Guidelines/ Handbook

 2020-2021 Team Handbook

The following Handbook is a system that each Dance Team member is expected to observe throughout the year as a Dance Team member. The purpose of this system is intended to enhance our organization and individual members. The Stafford Sensations Dance Team program promotes school spirit and good sportsmanship while representing our school throughout the community, state, and nation. Members are exposed to learning, practice and performance opportunities to develop responsibility, self-respect, and encourage an honest effort in striving for excellence.  These opportunities also build character, teamwork and pride in quality of performance and physical fitness by emphasizing the maintenance of high standards.  

COMMITMENT

Dance Team is a year-long commitment.  Members are expected to attend all Dance Team functions.  Performances involve various school and community functions including, but not limited to all Varsity football games, basketball games, dance competitions, pep rallies, Dance Team Spring Show, summer camp/practice, fundraisers and potential playoff games.   

***If a situation arises that is not mentioned below in the team guidelines, the Director(s) have the authority and opportunity to handle and reward or discipline the situation in a manner that is fair and consistent with the protocol set by this document. 

TEAM AUDITIONS

  • The team will consist of 9th-12th graders only.
  • Stafford Sensations Dance Team tryout clinic and auditions will be held once a year.
  • Selection of members will be based on a dance clinic and a formal tryout.  Professional dance judges will be hired as adjudicators.  New members accepted into the Dance Team during auditions will become active members once they have signed the Stafford Sensations Dance Team Guidelines.

PERFORMANCE AUDITIONS

  • Being a member of the dance team does not guarantee placement in every dance routine.
  • Auditions may be held for upcoming performances at the director’s discretion. 
  • Auditions may be defined as a formal tryout process or general observation of the Director(s). 
  • Each member is required to participate in auditions.  Provisions for auditions may be made for excused absences on the day of formal auditions.
  • If a member has questions as to why she did not make a dance, they may conference with the Director(s) during a planned conference period one day after audition.  All final decisions will be left up to the discretion of the Director(s).

ATTENDANCE

  • All members are required to attend all practices and performances whether performing or not, unless prior arrangements are made with the Director(s).  Tutoring sessions, work, routine doctor appointments, social events, and other extra-curricular activities must be scheduled outside of Dance Team activities. Homework or non-health related absences due to home consequences, i.e. grounding, etc. are not grounds for an excused absence.
  • Members are expected to be in attendance for every event in its entirety, except in the case of an emergency.  Situations qualifying as an emergency are at the discretion of the Director(s).
  • Excused absences from practice or performance are defined as: 1) a sudden illness that results in a doctor’s visit and is accompanied by a doctor’s note, 2) an illness that results in a student checking out of school through the school clinic, 3) an absence due to illness and the Director(s) are notified the day of the absence by the student or parent, 4) a school activity, 5) a religious holiday, and/or 6) a death in the family.  In regards to point 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, the directors must be notified before the start of afternoon practices in order for the absence to be excused.  All other absences are considered unexcused and will be subject to demerits according to the Merit / Demerit system.
  • Students must be in attendance at school for at least 50% of the school day on performance days. 
  • All members are required to participate in summer camps, summer dance hours, and rehearsals. Exceptions may be made at the director(s) discretion. For every unexcused absence at summer rehearsal practice, the member may be placed on probation for one pre-game ceremony, pep rally or football game at the discretion of the director(s). In the event of probation from an event, the member must attend the event in uniform but will not be permitted to perform.
  • Members may be removed from individual dances and/or performances for excessive excused or unexcused absences: 2 or more absences within the week during football season or within a month during performance and/or competition.  Director(s) may determine to waive a removal at their discretion.
  • During contest season rehearsals, members are not allowed to miss rehearsals the week of a contest.  Members who miss rehearsal during this time may be removed from any contest pieces that were practiced during the absence.  Director(s) may determine to waive a removal at their discretion.
  • Members are expected to travel to and from Dance Team functions with the team.  However, in exceptional cases, a member may leave a Dance Team function with their parent/guardian if a note is provided prior to the event.

EXPENSES

  • Each member is responsible for paying for the apparel required for the team by the director(s).
  • Each member is expected to remit payments for balances according to the due dates given in advance. Special payment plans are available but must be agreed upon by the Director(s) and paid accordingly. A member’s inability to complete payments and meet payment deadlines may result in inability to perform, probation, or loss of membership on the team. All payments are non-refundable regardless of reason for cancellation.
  • Each member is responsible for the maintenance and care of uniforms, costumes, and accessories furnished by Stafford.  **Any missing or damaged pieces will be paid for by the member to whom the uniform/costume is issued.
  • In an effort to keep costs to a minimum, the Director(s) will plan fundraising events during the year. All members are required to participate in all fundraising events.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

  • A member must meet all grade requirements as outlined by the State Board of Education, Texas Education Agency, UIL guidelines and state law.
  • Per UIL regulations: on specified UIL eligibility dates (first 3 weeks progress report and every 6 weeks grading period following), a student who receives a grade below 70 in any class (other than specified exempt classes) may not participate in extracurricular activities and will be placed on probation until the grades are brought up to passing at a future UIL eligibility date. An ineligible member must participate in class and practice but may not participate in Dance Team-organized events or performances.  The student may regain eligibility by earning a grade of 70 or above in all classes on a specified UIL eligibility date, and there is a seven (7) day “grace period” before that student regains eligibility.
  • Any member who is on probation will be considered an alternate for any choreography that will be performed during the grading period that they are on probation.  Once the member has regained eligibility, they may audition for dance spots when they are available.
  • Any member who received a grade below a 70 in any class for any TWO six-week grading periods will lose her membership on the team for the remainder of the school year. They do not have to be consecutive for the student to be removed. They may audition when team tryouts occur for the following year for a position on the team.

PERFORMANCES

  • Everything needed for a performance will be carried in the Dance Team bag.
  • Members who are wearing unacceptable or incomplete performance attire will not be allowed to perform, i.e. tights with holes, missing piece of the uniform including but not limited to earrings, under shorts, ect.
  • During contest season, if a member is unable to participate in team performances for any reason, they may not participate in a solo or ensemble unless approved by the Director(s).
  • For all Dance Team performances, students are expected to have a uniform look. This includes but is not limited to; natural nail color (no polish, clear polish or french manicure are acceptable), natural hair color (NO bright or unnatural colors), remove and/or cover piercings and tattoos (if any). This policy is inline with district dress code standards. Students who do not adhere to this policy will not be allowed to perform.
  • Football Game Etiquette:
  • During football games, talking should be kept to a minimum. Visitors will not be permitted to talk to team members unless approved by the Director(s). This includes friends and family.
  • Eating and drinking during a game is not permitted, unless otherwise approved by the Director(s). 
  • Team members must change out of the team uniform upon returning to SHS after all football games and/or performances.

OFFICERS

  • It is the duty of the Officers to carry out the instructions of the Director(s) and lead the Dance Team in both practice and performance in the absence of the Director(s).
  • Social Officers will assist the Director(s) in checking appearance, taking attendance, assisting in auditions, teaching and instructing the team, and cleaning routines.
  • Social Officers will be responsible for organizing all team events, promoting the visibility of the team, coordinating spirit-related activities and assisting the Director(s) when needed.
  • A Officer will be responsible for the behavior and performance of their squad.  They may also be responsible for the maintenance of their squad’s Merit / Demerit record.
  • Selection of Social Officers:
  • The selection process of Social Officers may change from year to year. Students may be required to do the following dance audition: group routine(s), team interview, Director(s) interview, Judges interview, accumulated merits and demerits, creative projects (in groups or individually); and more.
  • Dancers are eligible to hold an Office pending their membership on the Dance Team for at least one full year. Any dancers who have been removed from the team for any reason may not audition for Officer for the following year. This includes but is not limited to grade and/or discipline issues.

TERMINATION OF OFFICERS

  • Failure of an Officer to set a proper example and follow the guidelines, extracurricular handbook, procedures and Dance Team code may result in removal from her Office (see Merit / Demerit system guidelines).
  • An Officer will be demoted from their Office upon the accumulation of 10 demerits, according to the guidelines of the Merit / Demerit system, and her parent/guardian will be notified of the demotion. Demerits can be earned for failure to complete officer duties.

PROBATION AND REMOVAL

  1. Guidelines:
    1. All Dance Team members must meet all grade requirements as outlined by the State Board of Education, Texas Education Agency, UIL regulations and state law.
    1. All Dance Team members must comply with the Dance Team Guidelines/ Handbook 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and 52 weeks per year in addition to obeying the rules set forth in the SHS Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Probation and Removal:
    1. A member will be placed on probation or removed from the Dance Team for the following reasons:
      1. For Disciplinary reasons according to the Student Code of Conduct or the guidelines of the Merit / Demerit system.
      1. For Academic reasons according to the UIL guidelines. As stated earlier, any member who received a grade below a 70 in any class for any two six-week grading periods will lose her membership on the team for the remainder of the school year.
    1. Any member who is placed on probation must participate in class and practice but may not participate in Dance Team organized events or performances.
    1. A member who has been removed for disciplinary or academic reasons may audition when team tryouts occur for the following year for a position as a rookie on the team.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Awards achieved as a team remain the property of Stafford Sensations Dance Team.   

Individual members of the Dance Team can earn a letterman jacket based on achieving the following qualifications, as shown below.  The Dance Team will pay for the member’s jacket with a letter only, any other fees or customization are the responsibility of the member.  Jackets will be ordered the beginning of the Member’s 3rd year on the team. 

  • Member must complete 4 semesters on the Dance Team and be enrolled for a 5th semester
    • Members must maintain an overall grade average of 2.5 or better
    • Members must compete in 3 of 4 dance contests during Sensation membership
    • Members that are dismissed from the Dance Team are no longer eligible for a letterman jacket.  Members sent to SAC do not qualify. 

SENSATIONS DANCE TEAM MERIT SYSTEM

  • The Merit / Demerit system will be enforced at all times.
  • The merit system is designed to reward members for positive behavior.
  • It is the team member’s responsibility to turn in merit documentation within 2 weeks of event.
  • It is the team member’s responsibility to keep an accurate record of merits.
  • Only merits earned prior to the event can be used to attend the event.
  • Only merits earned prior to receiving the demerit can be used to remove the demerits.
  • Merits: Detailed List of Activity and Merits Earned

Activity                                                                                            Number of Merits Earned

Team Events

  • Attend Team Social                                                                           5 per Event
  • Attendance at Team Parent Meeting                                                 5 per Meeting

School Function

  • Attend Stafford Fine Arts or Sporting Event in Team Attire             5 per Event
  • Attend Stafford School Function in Team Attire                                 1-5 per Event
  • Participation in SHS Club or Organization                                         5 per Club/Organization

Community Function

  • Tutoring another student (this can be Dance Team-related)                    5 per Hour

(signed note required from a teacher/sponsor, etc.)

  • Attend another Dance Team Performance in Team Attire                      5 per Event

Academic / Awards

  • Earning an A on Report Card (6-weeks)                                            2 per A
  • Earning a B on Report Card (6-weeks)                                              1 per B
  • Honor Society                                                                                  10 per Society
  • Academic Excellence Award                                                             10 per Award
  • Other School Awards                                                                        1-5 per Award
  • …of the Week                                                                                  5 per Award
  • Perfect Attendance / per semester (School and Practice)                      20 per Session

SHS Dance Team Support

  • Dance Team Donation                                                                     5 per Item
  • Fundraising Participation                                                                  5 per $20 raised
  • Meet Individual Fundraising Goal/Quota                                            10 per Fundraiser
  • Top “Seller”                                                                                      20 per Fundraiser

Parent Involvement

  • Parent’s Attendance at Team Parent Meeting                                   5 per Meeting
  • Parent’s Participation in Fundraising Event                                       5 per Shift
  • Parent’s Participation in performances                                              5 per performance 

Merit Removal

  • Dress Code Infraction during School Day                                          -5 Merits
  • Missing costume piece (earrings, shoes, etc.)                                  -5 Merits per piece
  • Texting or phone use during practice or team function                       -5 Merits
  • Off task behavior during practice time                                               -5 Merits
  • Talking on sidelines while waiting to perform                                    -5 Merits
  • Using profanity at any time                                                               -5 Merits
  1. The Director(s) shall have the authority to give or remove merits when necessary for activities or offenses which have not been included or which have been inadvertently excluded.  The number of merits will directly reflect the activity or offense.
  2. Based on the Merit System above, team members must have earned the specified number of merits to be eligible to attend the following events. The requirement number of merits is based on the individual’s merit tally. The merit tally will be checked 2 weeks prior to the event to determine merit eligibility.

Event                                                                                         Merit Requirements

  • Solo (Second year members Only)                                                    100     Merits
  • Social Officer Auditions                                                                    300     Merits
  • Dance Officer Auditions                                                                    400     Merits
  • End of Year Event (All Teams)                                                       200     Merits

SENSATIONS DANCE TEAM DEMERIT SYSTEM

  • The Merit and Demerit system will be upheld at all times.
  • The system comes into action at the time of membership.
  • Demerits can be issued by both the Director(s) and the Social Officers with the Director(s) oversight.
  • In order to ensure fairness to all, each member will receive notification of each demerit and must sign for them at the time they are given.  If a Dance Team member has questions about a demerit she receives, she must set up a conference with the Director(s) within two school days of receiving the demerit to discuss it.  Conferencing is not the responsibility of the Officer.
  • It is the member’s responsibility to keep an accurate record of her own individual merit and demerit balance. 
  • Minor infractions will deduct merits from the Dance Team members individual merit bank. In the case that an individual does not have the merits to cover the deduction, 1 Demerit will be issued per 5 merit deduction.
  • Some offenses, more serious and severe in nature, will not be removed by the merit system.  These offenses will receive demerits.
  • PROBATION: If a Dance Team member receives 10 demerits, she will be placed on probation for 20 school days with a requirement to complete 10 hours of community service and will not be allowed to participate in Dance Team organized events or performances until completing the full probation period.  Once a Dance Team member has been placed on probation, her parent/guardian will be notified and will be informed of the possibility of loss of membership upon the accumulation of the 16th demerit.
  • REMOVAL FROM THE TEAM: Each Dance Team member may accumulate a total of 15 demerits.  If a member receives 16 demerits, she will be removed from the team for the remainder of the school year.
  • DEMERITS: Detailed List of Offense and Demerits Earned
    1. Demerits remain on the dance team member’s record for the current team’s year.

Offense                                                                                Demerits Earned

  • 3rd Offense (late, due date, etc)                                              1 Demerit
  • Late to practice (16-30 =1, 31-45 = 2, 46+ = 3)                      1-3 Demerits
  • Disrespectful behavior (Director(s) discretion)                         1-3 Demerits
  • Leaving a practice without permission from Director(s)                     3-5 Demerits
  • Unlady-like behavior (Director(s) discretion)                           3-5 Demerits
  • Missing the bus on a performance or contest day                  5-10 Demerits
  • Unexcused absence to practice (Depending on Time / Reason) 2-5 Demerits
  • Unexcused absence to performance (Depending on Time / Reason)   5-10 Demerits
  • Failure to uphold designated officer role (Director(s) discretion)          1-5 Demerits
  • Detention (Director(s) discretion)                                            3 Demerits
  • Public Display of Affection PDA (Director(s) discretion)                     3 Demerits
  • Cheating or academic dishonesty                                          5 Demerits
  • Forging or altering any school issued permit or pass                 5 Demerits
  • In School Suspension (ISS)                                                   5 Demerits per day
  • Suspension from school                                                         10 Demerits per day
  • Inappropriate content and/or verbiage on Social Media,  online sites, personal blog, or text (Director(s) discretion) 5-16 Demerits
  • Negative content and/or verbiage of the Dance Program,   members, and/or Director(s) on Social Media, online sites, personal blog, or text (Director(s) discretion) 5-16 Demerits
  • Engaging in lewd, disruptive, or other offensive behavior             that affronts school district standards or propriety on or off campus (Director(s) discretion) 5-16 Demerits
  • Using or possessing any tobacco or tobacco-related product    on or off campus (Director(s) discretion) 5-16 Demerits
  • Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol,    marijuana, a controlled substance, a dangerous drug, abusable glue, or any other mood changing, mind altering, or behavior affecting drug on or off campus 16 Demerits
  • Theft or stealing on or off campus                                         16 Demerits
  • Indictment for a felony or class A misdemeanor on                or off campus  16 Demerits
  • Breaking rules on Team Trip – Camp, Contest, etc.                3-16 Demerits
  1. The Director(s) shall have the authority to give demerits when necessary for offenses which have not been included or which have been inadvertently excluded.  The number of demerits given will directly reflect the severity of the offense.