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Rehearsals and Performances

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In order to help me with a reality check on what we're experiencing at our DD's school, I'd like to ask if people can tell me what their schools' policies are on a few things.


1) When rehearsal schedules get changed, are students who aren't at the studio every day to see these notices get posted notified about the changes? And if so, how?


2) How often during the entire school year do students in the 11-12 year-old age-group perform at your school? And by "perform," I mean any appearance in public, including short performances at arts festivals and corporate Christmas parties, which are deemed to be "good advertising for the school."


3) Following off question #2, if a public performance is scheduled, are the parents of the students who would be performing notified about it before the performance is scheduled? In other words, does the school wait to obtain their permission before making these commitments?


thanks for any and all feedback!

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We have been in productions of various types and at schools with varying policies, and I have seen it all. We actually were at a school where there were open auditions (meaning you didn't have to be a student at the school to be accepted into the production), and there were lots of problems with rehearsal schedule changes that did not get communicated to students who lived far (say, 50 miles or so) away. I felt sorry for those who drove 50 miles only to find out that the schedule had been changed and there was no rehearsal!!!! There were also rehearsals at this particular school that were scheduled for an entire day (lots of times) where several children sat around waiting for their time to rehearse, and the director ran out of time, so they didn't rehearse that day!!!!!


Another school where we have been in productions has a similar policy of open auditions and they are MUCH better about getting the word out if there are changes (one person does all the calling, and she is a paid employee of the school), and there are very few changes.


It is a good thing to remember that you are dealing with people of an "artistic" personality in many cases. It helps to take a deep breath and just tell yourself that this is just a taste of things that may come in the real ballet world.


In our current school, we have very few chances to perform, and we always have a choice whether or not our dancer will participate in any performance opportunity that is presented (and there are no hard feelings if we choose not to participate). The girls in the age category you have described get 2-4 opportunities a year to perform, if they so choose.


We have left the school described above in the first paragraph because of all the inefficiencies and because we were "punished" for choosing not to participate in one of the in-house demonstrations that didn't fit in with our family's schedule.

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Guest justthedriver



My DS's school is currently in rehearsals for the NUT, which this year will be the ONLY performance opportunity. In past years they have also done a Spring showcase, but the school's head has decided to scrap that for this year at least. I think she felt, and I agree, that it was eating too much into class time and adding stress for teachers and students. I think that concentrating on technique is more important than too much performance at this stage, which is too often done just to show the parents where their money's going!


Schedules for rehearsals are posted a week in advance on the board at school, and are sent by email to anyone who gives their address. We are responsible for checking the board for changes IF we don't have email. There are four performances of the NUT altogether, clustered around one Dec. weekend. We just got the tech. rehearsal sched for the week before the performances, so we've got plenty of advance notice. Rehearsals tend to be scheduled around the leveled classes from which specific roles are cast, with extras on the weekends. Of course it gets pretty hairy from here on in, but that's what we expected.


Hope that answers your ??.

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At my daughter's previous school, attached to a pro company, students had very few chances to perform. The only 'givens' were Nuts and workshop and for both, the students had to turn in a contract indicating that they wanted to participate and in the case of Nuts, had to audition as well. For all rehearsals for these two productions, the rehearsal schedule was posted at the studio and also placed on a phone message that can be accessed after hours. If a change is made, it is only posted in these two venues. Parents are not notified for any students, regardless of age. If their dancers are young, they are expected to come in and read the board themselves or check the message on the answering machine.


As for other opportunties to perform, they are considered an honor for a very few students. Parents are called for all students who are asked to perform with the company or are asked to hand out gift bags at the gala, do a variation at the shopping center for Nuts, etc. Parents are called directly when a rehearsal is scheduled or changed. (But again this is a very small group, not an entire school.) The only exception is the most advanced level. These students are asked to perform in person and they are also notified directly of rehearsals.


In her residency program, they are expected to read the call board daily and be present if and when they specifically are called for a rehearal. This is a bit of a different world, although the rules are the same for commuting students and residential students (but the youngest is at least 13.)

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Sorry, student here but....

I am in a Nut that technically has open auditions but you know, AD takes most of the kids from one school, although the two aren't affiliated (We have a repetiteur stage the Balanchine version) and if you do a role one year, and it's a good one, you are almost deifinitely going to repeat the role until you get too old. It is very hard for new kids who haven't been in it since they were young or small enough to be angels and do not go to the school to get a part. To make a long story short, I am lucky and at age 12, without previous experience and not going to the school, got a good role. It may have helped that I was friends with the "in Crowd", you know the kids with the roles everyone wants. But problems arose when they only posted schedule changes, additional rehearsals, etc. at the school. I wasn;t notified. My friends would have to call and tell me about rehearsal changes.

Our parents must sign a release form allowing us to be in Nutcracker, the special Nutcracker Tea matinee performance and luncheon, etc.

In my school and the one above, performances for younger kids under 12 are nut by audition and Spring Workshop.

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At dd's school, her level (mostly 11 year olds) are the dolls in Nutcracker. She's in Intermediate 1. The level below her, Elementary 2, is the youngest group that is allowed to perform in Nutcracker. I think this is all the performance opportunity the younger kids are given besides an end of year open house for Intermediate 1 and up. This is done in the studio for family and friends. Also, we were required to give written permission about a month before Nut rehearsals were even scheduled.

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DD is 12 and will be Clara for this year's Nut, so I have just marked out all weekends between casting and performing :P


However, DS is a gunboy and all rehersals are posted in the studio and ALSO put on our company website. I will look at the board when driving DD, and still need to go home and print it off the website so I don't get confused. This is the first year for the website and it is a lifesaver!!!!


Performance opportunities for 12 DD are Nut, May Recital and if chosen, a Jr. League Tea and/or our "Spring Fling" which is company dancers and guest artists.

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At our school, normally only company kids are called on to do the extra "events." In our case it is a Clara's tea where the Clara and the soloists dance. Another event is a Sugar Plum market hosted by the local JSL. At the beginning of the year, after company positions are announced, but before contracts are signed, there is a parent/student meeting. Everyone is given the approximate schedule for the year, the obligations of the dancers, etc. The dancers may consider the commitment before signing the company contract. Ultimately, if they sign the contract, they are required to participate as needed in the various events.


We do have several performance opportunities besides Nut. A few kids are going away this weekend to perform at another RDA Company's Fall show. In the Spring they have a major performance (company only), and they have an end of the year show. This spring the Company will be performing pieces with 2 other RDA companies. Company members are required to go to Festival whether they are performing or not.


So far, there has not been much messing with the rehearsal schedule. Usually anything dancers need to know about is sent be email.


This is our first Nut with this school. We did participate in their major Spring production last year. I have to say I am highly impressed with how well the schedule works. Rarely do rehearsals run over. Everyone is in a good mood. Nobody yells at the kids. When the director needs to be stern, he is stern, but not mean. It's quite remarkable especially when compared to experiences in our past.




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Hi, thought I’d share my policies. My studio is small and growing. We perform two shows a year. Our summer show is the ballet of my choice and if need be supplemented with original works, and the winter show is my version of “The Little Matchgirl” as I completely loathe “The Nutcracker.” :P


Participation is optional with no consequences if you opt out. :thumbsup:


I have to admit this winter show has been a little more unorganized than I would have liked :yes: (people missing rehearsals, snow choreography coming slower than it should, etc.), and I will be introducing contracts along with some other changes for the next one (more rehearsals, etc.).


Rehearsal changes just happened, due to said people missing rehearsals, and I handed out memos to all the students before their classes. There are no outside students this year in the show, so that is not a problem. I also have it posted on the memo board. I like the web idea and will have to implement it. :wink:


As far as mini, community performances, Ballet III (around 12, but level based not age based) and up are able to perform pieces from the shows, but are not required to. A memo goes out with a return slip, and what is performed depends on who signed up. I will admit that they are advertising, but I also see it as chance for community education. It also tends to loosen up the girls for the real deal, and they feel (according to them) more prepared after these warm-up performances.


As we grow, I know I’ll have to keep a tight hold on everything to keep chaos from leaking in. :wacko: It’s a lot harder than it looks.

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Hey! This is only my second or third post, so I am sure to make an error somewhere - please forgive :nopity: My DD is 14 and dances in Nutcracker (since age 9), but it is open auditions (although many in her school get parts), dances with a youth ballet company(age 12 and up - again, open auditions, but mostly her school), which provides a spring performance and one or two small demonstrations at local elementary schools, and a spring recital that is the only official performance opportunity in her school.

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okay, I forgot part of your question :speechless: Schedule changes are posted on the board. If a dancer isn't expected between the change and the posting, they are called about the change. It is up to the dancer to check the board; however, teachers generally point out changes in class. Also, in my experience, except for recital, rehearsals are mandatory and if missed result in loss of part, no excuses. There are very few missed rehearsals (usually none) and very few schedule changes. :nopity:

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But, in short, to chaffeur - If it seems like things are poorly organized - they probably are ... If it seems like they are running the kids (and their chaffeur-parents) ragged with outside performances - you are probably in touch with reality. It's a good time to make some gently suggestions for how things might be toned down and better organized for next year.

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Guest fairychild

Hi chaffeur - here's what our studio does


1 - If a rehearsal changes, the receptionist calls all the dancers involved, so that they are aware. Unfortunately, we do have problems when we have to leave messages and people don't go home before coming to a rehearsal!! But we do try to get the messages to people.


2 - We have a performing group at our studio (which is not just a ballet studio) that students may opt to be in. They perform in a three county area about once a month on average, starting in September and going through the July. This is on top of our spring recital and our holiday Nutcracker. This year, we're also doing a "holiday spectacular" that is optional like the Nutcracker.


3 - Although we would like all the students to be at every one of these performances, our coordinator and director realize that it isn't possible. So I guess, we just let them know as far in advance as possible and adjust formations, etc as we hear about people who cannot be there. The logistics of having over 40 sets of parents agree to having a performance would be practically impossible, but they know in advance that at least 1 Saturday a month will be occupied with a performance and we do usually let them know about a month in advance which date it will be.


Hope this helps answer your questions!!!

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My girls' company has every dancer family subscribe to a yahoo group and sends out all notifications and schedule changes by email; works well. :)

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Hi chauffeur!

1. If a schedule change is made with less than one week notice usually the dancers involved are called. With the older dancers, they are informed verbally sometimes on the spot that a regearsal has been scheduled to go 2 hours longer, so "go call your parents" or that a 4 hour rehearsal is now a two hour rehearsal. Even though it sounds crazy, it does work. Those with cell phones allow others to use theirs to contact parents, and the studio phone is available for notification of instant changes. There is also a payphone directly next to the board where all notices are posted. All parents are given the number to that phone and are encouraged to call to get updates. If the studio is open, someone will answer that phone.


2. There can be anywhere from 2 to 10 performance "opportunities" per year, depending on the teaching staff.


3. Usually the parent is NOT contacted to gain permission prior to scheduling of an event. But there are no repercussions if a parent says, for whatever reason, that their child is unable to attend. Now that is not to say that their dk's won't give them grief!

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