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At MDM, we consider ourselves a FAMILY.  

A dance family where dancers are supported and encouraged to accomplish their goals in a nurturing and positive environment. We set our standards high and believe in recognizing each student for their individual accomplishments and progress.


Teaching and building a strong foundation of technique across all dance disciplines is fundamental to our curriculum and mission. We believe being well trained is more important than being well rehearsed and that dance training is life training.


We invite you to review our core values and promises as you consider becoming a member of our dance family.  



  • Progressive curriculum used for all age levels across all dance disciplines

  • Use of progress sheets for mastery of curriculum skills for Tiny Dancer, Mini, Junior & Teen divisions

  • Use of visual imagery and manual adjustments for execution of proper technique

  • MDM "Class Structure" focuses on proper warm up, technique drills, and  muscle memory based progressions

  • Use of SMART goal setting and self evaluation models to assist students in defining and reaching their personal goals


  • All of our instructors are college educated and highly trained in their respective dance discipline

  • 5 Progressing Ballet Technique™ certified ballet instructors on staff

  • Biannual training for all staff members and an ongoing commitment to continuing education to stay abreast of artistic and technical trends and developments

  • Acrobatic Arts™ certified instructors on staff

  • Monthly staff meetings & one on one direction helps ensure a cohesive & experienced faculty


  • Code of Conduct and classroom expectations are clearly defined

  • Students are recognized for individual progress over perfection and effort over execution

  • Music selections and dress codes are age appropriate with a commitment to modesty and inclusiveness

  • All instructors have been trained in using a Growth Mindset approach to teaching, correcting, and encouraging students

  • A commitment to safeguarding the physical and mental health of all students (see below)

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Midwest Dance Mechanix, its instructors and staff members are fully committed to providing a safe and healthy environment in which dancers can maximize their potential. Our commitment to health and safety includes both physical and mental health. To ensure that our dancers are both physically and mentally healthy, we commit to the following practices & beliefs.


  • Regarding Strength Training: In additional to regular flexibility and stretching drills that are essential for safe dancing, MDM also utilizes Progressing Ballet Technique™ (PBT). PBT is a wonderful compliment to not only ballet technique, but the technique of our dancers across all dance disciplines due to its focus on muscle strengthening. PBT focuses on isolating muscle groups to help dancers maintain proper body alignment while creating correct muscle memory.This training also works to reduce the risk of injury since dancers are strengthening the correct muscles to support their technique.

  • Regarding Proper Technique Development: Dance isn't a sprint, it's a marathon... a very intricate and beautiful marathon that requires years of technical training.  Most dancers are either born with a propensity for either strength or flexibility. Dancers run the least amount of injury risk when they balance both strength and flexibility.  At MDM, we work with dancers on an individual basis to both strengthen and stretch them at a pace that maintains their natural strength and works to increase what doesn't come as naturally. This effort to create balance in our dancer's is one of many ways that we work to reduce the risk of injury and create a long, successful path for them in the future.  We do not endorse "forcing" dancers to perform any skill or technique that is contrary to their own bodies natural ability and could potentially cause injury.

  • Professional Physical Therapy Partnership: When/if an injury should arise, we work to refer dancers to the proper medical professionals who understand the demands on a dancers body to help get them back in the studio, safely and efficiently. We are currently in the process of developing a physical therapy partnership with Advanced Physical Therapy for ongoing assessment and education for all of our dancers.


  • Regarding Body Image & Shape:   At MDM, we wave an eager farewell to the unrealistic standards of weight and body-style for dancers of the past, and are elated to welcome an era of strong, healthy and beautiful dancers in a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  Midwest Dance Mechanix welcomes diversity and individuality and does not discrimate due to size, shape, age, race or gender.  All are welcome and all are capable of achieving their own unique potential.  

  • Regarding Dancer Education & Health:  A dancer's body is their instrument and keeping it in top physical condition is vital to their success.  We commit to educating our dancers about proper nutrition, hydration, muscle recovery, rest, growth mindset, goal setting, mental muscle development and how to maintain their overall health amidst the many physical and emotional demands of dance.

  • Regarding Class Environment & Individual Progress: Dance is such an intricate and complicated endeavor.  It is equal parts artistry and altheticism. With so much work to be done to create, sculpt and train these dancers, often teachers focus only on what's wrong instead of what's right. At MDM, we strive to empower our dancers to achieve their goals by tackling both physical and mental roadblocks through honest and fair individual assessment. Our job is to help dancers achieve THEIR goals and we firmly believe that this is best done through hard work, a strong technical foundation and teachers who love, encourage and celebrate with your dancer every step of the way. All of our instructors have been trained in using a Growth Mindset to encourage, while correcting and teaching, dancers to reach their own unique potential.

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Assessng Pointe Readiness

Pointe work is difficult and physically demanding. It can be dangerous if not done properly or if a dancer does not have the physical strength with which to support dancing en pointe. Our primary motivation in assessing pointe readiness at MDM is safety and proper execution of the foundational technique to support the demands of pointe work.

is a dancer ready for pointe?

  • Pointe is not for everyone! It's important to understand that not all dancers will want to pursue dancing en pointe and that's ok!  Many ballet dancers enjoy success without ever dancing en pointe. Similarly, not all dancers will achieve the necessary strength and technique to safely dance en pointe. Deciding whether or not a dancer wishes to pursue dancing en pointe is a decision that is best made with guidance, planning, and input from our ballet instructor team.

  • Age: Pointe work is not for young children! In general, dancers under the age of 12 are not physically ready to dance en pointe. The bones of the feet do not fully develop and harden until age 12 or later. There are some exceptions to this but as a general guideline, age 12 is the average age that a dancer would begin to be considered for pointe work at MDM.

  • Strength: The most important factor we assess for pointe readiness is strength in both the feet and ankles. The safety of our dancers is very important to us and having the proper strength to support pointe work is the best way to avoid dancer injury. Ankle and foot strength is something that takes time and dedication to build and we will work with dancers to help them achieve this level of strength over time.

  • Technique & Muscle Memory: To dance en pointe properly, a dancer must have the ability to demonstrate proper technique through muscle memory. When assessing this ability, we are interested in the pathways that dancers use to go up and down through releve' in order to ensure that they are maintaining proper technique. The angle that dancers hold their ankle is also important in order to ensure that dancers aren’t sickling their foot. These primary technique assessments are key to preventing injury in the future.

  • Consistency and Length of Training: To be physically prepared to dance en pointe, in general, a dancer must have a minimum of two years of consistent ballet training and must be taking a minimum of two ballet technique classes per week (3 hours).


If a dancer has a goal of dancing en pointe, we want to help them achieve it!  MDM has developed special programming to help dancers who wish to pursue pointe work.  Some of this programming includes:

  • Pointe Readiness Assessments: Throughout the year, MDM offers several pointe readiness assessments. These assessments are open to dancers who meet the criteria discussed above. After the assessment, the student will receive individual feedback regarding pointe readiness.

  • Goal Setting: Twice a year, dancers participate in goal setting sessions with their instructors. Ballet dancers who wish to purse dancing en pointe should use these goal setting opportunities to communicate their desire to dance en pointe. It is critical that our instructors understand each student's personal preference towards dancing en pointe so that we are able to properly guide dancers and help them develop a plan for achieving their goal.

  • One-on-One Coaching: For dancers who are very serious about ballet and who wish to invest additional time, we offer private one-on-one instruction.


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