While Actus Ballet Studio is primarily set up to accommodate children in the Japanese school system I am pleased to say that we always have a few international school students on the register. I hope this explanation about scheduling and fees, and generally how things at Actus are run, is helpful for our prospective and new international students!
ENGLISH & JAPANESE LANGUAGE AT ACTUS
While Actus offers an international approach to ballet training not all classes are taught by a bilingual instructor. Since dance is a visual art, though, we find that language is rarely a problem in class. We do, however, promise to provide all information about classes and events in both English and Japanese, on our website, by email and by telephone.
CALENDAR OF CLASSES
Actus Ballet Studio observes the same calendar and holidays as Japanese schools. The Japanese school year runs from April to March. There are 3 extended breaks during the year:
1/ spring break (between school years): end of March and beginning of April
2/ summer holiday: last week of July to the end of August
3/ New Year: last week of December and first week of January
Throughout the year there are a number of public holidays which Actus also observes.
STUDENTS ARE GROUPED BY AGE
Actus students are assigned to classes by age. The cut-off date for the ages is the same as the Japanese school system, the end of March.
Your child will stay with the same group throughout his/her time at Actus Ballet Studio. Our plan is to keep that class on the same day of the week throughout. Occasionally, to solve a schedule problem, we may ask a group to move from one day of the week to another but would only do this after discussion with all members of the group and several months warning.
Japanese schools lengthen the school day for their students as they get older while International schools generally have the same finish time for all ages. Because of the gradual lengthening of the school day at Japanese schools Actus class times need to be adjusted each year.
ACTUS PAYMENT SYSTEM
Actus generally follows the same payment system that Japanese ballet schools use.
Upon joining each student must pay a one-time entrance fee of 10,000 yen.
Class fees are paid monthly in cash. During the third week of the month payment envelopes are distributed to the students. The exact cash amount should be placed in the envelope and returned the next week. These fees are for the following month. For instance, fees for October are paid at the end of September.
From the day of joining Actus Ballet Studio to the day of withdrawal a student must pay for all classes. Exceptions will be made if a student is absent for an extended period for a medical reason that makes it impossible to dance.
International School students often leave Japan for the summer months. If you give Actus one month notice that your child will be absent from class for a full calendar month fees for that month will be reduced by 50%. For instance, an absence for the entire month of July needs to be reported to us by the last day of May to qualify for the discount.
At Actus we present a recital once every two years. We try to keep the cost as reasonable as possible but are aware that in comparison to ballet recitals in other countries Japanese ones are very expensive. So far Actus has been able to keep recital fees for its students to about half those charged by other ballet schools in Japan. While we encourage all of our students to take part in the shows participation is optional.
ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCE (RAD) EXAMINATIONS
Our instructors hold teaching certificates with the Royal Academy of Dance, London, and prepare students for their examinations. Participation in exams is optional.
FREE TRIAL LESSONS
If you are interested in finding out more about Actus we suggest you come to the studio for a free trial lesson!
We have a stock of leotards and shoes children can borrow for the trial lesson if they do not have their own.
For more information about your free trial lesson click here.
If you have any questions please drop us a line or give us a call!
in English: 045-801-7608
The English version of this article will be coming soon...
A good dancer may have beautiful legs, long arms, and strong muscles but her most valuable asset is her brain!
Of course, ballet is a physical activity...but if it is only physical it is not dance! Dancers perform jumps, spins, and balances but they must do it expressively. They must speak with their dance. They must use their minds!
What do I expect my students to think about? Here are a few things:
1/ ANATOMY How do each of the muscles do their work? How are the bones shaped and how do they help or limit motion? How can bodies move more efficiently? I keep a full-sized skeleton in the studio and use it often to demonstrate to students.
2/ HISTORY I take every chance I can to share stories from ballet history with my students. Knowing why we do what we do and remembering that we are part of an ongoing story enhances our experiences!
3/ MUSIC I quiz students about the music we dance to: What is the time signature? What type of music is it? Waltz or mazurka...tango or march? How would this dance change if we did it to different music? Which ballet is that piece of music from? Giselle or Cinderella?...and who is the composer? Good dancers really listen to the music. They never take it for granted!
4/ COMMUNICATION A dancer communicates to an audience when she performs. A dancer communicates with other dancers to be able to work together with them....and I love it when my students communicate their desire to learn by asking questions!
5/ LANGUAGE The first school of ballet was in France (400 years ago) so the names for ballet steps are French. Dancers should know what these names mean: "tendu" - to stretch, "plie" - to bend. Some of the important centers of dance, like New York and London, are in English-speaking countries. Dancers who can speak some English are at an advantage. I use quite a bit of English when I teach...by the time my students are junior high school age most of them can understand simple instructions in English.
Regardless of whether a student wants to be a ballet dancer, a bus driver, or a dentist, in the ballet studio she can learn things she will use for the rest of her life.
Ballet slippers are not indoor shoes, running shoes, or house slippers. They are shoes designed specifically for ballet dancers. Of course, it is not absolutely impossible to perform ballet in bare feet but some movements may not be as smooth and the feet may be injured.
At Actus we recommend students use ballet slippers with a leather front and canvas back made and sold by Chacott. The leather front will stretch slightly and conform to the shape of the toes.
Choosing the correct size shoe is important. If they are too small or too big they will affect the student's ability to dance properly.
At Actus we help students find the right fit for their shoes and can order them to be delivered.
Often during a holiday a child's feet will have grown and new shoes will be needed. Students should let us know if they want us to order the next size up!