Academy Policies

To achieve the maximum results of training and proper progression through the syllabus, students are asked to attend all classes and rehearsals to which they are assigned. To minimize absences, parents are urged to take into consideration classes and rehearsals when scheduling their children for appointments and when planning family vacations. Please be sure to call the Academy at 704.372.3900 with a message whenever your child will miss class.  Your message will be forwarded to your child’s teacher to excuse them from class.

Excessive absences will result in a student being asked to leave the program to allow a child on the waiting list to attend. Consistent absences will also be factored into casting decisions for professional productions such as Nutcracker.

Consistent attendance

Consistent attendance is vital in maintaining a student’s mastery of dance technique. Dance is a physical activity that requires consistent weekly training to establish muscle strength and muscle memory. Classical ballet training is a highly specialized technique that requires excellent instruction by a knowledgeable teacher and committed attendance by the student in order to achieve the desired results. This level of commitment is especially important beginning with the Ballet 1 and 2 levels.

Tuition Payments

Tuition payments and registration fees are required before the first day of classes. Students will not be allowed to participate in classes if tuition has not been paid. Our teachers will aid in enforcing this policy. This policy applies to every level in the Academy. Students will not be allowed to perform in the annual Spring Student Performances if tuition balances are not paid in full by June 1.

All tuition and registration fees paid to the Academy are non-refundable. There are no tuition credits. No portion of tuition will be refunded in the event of absence, injury, relocation, decision to withdraw, or dismissal from the Academy.

Charlotte Ballet Academy families may choose one of the three tuition payment options below.  Summer 2016 tuition must be paid in full at the time of registration. 

MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN

  • Tuition for the 2016/2017 School Year paid in nine equal payments.
  • Payment schedule: First installment is due at the time of registration. Credit card will be charged automatically on the first of each month for eight additional installments, beginning September 1, 2016 and ending April 1, 2017.
  • An automatic credit/debit decline fee of $10 will apply to any payment that is declined on the first day of the month for any reason. Please contact the Academy immediately if your credit card number or expiration date changes at 704.372.3900.
  • A late fee of $20 (will be charged on the 5th day of the payment due date) for monthly payments that are not made by the fifth day of the payment due date. A student will not be allowed to participate in classes on the Monday following a missed monthly tuition payment until this payment has been made.
  • Tuition is non-refundable. No portion of tuition will be refunded in the event of absence, injury, relocation, decision to withdraw, or dismissal from the Academy. Future monthly payments may be cancelled upon written notice of withdrawal from the Academy.

SEMI-ANNUAL PAYMENT PLAN

  • Tuition for the 2016/2017 School Year paid in two equal payments.
  • Discount of 5% compared to paying in monthly installments.
  • Payment schedule: First payment is due at the time of registration; second payment is due by December 15, 2016. A late fee of $20 (will be charged on the 5th day of the payment due date) for payments that are not made by the fifth day of the payment due date. A student will not be allowed to participate in classes on the Monday following a missed monthly tuition payment until this payment has been made.
  • Tuition is non-refundable. No portion of semi-annual tuition will be refunded in the event of absence, injury, relocation, decision to withdraw, or dismissal from the Academy.

ANNUAL PAYMENT PLAN

  • Tuition for the 2016/2017 School Year paid in full at time of registration.
  • Discount of 10% compared to paying in monthly installments.
  • Tuition is non-refundable. No portion of annual tuition will be refunded in the event of absence, injury, relocation, decision to withdraw, or dismissal from the Academy

All tuition and registration fees paid to the Academy are non-refundable. There are no tuition credits.

Limited financial aid assistance may be available for Summer 2017.  Financial Aid Applications are due April 21, 2017. Contact Charlotte Ballet Academy at 704.372.3900  for more details.  

Rehearsals

It is extremely important for students to attend all rehearsals that they are scheduled for. In certain instances, a choreographer may be creating a new work and must have everyone present in order to effectively create their piece. In other instances, students may have been rehearsing together for some time or may be rehearsing a part they have performed in the past. Regardless, it is imperative that all cast members be present at every rehearsal to achieve the level necessary for public performance. It is very difficult for fellow dancers to work on a piece without everyone present. It is not about how well a dancer knows their particular part, but how much it affects the other dancers and choreographer not to be present for a rehearsal.

Participation in any of the Student Ensembles requires consistent attendance to all Saturday rehearsals as scheduled. Two excused absences during the Academy year are allowed, but a student will revoke their position in the Ensemble for additional absences.

Nutcracker rehearsals are kept to an absolute minimum number of days and thus require perfect attendance. Rehearsal and performance dates are publicized in early August and on the audition day so that families can make a decision regarding involvement prior to auditioning. There are no excused absences and a student will revoke the opportunity to perform in the production if rehearsals are missed.

Bulletin Boards

We have bulletin boards at the main location and at Spirit Square, where we will post pertinent information about the company, Charlotte Ballet , and the Academy. In place of a bulletin board at Charlotte Country Day School we have a table of information right outside the classroom door. Be sure and check these locations frequently for updated information during the year.

Classroom Etiquette

In order to achieve the skill level required of the physical body in dance, students should understand the necessary level of focus and concentration that will be required of them prior to attending class. Students will be encouraged to learn dance technique primarily through observation and execution of steps rather than through discussion. Talking during class and rehearsals is discouraged with the occasional question welcomed and indicated by the students’ raising of their hand. This allows the maximum amount of progress to be made during class time since dance technique is based on continual repetition of movement to train and strengthen the muscles of the body. Students who are disruptive to the class will be asked to observe class so that others may continue their work. Younger students may be escorted from class and brought to their parents.

Conferences & Questions

Parents are welcome to schedule a conference with their child’s teacher or the principal of the Academy at any time. Please call the school administrator at 704.372.3900 to schedule an appointment. We ask that you do not confront the instructors before or after classes with questions, but instead call or email the Academy office. Our capable staff may be able to answer your questions or you can schedule an appointment to meet with your child’s instructor. Please understand that prior to teaching class our faculty members are focused on the class ahead and after class they are often on their way to their next class. Thank you for your consideration of their time.

Costume Requirements and Cost for Performances

The Preparatory Division students will wear their classroom attire complimented by matching tutus for the girls provided by the Academy for their Showcase performance. Early Dance Division students pay a $30 Spring Performance Fee to offset the cost of costume construction and maintenance, as well as other production costs. There is no charge for admission to their performance.

Students performing in the Spring Student Performances will be asked to pay a $60 fee to participate in the show. This fee will be collected at the time of registration. Students will be provided with costumes for the show from our professional company and Academy’s wardrobe stock. There is no extra charge to families for the use of these costumes except in the Pre-Professional Division. Students in certain classes may be asked by their teachers to purchase a specific leotard, jazz pant or top to create a uniformed costume for their piece. Please be prepared to pay somewhere between $15-$40 for this costume piece. Students will own what they purchase and can use these dancewear pieces for regular classes and rehearsals at the Academy. Tickets will be sold for these performances through the box office at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to help offset the costs of the production.

Counseling Services

The Academy provides a counseling service to help young dancers and their families understand what the next step is after their training at the Academy is complete.

  • Should I pursue a professional career in dance?
  • How do I go about auditioning for professional companies?
  • When should I start to audition?
  • Can I still pursue a career in dance and go to college?
  • What if I really want to teach or choreograph?
  • What are my other options?

There are plenty of options in the dance world today and a way to pursue all of your dreams and incorporate your love of dance into your life…for life! Dancers, nowadays, have the option to attend college and still pursue a professional performing career once they graduate. We would like to have the opportunity to answer all of your questions and give you the information you need to plan for your child’s future.

  • Did you know that your child is eligible for dance scholarships to colleges and universities around the country just like athletes are eligible for sports scholarships?
  • Did you know that your child qualifies to receive recommendation letters from the Academy’s faculty and directors and, for students in the Pre-Professional Division, from dance luminaries Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux for job applications, company auditions and dance scholarships?
  • Did you know that the Academy’s students qualify for the UNC-Charlotte Professional Training Certificate in Dance program and the High School Escrow Program and that they do not have to declare a dance major at UNC-C to participate? They can start their college career right here at home and still study with us at the most advanced level.

The Academy also offers a unique opportunity for our graduating seniors. This option was developed for the serious dance student who has graduated from high school and is interested in auditioning for professional companies.  We will offer this student a full year’s tuition scholarship for classes at the highest level in the Academy in order to stay in shape and continue to train while auditioning. This enables the dancer to live at home, perhaps get a job to cover travel expenses for auditions, and continue to train at Charlotte Ballet. Just like any job search, the dancer needs to be able to concentrate on developing a portfolio that includes a resume, audition video and recommendation letters.  They also need to spend time researching what companies they are interested in and when those companies hold their auditions or workshops. During this time, a dancer needs to stay in top form and we would like to help our students do this and enable them to find their first job and launch their careers.

Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary Action:  Students are expected to act in a respectful manor while at the Academy or any related Academy activity.  Students responsible for disorderly conduct, violating any school policy, insubordination, disruption of class, or violating any of the classroom teacher’s rules, will be subject to the following consequences:

1st offense:     The student will receive a written warning and will have a meeting with the Academy Principal.

2nd offense:    The student will be removed from one ballet class; parents will not receive a refund for this class.

3rd offense:     The student will be expelled from the program; parents will not receive a refund for the school year.

Depending on the severity of the offense, Academy leadership reserves the right to dismiss a student from the program at any time during the school year.

Dress Code

Students of any age should always wear street clothing over their ballet attire when coming to and from their classes. Ballet slippers must never be worn outdoors as this tracks dirt into the studio and is detrimental to the marley floors, as well as dangerous for the students. All dress code requirements are mandatory in every class and level of the Academy. This includes modern and jazz classes. In the proud tradition of classical ballet and in encouragement of each dancer’s positive self-image, we strive to have a clean, uniformed appearance for all our students. Please help us achieve this goal by purchasing leotards, tights and ballet shoes that match our dress code requirements and by fixing your child’s hair for class in the appropriate manner as listed.  Please visit the Eurotard website for more details.

Email Messages

The Academy frequently sends information by email about upcoming events. Be sure to list your email address clearly on your registration form so that we can keep you informed about all that goes on at the Academy during the year.

Enrollment

The school year consists of 35 weeks of training, culminating in a year-end performance. New students are accepted during the school year on a space available basis. Waiting lists are maintained. A placement class is required for all students age 7 and up, and an audition is required for acceptance into the Boy’s Scholarship Program and the Pre-Professional Division.

Evaluations & Examinations

Each student enrolled in the Academy will receive a written evaluation at the end of the school year. Written and practical examinations will be held in March, April and May for students in the Children’s Division, Intermediate Division and Pre-Professional Division. Recommendations for summer study and fall placement will be listed on the evaluation forms.

Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying

The Academy strives to maintain an environment in which students can attend school and participate in activities free from any form of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying. Harassment, intimidation and/or bullying of any type will not be tolerated at the Academy or at any Academy -related activity. Students must realize that any type of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying, whether physical, verbal, sexual or general in nature is against the law and school policy. Students who feel they are the target of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying must report the incident to an Academy employee.

Students found guilty of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying face Academy disciplinary action.

Level Advancement

It is appropriate for young dance students to remain in the same class level for two to three years before continuing on to the next level. Unlike academic studies where a student progresses a grade level each year, in dance training it is quite normal to spend several years in one level in order to properly assimilate all the necessary material.

The training of a dancer is based on the constant repetition of particular steps and movements until the student has a full comprehension of the dance vocabulary and shows competency of execution. Sometimes, especially in younger children, total comprehension can only be accomplished when the physical body has grown strong enough to handle the more complicated moves required in dance. In these instances, we prefer to wait until a child’s physical development matches the requirements of the next level’s syllabus.

It is important to maintain consistent attendance in dance classes during the school year. This insures the progress of each student in their given class level. Once a student has reached the Children’s Division in the Academy, twice a week attendance is required in order to cover the more advanced syllabus and to prepare them for the levels ahead. Similar to any sport requiring difficult motor skills and dexterity of movement, disciplined and regular practice will lead to quicker advancement.

It is also advisory to be cautious and conservative about the age at which a female student begins training on pointe. Usually, by age 11 or 12 the student is strong enough physically and advanced enough technically to begin pointe work. It can be dangerous to start a student on pointe too early in the process of her training. The student must have a thorough understanding of proper body alignment as well as ankle, foot, leg and abdominal strength to prevent injury or the development of chronic conditions such as tendonitis. A student who begins pointe work too early may also develop bad habits in an effort to stand on pointe when they are not strong enough to do it properly. There is no urgency to starting pointe work at an early age, as the accomplished and well trained dancer easily goes up on pointe with little effort and is able to progress at a rapid pace. Many students who start pointe work too early are then discouraged by the difficulty of proper execution which they did not anticipate. It is much wiser to wait until the appropriate time when the student is physically ready and can achieve the anticipated results.

We hope this information will enable parents and students to better understand the actual “time line” of development in a dancer’s training and that there is nothing unusual about the gradual advancement from level to level.

Make-up Classes

There are no make-up classes offered in the Academy.

Nutcracker

Each September students from the Children’s Division through the Pre-Professional Division of the Academy and from the Charlotte area are invited to audition for Charlotte Ballet’s annual production of Nutcracker. Performances take place at the 2,000 seat Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra playing for the professional dancers of Charlotte Ballet and over 100 students. Rehearsals take place on Saturdays in October, November and December with performances in mid-December.

Parent Observation

Parents and other individuals interested in viewing students as they train are invited inside the studios to observe classes during Parent Visiting weeks. Please check the Academy calendar for the scheduled dates. To minimize distraction for our students and to allow our faculty to do the best job possible in the training of your child, please refrain from observing class through doorways or windows during non-observation weeks. Our goal is to keep your child focused so that they can maximize their class experience and continue to progress effectively through the required syllabus.

During Parent Visiting weeks, we would like to present the class for your viewing as it is usually held without interruption. To help us achieve this goal and out of respect for the dance teacher, students and fellow observers, please observe the following regulations:

  • Please arrive on time for the start of class and remain seated until the class is over. Please do not enter or exit the studio once class has begun.
  • Please turn off all cell phones and pagers before entering the studio.
  • Please refrain from talking during class either to the dance students or to fellow observers.
  • Please do not bring food or drink into the dance studios.
  • Visiting weeks are intended for parents, relatives and older siblings who are able to understand classroom etiquette. If younger siblings attend, please understand that it is often very difficult for them to remain quietly seated for the entire class time. Out of consideration for the teacher, students and other observers please do not bring toys into the classroom and kindly escort the child out into the lobby area if they become unsettled and disruptive to the class.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in your child’s dance classes. We hope to demonstrate to you the progress your child is making with the guidance of his/her instructor. Thank you for helping us to make this an enjoyable and informative experience for all the students, teachers and parents.

Academy Closings Due to Inclement Weather

If classes need to be canceled due to inclement weather the Academy will send out an email alert to all school accounts. In addition we will leave a message on the school’s phone greeting at 704.372.3900. Please note that classes are not necessarily canceled when area academic schools are closed. Since the Academy has classes in the mornings, afternoon and evenings, inclement weather cancellations may not impact all school classes. The Academy is not responsible for classes canceled as a result of extreme weather conditions or other circumstances outside the Academy’s control.

Spring Student Performances

The Academy’s annual year-end performances take place in Charlotte Ballet’s own performance venue at the Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance, located at 701 N. Tryon Street. Students enrolled in the Children’s, Intermediate and Pre-Professional Divisions pay a $60 Spring Performance Fee at the time of registration to help offset production costs. Performance tickets for families, friends, and the public begin at $16 per person. We strive to present the most professional productions possible, utilizing the talents of Charlotte Ballet’s faculty, technical crew, lighting designers, wardrobe assistants and stage managers. Please note that ticket income and Spring Show fees cover only a portion of the costs associated with mounting these exciting productions for our students.

At Academy ticketed performances, small children may attend free of charge if seated in an adult’s lap for the duration of the performance. Any child or person who uses a seat must otherwise have his or her own ticket.

Students in the Preparatory Division participate in their very own Showcase performance for family and friends. Preparatory Division students pay a $30 Spring Performance Fee at the time of registration to help offset production costs.

Due to the highly choreographed nature of the students’ performance pieces, students must be able to commit to both of their designated performance dates and the scheduled stage rehearsals in order to perform in any of the Spring Student Performances. The choreographic process for these performances begins several weeks in advance, and teachers are not able to create and rehearse works that would allow space for missing students. Changing choreography in order to compensate for missing students also places undue hardship on students who are present for their performances.

Summer Study

Once students reach the Primary Division in the Academy, we highly recommend continued study during the summer months to maintain their level of achievement. The Academy offers a comprehensive summer course at the Center for Dance. For our younger students, we offer week-long dance camps at the Center for Dance and Charlotte Country Day School.

We encourage students in the Intermediate, Advanced and Pre-Professional Divisions to continue their dance training in a summer intensive program. The Academy offers a nationally-recognized Summer Intensive program with renowned guest faculty at our main location. We also encourage our advanced level students to study at prestigious summer programs throughout the country to allow them the opportunity to be seen by other dance professionals and to glean new insights into their training. We have a list of recommended programs available to our students. We also encourage parents and students to schedule conferences with the directors and faculty of the Academy to assist in counseling students on summer auditions and program choices.

Tardiness

Students are expected to arrive at the Academy on time for the start of their classes and rehearsals. In the interest of injury prevention, students who arrive ten or more minutes late for class will be asked to observe class that day. Please show respect to your teachers and fellow students by arriving on time for your classes.