Footprints Question & Answer ::

Q: What is Footprints?
A: We’re a local, community based, non-profit, non-competitive dance arts project in Calgary, Alberta — a place for youth and their parents to work together to share knowledge and to get answers to questions on children’s creativity, self expression and learning through the dance arts. We provide classes in creative Modern Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, Breaking. We put on public dance shows several times each year so our students also get to know a lot about how to put on shows and about theatre technologies such as stage and set building, stage management, lighting and sound. We have an extensive lending library of rhythm and percussion instruments that we use in our classes and which our member families can borrow.

Q: I’ve heard the Footprints is only for disadvantaged or handicapped students. Can anyone join Footprints' dance programs?
A: Yes, Footprints is open to everyone six to eighteen. At Footprints, the dance teachers and students work together to help each other build on their strengths and to make everyone feel at home.

Q: How can I join Footprints?
A: The first step is to get a letter of recommendation from your teacher, social worker, or someone else who knows you well and can tell us why they think that the Footprints dance experience would be good for you. Then, you have to send us a letter telling us why you think you would like to try dancing with us. If you are under the age of seven, you can send send us a drawing of you dancing.

Q: Do Footprints dance programs cost any money?
A: Footprints classes are free but because we are a community based project, our students' parents have to become members of our non-profit group. Our students parents also have to volunteer in our fundrasing activities, and they have to help us put on our public performances.

Q: What if my parents don’t have the money to buy dance clothes or new runners?
A: Footprints students who work hard in the dance classes and who can’t afford to buy dance clothes or new runners, can apply for to the Membership Committee for a Footprints dance attire subsidy.

Q: How does Footprints receive funding?
A: A circle of Calgarians and some excellent community organizations help us by donating money to help us help kids who love to dance. We receive generous support from the Canadian Tire Family Foundation's Jump Start Program, the Alberta Foundation For The Arts. We have also received support from the good folks at the Burns Memorial Fund, and the Calgary Co-op. We hold a charitable casino every eighteen months. Our partners at Dancers' Studio West, the City of Calgary Wildflower Arts Centre, Killarney Aquatic Centre, and the Hellenic Community of Calgary and District provide dance studio space either free or at at very low rent.

Q: What is Footprints annual fundraiser?
A: Sales from Christmas wreaths from Loretta and Charlie Willis, Kootenay Christmas tree farm in British Columbia. The Footprints kids and their parents decorate the wreaths with traditional red velvet weatherproof bows, they gift wrap the wreaths and deliver them to Footprints supporters all over Calgary during the first week of December every year.

Q: How many students do you serve?
A: Since 1998, over 1000 students have joined our programs.

Q: What are your students like.? Will I fit in?
A: We are proud to say that our students are hard working, intelligent, creative kids who ask good questions and come up with great ideas. They come in all shapes and sizes, and who love to perform. A lot of their families hail from many different parts Canada and the world. We have student whose parents were born in far away places like Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Central and South America, China, Europe and Africa. We also have many children whose families have lived in Calgary for generations. The main characteristic that we are looking for in our students is the ability to come up with new ideas and to invent their own, new unique dance moves.

Q: It sounds like your students know a lot about dancing. Do I have to know how to dance to join Footprints?
A: No. We are not looking for students who have formal training in dance. Footprints teachers will teach you the basics. We are looking for students who work hard and can think for themselves. At Footprints, being able to think for yourself and coming up with good ideas is known as having a high creative quotient or CQ. Everyone is a little shy to perform in public at first. Our teachers and students help each other to build confidence.

Q: What are the qualifications of your dance teachers?
A: All our of our instructors are professional dancers and teachers. All have a lot of experience in dance and in preparing kids to perform for friends, family and the general public.

Q: What is Modern creative dance?
A: This form of movement provides immense enjoyment and an opportunity for students to discover their own artistic creativity and physicality. It helps students acquire balance and ease of movement, musical understanding and the ability to think about real life in our community. It makes linkages with social studies, the visual arts, literature, mathematics, science and at advanced levels Modern dancers can create dance using multimedia.

Q: What if I try dance and find out I don’t like to dance. What if I’d rather take drawing classes or music lessons?
A: From time to time, Footprints is able to provide bursaries to hard working, intelligent kids who want to explore art forms other than dance. In special cases, Footprints may be able to pay your registration fees for footprints Kidz to take art classes offered at the City of Calgary Wildflower Arts Centre.

How to Apply