We would like to welcome you to the Commotion family. We're not just a dance school. Commotion is a community of students, parents, and teachers who share a passion for performing arts. There's a little bit of magic in the special journey a young performer embarks on when they step foot into the studio. With the inspiration, support and guidance of our talented teaching faculty, the students of Commotion are nurtured, developed to reach their full potential as performers and directed on a path of creativity, self-confidence, expression, and individualism. The ideal balance of discipline and fun - we love making the Commotion experience fun and enjoyable for kids as well as simple and stress-free for parents.
This is our PARENTS HANDBOOK. Your ultimate guide to how it all works at Commotion Performing Arts. Take a good read, so that you're feeling confident about our policies and what to expect. You can come back here any time you need an answer.
>> SELECTING CLASSES
With over 150 classes in our weekly timetable there is literally something for everyone. Commotion is proud to boast a world class teaching faculty and a huge variety of styles of dance and performing arts. 2020 brings even more options for our students and exciting new classes to try.
For preschoolers (ages 2 to 4) we offer READY SET DANCE and READY SET BALLET.
Students who are aged between 5 and 21 can do classes in the RECREATIONAL STREAM or they can choose to audition to join our elite PERFORMANCE STREAM.
What’s the difference?
RECREATIONAL STREAM classes available include Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Lyrical/Contemporary, Acrobatics, Tap, Singing, Acting, Musical Theatre and more. There are no set levels for Recreational classes – they are open to everyone regardless of whether or not the student is experienced or starting out as a beginner, and separated by age group. Through dance and performing arts we develop skills, build confidence and most importantly... have fun. Recreational classes perform just once per year, at the big Commotion end of year concert.
Syllabus classes including RAD CLASSICAL BALLET classes and GLENN WOOD TAP
classes are open to both recreational AND performance stream.
PERFORMANCE STREAM is for advanced level dancers and/or those who show great promise, and who are interested in taking their dance training to the next level, learning a variety of different styles and having multiple performance opportunities throughout the year including Royal Easter Show, Camden Show, various eisteddfods and competitions, local events etc. From 6/under through to Seniors there are six different Troupe teams, with a limited number of positions in each. We hold annual auditions for our Troupe teams, and we also invite students from our recreational classes who we feel would benefit from the next-level training that PERFORMANCE STREAM provides.
Those who are interested in joining our PERFORMANCE STREAM and being part of the nationally acclaimed award-winning Commotion troupes should email or call Ben on 0402 119 073. We will set up an interview to answer your questions and talk through the commitment and expectations.
Students new to Commotion for 2020 who are transitioning from other dance schools are welcome to apply to go straight into our performance stream if they have prior training and experience. Please contact us to book in for an audition, and an interview. We love to welcome new members to our team.
We really want to help you find the perfect classes for your children to THRIVE and ENJOY. Please don’t hesitate to give our studio director Ben Stokes a call on 0402 119 073 or email directly to ask for some advice with classes for 2020.
Click HERE to see our schedule of classes for each age group.
Are you looking for a full studio timetable? Click HERE to download.
>> OUR CODE OF CONDUCT
Just a few sensible guidelines in the interest of safety, to help keep things calm and orderly at the studio and make sure that students are able to get the most out of their classes without any disruption:
No smoking anywhere on the premises, including in our car park.
Younger siblings must be supervised (and stay quiet) at all times so as not to disrupt the lessons or the other parents waiting.
No running through the hallway.
Students should not enter a classroom without the teacher.
Disruptive behaviour is unacceptable, and students will be removed from class after two warnings. This includes talking out of turn in class.
No food or drink in the dance rooms. Bags and drink bottles should remain in the hallway on the shelves provided.
All students are expected to be kind, friendly and respectful of one another both in and out of the studio. We’re here to support each other and work as a team.
Bullying or highly competitive unsportsmanlike behaviour is not welcome.
We reserve the right to suspend or cancel an enrolment if a student’s behaviour is continually disruptive to the learning environment and/or distracting to fellow students. It is important for us to be able to do this, not as punishment (we’re not here to play disciplinarian to your children) but simply to ensure that the students at Commotion can have the best possible experience.
>> HELP US KEEP OUR STUDIO SCHMICK
Our beautiful but busy premises are cleaned daily. Please respect our studios and help us to keep it looking nice. Keep your feet off the furniture and hands off the walls and mirrors. Take all rubbish with you or place it in one of the many bins provided. Drink spillages and “accidents” are parents’ responsibility to clean up immediately, please ask at reception for a mop or sponge if required.
>> A LITTLE BIT OF SSHHHH PLEASE
Parents and students and students’ sibling are asked to keep all noise to a minimum when in the foyer or waiting in between classes. Our studios are soundproofed, but some noise still leaks through and can distract the classes still in progress.
Parents should not go into the students’ hallway. This space is just for dancers. Please do not congregate around the studio doors or sit on the ottomans near the bag shelves.
Parents should not enter the studio unless specifically invited in by a member of staff. If you need to give an urgent message to your child, please ask the receptionist at the desk to go and retrieve your child – rather than going into the dance room and interrupting the class.
>> THE PARKING SITUATION
In addition to our own private car park on site, there’s also ample street parking on Sedgwick Street. Sometimes during peak drop-off/pick- up time parents may need to park a bit further down the street, but it’s rarely more than about 30 seconds walk from the studio.
We ask parents to please be extremely cautious when reversing in our car park. Also if you are dropping your child off near the door, do not stop from more than 10 seconds, or it will block the other cars and cause congestion in our car park.
Please make sure that you don't park on the grass "nature strip" in front of our studios. The council and landlords are very strict about this and have issued warnings to us. NO PARKING ON THE GRASS.
>> STUDENT SAFETY AND WELLBEING
The safety and welfare of all our students is extremely important to us. All of the teachers and directors at Commotion have a current WWCC (working with children check number). Our staff have been trained in First Aid. We have CCTV in all of the classrooms and viewing windows on the classroom doors. We have fully sprung floors and teach safe dance practices.
We want Commotion to be a place where children and teenagers can feel free to express themselves and their individuality without fear of judgement. Same for the parents and families of our students. Incident report forms are available at reception, should they ever be needed and, when necessary, all serious matters are discussed by a panel of our management and department heads to find an appropriate solution and/or course of action.
>> BUT WHAT DO THEY WEAR?
We know how important it is for parents to keep the costs to a minimum and so we have kept it simple. Recreational classes from ages 7 to 21 have no set uniform. For our younger classes we have a set uniform that is affordable, long-lasting and easily washable.
AGES 2 TO 4
The READY SET DANCE and READY SET BALLET uniform is available for purchase at our Commotion shop... and it is soooo cute!! ;) The all-in-one leotard tutu is $45, and comes in sizes 2, 4, 6 and 8. A boys uniform is also available including black shorts and READY SET DANCE t-shirt – the cost is also $45 for the set. Various optional extras are also available for purchase, including socks, stockings, crossovers, hair bows and a large range of official RSD merchandise.
For READY SET DANCE classes, the students will require black slip-on Jazz shoes and black buckle Tap shoes. Both of these are available for $65 at our shop.
For READY SET BALLET, the girls will require pink Ballet shoes, and boys require black Ballet shoes. These are available for $45 at our shop.
For all of our preschool classes, hair can be tied back in any style, but should be neat and tidy and worn off the face. We recommend a neat ponytail or bun.
AGES 5 TO 6
The Lil’ Kidz classes have a bit more opportunity for expressing their individuality. We have a large range of Commotion items available for sale in our shop that are appropriate for wearing to class. These include our exclusive new black Commotion short unitard, which is available for $45. We also have shorts, t-shirts, singlet tops, crops and leggings in Commotion official colours. Students can mix-and-match our huge range of dancewear, and are welcome to add their own black or items. We also have exclusive Commotion jackets available to order so that your child can feel part of the team.
Correct shoes must be worn for each class. The Commotion shop sells affordable high-quality dance shoes, for the convenience of parents.
Lil’ Kidz Jazz/Hip Hop – black Jazz shoes
Lil’ Lyrical Ballerinas – pink Ballet shoes
Lil’ Tappers – glossy black buckle-up Tap shoes
Lil’ Glee – black Jazz shoes
Lil’ Acrobatics – bare foot
RAD Classical Ballet – there is a special RAD Ballet uniform required (click here)
Hair must be neat and tidy and worn off the face.
AGES 7 TO 21
Commotion is all about individuality and self-expression and it is our mission to provide a space where children can be free to wear what they are comfortable in. However, at this age we also want to encourage our students to learn the importance of wearing proper dance attire, and we’ve seen the positive impact that “dressing for class” has on the focus and motivation of our students.
Recreational classes at Commotion don't require a specific uniform. It is vital, however, that all students wear appropriate dance attire to ensure that they feel comfortable and are able to move without restrictions. - no jeans, jackets, jumpers, skirts etc. For safety reasons, no jewellery or watches should be worn to class. Hair must be neat and tidy and worn off the face.
We have a huge range of optional Commotion brand dancewear available at the studio for sale. Lots of unique limited-edition pieces and trend items. Stock is limited... but check in regularly because there’s always something new. We love it when kids show their Commotion pride!
Performance stream (TROUPE) have specific uniform requirements for certain classes.
RAD Ballet classes require a strict uniform. Specific leotard brands and colours are required for each grade. These are available at the Commotion shop. Hair must be in a very neat bun and Ballet shoes and pink Ballet stockings worn for every lesson. Boys uniform is navy tights and white boys/mens’ leotard. Also available to order through our shop.
They say that “feet are the tools of a dancer!” and correct footwear is essential to the learning process and the overall dancing experience. Here’s a clear run-down of exactly what’s needed for each style for our 7 to 21 year olds:
JAZZ – black soft Jazz shoes (with no laces)
TAP – black lace-up Tap shoes (preferably SLICK brand)
BALLET – pink leather full sole Ballet shoes
HIP HOP – any sneakers
CONTEMPORARY/LYRICAL – Jazz shoes, foot-thongs or bare feet
DRAMA/SINGING – any comfortable footwear (but not thongs or slides)
ACROBATICS – bare feet
For our customers convenience, we have our own dance shop on site, and we sell great quality preferred-brand shoes for an affordable price. We have a full range of dance shoes. Our dance shop is also open to the public.
>> THE MONEY STUFF
We understand that dancing can be an expensive activity and we aim to do everything we can to minimise the costs involved. Affordability is important to us. Commotion has always been known for offering a high-quality dance education at low cost. We have a veritable buffet of classes and parents are able to choose how many classes per week that they would like their child to participate in, giving them complete control over the costs. For our recreational classes our fee structure offers generous discounts for those doing multiple classes. The more classes that your child is enrolled in, the larger the discount. We also offer a family "unlimited" cap of $200 per week. Please see our full pricing list below:
"pay it your own way"
Upon enrolment, you can choose which payment option works best for you. Our reception staff will help you set it up, and can help explain the processes. Parents can use the online portal any time to check their balance.
OPTION #1 - SET'N'FORGET
The first option is to fill our the PAYMENT PLAN form available at reception to set up direct debit from your card. You have the choice of selecting fortnightly or monthly. This option allows parents to have the peace of mind that they can cancel the enrolment at any time in the year. However, if there is any cancellation of enrolment, or change to your package, 2 weeks notice is required. Please note there are strictly no refunds, or exchanges of account balance between students or siblings.
OPTION #2 - VIP TERM PAYMENTS
Parents can request to become a V.I.P (very impeccable payer). This is a contract to pay (10 week) term at a time, each payment due in THE FIRST WEEK of each term. Payments can be made at reception with cash (preferred) or cheque, card, eftpos or bank transfer. Or parents can pay with card through the online portal. On this option, the only cancellation or "package reduction" windows are at the end of each term. Anyone adding to their package can simply pay the difference up-front, calculated prorate. Please note there are strictly no refunds, or exchanges of account between students or siblings.
>> ACTIVE & CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHERS
We proudly accept both of these NSW government vouchers which can reduce each students’ fees by up to $300 per year. To apply them to your account with us, simply click here to fill out the online form. The vouchers take up to 6 weeks to process through the government, and once successful the amount is applied to your child's account.
>> CHANGES TO ENROLMENT
Students may choose to change or “swap” classes. When SWAPPING classes but staying on the same “pricing package” (ie. number of classes attending), the billing stays the same.
If adding a class and moving to a higher pricing package, a new direct debit form will need to be filled out, and the total for the year will be adjusted prorate (only being charged for the weeks remaining).
If reducing your enrolment and moving to a lower pricing package, a new direct debit form will need to be filled out and two weeks notice is required for the changes to come into effect. Students are welcome to continue in the class for the two weeks if they want to, alternatively the fee difference for the two weeks is simply forfeited. As mentioned above, in the VIP payment option this can ONLY be done at the end of each term.
If cancelling your enrolment completely, and withdrawing as a student at Commotion Performing Arts, the parent MUST complete a cancellation form available at reception. Payments will continue automatically through INTEGREPAY even if the student is not attending, and refunds for missed classes are not available under any circumstances. Two weeks notice is required for all cancellations. Students are welcome to continue in their classes for the two weeks, alternatively the fees for the two weeks is simply forfeited. On the VIP payment option this can only be done at the end of each term.
>> ILLNESS / INJURY POLICY
If a student has to miss a class because they are sick, the parent can request a make up lesson. This is scheduled the following week for a different session in the timetable - and is subject to availability. Make up lessons are unavailable after September due to the concert rehearsal process.
In the case of significant injury where a student is unable to dance for longer than 4 weeks, we can issue a credit for those weeks’ fees which can be taken off the fees invoice. (If on direct debit option, this will mean that automatic payments stop early at the end of the year). This applies ONLY if we are notified in advance by writing, and with a doctor certificate, with details of the number of weeks the child will miss.
>> WHAT IS THE COSTUME LEVY?
At Commotion the students hire costumes from our in-house costume department. This helps keep costs down and saves parents from spending hundreds of dollars on buying costumes that will end up sitting in a cupboard after being worn once. The costume levy is invoiced with class fees and is $60 per class annually (or $100 for READY SET DANCE, as two costumes are required - one for Jazz and one for Tap.) The costumes are distributed to the students approximately one week before concert. The costume levy is an "all inclusive" contribution to the costume department and goes towards sourcing new costumes, alterations, mending, wear and tear, cleaning, storing and staff costs.
We spread the costume levy over 40 weeks, which works out to $1.50 per week (or $2.50 for READY SET DANCE). Those who enrol into a class after the beginning of the year, will have to "catch up" on costume fee payments - so that all students are paying the same for their costumes.
No refunds (or exchanges between siblings) can be issued for any fees payments or costume levies. This is because our costume department works year-round collecting, sorting, sewing, designing etc. Some costumes are purchased or made for the end of year concert as early as February. All of the costume levies go towards the ongoing running costs of our costume department.
Newsletters are emailed regularly. Please make sure that we have the correct email address on file and check your spam settings to ensure you receive all important information.
The majority of the information parents will need to know for the whole year is here on this website on this page, including concert dates, term dates etc. We keep this page up all year so that it can be a reliable source of information for parents to check easily.
The Commotion Community Facebook group is a hub of information and connectivity between all of our teachers, students and parents. We thoroughly recommend that all parents join this group. The link is here.
There is also a group for just the Commotion Troupe members and their parents, which is for information related to upcoming performances, rehearsals, costumes etc. The link to this group is here.
The Commotion Facebook page is for promotional photos, workshops, news and success stories. Please click here and LIKE US.... and SHARE :)
There is also a Commotion Instagram account, that you DEFINITELY should follow if you want to see more photos. Please follow our Instagram here.
>> THE STUDIO CALENDAR
Tuesday 4th February - Term One commences
Sunday 12th April - Last day of Term One
Monday 27th April - Term Two commences
Monday 8th June - Queen's Birthday (classes WILL run as normal)
Sunday 5th July - Last day of Term Two
Monday 20th July - Term Three commences
Sunday 27th September - Last day of Term Three
Monday 12th October - Term Four commences
Sunday 18th October - READY SET DANCE & BALLET preschoolers concert
Sunday 18th October - Singing and Acting recital - [6:30pm]
Saturday 12th December - Recreational Concert [12:00pm] at NIDA
Saturday 12th December - Troupe concert [6:30pm] at NIDA
Saturday 19th December - Last day of Term Four
Classes at Commotion run during school terms only. See the term dates above.
By popular demand, we run several special event themed classes and experiences during the holidays. We get a lot of feedback that our young students especially say that they miss dancing when it’s holidays.
For older students, it’s all about WORKSHOPS! We are known for putting on incredible dance workshops with some of Australia’s best choreographers and teachers. Commotion will be holding various FUN holiday workshops in the July and October school holidays for students ages 5 to 21. These are optional and are lots of fun, with guest teachers, new experiences and activities. Details are released each term, and bookings can be made on our website. They are an awesome thing for kids to do in the holidays.
>> END OF YEAR CONCERT
The highlight of every student’s dancing year is their Commotion Concert. For those who are new to our studio, our concert is a massive showcase that all students get the opportunity to perform in.
Why is it so important? It’s your child’s chance to shine on stage. To perform for their friends and family, and show how much they have improved over the year. Every dancer needs an audience. The Commotion Concerts provide a truly memorable and special stage experience that celebrates the dedication, talent and achievements of every single student.
TICKETS TO THE DANCE CONCERT
Tickets to our shows go on sale [online through our website] in October. Ticket prices range from $38 to $68, depending on seating section.
We do our best to keep the price of the concert tickets as low as possible but we need to cover the high costs of the venues and production. Our concerts are large scale productions with state-of-the-art lighting, held in premium venues that provide a truly magical and memorable performance experience for our students, and a spectacular entertaining show for families. Performers do not require a ticket, as they will be supervised backstage throughout the concert
CONCERT PERFORMERS PACK
Every performer in any of our end of year concerts will need a Concert Performers Pack. This is $79 and includes a HD digital copy of the Commotion Concert Video, a medal, a certificate, a digital photo from the photo shoot and our limited edition 2020 Commotion concert t-shirt which the students also wear on stage for the Finale. The performer fee will be billed with all customers Term Four fees. Siblings get a $30 discount off their performer pack.
We hold photo shoots at the studio so that our students can have professional photos taken in class groups and individually in their awesome costumes. We will be scheduling most of the photos during class times so that it is extra convenient for parents. The photos will be available for purchase online a few weeks after the concert and will be $15 each, or $12 each if you purchase 10 or more.
>> CONTACT US
Studio address is:
2/12 Sedgwick Street
NSW 2567 Australia
Reception hours: (during school terms)
MONDAYS 9:30am to 11:30am, and 4:00pm to 7:30pm
TUESDAYS 9:00am to 11:00am, and 4:00pm to 7:30pm
WEDNESDAYS 4:00pm to 7:30pm
THURSDAYS 9:30am to 11:30am, and 4:00pm to 7:30pm
FRIDAYS 9:30am to 11:30am, and 4:00pm to 7:30pm
SATURDAYS 8:30am to 11:30am
To contact reception please call 02 4648 1251 (see reception hours above)
Or you can call our studio director Ben Stokes directly on 0402 119 073
There are different email addresses for different departments at Commotion.
New enrolment enquiries
Account, invoice and billing enquiries
Enrolment changes and customer service
Matters requiring the attention of the director
*Please refrain from contacting Ben or any of the other Commotion staff via Facebook messenger on their personal accounts. Due to the high volume of messages received daily, it’s not feasible to manage and keep track of efficiently. Facebook messages can be sent to the Commotion Performing Arts Facebook page, but email is the preferred method of contact.