Dance RSOs are registered student organizations that either offer dance as their main activity or have dance performances as part of some of their major events (i.e. cultural RSOs who perform dance during culture shows). Dance RSOs may also participate in competitions.
General guidelines to consider when practicing or performing dance:
- Wear proper clothing and footwear. Make sure dancers can move freely in their clothes (i.e. no jeans or confining clothes). Try to encourage dancers to purchase the correct footwear (i.e. jazz dancers wear jazz shoes, hip hop dancers wear sneakers, etc).
- Drink lots of water, allow for water breaks when necessary.
- Practice doing a proper warm up and cool down (see "Proper Warm Up & Stretching" section below for more details).
- If dancers are feeling any type of pain, do not let them push through the pain. This can cause the injury to worsen instead of heal. The best remedy is to rest unless a certified physician or trainer instructs differently.
- The practice space should not reach below 65*F throughout practice (Edel, 2015). This will cause the muscles to contract and not warm up, increasing the likelihood for injuries or muscle pulls.
- Proper technique is essential to injury prevention. Make sure the choreographer and/or volunteer instructor is knowledgeable in the movements they are teaching.
- One RSO officer should be designated, trained, and available to assist any members who do have an injury. That officer should know who to call, what to ask, and which proper procedures to use when addressing the injury.
- In order to prevent major soreness, a cool down is suggested. This would consist of some form of deep breathing to slow the heart rate down and stretching similar to a warm up.
Participant Agreement Forms
All members participating in dance must sign a Participant Agreement Form before the first practice. This form covers members for practices during the entire academic year.
All members participating in any performance must sign a new Participant Agreement Form before each performance.
Proper Warm Up & Stretching
Warming up and stretching should take at least 20 minutes. Proper warm up consists of a gradual increase in heart rate to let blood move to the muscles. To do this (Rockettes):
- Begin with a light jog.
- Then move to some jumping jacks or an equivalent movement.
- Then move into stretches, making sure you cover all the areas you will be using during practice.
- Complete the warm up with some muscle building exercises such as push-ups, crunches/planks, or squats/lunges.
RSO officers and/or those leading warm up should be knowledgeable about the body. These officers need to have the ability to coach others on proper forms, making sure muscles are not pulled during stretching and that dancers have proper form when stretching.
New & Unfamiliar Movements
When practicing new or unfamiliar movements, be sure to have proper footwear, a floor cleared of debris, and mats if necessary.
Also, when introducing new movements, be sure that the choreographer and/or volunteer instructor is knowledgeable and has prior experience with the movement in order to teach correct technique.
If the group wishes to partake in any kind of tumbling, please be sure to have at least one (but ideally two) knowledgeable dancer spot the learning dancer. Also, be sure to practice on a soft surface (grass, mats, or any kind of soft, forgiving flooring).
RSO officers are advised to have a first aid kit on hand and/or know where the closest first aid kit is in the building. Suggested contents consist of band aids, Neosporin, prewrap, athletic tape, latex gloves, gauze, ACE bandages, instant cold compresses, air cast, Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen, and alcohol wipes (Carlon, 2011).
In case of an emergency, call 911 or Campus Safety (408-554-4444 or 4444 if using a campus phone). Do not move dancer if they cannot move until EMTs arrive. Moving a dancer could cause more pain and/or injury. If a dancer has a limb injury and can still move, then allow them to move to a place where they can rest. However, if a dancer has a neck injury or a dislocation, do not try to fix the dancer or move them. Keep the dancer alert and calm until the EMTs arrive.
Reservation of Recreational Facilities
Reservation of the Malley Fitness and Recreation Center as well as other recreational facilities by student organizations must comply with a variety of regulations and procedures.
Student organizations are limited to a certain number of Malley reservation hours. Each student organization may reserve the following Malley facilities for a maximum number of hours per week:
- Multipurpose room = maximum of 6 hours per week
- Pool = maximum of 8 hours per week
All student organizations are each limited to 10 hours per week of room reservations for practices and/or pick-up games.
Selecting a volunteer instructor:
- Have one of the RSO officers perform extensive research on the instructor.
- Ask for a resume, contact previous employers to ask about the instructor, and search for videos or something online from the instructor. Make sure that they are who they say they are, and will treat your group appropriately. This means treating you and your group with respect. The instructor is expected to honor that you are a group of students and understand that they are a volunteer, not your coach or supervisor.
Confirming a volunteer instructor:
- Dance RSOs may have up to 2 instructors who serve on a volunteer basis. Volunteer instructors are not coaches and cannot be paid. Each volunteer instructor must complete a Volunteer Instructor Agreement Form each quarter.
- To request a volunteer instructor as well as an access pass to enter campus recreational facilities, contact Tedd Vanadilok.
Working with a volunteer instructor:
- Be sure to meet with the volunteer instructor prior to attending practice. This will help you understand them better and give you time to clarify how you expect practice to be run.
- The students in your RSO should make all decisions on how to structure practices and meetings.
- The volunteer instructor, however, also needs to be given the opportunity to lead in ways that teach proper technique, keep students safe, and avoids injuries and accidents.
- Students are expected to be challenged in healthy, productive ways by the volunteer instructor to help them grow and improve.
- If students feel that the volunteer instructor is interacting with them in inappropriate ways, consult with Tedd Vanadilok for assistance to address the situation.