Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between Ballet Abilene and Abilene Ballet Theatre? Aren't they the same thing?
A: No. They are two separate organizations. Ballet Abilene is our ballet school, which meets from September through May. Anyone may sign up to take classes. All students are invited to perform in our free year-end recital in May.
Abilene Ballet Theatre (ABT) is our performing Company. ABT was founded in 1985 and is a 501C3 non-profit organization. The Company, under artistic direction of Nancy Gore and Lisa Gore Etter, holds open auditions each Fall to select dancers ages nine and up for the upcoming season. Those accepted as Company members sign a contract to uphold Company requirements. Our performing season includes the Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy Tea in the Fall, Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival and Fairy Tales & Fables in the Spring. ABT is governed by a board of directors and is supported by proceeds from our performances and donations.
In 1987 ABT was selected by audition for membership in the prestigious Regional Dance America/Southwest, a six-state organization of 22 select dance companies.
Q: What is "Festival" and is my child required to attend?
A: "Festival" (Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival) occurs every year in the Spring in a different city in our Southwest region, hosted by a member ballet company in that city. Our Company dancers, usually starting at the age of 12, may attend the four-day festival to take classes from master teachers and attend performances by member companies in the evenings. Festival is a wonderful addition to our company's dance training and is a fun time for our dancers to make friends from other companies and receive excellent dance training. Attendance by our dancers is not mandatory but is highly recommended. Senior dancers who are selected to perform with our Company during the evening performances must attend Festival. More information about Festival can be found under the "Performing Season" tab.
Q: I need to pay for my child's classes and also pay my ABT Company audition fee. Can I write one check?
A. We would prefer two separate checks as they are two separate organizations. Checks for Ballet Abilene classes should be made out to Ballet Abilene, as well as payment for Ballet Abilene t-shirts, registration fee, recital fee, recital costume payment and summer camps.
Payment for ABT company audition fee, Nutcracker and Fairy Tales & Fables t-shirts, Festival payment, costume cleaning fees for company performances, and Company contract fee should be made to Abilene Ballet Theatre.
Q: When do I pay for my child's classes?
A: You can pay monthly (a payment book is provided for you at registration) or you can pay by the semester or year (for a $15 discount). See tuition page under the Ballet School tab for more information. Monthly payments are due by the 1st of the month and is late after the 10th of the month. After that a $5 late fee is added.
Q: When is the best time to start my child in dance lessons?
A: Whenever your child expresses an interest in dance. Three is a good age to start but we've had some students start dancing when they were a little older and decided on their own that they really wanted to dance.
Q: When can I sign up my child for lessons?
A: Ballet Abilene accepts new students two times a year: at our open house in August for the upcoming school year and for summer camps. The form is online and should be mailed in or dropped off at the studio with payment.
Q: Where can I purchase my child's class color-specific leotard and other supplies for class?
A: The Dance Bag Dance Shop carries the leotards for our different class levels as well as shoes, supplies and gifts (See Ballet School tab for dress code). The Dance Bag is owned by one of our dance company members, Laurel Sanders, and can be found on facebook.
Q: What is a summer intensive?
A: A summer intensive is a summer dance training "camp" that dancers from all over the world can audition to attend. Many prestigious ballet companies offer summer intensive programs for serious dancers. Students are selected for inclusion in summer intensive programs by audition. Auditions occur all over the world, usually in January through March, and we are fortunate to have many auditions available in the Metroplex. Summer intensive programs range from one week to the entire summer, with most lasting two weeks to a month. After acceptance into a summer program, our dancers may apply for scholarships from our Company for assistance with summer intensive tuition. The scholarship application is available on this website and is reviewed by our scholarship committee. We have information at the studio about summer intensive programs and audition sites/dates.
Summer intensive programs are optional for students, but highly recommended for additional dance training. It can help prepare dancers for more challenging roles in Company performances. It is essential for Company dancers to continue training in the summer, whether at Ballet Abilene or at summer intensives to be prepared for the upcoming performing season.
Q: It's a government holiday (President's Day, Columbus Day, etc.) My kids don't have school. Do we have dance?
A: Yes! The only holidays we take are Thanksgiving week (Nutcracker recovery week), Christmas Break and Spring Break. See calendar tab for full calendar. We take inclement weather days according to the AISD cancellation/delay schedule. Cancellations will also be posted on this website.