Have a question not answered here? Just call us at 914-305-4377 or email Ella Kiley, Program Coordinator at
What is the required dance attire?
Please see our current Required Dance Attire page for complete details on the ballet leotard, skirt, shoes and any other materials required for your ballet class at GBA.
Why do I have to pay a performance fee? What does it pay for?
Putting on a professional production is very costly. The ticket sales only cover 1/3 to ½ of the cost of putting on a performance. The performance fee helps us close the gap between the income generated in ticket sales and the costs of the venue rental, the production staff such as music assistants, lighting assistants, transportation of costumes and props, and the installation of the marley floor. We believe that even though we are a very small school with small classes, we want our students to have professional performance opportunities.
When will my child go on pointe?
Pointe readiness is determined by our skilled and experienced teachers and is dependent upon many factors including muscle strength, ankle flexibility, technical skill, and physical development. It is often at the age of 10 or 11, though it can be earlier or later. Traditionally Level 3A has been the first level on pointe, but it does not necessary happen at a specific time in the year. When your child is ready for pointe, you will be notified by the school and further instructions will be given on where to purchase the shoes. Please do not sew the shoes before they have been evaluated by a teacher for fit.
How do I sew the elastics and ribbons on the pointe shoes?
There are many different ways to sew pointe shoes. Here is a video to watch before sewing your first pair of shoes.
Over time, your child will observe how other students sew their shoes and may make modifications based on what works best for them.
I have a conflict in the schedule for fall. Is it possible to register for classes but not attend every class?
We understand the challenges of participating in multiple activities as we have students who are extremely talented in many areas. We also want all students at GBA to progress and receive the most benefit from their training. We are a pre-professional school and thus the commitment here is higher than at other ballet programs.
As indicated in the parent handbook, “Poor class attendance (missing more than three (3) days per month in Levels 2-8; more than two (2) days per month in Pre-Academy and Level 1) may result in dismissal from the performances and may affect the student’s promotion to the next level at the sole discretion of our Artistic Director.”
Tuition cannot be adjusted for partial participation in our program.
Should my child be taking private lessons?
Our program is very rigorous at every age and private lessons are not necessary for advancement or promotion. Similar to music lessons, private instruction can provide the immediate corrections and feedback need to refine technique or learn a new skill. Students who are participating in YAGP must have at least weekly private lessons.
How do private lessons work at GBA?
Private lessons at GBA cost $100 per hour paid directly to the teacher, plus a $30 per hour studio rental fee paid to the school (if the lesson is at the GAC the studio rental fee is $39). If you wish to arrange private lessons for your child, please contact the teacher directly to schedule the lesson and then arrange the studio rental time through the office manager. If you cancel within 24 hrs, you will receive a credit for the studio rental fee. All studio rentals should be arranged at the beginning of the month, or at the beginning of the semester for the entire semester.
What is YAGP?
“Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old…. Since inception, Youth America Grand Prix has become an internationally known meeting place for dance students and teachers, where they can exchange ideas, share their experience and learn the most up-to-date information on a variety of issues in ballet and contemporary dance. YAGP’s level of reputation as a showcase for dance students from America and abroad is such that even passing the preliminary round to be selected to participate in the New York City Finals gives a participant an important distinction and a boost to their professional dance career. ”
GBA has been privileged to have many successful dancers represent us at both the regional competitions and the finals in NYC. Read more about our YAGP Awards here.
Can my child participate in YAGP?
YAGP offers dance students the unique opportunity to be seen, taught and professionally guided by the directors and faculty of the world’s foremost companies and schools. It is appropriate for students who are seriously considering a career in dance. Training for YAGP is a serious financial and time commitment on the part of the dancer and the entire family and should not be undertaken without serious thought.
Our Artistic Director will select students for YAGP training based on their professional potential, commitment to their training, work ethic and readiness to compete.
To be eligible to compete in YAGP representing GBA the student must:
- Have maintained a minimum attendance of 90% in all regular GBA classes
- Make a year-long commitment to GBA, committing to pay spring tuition on time and in full by Jan 15
- Train at least 6 weeks in the summer prior to competing, 3 of which must be at GBA
I have a question about my child’s placement. Why were they placed below (or above) other children their age? Can they be moved up?
At GBA, your child’s level may be based on many factors, including technical skill as taught in the Vaganova method, age, concentration span, ability to follow instructions or pick up new choreography, demonstrated attendance, and work ethic. Placement at the sole discretion of the Artistic Director. It is possible for a hard working student to move up mid-year or mid semester and our Artistic Director will promote your student when they believes they are ready for the next level. Our teachers are all highly trained professional dancers and they are the most qualified to make these decisions. There is an ability and an age distribution in every level. Please encourage your child to make the most of the training that is available to them and use this time as an opportunity to help them develop patience, humility and persistence. Please discourage them from complaining about children in their level that they think have a lower ability. We want GBA to be a place where every child progresses at their own pace and to be a supportive environment for all students. It is much more emotionally healthy for your child to focus on their own skill development than that of others. Also, please remember that our children absorb every comment that we make and it helps form their ideas about themselves as well as their character. Please refrain from discussing the abilities of other students, except to compliment them.
What is the Board of Directors at Greenwich Ballet Academy?
Greenwich Ballet Academy is a non-profit 501c(3) organization and is run by a volunteer board of directors. We are fortunate to have many parents in our school that are highly skilled and have chosen to volunteer their time and resources to help make Greenwich Ballet Academy a success. In fact, GBA was founded by a group of parents who wanted a higher level of ballet instruction than was available in the local area and worked for years to make their dream come to pass. Members of the Board are elected for a period of 3 years and membership does carry a financial donation commitment. If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors, please let the chairman know.