the participant’s parent served in the military. Valid proof of service must be submitted at time of your initial registration.
  • Multiple Class Discount (10%-50% off): Receive 10% off when the same participant registers for more than one gym class and/or dance class.  Registrations may be for different sessions but must be done at the same time, except in the case of team members.
    • Team members who are concurrently enrolled in both a team and class will receive 10% off classes. There is no discount on team tuition unless they are members of multiple teams.
    • If a dancer registers for three or more concurrent dance classes, the first two classes receive 10% discounts and all additional classes are 50% off.  50% discount applied to lowest priced classes.  No other discounts apply on those receiving 50% off.
  • Perfect Attendance (10%): For cheerleading team only.  Cheerleaders will receive UMDGC credits totaling 10% of the paid tuition for each team that they have perfect attendance during the previous month.

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Limited financial assistance may be available.  Documentation must be submitted to the UMDGC owners.

 

INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS

Select programs offer the option to make installment payments.  A card must be on file in order to be eligible to make installment payments.  If you wish to make payment by a different method, the payment must be received by UMDGC no later than the due date or the card on file will automatically be charged.  If the installment payment is not paid by the due date, the participant is not permitted to attend UMDGC programming until paid in full or other payment arrangements are made. Reminders are not sent. 
· Dance, Fall:  Four monthly installments:  at registration, Oct 1, Nov 1, and Dec 1.
· Dance, Spring:  Five monthly installments:  at registration, Feb 1, Mar 1, Apr 1, and May 1.
· Summer Camp:  Balance charged 10 days before the start of each week of camp.
· Team Tuition:  Charged on the 1st of the month. 

 

PRORATING

UMDGC will accept late registrations if the class is not full and a new participant will not interfere with instruction.  Fees will be prorated $20 per class for gymnastics and $15 for dance.

 

PAY-AS-YOU-GO AND PASSES

For selected programs, participants may pay cash, use UMDGC credit, or use a pass.  Treat passes as cash; they are non-refundable and non-replaceable.  Pay-as-you-go classes and passes are not eligible for discounts. 

 

PAYMENT METHODS

  • Cash
  • Check to “UMDGC, LLC.” ($25 returned check fee)
  • Credit Cards:  American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • PayPal through the website
  • UMDGC gift card or gift certificate

 

REGISTERING FOR A PROGRAM

Most programming is strictly limited in size to guarantee a safe, educational, and productive workout.  All spaces are filled first-come-first-served and will only be reserved with receipt of full payment.  UMDGC never offers priority registration periods or reserves a space for future sessions.  UMDGC will email or call to confirm if you are registering by any method other than in person.  If you do not receive a confirmation by the next business day, make certain to contact UMDGC immediately.

  • Mail payment and registration form to UMDGC, 421 Feheley Dr. Unit B, King of Prussia, PA 19406.
  • Register in person at the front desk during office hours. 
  • Drop payment and registration form in the gray box near the front door when UMDGC is closed or the gray box next to the front desk when the office is closed.
  • Fax completed form with credit card info to 610-731-0034.
  • Register over the phone (610-731-0022) with a credit card.
  • Register online at www.umdgc.com.  Refunds for online registration discounts and prorating will be issued within 1 business day.  If you do not receive your refund, please contact UMDGC immediately. 

 

SPECIAL NEEDS & SPECIAL REQUESTS

Submit all requests and description of all special needs in writing on the registration form or via email no less than 72-hours prior to the start of the program.  While we will try to accommodate the request and/or special need, we cannot guarantee it.  Groups are reassigned each session; you are not guaranteed the same instructor each session even if you enroll in the same class.  If requesting to be grouped with friends, requests must be submitted every session no less than 72-hours prior to the start of the session.  If we are able to accommodate the request, higher level participant.

 

TRAIL CLASSES AND EVALUATIONS

UMDGC offers FREE trial classes or evaluations.  Evaluations and trials are not permitted during the first week of sessions and must be scheduled 24-72 hours in advance.  Trial classes are for those that are trying out gymnastics or dance for the first time to see if the participant is interested in enrolling.  Complete payment must be received at the completion of the trial class to guarantee your spot in the class.  Evaluations are for experienced gymnasts or dancers looking to determine the correct level in which to enroll at UMDGC.  Evaluations last approximately 15-30 minutes and are done one-on-one or in small groups with UMDGC staff.  Participants who register for the incorrect class who were not evaluated or did not participate in a trial class are not eligible for refunds.  

 

 

 

MISSED CLASSES

NO MAKE-UPS OR REFUNDS

UMDGC does not offer refunds or make-up classes.  Many of our classes fill, and therefore, having make-up classes would adversely affect the safety and productivity of the class.  Instead, UMDGC offers credits towards future registrations or purchases.  The amount of the credit will be adjusted for any discounts that were received at the time of registration. 

REQUESTING A MISSED CLASS CREDIT

Requests for missed class credits must be received no later than midnight of the day the class was missed.  Requests received after the end of the missed day will not be granted.  The request must be submitted digitally via email to umdgcllc@gmail.com or using the “UMDGC Missed Class Credit Request Form” found at the top left of www.umdgc.com.  Customers can use the computer near the front desk to submit the form while at UMDGC.  After completing the digital form, make certain to confirm the request by checking your email.  Credits will be issued within two business days of receiving the request. 

RATES AND LIMITATIONS

  • Gymnastics, tumbling, and combo classes:  maximum of two credits per session; $20 base UMDGC credit.
  • Dance classes:  maximum of three per session; $15 base UMDGC credit
  • Parkour classes, cheerleading classes, pay-as-you-go programs, team tuition, camps, and private group lessons are not eligible for credits when missing.

 

WITHDRAWING

HOW TO WITHDRAW

All withdrawal requests must be submitted on the “Withdrawal Request Form” which is found on the top left of www.umdgc.com.  Customers can use the computer near the front desk to submit the form while at UMDGC.  After completing the digital form, make certain to confirm the request by checking your email.  Credits will be issued within two business days; refunds will take 30 days to process.  If any information on the form is unclear, incomplete, or incorrect, the request will be returned and will need to be resubmitted or corrected.

POLICIES

  • UMDGC owners will make the final decision on all withdrawal requests.
  • Exceptions will be considered if accompanied by a doctor’s note.  All documentation must be submitted with the “Withdrawal Request Form.”
  • All refunds will be issued using the original method of payment. Refunds for withdrawing from programming will take 30 days to process.  Please note that refunds to credit/debit cards may take several business days or even weeks to appear on your statements; please contact your financial institution for their policies. 
  • Credited and refunded fees will be adjusted for any discounts that were received at the time of registration.

RATES

  • Gymnastics, tumbling, parkour, cheerleading, & combo classes:  100% credit or refund if received by the end of the second class of the session.  No refunds after the second class of each session.  $20 base UMDGC credit for each remaining class at the time the request is received. 
  • Dance classes:  100% credit or refund if received by the end of the second class of the session.  No refunds after the second class of each session.  $15 base UMDGC credit for each remaining class at the time the request is received. 
  • Private group lessons:  100% credit or refund if received by the end of the second class of the session.  No refunds or credits after the second class.
  • Camps:  100% credit or refund if received by the end of the first day of camp.  No refunds or credits after the first day of camp. 

 

GENERAL POLICIES

What happens if I miss a class?  Can I make it up or get a refund?  Because most of our classes fill and we do not have the capacity to guarantee a space to everyone needing a make-up class, UMDGC only offers credits  to those that miss class.  In order to be eligible for the UMDGC credit, you must send an email to umdgcllc@gmail.com or complete the “Missed Class Credit Form” on www.umdgc.com no later than midnight of the class you miss.  The credit can be used towards any future registration or purchase and does not expire.  The number of credits is limited, and not all classes are eligible for credits (e.g. Parkour, cheerleading).

Will I always have the same instructor?  How do I ensure I always get the same instructor?  Because we permit the same flexibility to our instructors as we do with our participants, we cannot guarantee the same instructors will be available every session.  Approximately one week before each session starts, the list of instructors will be posted to the schedules on www.umdgc.com.  If your favorite instructor isn’t listed, you can contact the front desk to see about switching to a class the teacher is working, assuming there is room.  If your favorite instructor is working, then make sure to email the front desk at umdgcllc@gmail.com no less than 72 hours before the start of each session letting them know your preferred teacher.  They will do their best to honor the request, but we cannot guarantee it.  At times, the instructors will change.

Why can’t my 5 year old go into an Ages 6+ Class?  Children of different ages learn differently and have different physical attributes and abilities.  For liability reasons and to make the programs as safe and productive as possible, participants are not permitted in classes of the incorrect age.  The only exception to this rule is that a 5 year old gymnast who is UMDGC level 1 is permitted to join the Ages 6-12 Introductory Gymnastics class.  Because the gymnast is probably more physically developed than others of a similar age, and because they are familiar with the gym, rules, and procedures, we feel they will not slow down the learning of the older gymnasts.

If we take time off, will my child return at the same level as when he/she left, or will they need to start from the beginning?  All of the participant’s information, including level, is tracked in our database.  For gymnasts and tumblers, this includes any skills that they learned at the current level.  When the participant returns, they will be able to re-enter to the same level as when they left.  However, it will take time (weeks or even months depending on the length of time missed), to get back into their previous skill level.  Additionally, for the highest level classes and/or those having been out at least a year, it is usually best to register for a class one level lower to slowly and safely work back into the skills.  The only exceptions to this rule is that Intermediate and Advanced tumblers must meet the level requirements or they must enter at a lower level. 

 

DANCE

Where do I get leotards and tights?  UMDGC sells leotards, tights, and other apparel.  Tights of various colors can be found at any dance shop as well as Target, Wal-Mart, JCPenny, and other stores. Check the dance class descriptions for complete details of the attire requirements.

Why do I need hip-hop sneakers? Why can’t I use my sneakers?  Due to outside sneakers bringing in unwanted debris, and for better grip on the dance floor, UMDGC requires all hip-hop students to wear black dance sneakers. Dance sneakers should ONLY be worn inside the studio. Dance sneakers can be purchased from UMDGC or Dance Line in Paoli, as well as online.

Does my child have to perform in the recital?  No, performance in the annual recital is recommended but not required.

Are there classes that only run in shorter sessions that don’t perform in the recital?  UMDGC will offer non-recital classes starting in January for select styles and ages. Each session will last approximately 6-8 weeks.

Why Dance?  Discipline, determination, dedication, and desire. Dance promotes coordination, memory, flexibility, strength, grace, and stamina.  Performance builds positive self-esteem and confidence!  Dance improves body awareness, social interaction, and cooperation.  Best of all, it’s just great fun!

Can I register after the first class?  Yes, if space in the desired class is available.  Fees will be prorated if the participant joins after the first class. In the Fall, students can join at any time. In order to be eligible for the recital, students must register by the third week of class of the Spring session.

 

GYMNASTICS, CHEER, AND TUMBLING

how many kids are allowed in each class?  Unlike other gymnastics centers, UMDGC limits the size of the class based upon the number of instructors available to coach. While this means that the actual size of classes may fluctuate slightly between sessions, it guarantees a small group for your tumbler, cheerleader, or gymnast.

How do you split up the groups in each class?  We split large classes up into groups based upon skill level, age, and gender. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that you will be with your friend; however, we will guarantee that you will be safe and working on appropriate skills.

Why isn't my child with his/her friends?  When a class has multiple groups, the participants are split based upon the following criteria:  level, gender, and age.  To make it more probable that the friends are together, be certain to do the following three things:

  •  Make sure to register for the same class.  There are many classes that occur at the same time, and if they aren’t registered for the same class, they will not be in the same group. 
  • Make certain the friends are of the same level.  If the friends are of different levels, the higher level participant will usually have to move to the lower level group.  In that case, we cannot guarantee that they will have as productive experience as if they were in a group with similar level participants.
  • Make sure to email a request no later than 72-hours before the start of each session.  Requests do not carry over to later sessions because new people register all the time.  Make certain to list all of the friends so that no one is left out. 

What’s the difference between a Tumbling and Introductory Gymnastics class?  A tumbling class is tailored to those that only want to work on floor skills, be it for cheerleading or “showing off in the back yard.” A tumbler will work on the floor, trampolines, tumbltrak, and airtrak in an attempt to master handstands, cartwheels, roundoffs, and back handsprings. A gymnastics class introduces the gymnast to all of the equipment you see in the Olympics, plus the training apparatus for those events: floor, vault, beam, bars, rings, tramps, and mushroom.  Because there are more events to cover in a gymnastics class, floor skills will be learned at a faster pace in tumbling classes.

Does my child have to wear a leotard?  Gymnasts, tumblers, and cheerleaders do not need to wear a leotard for lower and introductory levels.  Shorts without pockets, sweat pants, and a t-shirt is perfectly fine for these lower level classes.  However, when moving up levels, special attire may be required for the safety of the participant and staff.  For details, see the class description.  If you are interested in purchasing leotards, UMDGC sells them at the front desk area, and they are usually available at Wal-Mart, Target, and JCPenney. 

Why is my boy doing balance beam? or Why is my girl doing pommel horse and rings?  UMDGC believes that a person can learn by doing “what they’re not supposed to.” Boys, who typically have difficulty with balance or body awareness, gain control by practice on the balance beam. Similarly, girls build up much needed strength by working on the rings, pommel horse, and parallel bars. These basic skills, regardless of the event, are the foundation of more advanced skills in gymnastics and the basis of all sport activities.

How many more skills before my child moves up a level?  At the end of each session, we will give the participants a copy of the skills they have mastered and still need to master. Also, feel free to ask the coach or the front desk; they will be happy to show you a copy of the sheet. Or you can just ask your child; they probably know exactly how many tricks they need.

How do you read the skill sheet?  Each class instructor carries around a clipboard with the skill sheets for all of their participants.  This ensures that all coaches are working on the skills that each participant needs.  When the participant is able to do the skill correctly, the coach will write the date on the skill sheet.  The following day, the office staff will enter the skills into the database so that when a skill sheet is printed in the future, it will have the most up-to-date information.  The office staff member will then highlight the skill so that they know it has already been entered.  The skills that do not have a date next to them are the skills that the participant needs to work on in order to pass the level. 

Can you lose skills?  Yes. The instructor is able to take away a skill if the gymnast, tumbler, or cheerleader is unable to perform it consistently. Having a skill marked means that the participant is able to perform the skill safely, consistently, and without assistance. For the safety of the participant, the skill must be unchecked if any of these three requirements are not met. Additionally, it ensures that the child is more likely to have a positive outcome when attempting the skill test.

What happens if my kid fails the skills test?  Nothing. They go back to their group, work on the skills they did not complete successfully during the test, and, after mastering those skills again, may be retested as many times as they want.

Why isn’t my child getting any skills or learning anything new?  There are three major reasons why your child isn’t progressing or earning skills:

  • In order to earn a skill, the child must be able to perform the skill with proper technique. Just because they can “do it” does not mean it is being done correctly.
  • Because these gymnastics-based sports are progressive, it is important to review the basic skills. This is done to help break bad habits or make certain the gymnast is mentally and physically ready for a more advanced skill.
  • The participant has “plateaued.” Gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling are very mental sports. Frustration at mastering one skill can cause a barrier to learning any other skills. However, once the problem skill is mastered, the gymnast often learns several other skills shortly thereafter.

How long does it take to move up gymnastics levels?  When will my gymnast be able to join the team?    Assuming the participant has typical strength, flexibility, and agility, the general guideline is 8 months per beginner level (0-1) and at least 12 months per the upper levels (2-3). This assumes that they are attending class regularly throughout the year (40+ weeks per year), are not fearful of a skill, are not timid or overly shy, and possess the necessary physical attributes to perform the skills.  So if your goal is to join a team, it normally takes a minimum of 3 years to move up to the first competitive level of gymnastics.

Why is my child having problems with a specific skill?  Most tumblers and gymnasts will earn skills in 3 sections. The first 25% of skills will be mastered within 5 weeks of moving to the new level, while another 50-60% will be mastered within the next 20 classes. The final group of skills are the “culminating” tricks for each level. These culminating skills require that the participant be able to do all of the previously learned skills with consistency and correct technique. The skills that most participants have difficulty with are:

  • Level 0: Handstand against wall (Floor), Forward roll (Floor), Toes to rings (Rings)
  • Level 1: Knee swing (Bars), Handstand for 1 second (Floor), Cartwheel (Floor),  Back drop (Tramp)
  • Level 2 Girls: Back hip circle (Bars), Handstand to 45° (Beam), Side handstand (Beam), Back bend kickover (Floor), Back ballout (Tramp)
  • Girls Preteam: Front hip circle (Bars), Front mill circle (Bars), Single leg shoot thru (Bars), Vertical handstand (Beam), Side handstand dismount (Beam), Back handspring (Floor), Roundoff back handspring (Floor)
  • Novice Tumbling: Handstand for 1 second (Floor), Back Drop (Tramp), Knee drop to handstand (Tramp)

How long will it take to learn a back handspring?  Back handsprings (BHS) are one of the signature and most essential skills in gymnastics and the goal of nearly every beginner cheerleader.  While it is considered a basic skill, a BHS takes longer than any other gymnastics skill to learn (kips are a distant second).  Assuming the tumbler has sufficient strength, flexibility, coordination, and body awareness; does not develop a fear of the skill; and attends classes on a consistent basis, the general guideline is that they will start doing a standing back handspring on trampoline in about 70 hours of classes, standing back handspring on floor in about 90 hours, and a round-off back handspring in about 120 hours of classes.  While we try to spend 25% of each class working the actual BHS, it is the basic skills that the tumblers are learning during the other 75% of the class that are the key to progressing quickly, inspiring confidence, and learning the correct technique.