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Requirements to join RDA


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Can someone tell me what the performance requirements are to be an RDA member, or where I can find that information online?


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Each region's requirements may have slight differences but below are the general requirements to join RDA (because I am in the Pacific region these come from our region's by-laws). If you have additional questions you can contact the membership chair of the region your company resides and they will clarify the application procedure. Good luck!

To be eligible for membership, the company must:


i Be a Non-Profit corporation.


ii Be incorporated by the state in which the company's principal office is located, for at least one
year. The applicant company must present the following documents (2 copies of each): The page
from the Articles of Incorporation showing state approval; and federal tax exemption under IRS
501 © (3).


iii Consist of at least eight dancing members exclusive of the artistic director(s) and must
maintain this number of dancing members. All dancing members must be at least thirteen years of
age prior to August 31st following the Festival.


iv Have appeared in at least two separate events during the previous twelve months, charging
admission to performances (as distinct from school recital or exhibitions of technique or
promotional enterprises), or being paid for said performances.


v Have one or more Artistic Directors from the company who have attended at least one
Festival sponsored by this corporation before applying for membership.


vi Provide full insurance coverage for all its members in attendance at any RDA/P sponsored
function, as this corporation will not be held financially liable for any illness, accident, injury, or


vii RDA/P is not obligated to accept a company into its membership unless that company shows
potential for technical and artistic development.


viii RDA/P shall ensure equal opportunity of participation to qualified applicants without regard
to race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, age, physical or sensory

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"iv Have appeared in at least two separate events during the previous twelve months, charging


admission to performances (as distinct from school recital or exhibitions of technique or
promotional enterprises), or being paid for said performances."


Regarding this point, do they have to be student only performances, or can the performances be part of a professional companies repertoire? For instance, do the RDA company members need to put on their own shows that include the RDA company and other students of the school, or can the shows be professional shows that a larger company puts of which the RDA company members only have a small part, like a professional performance of the Nutcracker where RDA company members only do one dance?

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It would be best for the director of your company to call either RDA themselves or email the person listed on the "join" page of the RDA website to get clarification on how to gain entrance to each region. As Kathleen has mentioned, there are National guidelines, but each region also has a few things that are different about their region.


In our region, a professional company would not count. Professional companies are not allowed new entrance into RDA in our region. If a company grows while in membership to a professional company, they are sometimes allowed to keep honorary membership such as Atlanta Ballet and the now closed Charleston Ballet Theatre in the South region. In our region, some exceptions were made for the students of the Atlanta Ballet school because Atlanta Ballet was one of the founding members of SERBA.


The holder of the 501 c 3 is key in answering this question. So if the professional company holds that and you simply participated then this does not qualify in our region. Your student company must have a 501 c 3 and hold those performances. You may invite some professionals in, but it is your 501 c 3 company.

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I'm mainly asking because there is a new company in our region that is the school of a professional company and I just want clarification of what the rules are for all involved in the organization.


I have already sent an email to the person listed on the RDA main page and hopefully I will hear from her soon.

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Interesting because DDs also attend the school of a professional company but the school also participates in RDA. Hmmmm. Maybe they are separate entities but I'm pretty sure they are not based on how I (sort of) understand the financials to work. Sounds like every region is different or the rules don't apply to all equally, so best to check with the region where the school resides.

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If you look at the RDA website it might help. There are listings of several professional companies who started as RDA student/regional companies. When they progressed to pro companies, the students in the school continued membership....sometimes. That is very different from a non-RDA member professional company applying for membership now. But again, region specific and also there are some other things that might go into play like inviting some former companies to perform on certain anniversaries, etc.


In general, I believe these questions should go to the School's Director first and then they should be the one's to contact RDA. This is not an issue for parents to try and gather information on unless asked to by the School Director. It is also fun to look at a company history to find out if the company school your child attends started as a school first and grew to a company or started as a company that grew to add a school. I believe this might be what mom2two references.


Some of this is also good RDA history to know if your child attends Festival. How did it start, why is it there, what student companies or regional companies that help break ground now are the companies our children today might audition for??

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I'm not really sure why this is something a parent can't ask. I have to pay the fees that support the organization and my question is fairly simple. I'm actually a bit concerned that I'm not able to get the answer from RDA itself.


I have discussed this at length with our directors. According to them each company must put on their own performances twice a year, not including an end of the year showcase. That is what I'm trying to get a difinitive answer to. According to these rules our newest member company in our region should be putting on a couple of lovely shows this season. I guess I'll just have to wait.

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Montqueen, if RDA allowed parents to directly contact the association, then they would be inundated with parent communication over any perceived isssue. It is best to go to your Artistic Director first. If you feel that your problem is falling upon deaf ears I'm sure you can send an email to the Membership Chair of your particular region - who might then direct the question to the board. Understand that the board would probably address the concern to the appropriate ballet company.... but they are not obligated to explain their reasoning to you.

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This has been an interesting discussion though because it does perhaps explain why our school holds a "makeshift" pay-$5-at-the-door performance in late January and a $5 choreography workshop performance in March/April. We (the parents) have always been puzzled about the January show because the timing is horrible - right in the middle of SI audition season so it takes a whole weekend of auditions out of play. It's basically an audience-attended run-through of the pieces before RDA adjudication plus a performance opportunity for the school's intermediate and advanced level ensembles to perform even though they are not officially part of the RDA company. For years we've talked about how difficult the timing is but the school doesn't seem willing to budge on it - possibly because it's part of the requirement to remain an RDA company.


I think some schools are just more open with their parents - on many fronts. The whole RDA thing is a bit cloaked in shadows for us. DDs have not attended in the past because I just could not justify the cost but they will be required to go this year.

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but they are not obligated to explain their reasoning to you.

You are right in this regard, but they are obligated to make sure every company is following the same rules, regardless of their affiliation with a professional company, otherwise, why have rules at all. If you are going to run a non-profit organization, you should be pretty transparent. It seems a very simple thing to put the rules and regulations on the website for all to see.


I guess I know I won't get an answer. I guess just bringing it to the attention of those involved is all that can actually be done.

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Not an RDA member here but wanted to point out that depending on what state you reside in, you may have the right to examine - on demand - the public records (including the organization's bylaws which SHOULD include information on how to become a member) of any 501© in which you are a member. Also in most, if not all, states, a non-profit receiving any type of government funding (such as the state's arts council, etc.) must allow any member of the public to examine these records through an official Freedom of Information Act request. And, the organization must grant you access to view these records in a "timely manner." You may be liable for time and copy charges (although most reputable organizations won't charge you for time unless it is overly excessive). If you really want to have the information, I would submit an official FOIA request directly to your region in question. There are lots of sites on the Internet that can help you write an FOIA. You don't have to tell them why you want the information.

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If you are going to run a non-profit organization, you should be pretty transparent. It seems a very simple thing to put the rules and regulations on the website for all to see.



I guess I know I won't get an answer. I guess just bringing it to the attention of those involved is all that can actually be done.

As the chair of RDA/P I did post our bylaws concerning the rules of performance by our member companies...I am not sure how we could be more "transparent"? I hope that by now you have gone to your AD with your concerns and have gotten a response to your question. Each year the Pacific region requires member companies to show proof of the 2 required performances along with an accounting of other requirements. If any questions arise the membership chairman would address with each director.


Thank you for your support of RDA's mission.

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Wow, Mom2two, and RDA accepts these as the "two paid performances"? Our company is obviously doing way too much work!

In addition to Nutcracker, we put on a full on Spring production specifically to meet RDA requirements. The Spring production and the festival always end up on top of each other due to the Pacific festival in May.

And January auditions?? LOL. Pacific Region often has adjudications in January, so not only can we lose an audition weekend to that, try telling the AD that DD won't be at the rehearsal the weekend prior to adjudication due to auditions! We can lose two weekends in January or February due to adjudications. This year is critical because DD is a senior and will be doing college auditions this year. We have adjudication on a Friday this coming year (so we lose school time) and the next morning have to be in Utah for a college dance audition. I told the AD when she announced the date that I knew this was going to happen.

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cakers - there is actually one more performance that definitely counts - a "benefit" performance that is just the pre-pro division (the levels that are part of the RDA company plus the school's apprentices - who are typically older than the RDA company dancers and the highest tier in the school). This is a $25 real-ticket-through-the-box-office event. Other than the two $5 cash at the door events, the only other thing is the end of year performance that includes all levels of the school and it sounds like that typically isn't accepted as one of the two required performances. And our Nutcracker wouldn't count as it is the company's Nutcracker. I have a feeling we are one of those "grandfathered-in" schools as it sounds like we might not qualify because of the company affiliation if applying to RDA as a new member today.


Festival usually ends up being held the weekend right before AP exams. Several dancers have issues with this every year and are usually trying to study on the bus to and from the event. I'm not looking forward to working around audition season. We usually have to drive two hours for auditions and sometimes have to go as far as 5 or 6 hours to get the right stars to align on the audition schedule tour! This will be DDs first year of mandatory attendance at RDA festival so we'll see how it goes.

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