How do you choose a ballet school?

This is the question we hear most when parents call to ask about the school. To help with this decision, the parent should first look at the number of students attending the school. Classes should be well attended… a busy school is a good school. The school should offer many classes at all levels, focusing equally on the pre-ballet, beginning, intermediate and advanced levels— including adults. Emphasis should never be on one level only, as undue concentration on a single level indicates that the school may be a training center and not a ballet school. Excited, happy children on the way to their classrooms are also a good indicator of classes that are constructive, instructive and character building.

We at Ballet Academy Ventura pride ourselves in a warm and loving environment created for our students. Instructors are readily available to parents and students for information about class progress. All students feel free to visit with their teachers before class begins. Students are important! We are here to educate the whole child. Their spirit must be lifted by their experience with us, we strive to build self-confidence, love of ballet as an art form, and to prepare the students for learning throughout their lives. We want to develop the student in a healthy and loving way.

Discipline is part of ballet, but it should only be used to help a child develop his “own self-discipline.” This must come from within the student through gentle and constructive correction. When discipline is used in this way, healthy development takes place.

Parents should also observe that other parents are around about the school. Class observation should be allowed whenever requested and observation windows opened on a regular basis. Classrooms with very young children should have a window open to the classroom at all times. This reassures the student that parents are nearby and that they are secure under their parents’ eyes.

Preballet class (31/2 –5 years) is a most important step in developing a love of dance, music and performance. We at Ballet Academy Ventura have one of the most outstanding programs in the county. Because of the popularity of our preballet classes, we offer five separate classes of each week. The young students are happy and well adjusted and learn ballet in a open and loving manner. The students are made to feel secure and this security opens their spirits to perform freely in the classroom. They are given performing opportunities at an annual preballet recital and often have an additional in-house program mid-year for parents, family and friends.

A free introductory class is given to all new students at any level. This way the family can observe first-hand the classroom situation and environment.

Uniform dress code should be present in the school so that you can be assured that fashion does not take precedence over instruction.

We at Ballet Academy Ventura observe a dress code, keeping in mind that the ballet school classroom is not a place for outrageous costuming. The students are there to learn and to develop a love for this art form; classroom attire needs to reflect this. Hair needs to be tidy and up off the neck and face, so that the ballet line can be observed.