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A day in the life of StepUp Summer Camp

A day in the life of StepUp Summer Camp

Wondering what we get up to at our multi-skill summer camps? Check out a day in the life of our camps!

8.30am – Circle Time

We sit in a circle, take register and introduce some fun games for students to relax and get to know each other a little better. Today in the junior room we are going around the circle giving our name and telling our classmates our favourite food and favourite animal! We are also talking a little about our theme for camp this week – which songs, acting scenes and dances we have learnt and what fun activities we can expect from our timetable today.

Stepup Academy | Musical Theatre

9am – Musical Theatre

Time to warm up those vocal chords! Some fun and sometimes silly vocal warm up exercises are introduced to get our campers ready to have fun with their singing! Have you tried to say “red leather, yellow leather” over and over again as fast as you can? Go on – give it a go! Now time to practice the song we have been learning this week and today add some new actions to it.

9.30am – Karate

Time for karate class with Budo Juku! We take to the mats for our warm up then learn some techniques which we practice moving across the floor – from kicks to strong karate arm movements. Our instructor demonstrates some fun partner work and we get to pair up with our new friends to practice the movements which today includes a roll onto the floor!


Time to wash our hands, get seated with our lunchboxes and get to know our new friends a little better over our healthy snacks.

10.30am – Arts and Crafts

We’re designing special masks today ready to wear for our performance to our parents on Thursday! Our teacher lets us know which colours and materials we have to make them from then we get a chance to get creating! We’ll draw up our designs first then get to talk them through with our teacher before we start creating tomorrow.

Stepup Academy | performing Arts

11.15am – Acting Class

We start off with some acting games to improve our confidence in speaking in front of the group and practice expressing different emotions with our face and body. We then move onto practicing our acting scene we’ve been working on this week! We’ve all been working super hard to remember our lines and now we need to put the scene into action; practicing stage placement, working on projecting our voices and using more expression ready for the performance!

Stepup Academy | performing Arts
Stepup Academy | performing Arts

11.45pm Bouncy Castle

It’s Bouncy Castle day!!!! Our favourite day of camp week! The bouncy castle is set up in one of the studios and we get to bounce around with our friends to music and burn off some energy. Our teacher even plays games with us like musical bumps on the bouncy castle!

12.15pm Lunch

Lunch time! We’ve certainly worked up an appetite. Back to our tables and chairs for our lunch.


12.45pm Movie Time

We sit down for a bit of quiet time to let our food settle. Lights out, pull up a cushion and time to catch up on where we left our film yesterday – this week we are watching Mary Poppins!

1.15pm Dance Class

We get warmed up again with some fun upbeat music and dance moves following along with our teacher. After a quick stretch we are ready to go! We will continue to practice our dance we have been learning ready for this week’s performance.

1.45pm Science Experiment

Things are about to get messy! Today we’re discovering if we can make our own volcanos by seeing what happens when you drop Mentos into a bottle of Pepsi!

Stepup Academy | performing Arts

2.15pm Team Games

Hot potato! Don’t be the one holding the ball when the song stops or you’re out! We also did a fun obstacle course today which included a climbing wall, swing, bridge and bean bag races! We got to team up and first team to finish all, won!

Stepup Academy | performing Arts

3pm Home time!

Another fun day with my new friends – excited for tomorrow – it’s show day! We get to dress up and there’s face painting too!

*This is a guide to activities held over previous StepUp Academy Camps. The timetable, activities and the timings are an example only as these may slightly change from camp to camp, day to day and within the different age groups. Other activities often included in our camps include; ball skills, face painting, story time, baking, gardening, music, team building activities, brain games and gymnastics.

Our camps work towards a performance to parents at the end of the theme which can run for one or two weeks. In this performance campers showcase their singing, acting, and dancing they have learnt through the week within the camp theme and also create all the props and staging used for the performance in their arts and craft sessions!

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6 Tips to help you prepare for your upcoming dance examination!

Stepup Academy Ballet

The countdown is on to exam day! Maximise your practice time with our tips!

1. Take notes

Teachers are often repeating the same corrections for students class after class, reflect on the feedback you have received from your teachers and write them down. Did you need to remember to stretch your feet more in your sautes? Make sure you are turning out from the tops of the legs in plies or keep your shoulders down in port de bras? Remember your corrections and go away from class and practice them. Muscle memory requires repetition of the correct movement pattern before something can become habit, keep practicing and it will come! Not sure if you are still getting it correct? Find a mirror, class mate, or a phone that you can video yourself practicing with, so that you can check.

2. Perform

Performance makes up a large section of the marking scheme in dance examinations. Like most aspects of dance, performance – for most – comes with lots of practice. Make sure you are performing in every class the way you would in the exam, this way your teacher can give you suitable feedback on your performance and it will become a habit that will be more natural. Once performance becomes like second nature it is one less thing you will need to focus or be distracted by in your exam.

3. Musicality

Know your music inside out and back to front. Try listening to the music with your eyes closed and imagining the movement to the music. Pay special attention to the changes in music and the quality, imagine the movements reflecting the quality of the music (e.g. soft, sharp, energetic). Visualising the movement to the music is a small thing you can fit in to your day, even on days that you are physically very tired, that will really help your confidence in the examination. Try fit it in while you are travelling in the car or even whilst you are brushing your teeth and getting ready in the morning!

4. Take extra lessons

Talk to your teacher about options available to you to attend additional lessons in the lead up to examinations.
Don’t forget StepUp are also offering extra classes over the Spring Break – if you are staying in Dubai be sure not to miss them! Contact our team for the scheduling details on 

5. Look after yourself

Make sure you don’t burn out right before your exam. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, get lots of rest and try not to stress about the exam. Keep practicing and preparing for your exam, but don’t suddenly and drastically increase the amount of physical activity that you are doing right before your exam as this could cause you to get overtired and also increase your risk injury. Keep up the extra practice, but don’t forget to look after yourself too!

6. Smile and get ready to shine! 

Consider your examination as a performance, you are on stage the whole time you are in the exam room and the examiner wants to see you do your best! Be sure to act like you are ‘onstage at all times, remember no chatting, fidgeting and always standing up tall, even when it is not your turn to dance. Keep smiling and keep going, even if you make a small mistake, stand up tall, keep breathing and keep performing. You have worked hard for this so be sure to enjoy the performance and exciting examination experience!

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6 ways to overcome pre-show nerves

Stepup Academy, Four Seasons show 2015
You’re standing in the wings; costume sparkling, make-up perfected, hair sleeked, dance buddies giggling excitedly – you’re ready to go!
Then the nerves hit.. sweaty palms, wobbly knees, you turn to your friend -“how does this dance start again??!”
Don’t panic!
Stage nerves are perfectly normal, in fact top professional performers still admit to getting cases of the pre-stage jitters. It’s how you deal with them that counts. Here’s 6 of our top tips to help calm your stage nerves so that you can give your best performance.

1- Rehearse. Ok, so if it’s show day it may be too late, but the more time you can put into practicing your routine before the performance the more confident you will be. (See our top tips for remembering dance choreography here

2- Breathe. Slowly. Deep, slow breaths in, and deep slow breaths out. This will help slow your heart rate which will likely be racing, calm your nerves and help you focus on the performance ahead.

3- Think positively about you putting on your best performance. You’ve been practicing hard, you are ready! Try not to worry about what could go wrong and instead imagine yourself performing the steps perfectly and enjoying the experience on stage.

4- Focus. The nerves you are feeling right now are a perfectly natural ‘fight or flight’ reflex the human body feels when it feels threatened – dating back to our caveman years when it was a natural survival instinct in the wild. Try to focus that extra, nervous, adrenaline-pumping energy into something positive – additional energy to put on your best performance!

5- Fake it. Not advice you will normally hear from your dance teacher, however in the case of performance confidence ‘fake it til you make it’ may be applied. In the grips of a case of pre-stage jitters a beaming stage smile may be far from your current expression, however, you’re a dancer – put on your best performance face and get ready to go out and wow the crowd. I guarantee once you are out on the stage, focusing that energy on giving your best performance for your audience that expression will become a real one.

6. Keep going. What if you forget a step? Always keep going. Try not to panic, keep breathing and keep moving until you can catch up with where the other dancers are. The audience is unlikely to notice your missed step if you keep smiling and keep going!

Break a leg everyone! 

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Top tips to help you remember Dance Choreography

Stepup Academy, Stepup Academy Performace

In order to really shine on stage you need to know your choreography inside out and back to front. You should know it so well that you can do it in your sleep! Only once you know the steps this well can you really focus on showing your best technique and performing to your maximum to truly WOW the audience.

We know students these days are very busy with study and other sporting or after school activities so finding the time to practice at home can be tough; in order to put your “best foot forward” on stage we have a few tips for putting in the extra practice to be ready to shine. Students and parents take note!


  • Pay attention
    Make sure you are giving your teacher your full attention. Watch what they are doing carefully and listen to any notes given so that you can apply the corrections.
  • Still struggling with a certain sequence after a few attempts?
    Put your hand up and ask if the teacher would mind going through it again slowly for you.
  • Ask the teacher for the name of the song and artist so you can listen and practice at home.
  • Try to find a pattern in the choreography – is there a section that repeats at a certain point in the song? Listen to the music and try to get to know it as well as the steps as linking the two together will help you remember.
  • It can sometimes be helpful to remember the steps as sung to the tune of the song, something as simple as ‘left, right, behind-side-front, TURN’ will stick in your brain to help your muscle memory on its way.
  • At the end of class write down any notes that your teacher has given you that you might struggle to remember.
Stepup Academy, SUA ballet dance class

If you think you will have trouble remembering without the teacher’s assistance then bring along a device which you can record on and ask your teacher if they would mind you recording the sequence before the class finishes.

TIP– if recording a sequence to practice try to record it from the back of the room facing the mirrors so the teacher is facing back to you, that way you will be able to follow along without getting confused with directions when practicing at home.
Please always ask your teacher’s permission before recording and never share on your social media without permission from other dancers that may feature in the video, or the teacher who may wish the choreography to be kept secret until the performance!


If you have a new piece of choreography to remember try to mark through the choreography learned when you get home within 24 hours of your class. It doesn’t need to be full out and will only take a few minutes (unless you have the space and time to warm up of course!) but simply going through the steps once within 24 hours will help keep it fresher in your brain. Often students wait too long after class to go through the steps again and have forgotten it by the time they get around to practicing or by the next lesson!


Stepup Academy, Stepup Academy performance

If you have the time to warm up properly and go through the choreography full out then make sure you focus on areas where you have been having difficulty or had specific feedback from your teacher.

  • Keep starting a step on the wrong foot?
    Run the 8 counts before it and into that step over and over until you can’t get it wrong.
  • Need to practice using your face to perform?
    Mark through the counts in front of a mirror and practice how you will use your face to perform the steps. Sure you may feel silly at first, but who is watching! It will help build your confidence to perform in class.

To use your practice time for maximum effect refer to any notes given by your teacher that you wrote down at the end of class; maybe she wanted you to use stronger arms, listen to the music more or jump higher? Make sure you focus on those when going through the routine ready to go back and improve further in your next class.

Don’t have the time or space to practice full out? IMAGINE THE CHOREOGRAPHY

If you don’t have the space to practice, the time to warm up sufficiently or are simply worn out after a long day, then imagining the choreography can be a really helpful tool. Closing your eyes as you imagine each step to the music can really help your musicality and memory. To make this even more effective, think over feedback received from your teacher or areas you get stuck on in the choreography and imagine yourself completing the steps correctly and with beautiful technique and presentation. Try doing this then you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed at night, it only takes a few minutes but can help you focus and retain the choreography visually which can then be translated into your next practice or class.


Arrive early, warm up and mark through the choreography with your classmates, this will help keep the choreography fresh in your brain ready for class!

If you follow these tips it will really help you get the most out of your lessons in the lead up to your performance, allowing your teacher to move forward with the choreography and help push your technique further to give the best and most confident performance you can.

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8 reasons to get your child into dance TODAY!

Stepup Academy, SUA Ballet

With so many options for after-school enrichment activities for kids in Dubai, we’ve made the choice easy for you with the top 8 reasons to get your child into dance today!


Dance is an enjoyable way for kids to stay fit and active, building both strength and cardiovascular fitness in one class. With today’s generation spending much more time indoors and in front of various tech screens and the World Health Organisation showing childhood obesity rates in the UAE at 36% and rising; creating healthy and active habits has never been more important.


Friends who dance together stay together!

It’s true! All our teachers can all vouch for it! Sticking together year after year in the studio, progressing through the levels together, dance examinations, performances, end of year shows; dance forms strong bonds that can last a lifetime!

Stepup Academy, SUA Ballet Student


You can always spot a dancer in the crowd; standing up tall, with a long neck, shoulders down and tummies in. Dancers are known for their great posture. Dance develops core strength and the technique focuses on an enhanced awareness of the posture, shapes and movement of the body.


Dancers work hard. They are encouraged in every class and at every moment to strive to be the very best they can be. It’s an art form where one never can be ‘perfect’ – even the top artists are always striving to improve. This work ethic is known to rub off onto other areas of their life – in school, in music, in sport and later in their careers.


Students are taught respect in the classroom; respect for their teacher, their classmates, the studio and the art form. Students are taught from a young age to say please and thank, address the teacher appropriately, not interrupt, patiently wait their turn and apologise if they are late. The discipline and rules put in place are not only there to help the student feel secure, know what to expect and help the class run smoothly, but also to form good habits for future learning and life.

Stepup Academy, SUA Ballet


Performing in a group either for an exam, event or show means making a commitment to your team. Choreography and formations require students to be precise and work together to make the performance look good as a whole picture; not just an individual performance. Partnering work such as lifts also require students to develop trust in one another, to be there to catch them, to be at rehearsals and to make it to the performance or they will let their team mates down.


It takes a lot of guts to get up on the stage and perform in front of a crowd. Dance helps build the confidence in classes through a gradual combination of repetition of the steps and work to be performed, and positive reinforcements and feedback from their teachers. Students are also taught to be supportive of one another; opportunities are given in class for students to perform to each other in smaller groups to help even the shyest of students to come out of their shell. Once they get a taste for the stage, the buzz of performing and receiving applause, we often find those that were once very scared can’t wait to get back up on the stage!

8. FUN!

Most importantly – DANCE IS GOOD FUN!

When you hear a good beat and can’t help but tap your feet, that’s the same feeling you get in dance class – only 100 times greater when you nail a great combination in class or master a new skill! The feeling of leaving a great dance class, glistening with sweat with your dance mates and knowing you tried your hardest – you just can’t beat that (unless it was on the stage!)

Stepup Academy, SUA Hip-hop

The good news is it is never too late to start!


StepUp Academy offers classes from 15months through to adults in wide range of styles in our flagship purpose built dance studios in MotorCity and in many locations throughout Dubai. Please get in contact with our reception team for more details on or phone 04 453 4360.