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Company FAQ

  • What separates the EPA Company from others?

EPA takes pride in taking a nurturing approach to Competition.  We believe that with a strong work ethic and the right guidance, every student can be successful!  Our Family atmosphere separates us from programs which thrive on drama or competition within the competitors.  The choreographers maintain and encourage an open line of communication with parents, and working together, our Company shines brighter! 


  • What does a dancer gain by Competing as opposed to being a recreational student?

A dancer being pushed at a competitive level will be exposed to dancers outside of their home base. It is also a goal driven program which encourages self confidence and perseverance.


  • What is the level of commitment as far as classes are concerned?  

The age and ability of your child will determine which classes they need to be enrolled in.  Here is a quick break down we use as a General Guideline to class placement.  There are times, however, depending on ability, where we may change these guidelines to better serve the Student. 

  • Novice Company Requirement Classes are as follows: (**Rehearsals are all separate and Friday’s in Teaneck)

The student must take:  Ballet, Tap, Jazz


  • Advanced Company Requirement Classes are as follows: (**Rehearsals are all separate and on Saturday’s in Totowa)

Teen/ Sr:  (ages 13 – 19) 2 Ballet Classes, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop, Modern, Leap & Turn

                                    **Pointe Optional (but must stay to work flat if opting out)

Jr: (ages 10-12) 2 Ballet Classes, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop, Leap & Turn  **Modern is Optional

**Pointe Optional (but must stay to work flat if opting out)

                  Petite: (ages 7 – 9)   Ballet, Jazz, Tap (Acro, Lyrical & Hip Hop are optional)

                  Mini:   (ages 4 – 6) 1 Mini Combo Class


  • How many Competitions do you do a Season and are they all Mandatory?

 This Season EMPIRE Advanced Company will participate in 4 Regional Competitions, 1 Convention and 1 Nationals.  Participation for the Juniors and Teens in ALL is Mandatory once committed to the Company.       The EMPIRE Novice Company will attend 2 Regional Competitions.   

  • When will we know what Competitions/ Conventions we will attend?

The schedule for the entire Season will be given in August at a Parent meeting where we will discuss everything at length.  This Season our first Regional will be in February.


  • Do I need to purchase a ticket to attend and watch Competitions?

No.  There are no fees associated with watching Competitions.  There are Entry Fees per each dancer to Register for each.  Prices will be listed under the Costs section.


  • Are rehearsals held during regular class time?

No.  Rehearsals are held either Friday’s or Saturday’s depending on level.


  • How long is the Competition Season?

Your commitment to the Company begins at the end of August (at time of signing the Company Contract at the Parent Meeting) and ends with Summer Intensives Workshops the following August.


  • Are there Summer Commitments?

Advanced Company Members are REQUIRED to attend Nationals Competition (July) and Summer Intensives Workshops (1 week of classes usually scheduled in August).  Novice Company Members will attend 1 week of Summer Intensives in order to participate the following Season.  


  • What do I bring to Competition?

Each Company member should attend Competition dressed in their EPA Logo Wear.  Each Member will have Costumes, Make – up, all accessories and occasionally some light props associated with their dance. 


  • Are there different levels at Competitions?

Yes.  Each Competition has their own distinct labels for Levels, but they all generally follow guidelines which reflect either how many years the competitor has been dancing or the number of hours they dance a week.   These guidelines are considered by us and do not need to be strictly adhered to.  The competitions state that all registrations are done at the discretion of the Director of the school.  


  • How are awards done?

Every Competition will have multiple Awards Ceremonies.  Every Company Member MUST BE PRESENT for the Awards Ceremony associated with their dances.  Each Competition has their own awards system, but generally they follow a points system.  You must achieve a certain amount of points to earn different medals.  In addition to those awards, Overall/ Highest Scoring Routines are awarded.


  • Do we have to attend the entire Competition?

We ask that all Advanced Company Members attend the entire Competition if it is a Local Competition.  The only exceptions will be for our youngest dancers under the age of 7 or Novice Company Members.  They will only attend their specific scheduled time and Awards Ceremony, unless at the parents’ discretion, they want to attend multiple days.  If the Competition is further away and an overnight stay is required, it will be at each parents’ discretion if you attend Friday night or stay through the conclusion of Sunday.  If your child is scheduled to dance all 3 days, then they MUST be there all 3 days through the conclusions of their Awards.

  • How are dancers selected for the Company?

Every dancer must Audition to be considered for the company. Once selected, you will be placed in Groups, Duo/Trios and, if eligible, a Solo.  Every Dancer must participate in the Large Company Group Dance.   They will then be placed in smaller groups in specific genres.  There is no need to re-audition for the Company, however specific Routines may require an Audition to fill the limited spots available for that particular Routine.  An Audition is required to transition from theNovice Company to the Advanced Company.


  • How can my child have a Solo?

A Solo is a privilege.  The student must demonstrate the highest level of work ethic and must be a Team- Player first!  If they are selected for a Solo, they will rehearse privately with their Choreographer to learn the dance.  Then, they can schedule Privates with the Choreographer or another Company Instructor to continue to perfect the routine.  A Company member must not solely rely on rehearsals with the instructors.  They MUST also rehearse on their own and show initiative when mastering their routine!


  • What is Open Studio?

Open Studio time is a FREE service available in half hour increments for a dancer to schedule their own time in the studio so they may rehearse either on their own, or with someone in their group.   If it is a young dancer, they can ask an older Company Member to run the rehearsal.   This demonstrates great responsibility to ensure that they improve.  There is no charge for open studio time.


  • Is Fundraising available?

Yes.  We have a wonderful Community of Parents who take charge of all Fundraising.  You are not required to Fundraise, but it is available to earn as much as you want against your open balances.  If you have money left over at the end of the Season, you can cash out and use it at Nationals, or leave it in your account and it will carry through to the next Season.


  • How does Fundraising work?

Depending on the Fundraiser, the monies collected will either be divided amongst all Company Members or go directly to participant with whatever amount they have generated within that specific fundraiser.  You will know beforehand which method will be used.


  • What if my child plays a sport? 

We understand some students may want to be involved in School activities and Sports.  In the past we have worked with students to make this possible.  However, all classes missed MUST be made up and a Company member requires a commitment to Empire first and foremost.  Each student has 2 excused Rehearsals for school activities, parties etc… but, it is the student’s responsibility to learn all missed material BEFORE the next rehearsal.  A Company Member may not miss the week of classes before a Competition or the Run Through of Dances before the next Competition.    


  • What if my child is injured?

Your child’s health is our priority.  If a Company Member becomes injured in or out of dance, a Doctor’s note is required with the diagnosis and we must get final clearance before they can continue.  Depending on when the injury occurs and how long the recovery period is will determine whether they will need to sit out the remainder of the Season or whether they can continue to attend and jump back in when they get clearance.  If they plan on continuing, they MUST attend all classes and rehearsals to watch and take notes. 


*****If you are interested in joining the Empire East/ DACC Competition Company please email Lizzie @ Empire_pa@yahoo.com