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LoMA Dance Student Handbook


The LoMA Dance Department offers a curriculum of classical & contemporary dance technique, improvisation, choreography, production, dance history, and body conditioning. If you wish to have intensive professional preparation for a career in performance and/or choreography, there will be a numerous opportunities presented to train outside of LoMA in conjunction with your curriculum.

This handbook is one of several that can provide answers to the questions most people have about LoMA's Dance Program. Ask questions. There are always solutions and resources! Other students are usually glad to help; donʼt be afraid to ask the seniors! We hope you will get to know the a majority of other dance students, too. We are fortunate to have 3 levels of dance here at LoMA. Most of the the seniors will be looking for dancers for choreography projects this will be a great way to build relationships!

Have a great year!

Best Wishes,

Ms. Cardenas



All dance students are expected to follow the general rules of the school set forth in the student handbook, and the Dance Studio rules.

      • RESPECT: Yourself, the space & others
      • LISTEN: (One Mic!) to directions
      • ASK: For help! Don't assume anything.
      • DO: YOU!
      • BE: YOU!
      • Eating/Chewing gum & having drinks in dance studio
      • Name calling/teasing
      • Invading others personal space without asking
      • Refusing to follow directions
      • Leaving class without permission
    • CARDENAS CONSEQUENCES: (How to earn a pink slip)
      • Have cell phone is class (See LoMA Student handbook)
      • Leaving class without asking.
      • Disrespectful behavior.
    • Be prepared! Be on time, have materials needed, and ready to work!
    • Be positive and leave your stress & worries at the door. Remember, you get to decide what mood you want to be in!
    • Respect yourself and others. Treat others as your want to be treated. We can only control our own behaviors & actions.
    • Behavior: Horse play, rude & inappropriate behavior, & offensive language towards teachers, students or staff will not be tolerated. 
    • Personal Space: Keep your hands & feet to yourself unless it is required of the class activity.
    • Be on time & prepared: Students are considered tardy if they are not present in the room when bell rings, even if you have a late pass.
    • Arriving 3 minutes past the bell is considered cutting, which will result in a 0% for the class. 
    • 3 tardies =1 absence.
  • ATTENDANCE: (see grading system)
    • Regular attendance is extremely important because it is difficult to make up assignments.
    • Practice Good Time Management.
    • Cutting Class will not be tolerated and will result in failure of the class.
    • If you have an injury that prevents you from dancing, you MUST HAVE A DOCTOR’S NOTE.  
      • You must still participate in class discussion, and fill out a class observation worksheet in order to receive full participation credit.
    • If you want to pass, you must ATTEND & DANCE.
  • PARTICIPATION: (see grading system)
    • Class participation is MANDATORY
    • Includes:
      • Comes to class prepared to move!
      • Works from bell to bell.
      • Willingness to work with others
      • Always gives 150%
    • All assignments and grades will be posted on www.pupilpath.com 
    • Any missed assignments due to sickness or a school related absence may be made up within 3 days.  It is the student’s responsibility to retrieve missing assignments. Please see Ms. Cardenas for instructions.
    • Ask questions: If you do not understand something - ASK!!! 
    • Any work turned in late not due to absence will only be eligible for half credit (50%) 
    • There is NO eating, drinking, GUM, candy, CELL PHONES, in the dance studio. No exceptions. Please do not ask.
    • Chewing gum during class after 2 warnings will result in a 0% for the class. It is a safety hazard.
    • Please clean up after yourself. If you bring it in, take it out! The Dance Studio is a shared space, which means, shared responsibilities. It is very important that it stays clean! Clutter is not allowed. It can be hazardous to those using the space. Items that are not collected from the Lost & Found after 3 weeks, will be donated to charity.
  • DANCE DRESS CODE: (Please see grade syllabus)
    • Dance attire is mandatory for all dancers. Please see your syllabus for further instructions.
    • Failure to dress will result in 50% for class participation.
    • Hair must be pulled away from your face. It's a distraction to your learning.
    • Jewelry: Long dangly earrings, chain necklaces, rings, bangly bracelets are hazardous to you and others.
    • Shoes
      • Outside shoes are not allowed in the dance room. It is not sanitary. 
      • Certain genres will require shoes, for example, Hip Hop. When that genre is being studied, only inside shoes will be allowed in the studio. Outside shoes can be worn only if they are washed well.
    • Use the bathroom before class!
    • Daily bathroom interruptions with result in a conversation with Ms. Cardenas and a request for a doctors note.
    • Easy solution: Leave items at home! If it's valuable to you...it's valuable! 
    • LoMA & Ms. Cardenas are not responsible for any lost or stolen items.


LoMA offers dance as a part of the academic school day. All Dance Majors are required to attend scheduled rehearsals and performances after school hours. All hours earned will be logged and recorded and can be used as to meet extra-curricular hours needed to graduate. Students are responsible for logging hours. A dance rehearsal log sheet will be provided each marking period and due on the last day of each marking period. Mandatory rehearsals will be factored in the grading policy.

Work Expectations & Guidelines for Progress

Students will:

  • Keep the focus on yourself. Be present!
  • Work hard everyday. 
  • Listen to all corrections and implement them into your practice.
  • Explore the art of dance through class journal writings, lectures, quizzes, written assignments, group work, and the physical execution of dance technique. Have quizzes announced or unannounced.
  • Execute movement with technical and qualitative success.
  • Always reflect with writing on your goals and progress.
  • Participate:
    • One of the most important things about dance!  Working with others is a vital part of being a successful dancer.  We will regularly engage in group work.  It is important to be both respectful and cooperative in a group setting.  Everyone counts!!!


All students start the year with 100%. It will be each students responsibility to maintain their average. Grades are earned, not given. All information for grading may be found at www.pupilpath.com. Dance courses are required for graduation. Failure of course will result in attending summer school.
  • Grading system for all Dance Classes:
    • A=100-90
    • B= 89-80
    • C=79-70
    • D=69-65
    • F=55 & under
  • Participation/Attendance: 70%
    • Unexcused absences will be marked as a 0%. If you are absent, you are not participating. 
    • 3 tardies = 1 absence. (Excessive unexcused absences will resulting in failing the course.)
    • Class group work & tasks during class time
    • Dance Attire: is mandatory. Students must still participate if they are present without dance attire. It will result in 50% for daily participation grade.
    • Participation is based on: (Daily point System 1-6)
      • Effort
      • Organization
      • Work Ethic
      • Skills Improvement
      • Group Engagement 
      • Attendance
  • Written Assignments/Journal Entries: 10%
    • Quizzes
    • Reflections
    • Class Notes
    • Journal Entries
  • Final Project: 20%
    • Group Performance & written component.


  •  Advance Reservations
    •  Please see the bulletin board for most current priority listing for advance reservations.
    • There is a first come first serve basis. Level 2 & 3 have Priority. Level 1 and others must see Ms. Cardenas.
  • Sign Up Sheets
    • Write in both first and last name clearly. 
    • Those who sign up are presumed to be using thespace for their own LoMA Dance Major-connected work, not to gain space for a non-affiliated group or individual, only dance majors and approved students have permission to use the studio.
    • The individual who has signed out the space will be held responsible for any problems that occur during its use.
  • All students must be supervised by Ms. Cardenas or certified educator during studio use. No exceptions. 
All LoMA Dance concerts are recorded by Ms. Cardenas. Ms. Cardenas will keep permanent copies of each concert recording. Costs & purchases are to be determined.


The following guidelines concerning a healthy dancer are suggestions and/or reminders. If any problem areas need to be evaluated by an appropriate professional, there is faculty here to find help you if needed.

  • Nutrition/Healthy Eating: 
    • EAT!: You need energy to dance! 
    • PROTEIN: to stabilize your energy release and repair bone and muscle tissue.
    • FRUIT &VEGTABLES: calcium, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and hydration.
    • H2O: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is a necessity for career-minded dancers. Yet figuring out what a healthy weight is can be a challenge when we are surrounded by images of people with weight issues at either end of the scale. If you think you might not be at a healthy weight, seek nutritional advice, and support.‬ A healthy body always contains a percentage of fatty tissue. It serves as an energy store and as insulation for organs. Your culture, genetic make-up,and metabolism all affect your body type. We all have different shapes and body types; itʼs what makes us interesting. Your mirror or the latest fashion magazine may not be the best judge of what weight you should be. Crash or fad diets are harmful and donʼt work in the long run. Youʼll usually gain the weight back and may even gain more weight. Diets such as these deplete the system of needed nutrients and can cause severe metabolic imbalances. Binging and purging are symptoms of bulimia and excessive weight loss is a symptom of anorexia nervosa--both life-threatening illnesses that require professional help.

  • Personal Hygiene:
Dancing makes us sweat and sometimes releases odor that affects our hygiene. Changing out of sweaty clothes after dance or exercise is very important.  Staying in wet clothes too long will tighten your muscles. Make sure to wash your dance clothes daily and allow them to dry completely. Leaving wet clothes in a bag will cause mildew and is difficult to remove. 
  • Some personal hygiene items to carry in your dance/school bag:
    • Deodorant
    • Baby Wipes
    • Lotion/Body Spray
    • Brush/Comb, ponytail holder, bobby pins, etc.
    • Plastic baggies 
    • Change of clothes:
      • socks/underwear
      • top & bottom
    • Makeup/Face Cloths
      • Heavy makeup is not necessary. Save that for the performance! 
  • Managing stress:

Stress is a part of being human, going to school, having a busy life. How to manage stress so it does not get the become a lifetime concern? First you need to become aware of needs and characteristics that are unique to you. This includes the amount of sleep your body requires to be fully functional, knowing your tolerance level, quiet times, hobbies or activities that are relaxing for you, and how friendships and family connections play a part in your life. There are also many somatic and relaxation techniques that may help relieve symptoms of stress. For example, meditation, deep breathing exercises, a nap, listening to peaceful music or relaxation tapes, a walk in the woods or a park, or riding a bike can refresh you even if you only have 10 minutes. Make these a regular part of your schedule. Keep in mind that getting a full nightʼs sleep can provide much needed energy for dance classes.‬ 

  • Multiple Commitments & Scheduling:

The LoMA experience involves learning to set priorities, make decisions, and experience the results of your choices.  You will have many options, therefore, balance is essential for success in classes, homework, your social life, job, and rehearsal commitments, etc. There is a strong temptation to get too involved, especially in activities you love (such as clubs, sports teams, and performing with other organizations). The consequences may include stress-related illnesses, injuries, poor academic performance, and a diminished reputation if you cannot fulfill all the responsibilities you take on. The best prevention is to avoid overload from the beginning.

Please keep in mind that core classes activities will take precedence over non-credit activities. For example, attending tutoring for help in math with take priority of dance rehearsal. If this becomes more frequent, Ms. Cardenas will have a conversation with you.

  • Preventing injuries:
Proper warm-up before class and rehearsals is essential to keep you dancing longer and stronger. Some low impact aerobic work outside of class is also good for stamina and to protect you during more stressful times such as during dance concerts, performances, and exams. Too much exercise without time for the muscles to recuperate can make you prone to injury; so can insufficient sleep or eating haphazardly. Learn to take class intelligently. Early detection of alignment problems or structural imbalances can also help prevent injuries. Donʼt do something if you experience pain.  Learn to recognize the difference between ordinary soreness and pain. Getting back into exercise after a holiday, just overdoing it, or a time away from exercise can mean sore muscles. Usually this goes away after a few days of working regularly. A hot bath with a cup of Epsom salts (available at drug stores) can relieve the soreness, which is usually caused from excess lactic acid in your muscles. 

 The formula for first aid for any injury is RICE:

  • Rest: 
    • Stop! Sit down.
  • Ice:
    • Ice to injury will immediately reduce swelling & pain.
  • Compression:
    • If injury is extreme, keep it wrapped with an ACE bandage.
  • Elevation:
    • Lie down to place  injury above heart rate. This will help reduce swelling.

If you get severely injured in the building, you must complete an injury report in the main office with Ms. C. When you are cleared as to when you can return to classes, approach it slowly, listen to your body to reduce further injury. Each injury requires individual maintenance, and some may require medical attention. Please let Ms. Cardenas know about injuries that happened during or outside of class. 

  •  Illness:
If you get sick and are contagious with a fever, you should not be in class. Go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Return to class and rehearsals as directed. Proper and early self-care can speed recovery.
  • Special concerns: 
Often school or personal problems can seem overwhelming. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Feeling more than occasionally depressed, abusing alcohol or drugs, finding yourself angry too much of the time, consistently avoiding responsibilities, overeating or having no appetite are all areas of concern. See and a LoMA counselor they are trained in dealing with the special needs of students. Often just being able to talk over a problem with a qualified person is enough to get you back on track. If you have a problem with a particular class or a sensitive issue, please speak with Ms. Cardenas or other faculty member. IT IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS TO ASK FOR HELP.
  •  Sexuality:

Of course, as with all new learning experiences, developing your independence and your own attitudes about things is a part of the process. Sexuality is part of this.Take responsibility for yourself in learning all you need or want to know about it. Information is available if you simply ask. (


Please see attachment below. All Dance Majors are requires to sign and turn in handbook contract & agreement.


Kat San,
Sep 10, 2015, 9:55 AM