GSB student and parent handbook

Profile
Gulfshore Ballet is Southwest Florida’s premier not for profit school of Classical Ballet. The school has
an internationally acclaimed teaching faculty and offers area students the unique opportunity to study
with professional instructors of the highest caliber. The training at Gulfshore Ballet combines Cuban,
American, and Russian technique and brings a quality of excellence not normally found outside major
metropolitan cities.

Philosophy
Classical Ballet is one of the most beautiful yet arduous art forms. Time and commitment from both
student and instructor are prerequisite to the realization of the true benefits of classical ballet.
Correct instruction begun at the appropriate age is critical to the development of ballet dancers.
The developmental transformation of a young child into a self‐confident artist is the most rewarding
part of ballet training. As the novice dancer pursues control over mind and body, the child discovers
the true beauty of the art form. Our philosophy is to develop and support each dancer’s personal
goals as they develop throughout their programs of study.

Vision
The Gulfshore Ballet aims to continually expand the school of dancers through the inclusion of
additional students, regardless of gender, ethnicity or personal circumstances.
Mission
The Gulfshore Ballet prepares students for professional dancing careers and promotes academic,
athletic, cultural, and social growth.
Organizational Values
 The qualities gained from the disciplined study of classical ballet are advantageous throughout
life.
 Beyond receiving ballet training of the highest caliber, Gulfshore Ballet students learn selfdiscipline,
concentration, focus and creative expression—all of which serve to build character,
confidence and a positive self‐image.
 Gulfshore Ballet strives to increase accessibility to classical ballet and to develop a stronger
appreciation of classical ballet throughout the greater community.

Outreach
At Gulfshore Ballet, we are dedicated to bringing high quality, professional performances to the
community at an affordable price. Our annual performances include the holiday favorite The
Nutcracker and a Spring performance featuring both original and classical works.
Special Events
THE NUTCRACKER
Friday, December 2, 2016 | 7pm
Charlotte Performing Arts Center (CPAC)
701 Carmalita Street | Punta Gorda

HOLIDAY VILLAGE
Thursday‐Saturday, December 8‐10, 2016 | 5‐8pm
Bell Tower Shops
13499 South Cleveland Avenue | Fort Myers

THE HOLIDAYS IN PARADISE
Part of the Southwest Florida Symphony 2016/2017 Pops Series
Saturday, December 17, 2016 | 8pm
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
13350 FSW Parkway | Fort Myers
 

ARTFEST — DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS
Sunday, February 5, 2017

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Friday, May 12, 2017 | 7:30pm
Shell Point Village Church
15101 Shell Point Boulevard | Fort Myers, Florida 33908​

Scholarships

Boys
Gulfshore Ballet is pleased to offer all male students who participate full‐time a full tuition
scholarship for their program of study in classical ballet. Male students who are placed in
levels 1 through 8 are eligible for full scholarship. Male students who are recommended for a
level placement below Level 1 are welcome to attend Gulfshore Ballet at the regular tuition
schedule.

Girls
Gulfshore Ballet is pleased to offer need based classical ballet tuition assistance to students
who demonstrate financial need and commitment in their program of study. Gulfshore Ballet
students in levels 3 and higher are eligible to apply for a scholarship.
For more information about scholarships please visit Gulfshore Ballet’s website at:
www.gsballet.org/content/scholarships

Expectations
Parents are responsible for keeping informed about schedules and obligations throughout the season.
While we do our best to provide consistency in our communication, as with any large scale endeavor,
changes occur. We rely heavily on email to communicate with the entire school, therefore, it is
essential to have an e‐mail account that is checked daily. Please be flexible in your understanding of
what it takes to make this work. Make a phone call, check in to the studio once in a while, and join the
many volunteers who help to put our productions together.

Emails
We will periodically send out email. Please make sure that our Office Manager has your correct
contact information. In an effort to go green, we will be sending the majority of our information via
email and/or posting on our website. If you do not own a computer, please alert our Office Manager,
and check in with us periodically to stay updated.

Refund/Withdraw Policy
Tuition and registration fees are NON‐REFUNDABLE.

Make‐Up Classes
If a student must miss a class, the student may attend another class within the same quarter. The level
will be determined by the class instructor.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Use or possession of any alcohol, drug or tobacco products in the classroom or in the facility restrooms
or public areas will result in immediate termination from the school. Tuition will not be refunded.

Dress Code by Level
Personal appearance, appropriate dancewear, properly prepared dance bag and classroom conduct
are all important elements of Classical Ballet training. Each element must positively reflect the
program’s traditional and disciplined approach. Therefore we request that students comply with the
policies listed below at all times when attending classes in these studios. Failure to respect these
policies may result in dismissal from the school.

Hair
Hair should be worn neatly off the face and fastened securely in a bun. Hair too short for a bun should
be pulled back away from the face. This allows for unrestricted movement and enables the teacher to
see the shape and placement of the head and the total line of the body. Leg warmers and other
accessories may be worn during the cold season and are at the discretion of the teacher.
Please refrain from wearing jewelry of any type in class (non‐dangling earrings are acceptable).
Pre‐Ballet Division (PB1, PB2, PB3)
Girls: Black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers. Black leotard with attached skirt is acceptable.
Boys: Black gym pants or shorts, white socks, white or black ballet slippers
Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, and Pre‐professional Divisions (Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Girls: Black leotard, pink tights (full length, tucked into ballet slippers), pink ballet slippers
Boys: Black gym pants or shorts, white socks, white or black ballet slippers
Levels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: May wear solid color of their personal choice for Saturday classes and rehearsals.

Leg Warmers/Skirts
Leg warmers and close fitting sweaters are permitted for injured students and if the weather is
extremely cool. Ballet skirts, sweaters, and other dance accessories are permissible only at the
discretion of the teacher. Attached skirts on leotards are permitted for the Pre‐Ballet Division only.

Contemporary, Lyrical, and Jazz
Black dance shorts or black dance Capri pants and any color leotard or fitted dance top that
completely covers the midriff. Black or tan slip on Jazz shoes is required for all levels. Dance Paws or
Foot Undeez are required for Lyrical and Contemporary.

Adult Students (Male & Female)
There is no dress code for adult students. Comfortable, fitted clothing, such as yoga or exercise
clothing is suggested for all adult students.

Right to Refuse Admission or Service
Gulfshore Ballet reserves the right to deny service, enrollment, and/or revoke previously awarded
privileges at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Sick Policy/Class Absences
Please notify the office in writing via email at gulfshoreballet@gmail.com, or by telephone at 239‐590‐
6191, when a student will miss a class. Last minute illnesses should be phoned in to the school before
class begins. Attendance at each class is important to your child’s progress and development. It also
demonstrates a student’s commitment to their class and supports the teacher in planning rehearsals
for upcoming performances and showcases. A missed class may be made up during the same quarter.
If your child is experiencing an illness (fever, flu‐like symptoms, etc.), please keep them home from
class in order to reduce the chance of spreading an illness. If a child is injured they are encouraged to
attend their class to observe.

Classroom Conduct and Performance Venues
Students are expected to show respect for their instructors and fellow dancers. Hanging from barres, talking out of turn, gum chewing, touching mirrors, frequent use of the rest room during instruction (unless a medical issue exists), and similar off-task behaviors will not be tolerated. Students are expected to participate in all class activities and to follow rules to maintain safety in the classroom.

It is imperative that all young students (Pre ballet, Levels 1, 2 and 3) use the rest room both at home and prior to the start of class. Many young students require chaperoning when using the rest room and this poses a challenge for the instructor during class. In order to minimize distractions in class, students will be allowed to use the rest room in between barre and center or when the instructor gives permission.

For safety and security, students are not permitted to play in the studios before, during or after classes and rehearsals. Students are not permitted in the studios unattended, without an adult staff member. During rehearsals, students must sit in their waiting area or in the rehearsal studio until their class or rehearsal is called.

Aluminum or tumbler style water bottles are allowed in the studios. Colored drinks, disposable water bottles (Gatorade, soda, fruit punch, smoothies, iced tea, etc.) and food items are not permitted in the studios. Food items are permissible in the lobby only. Please use waste bins in the main lobby to store trash.

In order to keep the studios and common areas clean and tidy, please be advised that our cleaning company will dispose of any bottles and personal items that are left behind. Please keep track of your personal belongings, as Gulfshore Ballet will not store items that are left behind. Gulfshore Ballet staff is not responsible for personal belongings that are left behind.

Cell phones are not permitted in the studios. There is a cell phone storage area in the lobby. Students in possession of cell phones or other electronics may use these devices in the main lobby during breaks between classes and rehearsals, or as directed by the instructor. Students are not permitted to use phones and electronic devices while class and/or when rehearsal is in session.

Props & Sets
Many productions involve the use of props & sets. Props are assigned to students by the instructor,
and are meant to be used in the context of the production, not as toys for students to play with. Sets,
such as a couch or sleigh, are part of the production and are not meant to be touched, sat in, or
moved by students. Mishandling of props or sets will not be tolerated.

Backstage Area
Students who are waiting backstage for their cue must do so quietly and at the direction of Gulfshore
Ballet staff. Students are not permitted to be backstage too early, before their entrance, as this may
cause a distraction to the performers, the audience and the stage crew. Excessive talking and off task
behavior will not be tolerated.

Kitchen Area
Some theaters are equipped with a separate kitchen where food and drink are allowed. Parents may
bring food into the kitchen are responsible for disposing of their empty bottles, food items and trash
into the receptacles provided.

Dressing Rooms
Water bottles only are permitted in the dressing rooms. Students may not bring colored drinks
(Gatorade, soda, tea, smoothies, and similar) into the dressing rooms. Students are asked to clean
their counter space and dispose of their band aid wrappers, hair accessories, kleenex and baby wipes
in the receptacles provided.

Costumes
Most, if not all, of Gulfshore Ballet’s costumes are created by our volunteer parents and
grandparents, who dedicate hours of work into their designs to customize each costume for each
dancer. Students are not permitted to eat in their costumes, no exceptions. Younger children are
encouraged to use the rest room before putting on their costume.

Parent Conduct
Parents are expected to be a positive role model for their child as well as in front of other parents and
students. While in our studios and performing venues, negative behavior and/or inappropriate
language will not be tolerated and may result in dismissal of both the parent and/or student from
Gulfshore Ballet.

We encourage parents to voice their concerns to the Gulfshore Ballet staff and not to other parents
and students.

Instructors are not to be interrupted for conference matters during classes or rehearsals. Please
schedule an appointment with the Office Manager or email us at gulfshoreballet@gmail.com. Every
effort will be made to address your concerns in a timely manner.

Parent Drop‐off & Pick‐up
Please be prompt when dropping off and picking up your child. A parent or guardian must accompany
all students under the age of 12 into and out of the Gulfshore Ballet studios. For safety and security,
students are not permitted to wait for their ride outside of the building. Gulfshore Ballet is not
responsible for monitoring the arrival and departure of students.

During rehearsals at the studio and the theater, we recommend that parents of the younger levels
(Pre‐Ballet, Level 1, 2, 3) wait during their child’s rehearsal. In many cases, when a rehearsal is
running smoothly, we will dismiss the younger children earlier than the advertised rehearsal time.
Parents who bring siblings of dancers to the studio must control their children at all times. If a sibling
is being disruptive and/or not under parental supervision, the parent will be asked to leave.
Gulfshore Ballet staff will charge a $25.00 supervision fee for any student who is not picked up from
classes, rehearsals and/or performances on time.

Parent Observation
It is important for the student to develop a sense of independence in their classroom. Students
achieve the most success when guests do not observe on a regular basis. Parents may only observe a
class or rehearsals on scheduled open classroom dates as advertised in the Gulfshore Ballet season
calendar.

During classes, rehearsals, events and performances we ask that parents do not interrupt a session,
engage in communication with their own or another student, give corrections pertaining to ballet
technique, line order, spacing or similar technical instructions to their own or another student.

Parent & Student Use of Social Media
The use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging and other social media outlets is commonplace. This
policy is intended to provide Gulfshore Ballet parents and students general guidelines when using
social media:
• Avoid posting and revealing any information that may compromise Gulfshore Ballet or any of
its staff members. The sharing of personal information about instructors, directors, staff, students
and/or their families is strictly prohibited.
• Students and parents should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on behalf of
Gulfshore Ballet.
• Avoid posting anything that might compromise the self‐esteem of students who attend
Gulfshore Ballet.
• Be respectful of the law, including those laws that govern defamation, discrimination,
harassment, copyright and fair use. Avoid posting negative comments about Gulfshore Ballet, other
ballet schools, teachers, events, rehearsals and/or performances.

Studio Liability
Gulfshore Ballet and its staff are not liable for personal injuries occurring during class time, rehearsals
and performances on or off our premises.

Water Policy:
Students may bring water from home. Please refrain from using the staff refrigerator.  In order to keep
our school clean and free of bugs and pests, water only is allowed in the studios. Gatorade, soda, smoothies
and other flavored drinks are not permitted in the Gulfshore Ballet studios or waiting areas.

Level Placement:
Parents play an important role in supporting their child’s education in dance. Encourage your child to
be the best that he or she can be regardless of what other students may achieve. Dance is an
individual art form and no two children will progress at the same rate.
Placement decisions are derived from our artistic staff’s many years of teaching experience. Our goal
is to place each child in a level where he or she will feel most confident and successful in order to
promote the development of skill mastery and self‐esteem. Some students who are placed in too high
a level become discouraged with the skill level, while others respond to the challenge of working with
older students in a more technically demanding environment; therefore parents are encouraged to
avoid making comparisons of their child’s progress to another child’s, and to encourage their child to
focus on their individual accomplishments.

Private Lessons:
Gulfshore ballet offers private lessons for all interested students. Private classes are for students who
are seeking a positive and personalized ballet experience at a level that is appropriate for them.
All private lessons are 1 hour in length and have a (3) session minimum. Students should give at least
24 hours notice when cancelling a private lesson. If a student cancels with less than 24 hours notice,
or is a no‐show, they will be charged the full price of the private lesson.
1. Private lessons require payment first, before a booking or scheduling occurs:
a. Any student who expresses an interest in booking a private lesson(s) must first see the Office
Manager, either in person or through email.
2. After the Office Manager receives payment, the instructor will be notified about the private
lesson(s)
3. Instructor will contact parent/student to schedule the private lesson(s)
Private lesson rates:
1 session $80.00 (1 hour) for Master/Mistress Professional level instruction, Level 2 and up.
1 session $40.00 (30 minutes) Level 1 and Pre‐Ballet students.

Supporting GSB
Word of mouth is our best advertisement. It has played a large role in helping us to build enrollment at
each level. Ticket sales are the biggest portion of our income. Please help us fill up performances by
inviting friends and family. GSB offers discounted group tickets. Please email
gulfshoreballet@gmail.com for more information. Tax‐deductible corporate and private donations can
play a large role in making future performances possible. Please help us continue to grow by spreading
the word about our beautiful performances; your guests will not be disappointed. We promise!

Rehearsal Requirements:
All students are eligible to participate in two performances per year. While participation in these
performances is not mandatory, we strongly urge you to take advantage of participating in each
production. The teachers and students at Gulfshore Ballet work very hard throughout the year,
developing and practicing skills that are applied to the choreography in each production. Those
students wishing to perform will be required to be present at classes and scheduled rehearsals prior
to the performance. A rehearsal schedule requiring parental signature will be presented prior to each
performance.
1. Attendance in all classes and rehearsals is essential to improving classroom skills and to
successfully prepare for a performance.
2. Excessive absences (3 or more) from classes or rehearsals may affect a student’s readiness for a
performance.
3. Excessive absences from classes or rehearsals will result in a determination made by the
instructor and Artistic Director as to the student’s readiness to perform on stage.
4. We strongly encourage students who have excessive absences to either (1) attend a make‐ up
class at a level lower than current level (no extra fees apply); or (2) schedule a private lesson
(additional fees apply).
5. Once the rehearsal process has begun, new or returning students are welcome to join Gulfshore
Ballet but are ineligible for participating in the performance.
SAMPLE Rehearsal Schedules and Costume Reminders are at the end of the handbook.

Rehearsal Week
It is expected for the students ages 12 and up to be completely responsible for their own needs.
Volunteer mothers will be backstage for the younger students. If your child has special needs, please
notify your instructor. It gets very chaotic backstage so we want to be prepared ahead of time for any
circumstances that may arise.

Parents are not allowed backstage unless they have been signed up and have been confirmed for a
volunteer shift as “backstage parent”, no matter how young or small your child. This is to help maintain
a calm and productive atmosphere backstage.

Rehearsal week is a tremendously busy and arduous task for all involved. Please know what you are
about to embark on. If this is your first performance please speak with other parents and students to
get a clear picture of the rehearsal process.

Parents, it is important to understand the nature of technical rehearsals. There is no exact time to give
you when your student will begin or end. If rehearsals are from 5‐8 pm we expect them to stay the
whole time. We do our best to stay as close to the schedule as possible, but there are always
unforeseen circumstances. The dancing is only a portion of the whole production. Please be patient
with changes and delays.

Students must remain at all rehearsals until they are excused by the Artistic Director. It is highly
recommended that the students get their homework for rehearsal week in advance. Time management
with these performances and school is crucial. Students should use Friday and Sunday to get ahead
academically each week. GSB will not be responsible for failed academics. Pack enough food for an after
school snack and dinner.

Parents we appreciate all of your concerns. If you have any questions or concerns regarding GSB’s
rehearsal and/or performance process, please do not hesitate to address these concerns with your
child’s instructor. Together, we will make this experience truly rewarding for you and your child.

Casting and Performance Preparation
At Gulfshore Ballet, we believe that performing is a vital part of each dancer’s education. For this
reason, we attempt to provide a successful performance experience for our students in Pre‐Ballet 2
through Level 8.

Our fall production is Tchaikovsky’s family favorite classic, The Nutcracker. In the spring, we draw from
other well‐known classical works and add new works to our students’ range and depth of experience.
Both productions are enormous undertakings and require many hours of rehearsal for dancers, staff
and volunteers.

Casting
All students involved in production will be cast in roles appropriate to their age and skill level. Roles are
given according to each level at the school and not at the parent’s request or discretion. The artistic
staff at Gulfshore Ballet will cast the production as a team. Roles will not be up for discussion with the
Artistic or Executive Directors. Attendance in class, energy level and effort, ability to receive and apply
corrections toward improvement, and general attitude and behavior are all considerations when
casting students for particular roles.

Parents and/or students may be less than thrilled with the part(s) for which they have been assigned.
Each student needs to find within themselves a way to make their role(s) interesting and exciting. Then
it will be so for the audience. Having a negative or inattentive attitude adversely affects not only the
individual but the entire group performing the dance. We seek to educate our parents and students to
understand that there are no small roles in a production. Each role is integral to the entire performance
and contributes toward its success in both story‐telling and dancing. We ask all of our parents and
students to embrace their roles with enthusiasm and dedication.

Performance Fees
Participation in each GSB performance has an associated performance fee. Performance fees are as
follows:
Nutcracker $150.00
Florida Youth Dance Gala $50.00
SW Florida Symphony $150.00
Gulf Coast Opera $50.00
Spring Gala $150.00
*Other full‐scale/mini performances and community collaborations are subject to a performance fee.
The Nutcracker performance fee is to be paid along with the return of a signed contract by September
20th. The Spring Performance fee is to be paid no later than the first day of 2nd Semester.
This fee covers only a small percentage of the costs incurred for these performances. We rely on
fundraising and contributions to offset the balance of performance costs. Classes and/or performance
fees cover additional rehearsal time, theater rehearsal time, costume orders, preparation and design,
costume repairs/alterations, costume cleaning, and storage preparation.

Costumes
All costumes are the property of GSB. Costumes are very costly and labor intensive.
There is no eating or drinking while wearing any of the costumes. Please do not sit on the floor in your
costume and try not to excessively touch the costumes.
If you need an alteration or have a problem with your costume please notify your instructor right away.
No costumes may be taken home unless permission is granted by a Gulfshore Ballet staff All parts of
your costume must be returned at the end of each rehearsal and performance. Students who are
missing parts of their costume will be charged the cost of the lost article.
The expectation is that each student is responsible for their own costumes. Each student is
responsible to provide their tights and shoes. Tights must be clean and without any holes or runs.
Shoes must also be clean and neatly sewn.​

Rev. 12‐21‐16

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