Studio & Dancer Handbooks

Studio Handbook

Please read through the following information to familiarize yourself with the policies of our Studio. The first section should answer most questions that parents may have regarding our administrative procedures. The second section, addressed to our students, should be read by parents as well. You may print out the Studio Handbook and share it with your child.

Administration

The Administrative staff are Michele Lisi and Liz Kawalek. Please see either of them regarding registration, tuition payment, and for any questions or concerns you may have. In general, there will be a person available at the front desk whenever classes are in progress. Additional office hours will be posted on the website and at the Studio.

Announcements

Parents and caregivers: please take the time to check the website or the lobby regularly for important announcements. These include rehearsal and performance schedules as well as information and sign-up sheets for activities. You may also stay updated by signing up for our e-mail newsletter from our home-page.

Closings

The Studio follows the holiday closing schedule of the Scarsdale School District except when due to conferences and staff meetings. The Calendar is posted in the lobby and on the website. Closings due to inclement weather will follow the Scarsdale School District’s policies and will be posted on the website.

Faculty & Substitute Teachers

Many of the faculty members of the Scarsdale Ballet Studio were professional dancers with major companies. Some of them are still involved in the professional dance world as performers, choreographers, and guest-teachers. It is our privilege to have them sharing their talents with our dancers. From time to time, they will have other professional obligations or commitments. In that case, there will be a qualified substitute.

Adding or Changing Classes

Any class or level change must be discussed with the teacher and the Administrative Director before making that change. If approved, fill out and return an Add/Drop form at the front desk.

Make-ups

Classes missed due to illness or injury may be made up at any time. Dancers must pick up a make-up voucher from the front desk, fill it out, and give it to the teacher.

Private Lessons

Private coaching is available on a limited basis for Scarsdale Ballet students who wish to intensify their training. Teachers accept students according to their own schedules and studio availability. Fees are determined by and paid directly to the teacher. Private lessons, while beneficial, are not required in order for a student to advance or to perform a solo in the Concertdance production. However, all private students will be given the opportunity to perform a solo in the end-of-the-year recital. Effective immediately, no new students who study ballet at a school other than the Scarsdale Ballet Studio will be accepted for private coaching.

Dancer Handbook

Dear Dancers,
Please take the time to read through the following. It explains many things you will need to know about studying at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio.

Our Class Placement Policy

We take many factors into consideration when determining your class placement. Some of these are age and ability, the quality of your previous training, the number of classes per week you will be taking, your overall level of strength and technical mastery, and your goals. Please try not to compare yourself with other students according to which level you are placed in.

In general, starting with Level A, you will spend at least two years in any given level. When you take a second year of Level B, for example, you are not starting all over again. Ballet dancers repeat the same basic exercises day after day throughout their careers, building their technique gradually over time.

Being placed in a particular level is not necessarily a reflection of your desire or talent. You should follow the orderly progression through the syllabus so that important elements of your training are not skipped over. Remember that, especially in the First Division, exercises are slower and require your patience to repeat them many times. This shouldn’t make ballet boring. Keep focusing on all the exciting new steps you will be learning when you are ready, and how beautifully and correctly you will be able to do them!

Moving to the next level before you are ready could lead to injuries or bad habits, and could slow down the pace of the lessons for your classmates. Rarely, some students advance to a level higher than usual for their age because they are ready for the challenge. This doesn’t mean that they are “better” than you are. Do bear in mind though, that dancers who take more classes per week will tend to move more quickly through the syllabus.

If you or your parents feel that you are not in the right class, we are very happy to discuss this with you. We understand that not all of our students are seeking a professional career in dance. At the same time we want to give you all the attention you deserve. That’s why it’s so important that you are placed in the right level.

Dress Code

Proper classroom attire is fundamental to your training. Leotards and tights let you move freely and safely and allow your teachers to make sure you are using your muscles correctly. Wear the color leotard specified for your level. We will have special days during the year (to be announced on the website), when you may wear any color leotard to class.

Girls with long hair: learn how to make a ballet bun, not just a ponytail! You will not be allowed to do turns in class unless your hair is in a bun. Thin pink legwarmers and/or dance sweaters may be worn when it is very cold, but you must take them off if the teacher asks you to. No t-shirts or sweatshirts are allowed for girls. You may wear a short matching skirt with your leotard. If you are taking a pointe class right after technique class, bring your pointe shoes into the first class. Practice tying your ribbons at home so you don’t waste time. Put Band-aids and tape, if necessary, on your toes before class starts!

We feel very strongly about the importance of our dress code. By coming to class in the appropriate uniform, you show your pride in our Studio and your respectfulness towards your teachers and the art of ballet.

Classroom Etiquette

As many of you know, ballet evolved in the royal court of Louis XIV in France. You can imagine that manners were very important back then, and they are still central to any ballet class. Here are some things to remember:

Please arrive at the Studio in time to prepare for class. The two most fundamental and important exercises in ballet take place right at the beginning of the lesson. They are essential to a proper warm-up. If you are late for any reason, please wait outside the door until the exercise is finished, then go in quietly and stand at the nearest spot to the door.

If you are making up a class, don’t forget to pick up a make-up voucher at the desk and give it to the teacher.

Don’t talk during class. If you have a question for the teacher, raise your hand. Pay attention while others are dancing or being corrected. This is one of the best ways for you to learn.

Please use the bathroom before class begins. Don’t interrupt the lesson to use the drinking fountain. You may bring a water bottle into the classroom. Don’t chew gum.

Don’t sit on the floor in between exercises. Practice holding good posture.

It is a custom to thank your teacher, one by one, at the end of class with a small curtsey or bow.

Give your best effort with a positive attitude.

Have a great class!

Inappropriate Behavior

1.If any student at any time while at Scarsdale Ballet Studio feels unsafe or threatened by another student, he or she should immediately approach an SBS teacher or staff member to ask for assistance.  Examples of when assistance should be sought include:  if another student is making hurtful or otherwise inappropriate comments, acting in a way that is perceived to be aggressive or dangerous, or making any physical contact, whether such physical contact presents the risk of injury or not. If inappropriate behavior occurs in the middle of class, any student should feel comfortable to immediately bring the problem to the teacher’s attention, even during the middle of an exercise.

2. If any student experiences a situation as described above, but does not feel comfortable bringing it to the attention of a teacher or staff member, he or she should let their parents know as soon as possible, and the parent should then immediately contact SBS to let us know of the situation.

3.  SBS has zero tolerance for any acts of verbal harassment or physical aggression.  Upon any allegations of such behavior, SBS will inquire of the parties involved and remind them that such behavior is not acceptable.  Depending upon the severity and persistence of the situation, SBS reserves the right to take additional action necessary to attempt to ensure that a student who is behaving inappropriately does not cause further problems.  Actions available to SBS include, but are not limited to, requesting further information from the students or parents about the incident(s), requiring a conference with the students and parents, suspension from class, and in the most drastic instances, expulsion from the school.