A big part of the dance training process includes learning through performance. The experience builds self-esteem, self-assurance and contributes to a sense of confidence. Although performance opportunities can help prepare some students for a possible career in dance, they also contribute to children’s success in non-dance activities. That on-stage experience can result in better in-school presentations, improved social skills, and strong interview skills for future college or job opportunities. The rehearsal process is a tremendous learning process as well. It helps children develop retention skills, and by working with classmates in a group performance, they learn the positive aspects of working as a team to create the best end result.
Dedication to performance commitments is the responsibility of both students and their parents. I’ve created this handbook in an effort to clarify what I expect from you in terms of commitment and responsibility to "The Nutcracker", the school and other students and parents.
As the season progresses, additional information or updates will be passed out, posted on the Crystal River Ballet School website and in emails sent. Please make it your responsibility to keep abreast of this important information. It is my goal to make the performance experience organized and exciting for all involved. It’s a team effort; students, their parents, and I are all key players in the show’s success.
To ensure that students feel confident about their performance, I ask parents to encourage them to rehearse the choreography on a regular basis. For music please send me a text/email and I can send you a link in either Spotify or iTunes.
I spend many hours determining the correct costumes for each class/student. They are always age appropriate and of the highest quality possible. I do not have each student purchase their own costumes for the show. At Crystal River Ballet School, I loan out costumes to you and you do not get to keep them after the show. A performance fee is required of each student in order to cover my costs of loaning you the costumes, upkeep, cleaning and maintaining the costumes. The fee is due no later than 30 days prior to the performance(s).
Tights are required of all students. Please come in the studio to order your tights before Thanksgiving as it best that each student has matching colors; tights bought from other sources produce many variations in shade.
Ballet and Jazz shoes
All shoes should fit close to the form of the foot, like a glove and should not be bought with “room to grow”. Ballet slippers for girls must be pink and for boys, black. Students must have their own shoes for the performances.
Unless directed otherwise according to casting, are to wear their hair in a classical bun for the performance. Bangs and any other loose tendrils are not allowed.
Bangs or any other hair that is in the face creates unwanted shadows on the face under stage lights. Every head of hair is different; therefore, grooming it properly for ballet becomes as much of an art as dance. It takes years of practice to learn how to groom hair to a professional standard. It is most important for dancers to have a clean uniform look for performances. As in every aspect of life, people feel more at ease and confident about themselves when well-groomed and prepared. These qualities are evident in a dancer’s performance.
Spray bottle of water
Braided elastic (rubber bands damage hair and hurt) [color of hair]
Hair pins (not bobby pins)
Nylon hair net [color of hair]
Thick bristle hair brush
Brush hair thoroughly. Leave no tangles Mist hair with water to dampen hair. Rub a generous amount of hair gel in palms of hands and smooth over hair evenly. Brush all hair smooth to the back of the head and just below the crown in line with the cheekbones and ears. Secure with the braided elastic. Twist the ponytail around the braided elastic in a clockwise direction. Secure the end under the twisted section with hair pins.Secure the bun in place with hair pins all around. Insert the pins at a downward angle close to the scalp and angle the pin back up to catch the hair in and lock in place. Hair is in a rough bun now, don’t worry about the ends poking out, the hair net will catch these. Place hair net over the bun, twist the hair net and wrap around the bun again, repeat this as many times as you can. Take any excess net that won’t wrap around the bun again and twist it and pin it under the edge of the bun. Spray all hair and the bun with hair spray (strong hold). Smooth any frizzies with your hand while the hair is still damp with hairspray beginning at the forehead and moving back towards the bun. If hair is short or layered you may need to secure sections with small bobby pins. Please notice that I used no “scrunchies”, barrettes, clips, etc… All items used to secure the hair in place should match the color of the hair and not “stand-out” in any way. You may watch this YouTube video for help: https://youtu.be/8Loypr_bsFo
All female students are required to wear stage-make-up for the performance.
Ballet lower school students (ages 3 to 6) need:
~blush-pink; on the cheeks sweeping upward. ~Lipstick-pink or rose ONLY; no lip gloss. Apply one coat dust with powder and then apply a second coat to ensure lasting color. This is all they need do not use eye make-up etc...
Upper School students (level 2 and above) adults/soloists/jazz classes: Need to apply their own foundation matching the color of the skin and well blended. They also need to apply their own mascara-black, lightly, with no clumps and eyelashes separated not clumped together. All other make-up will be applied by our make-up artists at the theater and may want to see the following Youtube video: https://youtu.be/BtbBNEpHHAI
The performance is not a one-day activity. Prepare in advance by gathering all tights, shoes, make-up, hair necessities so that you will know if you are missing something. Make a checklist of dances your child is in (especially if she is in more than one dance class). Bring an extra pair of tights, hair-ties/pins, etc... Other helpful items include: baby wipes, safety pins, baby powder (for itchy costumes), clear nail polish, ibuprofen, band aids, hair gel, spray, cotton swabs.
Staging and Dress Rehearsal
The staging and dress rehearsals allow the students to become familiar with the auditorium surroundings and feel comfortable with their performance, costume(s), and being onstage. Lighting, music cues, set changes, and any and all other logistics for an organized and professional performance are rehearsed so that the students can make the best impression possible. Participation in these rehearsals is mandatory.
I do my best to run an organized and timely dress rehearsal; your help with the process will help us with a professional production. Please plan on arriving 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled rehearsal time. Otherwise, you end up not on stage and ready at the specified time. (Time for potty, shoes, etc.)
Dressing Room Etiquette: Students’ must respect other students’ space and property in the dressing rooms. The students will spend more time in the dressing rooms than on stage or in the auditorium, so please do your best to keep them organized and clean. No food or drink is allowed.
Closed dress rehearsal: Please, no grandparents, siblings or friends who are not enrolled at the school. Any attendees at the dress rehearsal will be subject to the cost of a recital ticket.
Video and photography
Parents/guardians may shoot photos of their children only when the students are off-stage. Absolutely no flash photography is allowed while students are on-stage performing. I will make the stage available for photos after the show.
Due to copyright laws, I cannot allow video-taping of the show. I will need a volunteer to video the performance in its entirety and we post to a private YouTube channel.
Do not bring in your own food or drink. NO SMOKING. Dancers must remain with their class during dress rehearsal and the performance even when they are not on stage.
Family members and friends do not belong backstage in the dressing rooms during neither the dress rehearsal nor the performance. This applies during intermission and after the show as well. There is a lot of activity in a limited space, and dressing rooms are a private area. Please remind your family and guests to be respectful of these areas. Those who wish to greet a performer after the show or present flowers should do so in the lobby.
Volunteers are needed and a necessary and integral part of our performance. A volunteer sheet is included in this handbook. There will be an orientation for all volunteers, and all must abide by the policies set by Crystal River Ballet School. The performance can be a hectic time especially as it is also the end of the school year for most; all volunteers must work in a cooperative manner at all times. Backstage can be especially hectic; I ask that all volunteers rely on the backstage manager’s experience and follow their instructions always. Please do not bring guests, including children with you while you are volunteering.
Chaperones/class mom: Ensure that children are safe and accounted for when not onstage. Check for proper costumes, hair and make-up. Escort children to and from stage for their performances. Attend to children’s needs (potty breaks etc…) Chaperones will be able to watch their children perform from the audience. Needed for both the dress rehearsal and the performance.
Ushers: Escort ticket holders to their seats as necessary; distribute programs, open doors for intermission and late arrivals. Needed for performance only.
Box Office: Sell tickets at the door on the day of the performance. Needed for one hour prior to performance only.
Clean-up: Clean-up kitchen, stage, dressing rooms, auditorium and lobby after the performance. Needed for the performance only.
Set-up: Bring in all costumes, and stage/back stage supplies during the day on the day of dress rehearsal.
Volunteers will not need a ticket for the performance and will be able to see the show from the auditorium.
All studio accounts (tuition, performance fees, etc…) must be paid in full before any family may purchase tickets. Tickets will only be sold at the door and cost $15 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under and seniors over 65. Ages 3 and under are FREE. A Family rate of $45.00 is available for members of the same immediate family.
Please feel free to email me any questions and retain this email for reference. Thanks !