Parent & Student Info

1. We’re New to Dance, What Should We Expect?

That is awesome! We are here to answer all of your questions. We realize that you may not know where to begin. Your child says, "Mom/Dad, I want to take dance classes!" And you think, "Where do I begin?" You googled dance classes and HERE YOU ARE!

Our goal is to make every dancer excited about dance starting from their very first class. The following are some highlights designed to help parents know what to expect in dance class and answer several common questions. This is especially helpful for our dancers ages 2 years through 6 years old.

1. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early so your dancer has time to go to the bathroom, put on his or her dance shoes and be ready to enter class when it starts. All preschool Ballet/Tap classes will start their class in tap shoes. Dancers for combo classes will require a small bag packed with their dance shoes. Dancers will change into ballet shoes in the dance room and will not come back to the lobby to get their things from parents. We highly encourage that the dancer's name is on ALL dance shoes and their bag.

2. Do not let your dancer wear their dance shoes outside. The concrete & asphalt will ruin the dance shoes. Please provide your dancer with a cover up for their dance wear.

3. Parents are welcome to watch their child’s class from the TV in the lobby. We do not allow parents in the dance room. It is our experience that dancers are more focused and perform better without their parents in the room. Dance is also about learning independence. You will see your dancer grow so much in confidence from their dance classes. If your dancer is feeling anxious about being in class without you, you can help by explaining to your dancer ahead of time that you will be in the lobby waiting and watching them while they take dance class.

4. For Preschoolers, it is very common to have tears the first week or 2 of classes. Please do not worry! Going into the dance room without mom or dad can be intimidating at first for some young ones. They will get more and more comfortable as the weeks go by. If they are very upset and do not want to go in we suggest parents watching class on the TV screens with your dancer and talking about what they get to do when they go in. Whenever they are ready to come in, our staff will help encourage them into the dance room.

5. Parents are also welcome to drop their dancer off and come back at the end of class to pick them up. If you decide to leave and your dancer needs to go to the bathroom, the female dance assistant will escort them to the bathroom at the end of the studio hall. Please know that tights & leotards are sometimes difficult for young dancers to pull on and off on their own. If you choose to leave during class, we do not mind helping them if needed, just be aware of this. You can help by encouraging a potty break before class starts.

6. We encourage parents to ask their dancers what they learned in class so they can practice at home. Have your dancer show you a new step they learned that day or ask them to tell you the name of a dance step they have learned. Our young dancers learn so much that a little practice between classes can go a long way.

7. All preschoolers, the last week of each month, will be sent home with a coloring page showing what they have learned for that month. You can use this page to practice with your dancer at home.

8. Trust our amazing instructors to know their job. Our staff instructors are here for your dancer. Our instructors are well trained in their respective genre of dance and maintain a certification or degree in that genre. Our preschooler dance classes maintain a curriculum under the direction of Twinkle Star Dance. This curriculum is age approriate in choreography, music and costume. The syllabus changes each month and will be a different theme each month.
We spend a lot of time preparing class material, training and coming up with new ideas to keep dancers engaged and having fun. If you have a question about something done in class please ask the instructor before or after class. Sometimes instructors have back to back classes and do not have time for lengthy conversations, but we are still here for you! Please let the front desk know what your concern is and if the front desk cannot help you they will make sure your dancer's instructor contacts you when they are done teaching. PLEASE NOTE: Some of our instructors teach until our last class and most likely will not contact you until the following day.

9. Do not compare your dancer to others in the class. Each dancer is unique with their own strengths & weaknesses. Dancers will grow and develop at different rates and that is ok! Keep the focus on YOUR dancer rather than on others.

10.​ Dance is different from school in that dancers will not move up a level every year. Sometimes it takes more than a year (in fact can take 2-3 years) to master all that is taught in a specific dance class level. We are here to help place your dancer in the correct level that will benefit them the most. If they do not move up a level, it does not mean that they “failed” or that they did a poor job. It simply means we think they can still learn and grow more in that class or it may be more developmentally appropriate for them then the next level up. The dancer as a
"whole" is considered when determining if they are ready to advance to the next level.

11. Please check your emails routinely. This studio's #1 communication tool is our email. You may also consider signing up for our ​ BAND app​ , which is a text messaging app that is FREE to parents. We will also notify you via this app of emergencies such as inclement weather, studio closures, class cancellations due to illness, etc. The BAND app also has a calendar, where special events, holiday closures, birthday announcements, etc are noted. Unless you check your email routinely throughout a day, the BAND app is a key element to become an ​ ISPA PARENT IN THE KNOW​ !

Open communication will help your dancer have a positive dance experience and to help the year run smoothly for all. We welcome you to contact us regarding any questions you might have about dance in general or our studio.

The ISPA Parent/Dancer Handbook is available on the ISPA Parent Portal under Documents. During recital season (September-November), we will post a Recital Handbook on the ISPA Parent Portal for your review. You are encouraged to review both handbooks. Most likely most of your question's answers can be found in these handbooks.

2. What Makes ISPA Unique?

ISPA has stepped onto the performing stage, where we continue to make a positive difference on the MS Gulf Coast. We have changed our dance season. We listened to the concerns of our dancers and parents. We do not charge parents a registration fee.
Our dance season runs January - November.
We close the month of June for SUMMER BREAK and continue our dance season after July 4th. Upon returning in July, we officially start dance classes until November with our recital always being the weekend prior to Thanksgiving week in November.
After the recital, we will take a WINTER BREAK; closing the month of December. ISPA still maintains a 10 month dance season; it is now more convenient for our ISPA families.

ISPA parents do not PURCHASE their dancer's recital costumes. Our parents RENT all recital costumes at a low cost. If you choose to purchase your little one's first recital costume, we don't mind. Ask us about cost bundling. It's an easy way to help our parents with the many payment options we offer.

All of our instructors maintain degrees or certifications in their respective dance genres and are constantly striving to learn all they can in their fields.

3. Does ISPA have a competition team?

We are asked this question often. Our Island Dance Company (IDC) is a performance company. Our performance dancers are very talented and train hard.
Our company will host workshops, perform at coastal charity events and a few competitions.

Many of our alumni are performing at locations such as Disney, Universal, major college and arts/dance programs and Broadway productions. If you are interested in auditioning for our performance company or learning more about IDC, please complete & submit the following form:

4. How do I put stage makeup on my child?

5. How do I sew elastics on ballet shoes?

6. How do I put my child’s hair in a bun?

7. How do I sew ribbon on pointe shoes?

8. How does ISPA communicate with parents?

We work hard to make the dance experience organized and fun. Keeping you informed is one of our primary goals. We utilize THE STUDIO DIRECTOR online software.

With this software, YOU, the parent, have your very on login to the ISPA Parent Portal. From this portal you can update your personal information, see you dancer's current schedule, make any changes to that schedule, pay your account online and many more valuable items. 

Please read all the flyers and notes that your dancer gives to you.

Emails and Text Messages ​ (BAND APP - FREE FOR PARENTS)​ are our #1 form of notifying parents of information from the studio. We also post important information on a Power Point presentation, which plays continuously within the studio lobby & made available for viewing on our web site – Parent Information tab. Information is posted on the web site (, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Calendar on web site, Calendar on the BAND APP & paper signs within the lobby. Routinely checking these sites should be a priority to be an ISPA PARENT IN THE KNOW! 

​ If you have any questions regarding any information distributed, we encourage you to contact the office at 228-86DANCE/863-2623 between the hours of Monday – Thursday 4:00pm – 8:30pm OR you may email us at 

We are constantly updating our website. News, important parent and student information, contact information, and more are available online 24 hours a day. Facebook Page [ School of Performing Arts, Inc.] “Like” the Island School of Performing Arts, Inc. Facebook page and receive information and updates on our school events. Please invite your family and friends to “like” the school. Please do not post questions on the school’s Facebook page. Instead, please email them directly to 

9. Does my name belong on my dance items?

 Yes! We encourage you to place your dancer's full name in all dancewear, on their dance bag (cute luggage tags work great), coats, WATER BOTTLES, accessories and most importantly their dance shoes. On the ballet & jazz shoes, it is best to write their name on the INSIDE side panel of their shoe. This way the ink is not worn away if placed on the inside/outside bottom of the shoe. On tap shoes, write their name on the arch area OUTSIDE of the shoe. This part of the shoe never touches the floor and will not wear away.

10. How do I enroll my child in classes?

You have several options on how to enroll your child with our studio:

1. You can call during the studio's business hours: Monday - Thursday (4:00pm - 8:30pm) to register via telephone.
2. You can stop by the studio during business hours and enroll in person.
3. You can enroll from our "Classes" page via this website.

11. How do I know which class level to enroll my child?

If you are unsure what class to enroll based on age vs level, we recommend that you telephone the studio (228-863-2623) or send us an email ( so we can further assist you for proper class placement.

It may be recommended that the dancer take trial a class that seems like the correct age/level class so the instructor can evaluate the student in class to ensure he/she is in the correct class. 

If not, the instructor will recommend a different class.

12. What age can my child take classes at ISPA?

We have a large youth dance program.

Our preschool program, called Footprints, offers Ballet/Tap combination classes & Acrobatics classes for children as young as 2 years to 5 years.

Our levels classes start at age 6 to 18 years old.

Level classes include:
Hip Hop


13. Do you accept new students after classes have begun?

We offer ongoing enrollment throughout the year.

14. How do I pay for classes?

Once you enroll your dancer with our studio, you will have access to YOUR ISPA parent portal.

This offers you the ability to view your dancer's schedule, absences, payment processing & many other options.

You can pay directly from this portal, pay within the studio, initiate your payment via telephone or sign up for automatic monthly payments (most popular & highly encouraged), which is worry free. This studio is PCI Compliant, which means consistently adhering to a set of guidelines set forth by the PCI Standards Council. PCI compliance is governed by the PCI Standards Council, an organization formed in 2006 for the purpose of managing the security of credit cards.

15. Do you offer any discounts?

We offer a sibling tuition discount of 10% for additional dancers from the immediate family after one dancer. This only applies to the TUIITION.

The discount is applied after the full rate charge for the dancer taking the highest number of hours.

We offer a 5% discount for tuition paid in full (Jan - Nov).

Discounts cannot be combined.

16. Are parents allowed in the classroom while class is in session?

Parents are allowed to walk dancer to their dance class room in order to put the dancer's fears to rest.

The assistant and/or the instructor will take your dancer at the door, and attend to any needs while they are in class, other than bathroom. Should your dancer have to use the potty, the instructor's dance assistant will bring your dancer to you. However, if you are not available, please note that the dance assistant will escort your dancer to the bathroom and provide any assistance required. Leotards and tights prove difficult with the preschoolers.

Please wait until after class to speak with the instructor about concerns you have.

Please do not open a classroom door after it has been closed.

17. What is a Marley Dance Floor?

Our "Floating" Dance Floor rests on a system of high density foam blocks to absorb the shock and impact of regular dance movement.

This benefits students by reducing fatigue and preventing injury that can result from dancing on hard surfaces.

The top layer of our flooring surface is a professional vinyl composite "marley" floor layer that has a certain amount of controlled slip to allow for sliding in dance movement, but is not slippery like common tiles found in most other dance studios .

18. How do I become a member of the Island Dance Company (IDC)?

Island Dance Company is a dancer performance company dedicated to enhancing a dancer's performance and technical experience outside regular dance classes.

Interested dancers must be enrolled & activtively participating in ballet, tap & jazz classes at our studio, be between the ages of 7 to 18, ISPA account up to date, submit an IDC Audition Form, pay an audition fee by the day prior to audition date.

IDC performs in many events across the coast. This team has the opportunity to train under many professional instructors while attending dance conventions.

Request the "Interested in IDC" form at the studio front desk.

20. What amenities are available at your dance studio?

For dancers: our studio is equipped with large mirrors,wall mounted ballet barres in all rooms, a great sound system, cameras in all studio rooms with large monitor in front lobby for viewing ongoing classes, 5 large TVs in front lobby (HGTV or ESPN - Disney Jr - Monthly Power Point presentation - Previous recitals performances - Monitor for cameras in studio rooms), water fountain and bench seating with cubbies underneath to store personal belongings. Our two large studios are equipped with a floating floor system and Marley.

21. Does my child need to be potty trained to start classes?

At ISPA, we do accept dancers not yet potty trained. If the dancer is not yet potty trained, we do ask that you send the dancer to class in a pull up.

Should the dancer require to attend the bathroom during class time, the instructor's dancer assistant will bring the dancer to you so you may take your dancer to the bathroom.

We highly recommend arriving to the studio a few minutes prior to your dancer's class time so you may take your dancer to the bathroom before the class starts.

22. What performances does your studio produce?

The Year End recital is themed, more like a theatrical play. The performance takes place the weekend prior to Thanksgiving Week in November includes all recreational classes except for technique classes. Our evening recital performance is usually approximately 1.5-1.45 minutes in length. Our preschoolers perform in their own show, which is usually one hour. We normally perform 3 shows: late morning, afternoon & evening.

We strongly recommend participation, as the shows are a culmination of the semester/year’s work by the dancers.

Please refer to the Calendar tab for specific dates.

23. What if my child has to miss a class?

No worries! When your dancer will be absent for a class, whatever the reason, please contact Mrs. Danielle at the front desk 228-86DANCE.

Please note: If your dancer misses 2 or more consecutive classes and we are not notified, Mrs. Danielle will be contacting the parent/guardian to see if your dancer is okay.

24. Will my child need a costume?

Costume measurements for dancers will begin around October. ISPA recital costumes are RENTED; not purchased by the parent.

Please be advised that specific tights and shoes will be required for the recital for each costume and is considered part of the costume. Tights are included as part of your recital package; dance shoes are not. You are required to purchase your dancer's dance shoes.

If shoes need to be purchased, please check with the Backstage Boutique staff member in casea special order needs to be placed.

25. How do I communicate with my child’s teacher?

The best option is to email the studio: and state which instructor, your contact information, your dancer's information and the reason for needing to contact the instructor.

The studio owner is the only staff member that receives all email submissions and she will be happy to forward that request to the needed instructor.

26. Are private lessons available?

Private Lessons are available to ISPA students and others. Private lessons are an option to advance your skills and techniques by a professional dancer. We offer private lessons in all genres of dance including dance team prep, dance company auditions and individual auditions. We provide private lessons for individuals as well as small groups. Private lessons are available for .5 hour at $30 or a full hour at $60 .Please contact the studio if you are interested.


Private lessons are paid in full prior to the class.
Once your private class has been scheduled, payment is due.
There are no refunds.
No-shows are not refundable.
If you have to cancel a private class, YOU MUST CONTACT THE STUDIO 24 HOURS PRIOR.
This is so the private lesson can be rescheduled with the instructor(s).

27. What are Session Classes?

Sessions classes are a six week combination class that lasts one hour per week, without a recital commitment. There is a flat fee for each session class. Sessions Classes are themed, with a new theme every six weeks. To understand the skills and techniques that will be taught for each class, please see that specific class on our class schedule.

28. What are Bubble Classes?

Bubble Classes are PRIVATE classes that a parent can request up to 8 dancers for one month of classes (1 one-hour class/week). The Group Leader parent chooses the dancers for the class (family members/close friends). The cost for the class is $140. Each dancer's monthly cost would depend upon the number of dancers in the class. The Group Leader will also choose the genre of dance for the class such as Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics, and so forth. Just sent us an email at for more information.

Island Dance Company (IDC)

Island School of Performing Arts is proud to host the Island Dance Company, which is a performance team. Our performance company dancers are very talented and train hard with extra classes, workshops and training from many professionals nationally. IDC dancers are invited to perform at community events, festivals, studio events, charity balls and activities across the MS Gulf Coast.

Company dancers are selected by audition and acceptance is based on skill level, technique, motivation, passion and dedication. All company dancers are required to take weekly ballet, jazz, tap and an IDC choreography class.

Monthly Tuition (class time only):

1 hour of class per week

$  53 per month

1.5 hours of class per week

$  68 per month

2 hours of class per week

$  83 per month

2.5 hours of class per week

$  98 per month

3 hours of class per week

$  108 per month

4-6 hours of class per week

$  143 per month

7 to unlimited hours of class per week

$  153 per month

Private Lessons

Private Lessons are available ISPA students and others. Private lessons are an option to advance your skills and techniques by a professional dancer. We offer private lessons in all genres of dance including dance team prep, dance company auditions and individual auditions. We provide private lessons for individuals as well as small groups. Private lessons are available for .5 hour @ $30 or a full hour @ $60. .Please complete the following request form and we will get back with you. Your information will be entered into our studio software. You will be notified to access the Parent Portal to complete the enrollment for the private lessons.


Private lessons are paid in full prior to the class.

Once your private class has been scheduled, payment is due.

There are no refunds.

No-shows are not refundable.

If you have to cancel a private class, YOU MUST CONTACT THE STUDIO 24 HOURS PRIOR.

This is so the private lesson can be rescheduled with the instructor(s).

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Recital Information