Parents Handbook


Welcome to Fancy Footwork

Thank you for choosing Fancy Footwork; we welcome you to the Fancy Footwork community and hope you and your children will enjoy many happy years of dance with us. At Fancy Footwork we focus on fun and achievement and the health, safety and welfare of your children are of paramount importance to us, therefore there do need to be some guidelines which parents and students follow. Please read the information below carefully and as always, any queries, do contact us at fF HQ.
My best wishes and kindest regards to you
Lucy Clay | Principal


Arriving and departing from Fancy Footwork dance classes

All students must arrive to class with outerwear over dancewear. It is not appropriate for girls Grade 1 upwards to arrive or leave a fancy footwork venue wearing only leotard and tights. Please wear fF hoody and jazz trousers or something similar with outdoor shoes. No dance shoes should be worn outside of the dance class/studio. Students are requested to change into dancewear at home and come to the venue with outerwear over dancewear. Once at the venue, only the outerwear need be removed and shoes changed and a visit to the toilet before class. If it is necessary to change fully this may be done only in the toilets and not in public/communal corridors.


Drop off and collection of students

Parents are requested to form a queue on the left-hand side whether dropping off or collecting and as soon as the teacher opens the door the students will be handed to us, by you for drop off and from us to you at the end of class. To make this as smooth as possible it is helpful if you can be ready to collect and drop off promptly. Your cooperation means that the children feel safe in the ritual and routine when entering the dance class. Siblings are not allowed to collect younger siblings unless they are over 16 years of age.
Parents are not invited to watch the class until the end of the term when we have our open class where you’re all invited to see the progress of your son/daughter. 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Students are expected to enter the class with all items of uniform on and hair appropriately styled. Students can bring into class a bag with their character skirt and shoes in but scooters and other items must be left outside.
When dropping off pre-school students it may be a new experience so here are a few tips to help. If your child is anxious about being dropped off please arm them with a companion in the form of a cuddly toy or something that they may want to bring and show to the class or the teacher. Please prepare your child for the class by explaining to them that this is a special class for dancers who and Mummies, Daddies, and Carers have to wait outside so that the dancers can practice their moves for the watching class at the end of the term.
These are important steps in a child’s development so we encourage you to champion the students on simple tasks such as entering and leaving class in a grown-up fashion. If there are tears they are generally over once the class has started as what’s going on in the class is far more interesting. So please do not worry when waiting outside.

Grooming and Presentation

All girls need to have their hair secured off the face and neck for the duration of the class.
When turning hair can scratch the eyes and impede the development of the movement. Teachers need to see the positioning of the head and neck line to make sure that weight is placed correctly when moving.
Baby ballet to 5+ Pre- Primary a ponytail is appropriate if a bun is not feasible with time constraints.
All females grade 1 ballet upwards need to have their hair secured in a bun please refer to “how to do a bun” guide in your welcome pack.
Modern and tap – hair either in a high ponytail, bunches or a French plait.
All items to be labeled including waist elastics.
Students should not wear watches, jewellery, nail varnish or transfer tattoos during class.

How to do a bun

  • Hair elastics – same colour as hair.
  • Hair pins – not Kirby grips – same colour as hair. If hair is fine and short go for small fine pins if thick and long use long thick pins.
  • Hair nets – use a hair net (not a bun net) the same colour as hair.
  • Hair gel
  • Hair brush
  • Fine comb
  • Hairspray
  1. Brush hair well and smooth hair gel at the roots
  2. Brush hair into a ponytail and use a strong elastic to secure a good ponytail
  3. Use the fine comb to make sure all hair is groomed back to the base of the ponytail.
  4. Twist the ponytail and then twist around the base and secure with hairpins.
  5. Using the hairnet cover the bun sweeping all the hair in and then twist the net and cover the bun again and do so until all the net is used up.
  6. Take out the pins and reshape the bun to make it flat, round and centered on the back of the head.
  7. Using the hairpins catch the hair in the net and hook over and under the elastic at the base of the ponytail and repeat until the bun is secure.
Please click here to see a picture guide for above instrustions. 
How to check that ballet shoes are the correct size
Ballet shoes need to fit like a glove. They should feel like a second skin and if too big or small they can cause damage to the development of a child’s foot. We reserve the right to ask a child to dance in bare feet if shoes are not of the correct size. Please do ask your teacher if you would like them to check them before your child wears them. To check they are the right size put them on your child’s feet and when standing in first position in a demi plié all toes should be flat within the shoe. If the toes curl they are too small if too big there will still be room at the end of the shoe. There should be no gaps at the side if there are you may need a narrower fit.

How to sew elastics on ballet shoes

  1. Fold the back of the ballet shoe flat to the insole mark with a pencil where the shoe creases
  2. Sew the elastics on the inside of the shoe on the pencil lines.
  3. Make sure that the elastic functions to secure the shoe to the foot and is not loose or baggy.

Cleaning leather ballet shoes

Wipe the ballet shoe with milk on a cotton wool ball to clean the leather.

How to check the size of your leotard

A ballet leotard should fit like a swimming costume and should not be baggy or wrinkly. As leotards are made with lycra they stretch so even when fitted snuggly it will have growth.
The fitting test: Loop your fingers under the straps of the leotard and pull up. The straps should go no higher than the ears.

How to wear ballet leotard

It may seem obvious but please make sure the leotard is worn the right way round. Look at the leg line of the leotard to see which is front. Tights and cycling shorts are worn under the leotard and for girls no knickers are worn so they do not hang down from the leotard or cause unnecessary lumps and bumps. Tights and leotards need to washed after wear like normal underwear.

Ballet Tights

When worn they should be smooth all over and not be wrinkly around the ankles or knees.
If a hole appears they must be replaced.

Waist elastic

The waist elastic serves as a teaching aid in that it must be tight so that the student can feel the waist (worn over the belly button) The waist elastics are bought as a standard size and must be sewn to fit. They are to remind the student of their centre and to have a sense of using the abdominal muscles.


All girls are required when at an appropriate age to use deodorant and pay attention to the grooming of underarms as necessary
A gentle reminder, can you please ensure that if your child is sick, you do not bring them to ballet.  If your child has had a temperature or vomited in the previous 24 hours do not attend class, but do either use the online makeup scheduler https://fancyfootwork.co.uk/makeups.aspx?mode=Aor contact us so that we can book you a make – up class instead. Thank you in advance for your co-operation.