Dance Ministry Bylaws
Welcome to a new year of Greek folk dancing. We are delighted to have you and/or your child in the dance group program and look forward to an exciting year. Please read the following dance policies and procedures. We hope the terms outlined below will help all of you to understand the dance ministry and meet the expectations.
The mission of the Ascension Cathedral Dance Program is to bring together Greek Orthodox Youth in an atmosphere of Christian Fellowship to promote, perpetuate, and celebrate the Greek Orthodox Faith, heritage, and culture through traditional music, song and dance.
The Greek Folk Dance Program of the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Oakland, is an integral part of the ministry of our church. The primary purposes of this ministry are to bring our youth and their parents together in Greek Orthodox Christian fellowship; to help our youth develop strong moral, ethical, and leadership standards; and to promote and perpetuate Greek heritage and culture. Each and every ministry of the church is guided by a set of rules and standards that are intended to help us all live and grow in a standard befitting the ideas of Greek Orthodox Christianity.
General Dancer Expectations and Consequences
The goal of the dance program is to establish a safe, orderly, positive environment in which the directors can teach and dancers can learn. No disciplinary rules of the dance program are intended to supersede the parenting responsibilities of a dancer’s parents. All parents are expected to be fully aware of their child(ren)’s behavior at all practices, performances, and events and to take necessary disciplinary measures to insure that their child(ren) comply with all expectations of the dance program.
Dancers are required to fulfill these expectations: be responsible, be respectful, be safe, have fun and attend church regularly.
Parents are part of the dance ministry, too. As such, parents are expected to be good role models for their children and to participate and behave in the same manner as their children are expected to under these guidelines.
1. Attend all practices – only five (5) unexcused practice absences are allowed. In the absence of an emergency or illness, if a dancer under the age of 18 must miss a practice or other scheduled event, his/her parent must advise the group director prior to the practice or event. If a dancer is 18 years or older, she/he must directly contact his/her dance director.
2. Arrive on time for practices, performances, fundraisers, and Diakonia event.
3. Keep your costume in good, clean, pressed condition at all times.
1. Respect the director, fellow dancers, clergy, parents, and yourself – no swearing, bullying, name-calling, or disrespectful comments.
2. Use appropriate language – no swearing.
3. Use a cell phone and other electronic devices ONLY after you are dismissed by your director.
4. Dancers need to be respectful of other groups practice times and areas.
5. Be prepared and attentive.
1. Wear dance shoes or tennis shoes-no flip flops, sandals, high heels, or bare feet.
2. No running around the gym while practices are in session.
3. Only leave the building with an adult present.
The consequences for violating expectations are as follows:
1st time – verbal warning by director.
2nd time – dancer, clergy, director meeting with written behavior setting goals.
3rd time – dancer, clergy, and parent meeting with written behavior setting goals.
4th time – director, dance coordinators and clergy member panel meeting for suspension/expulsion from FDF.
Communication is vital to insure that the dance program functions smoothly. Directors are required to communicate with parents and dancers in a regular, frequent, and timely manner. The director of each group will communicate to the dancers and parents through a parent liaison. In addition, the Dance coordinator will communicate to the dancers and parents. The preferred method of communication is e-mail, as it is the quickest method for widespread communication. In addition, you can refer to the church website at www.groca.org. Click on Community, Youth Ministries, Greek Dance.
Registration Click here for our online registration
A dancer’s family must be a current pledged steward of Ascension Cathedral in order to enroll in the dance program. Any exception to this rule will require discussion with and clearance from the Proistemenos of the Cathedral. Registration for the Ascension Cathedral dance program will occur in early September of every year.
Each dance group consists of three grade levels. The placement, therefore, of a dancer is dependent on his or her current grade at school. Dancers may choose to dance in the group immediately below the one they should dance in. However, the dancer will not be able to move up to the grade appropriate dance group at a later date.
The 2015-2016 registration fee is $215 per dancer for all groups. Registration will increase to $250 after October 1st 2015. The registration fee helps pay for workshops, live music, and expenses for directors participating at FDF.
FDF – Faith, Dance, and Fellowship
The Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival takes place in February (President’s weekend). The dance practices in the fall and winter are dedicated to practicing for the two FDF performances. Participation at FDF is at the expense of each dancer and parent. There is a registration fee to compete and participate. Refer to www.yourfdf.org website for additional information on FDF.
Beyond FDF – Dancer Participation
All dancers and directors are expected to dance at the Greek Food Festival (May) and any Bay Area Greek Independence Day Event (March). Dancers are also required to participate in the annual Diakonia project. This Diakonia project promotes the importance of service to the community by encouraging our youth to come together and give back to those in need. Each year, our groups serve their communities through various activities such as feeding the hungry or visiting the sick.
Dancers are responsible for purchasing/making the costume(s), shoes, and accessories appropriate for the region of Greece in which they are dancing. The director will notify parents of the costume choice in September. In the past, a local seamstress has been hired to sew the costumes. Also, finished costumes have been ordered directly from Greece. Costumes can range in prices from $300 – $700.00.
The primary purposes of APA (Ascension Parents Association) fundraisers are to raise money for costumes and FDF expenses, to develop fellowship, and to instill in our dancers a sense of responsibility for the dance program. These events are separate and apart from Diakonia projects.