Frequently Asked Questions
What makes your class different from other special needs classes?
- There is no special or required dance attire for class, just the fact they are dressed is a win for most families.
- Shoe policies are determined by the studio I rent. At Club Fitness Addiction I recommend some type of shoe.
- The student has just one job, to copy me. Over time, they will learn the routines and dance with others.
- Class is structured play and social skills practice, as well.
- Students are not removed from the class for behavior issues.
- In A Dance Class For Me! some behaviors are not considered maladaptive and are not corrected. Those behaviors are talking, yelling, flapping, spinning, running, jumping, anything a student does to help his or her brain calm itself.
- Maladaptive behaviors that are addressed and stopped are: hitting the instructor, other kids, the wall, or the mirror.
- If you have questions regarding your student's behavior, please feel free to ask Elizabeth Chacon what can be done for the benefit of your student.
What if my son/daughter, student won't look at you or copy you?
- It's not an immediate expectation.
- I do not demand eye contact when I'm speaking. I allow them to look at me on their own, and if I ask them to look at me it's just for a quick "high-five."
- Students are allowed to be themselves, if that means singing, dancing on their own, or sitting down to watch it's all acceptable.
- Students are in a dance class with a mirror and music playing, other students, new adults, and no hand over hand manipulation. I'm asking a lot of them.
What are your goals for the students?
- If the student comes to class with clothes on, it's a win for me and you.
- If the student can stay in the room the first class, it's a win.
- If not right away, over time they will look at me and copy what I do and
- Look in the mirror and use it as a tool;
- Learn to tolerate the music;
- Learn to participate and lead in the social exercises we do in a circle;
- Learn to play or dance with a partner;
- If unable to talk, start the process of speech;
- Additionally, the students with the most experience in the class will learn to help direct, lead, and assist in class.
What if my student has aggressive or violent behaviors and I am concerned for the teacher's safety as well as the other students in class?
- Disclose your concerns.
- We can start private lessons with the goal of moving your student into a group class.
- Fortunately, I have training in self-defense and I can stop the attack/behavior from getting out of control.
- I will teach calming techniques for the student to use when I see the frustration build up before the aggressive behavior starts.
- If you are concerned that the aggression is too much for me, I will consult with other self-defense instructors to come up with a plan for your student.
Are parents allowed to watch?
- Yes, however you will be asked to refrain from correcting your child or talking to your child in class.
- If parents talk or distract their child then the child doesn't know who to is in charge.
- If parents can watch they can see how the their child responds to me.
- Many dance classes don't allow parents, but I think parents miss the opportunity to watch the group of children interact and socialize. Each class becomes it's own little community.
- Sitting in class with your child gives you the opportunity to practice relaxing and letting someone else take over.
Why do you work with these students?
- First, I believe dance is an important cultural activity, dance allows an expression of emotion that cannot be duplicated in any other art form. As in all arts, dance is inclusive - or should be inclusive.
- Second, I can't change the world to make everyone feel safe. But, I can create a safe environment in my dance class. Everyone needs a place to feel safe, a teacher who is only supportive, a place where they don't have to worry about getting in trouble and being removed from something they enjoy.
- Third, I don't believe removing a child for unwanted behavior solves the anything. I believe a student can learn to calm him or herself and that students need to know someone in this world will NOT allow aggression. As an instructor, I recognizes when a student needs to learn how to calm down in the middle of the aggression, meltdown, or crisis. If you are upset and someone teaches you how to calm down, your body and the deepest part of the brain will remember that for future use. Eventually I will learn to recognize the signs of coming aggression and frustration and intervene with calming exercises. You, the parent, will benefit from this and learn more about your child.
How can I sign up for a class?
- In Santa Ana you can call OCCTAC, ask if your student can have an Intake or just try my class on Thursdays at 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm. If your student enjoys the class, then you can enroll them at the OCCTAC desk.
- Contact me for an assessment, classes are on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, thank you.