parent-dancer handbook season 2017

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The Amherst Ballet Theatre Company 2017/2018 Parent & Dancer Handbook 9/6/2017 1 Parent/Dancer Handbook Amherst Ballet’s Mission Amherst Ballet is dedicated to quality dance instruction for all. We inspire artistic excellence and a lifelong love of dance. Amherst Ballet enriches the Pioneer Valley through educational programs, performance and collaboration.
  9/6/2017  1 The Amherst Ballet Theatre Company 2017/2018 Parent & Dancer Handbook  9/6/2017  2 Parent/Dancer Handbook Amherst Ballet’s Mission Amherst Ballet is dedicated to quality dance instruction for all. We inspire artistic excellence and a lifelong love of dance. Amherst Ballet enriches the Pioneer Valley through educational programs,  performance and collaboration. Amherst Ballet’s Organization Amherst Ballet (AB) was founded in 1971 and is a non-profit organization (501(c)3), overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors and administered by an Artistic Director and a Business Director. AB offers classes in the Lower School, the Upper School and Open Classes. All of AB’s classes are taught  by instructors who are accomplished, experienced and well-educated. Some of AB’s ballet classes may  be accompanied by a pianist. Lower School Class Structure and Frequency Classes for students ages 3 through 12 years are in the Lower School . The progression of levels in the Lower School is: ã   Creative Movement for 3-4 year olds: meets one (1) time per week for 45 minutes. ã   Pre-Training 1 for 5 year olds: meets one (1) time per week for 1 hour. ã   Pre-Training 2 for 6 year olds: meets one (1) time per week for 1 hour. ã   Level 0 for 7 year olds or older students with no previous training or training that does not meet the requirements of this level: meets one (1) time per week for one (1) hour.  9/6/2017  3 ã   Level 1 for 8-9 year olds: meets two (2) times per week for 1.25 hours. ã   Level 2 for 10-12 year olds: meets three (3) times per week for 1.25 hours. All students will be placed in the level that is developmentally and technically appropriate for them at the outset of the season. Instructors may recommend adjustment of placement during the season. Levels 0 through 2 follow a modified Vaganova Method syllabus. It is important for the acquisition of skills and overall accomplishment that students in Levels 1 and 2 commit to training at the specified frequency. Students unable to fulfill this commitment will not be turned away, but their acceptance is with the understanding that they may need to spend more than one season in each level and that they may not be able to perform in the end of season Class Concert with their ballet class. Performances  Except for students in Creative Movement and those noted above, students in the Lower School  perform each spring in the Class Concert. The Class Concert is an opportunity to display the skills acquired in class during the season in dances choreographed by their instructor. Participation in  performance is intrinsic to the dance learning process. It is highly recommended that every student complete the season’s training by participating in the Class Concert. The creation of class dances  begins in January and rehearsals for these take place during regular classes. Once that process has  begun, attendance at regular classes and the theatre rehearsal are vitally important to your student  and their classmates . The Class Concert is performed in class uniform; there are no additional costumes or costume charges aside from a performance skirt (for girls), if needed. Students in Level 0, 1, and 2 are eligible to audition to participate in the Spring Lower School Short Form Ballet when it is produced. Rehearsals for these shows are held outside of regular class time. Participation is encouraged but not required. Preparation time for these shows is limited and therefore every rehearsal is vitally important. Missed rehearsals may necessitate removal from the cast.  There are mandatory  technical rehearsals prior to the show. Absence from these rehearsals is not an option. Student performers need to provide their own ballet slippers, tights, and nude camisole leotard . Costumes are used in these performances and an appropriate costume fee will be charged. Occasionally Amherst Ballet Lower School students may have the opportunity to participate in other Amherst Ballet performances or performances presented by organizations other than Amherst Ballet. Whenever agreeing to participate in a performance with an outside organization, it is vitally important that Amherst Ballet be informed about student commitments that may conflict with Amherst Ballet rehearsals or performances. Promotion Students receive an evaluation from their instructors in May with recommendations for the next season’s study. Promotion is not automatic. Promotion requires proper neuromuscular integration and developed attention span and focus. Non-promotion is not seen as a determent but rather as a realization that not all bodies and brains develop the same way and that remaining in a level for more than one season may be the best option for training a dancer over the long-course. Lower School Attendance, Absence, Make up and Tardiness Policy Parents of Creative Movement and Lower School students are requested to call or email AB when their child is absent. Make-up classes may be taken at any time during the season including in advance of a  9/6/2017  4  planned absence  at the same level or a lower level  . No credit will be given for missed classes, nor will tuition be adjusted (except for documented medical conditions when makeups cannot be arranged). Classes are expected to begin on time. Students should be ready and prepared to dance at the scheduled time. It is in everyone’s best interest to have students  arrive early  so they are ready for class to begin as scheduled. Students who enter the studio late disrupt the flow of teaching, distract their fellow classmates, and joining classroom exercises late without proper warm-up may be injurious to dancers. If a student is more than 10 minutes late they may be asked by the instructor to observe the class rather than participate. The last class in December and the last class of the season are designated as “Visitors Day” classes. Parents are invited into the studio to observe the progress of the Lower School students at the discretion of the teacher. Parents should   not enter the studio while a regular class is in session. If a parent needs to confer with the instructor, please visit the reception desk to arrange a conference time or e-mail info@amherstballet.org. Upper School Class Structure and Frequency  Dancers are accepted into the Upper School  on recommendation of their Lower School instructor or  by audition with the Artistic Director or Senior Instructor of the Upper School. The Upper School uses the Vaganova syllabus. The progression of levels in the Upper School is: ã   Upper School o   A  minimum  of three (3) Upper School Ballet classes per week is required for full  program participation (Conditioning, Modern & Jazz are encouraged). We strongly recommend taking more than the minimum, if schedule and interest allow. Dancers will be placed in the appropriate level commensurate with their skills  by the Artistic Director or Senior Instructor of the Upper School. Instructors may recommend adjustment of placement during the season. Students receive an evaluation from their instructors in May with recommendations for the next season’s study. Promotion is not automatic. Amherst Ballet recognizes that students have different areas of interest and levels of commitment to dance. We are happy to enroll dancers who wish to study ballet intensely as well as those who wish to have dance as just one aspect of their lives. The number of hours of class time enrollment will dictate the performance opportunities afforded each student in Amherst Ballet productions. Performances Amherst Ballet shows are carefully planned, programmed, and created with an audience of the general  public in mind. Every effort is made to include as many Amherst Ballet students as feasible in each  performance provided those students meet the class enrollment and attendance criteria and are able to accommodate the rehearsal and performance schedule. All casting is at the discretion of the choreographer and/or Artistic Director.
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