Utica Dance is passionately committed to providing students with the opportunity to learn the art of dance in a positive, structured, and inspiring environment.
Nancy Long, Artistic Director, President
Kathy Ryan, Jazz/Tap
Sharon Warncke, Jazz/Tap
Lindsey LaFountain, Modern
Rebekah Hedeen, Children’s Division and administration
Isobel A. Bliss, Costumes
Welcome to Utica Dance, Inc
We are proud of our long tradition of over forty years providing the highest quality dance instruction in ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. Our dance productions provide all students in the Children’s and Pre-Professional Divisions opportunities to perform in professional caliber shows featuring classic ballets to original contemporary dances. We invite all students in the community to enhance their dance training and education by attending any of the workshops offered at our school throughout the year. Workshops are lead by our distinguished faculty, staff and guests instructors. Our Teen/Adult Division offers introductory classes in ballet, jazz and tap for students who wish to experience the joy and benefits of dance training.
Application/Registration Process: Prior to attending any class, all students/parents must fill out application and waiver forms. Paper forms are available at the studio. With the $25 application fee, students may attend up to three classes in ballet, jazz or tap before placement is determined. Placement in Children’s Division is primarily based on age. Placement in the Pre-Professional Division is based on age and skill.
For additional information and to discuss your child’s dance education and placement with the Artistic Director Nancy Long:
About Our Programs 
CHILDREN’S DIVISION Classes are offered in two 14-week semesters for 28 weeks of instruction
Ages 4-12 (approximately) as of September 30.
Children’s Division students learn the basics of dance designed to develop coordination, muscle strength, listening skills and musical and spatial awareness through an age-appropriate curriculum in ballet and/or jazz/tap classes.
All young and novice students perform in the Utica Dance Annual Student Performance in May at MVCC as performance is essential to a young dancer’s training.
PRE-PROFESSIONAL DIVISION Classes are offered in fall and spring semesters. Ages 8-18 (approximately) as of September 30
Pre-professional Division students deepen their knowledge of the principles of classical and contemporary techniques, which prepares them for a lifetime of dance.
All Pre-Professional dancers who meet the requirements will be invited to perform in our Nutcracker and Spring Concerts.
Utica Dance offers introductory thru intermediate levels of ballet, jazz and tap. Classes are designed to accommodate a variety of interests from dance appreciation to fitness, strength, flexibility, and coordination. The Adult Application and Registration forms must be filled out on line before attending class.
Our dance school has been known for providing dancers access to unique opportunities to expand their knowledge and experiences. Visit our website to see our upcoming workshops and sign up to reserve a space in class.
Policies & Procedures FAQ 
While we apply the rules consistently and fairly, we also understand extreme circumstances occasionally arise. Contact us if you have questions or concerns.
Student Conduct 
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and courteous manner while on Utica Dance premises or any performance venue. Please remember to take care of the facility and to clean up after using the common spaces and do not leave any trash behind.
Dress Code 
Children’s Division Ballet: plain pink leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes
Children’s Division Jazz/Tap: black short sleeve leotard and black cap sleeve convertible tights*
Pre-Professional Division Ballet: leotard, all Levels 2-7 must own a white camisole leotard
Pre-Professional Division Jazz/Tap: Level 2-4 black tank leotard, black convertible tights.
Pre-Professional Division Jazz/Tap: Junior/Senior Workshop: Black leotard, black shorts, tights and jazz pants. No halter or multi strap leotards please.
*All Jazz/Tap: All levels must have black oxford-style leather jazz shoes. We like the Bloch solid sole oxford-style tap shoes. Junior/Seniors: Pedini Capezio 321, Shorts and warm up dance clothing may be worn at the teacher’s discretion.
Ballet Boys/Men Close-fitting white T-shirt or short sleeve white leotard, black tights or leggings, white socks, and white and black ballet shoes.
Inside the studios, no jewelry, dangling earring or watches. Once initial warm up is completed, all leg warmers, baggy sweat pants, and shirts must be removed. Dance shorts permitted when needed.
Female students’ hair
Children’s Division must be pulled back and secured away from the face and neck.
Pre-Professional Division must be in a tight “ballet bun”. Ponytails permitted in jazz/tap classes.
Teen/Adult Division is recommended to wear hair secured away from the face and neck.
Tardiness Policy 
Students are strongly encouraged to arrive early to prepare for class. Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late may be asked to observe class.
All students must attend the classes for which they are registered. If your child is ill or injured, please call Nancy immediately at: 315-527-1288. Official attendance is taken by the instructors at the beginning of each class. During the normal school year, there is no official limit on missed classes; HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE:
You are not eligible for a refund for absences. Students are encouraged to make-up missed classes in a classes recommended by their instructors. Excessive absences will affect a students’ ability to particpate in performances. Contact Utica Dance if a student needs to miss class for any reason. If the student is ill, he or she MUST stay home.
Pick-up Policy 
Please make every effort to pick up students within 15 minutes after their last class/rehearsal time.
Registration is for the duration of the full academic year (September-June 8). All students must attend the classes for which they originally registered, unless permission to change has been granted by the faculty. Applications and Registrations will be processed in the order in which they are received, on a first come first served basis.
Students who wish to enroll at the Utica Dance after the fourth week in the semester may be eligible for pro-rated tuition at the discretion of the director.
Utica Dance requires a minimum number of students in particular classes. Classes not meeting the minimum required students by the fourth week of the semester may be cancelled or put on hold until this minimum is met. Students who are registered for the cancelled class will be contacted and all attempts will be made to re-register these students into comparable classes. If the student’s schedule does not permit enrollment into another class, a refund of the tuition paid (less the cost of the classes taken) will be given.
You must submit an Early Withdrawal Form. Informing your child’s instructor is not considered a formal notification of withdrawal. Failure to return to class does not constitute withdrawal. You will continue to be billed and charged for classes until you formally withdrawal.
You may be eligible for tuition refund or registration deferment of registration if any of the following circumstances apply:
  • You submit your withdrawal form to the Utica Dance Office within two weeks of start for fall classes or by September 10 for Pre-Professional Division Fall classes, October 8 for Children’s Division Fall classes, and February 1 for all spring classes.
  • You submit your Withdrawal Form with a signed physician’s notice that indicates that the student cannot continue dance instruction due to a medical condition.
  • You submit your withdrawal form with documentation of family relocation.
    If you withdraw for any other reason not listed here, you are still responsible for the balance of the tuition for that semester.
All Applications, Registration and Tuition must be paid by check. (Cash accepted if it handed to a teacher and is in a clearly labeled envolope.
Checks can be made payable to: Utica Dance
Please place any tuition checks in a sealed, labeled envelope.
Delinquent Accounts and Declined Payments 
If you have problems with your scheduled payments, please contact us in advance.

2 weeks after the due date, if no payment has been made a late fee of $25 will be charged.
If balance is not paid in full for the year by May 1 this may result in your child’s inability to perform in the annual Spring Production.
The primary billing contact will be responsible for the outstanding balance. A $25 charge will be assessed on all returned checks and declined credit cards.

Performance Opportunities 
Performance is an essential component of exceptional training for ballet.
Children’s Division Annual Student Performance in May
Pre-Professional Division All dancers in Ballet Levels 1-7 are invited to perform in our own production of the The Nutcracker that takes place Fall 2023 December 1,2,3 at Hamilton College. This is a collaboration with the Hamilton College Orchestra, Dance Department and Utica Dance. Annual Spring Concerts Ballet program and jazz/tap program generally take place at MVCC or Hamilton College in the end of May or in June—dates to be confirmed.
Adult Division teen/adult students may be invited to perform with the Pre-Professional Division.
The goal of Utica Dance is to provide every student with the appropriate challenge and a wonderfully memorable experience. The decision to place someone in a particular role is made jointly by the faculty after numerous hours of observation, experimentation and discussion.
Many factors are considered before a decision is made. Even then the faculty may have to make changes in casting because of illness, injury, attendance, or inability to execute the part to our satisfaction. We are trying to produce a quality show that demonstrates the highest standards our school can manage.
Factors that are considered in casting include:
· Ability and skill-especially on pointe
· Age and grade
· Size in relation to others in a group
· Ability to reasonably fit the costumes
· Performance quality; appropriate expression and presence
· Ability to learn reasonably quickly
· Ability to apply corrections and improve
· Consistent attendance, effort and enthusiasm
We all appreciate your support of our professional decisions and thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
Evaluations and Level Placement 
The decision to advance a student in the Children’s Division to the next level is made jointly by the faculty. Every effort is made to keep a child with other dancers of similar ages.
For our Pre-Professional Division students are placed according to their ability as evaluated by the faculty. Placement classes are required for new students ages 9 and above. The placement of students is at the sole discretion of the faculty. Utica Dance reserves the right to change the level in which a student is placed whenever appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are students evaluated? 
Children’s Division students will receive a schedule with their placement for the fall reflecting their age and grade as of September 30th. Progress reports for Children’s Division students will be provided upon request.
All Pre-Performance Division students (Levels 1 through 7) are evaluated twice a year. Once in the middle of the school year and another at the end of the school year at which point they will receive their placement for next year. All placements are subject to change.
Is it common to repeat a level? 
Very. Each student can expect to repeat a level at least once during the course of his or her training at Utica Dance. Moving through levels too fast can have a detrimental effect on student training and can hinder progress at more advanced levels. We take proper level placement very seriously. We encourage parents to be supportive of our professional opinion, as it is in the best interest of the students.
When can a student dance en pointe?
Level 4 students are currently entering their second year on pointe. If there are newcomers to this level, they will be evaluated for pointe readiness during the fall semester. UD faculty considers the decision to place a student en pointe a serious responsibility. The final decision to place a student en pointe is based on classroom observation and the expert opinions of the Faculty. The Faculty must consider each student’s safety and well being on an individual basis, with regard to anatomical structure, injury prevention, strength, flexibility, and technical ability. Those students who are recommended to begin pointe next Fall will be recommended to attend the Summer workshop “My First Pointe Shoes” in the summer program. These classes will enable students to begin pointe work on day one of the fall semester.
When do students rehearse for Spring Production? 
Rehearsals will begin in class/ during class time at the teacher’s discretion in the fall. Rehearsals are built into the class time, however, it is expected that additional time for rehearsals closer to the performances will be added. It is very important that students attend all rehearsals in order to be prepared. Excessive absences will affect a students’ ability to perform and may be removed from the show. Please make sure to contact Nancy if your child needs to miss rehearsal.
Volunteer Opportunities 
Utica Dance is a cooperative program. All families are expected to help in some way. Volunteer opportunities include supporting and staffing the Spring Production. By volunteering, parents help create a better experience for all students. Please sign in and log the hours worked so that your contribution can be recognized.
Can I post my dance pictures and videos online to various social networking sites?
(Ex. Facebook and Twitter)
The pictures must only be of your child and no other dancers. If other dancers are in the pictures, you must have their consent before posting. Videos should not be posted without the consent of the director.