Frequently Asked Questions
Isla hasn't stopped talking since we left. In one class, she has seemingly fallen in love again with the idea of learning to dance, with movement, and grace... all of it. She was quick to tell me that her legs hurt but also assured me that it was a good thing and that it was a sign that her time was well spent. She has never had someone over her shoulder as she stood at the barre...nothing close to actual manipulation and concern about her foot, her leg, her toes, her hands, her posture. She is absolutely thrilled!!! Thanks for that.
--Glen, parent of Isla, age 9
I. What are Ballet Fantastique's instructor/coach qualifications?
Ballet Fantastique's college-educated, professional coaches and instructors meet the highest standards in training qualifications. Each not only has extensive experience in ballet performance, but also in dance pedagogy, or the art and science of teaching. This means that they also know how to work with young people. This makes a big difference! Meet Ballet Fantastique's coaches/instructors.
II. What does it mean that Ballet Fantastique follows a "syllabus"?
Please check out our Vaganova Syllabus section to learn about why we have a progressive process for training each of our dancers for success.
III. When do Ballet Fantastique students go on pointe?
Dancers begin pointe work for the first time at The Academy of Ballet Fantastique under the careful direction of Artistic Director Donna Marisa Bontrager. Readiness for a dancer's first pair of pointe shoes is determined on an individual basis (with special attention to strength and muscular development in the legs, ankles, and lower back), but students must be at least ten years old, taking at least three classes per week, and have studied at Ballet Fantastique intensively for at least one year. Beginning pointe work in the Vaganova Syllabus involves slow work facing the barre as dancers build strength. Literature about beginning pointe work is available for interested parents. Note: Dancers should wait to sew ribbons and elastics on new shoes before having them evaluated for a safe, secure fit by their instructor.
IV. Is Ballet Fantastique only open to serious, professionally inclined students over the age of 9?
For young people ages 9 and up, Ballet Fantastique is primarily a "serious" ballet school in the sense that we believe that a dancer can't really do "real" ballet (pointe work, advanced leaps and pirouettes, etc.) without having the strong technique that comes from taking regular classes. Ballet is not only an art–it's also a sport. And as a sport (and a very athletic one!), there are inherent risks involved when the body isn't conditioned accordingly. For the safety and success of our dancers, Ballet Fantastique doesn't sugarcoat the story: You can't take just two or three classes per week and still be qualified an "advanced" dancer. Our class hours and frequency support this philosophy and align with other respected ballet institutions in the process.
Your dancer doesn't need to know if he or she wants to pursue a career in dance. Whether your dancer wants a career as a professional dancer or not, you want the absolute best and safest training available, with the most qualified coaches. The Academy of Ballet Fantastique provides that training.
NOTE: Ballet Fantastique also offers a wonderful Young Dancer Program for kids ages 3-8, and our Adult Ballet Drop-In Program for teens, college students, and adult community members. Please see below.
V. I am the parent of a young dancer who loves to dance, but I don't want to stifle her creativity. Will she only get "ballet" training in the Ballet Fantastique Young Dancer Program?
Ballet Fantastique's Young Dancer Program is creative, fun, and playful. While it's based on the fundamental concepts of dance, it accesses and communicates these concepts in a way that kids relate to. We are NOT a strict ballet program for kids. While we do teach respect and the rules of good classroom etiquette from our documented Young Dancer Syllabus, our teachers add a dash of age-appropriate imagination and sparkle to make sure that kids have fun as they learn about moving their bodies to music. Young Dancer Program dancers learn plies and sautes through Jumping Frogs and the Magic Beanstalk Dance, learn stage runs with our Airplane Dance March, and learn dance hands with Magic Gloves and Bumblebee Fingers–and so much more! In the process, Academy of Ballet Fantastique students also learn how to follow directions, work with a group, count music, be aware of their bodies in space, and express themselves creatively. It's a winning program for kids, no matter how you look at it.
VI. When should my child begin dance training and why?
Generally, serious ballet training should start at age 8, 9, or 10, when young people are developmentally ready for the physical and intellectual demands of ballet training. While readiness for ballet training varies with the dancer, we've found that this age is more often than not the best time to start in what we call our Professional Training Division. Classes and choreography for young people at this beginning level continue to use creative concepts and to engage dancers in choreography they can relate to. For students ages 3-8, Ballet Fantastique offers stellar classes in pre-ballet movement and fundamental dance and music concepts (see above).
VII. How much are tuition costs for classes and for summer camps and the Summer Intensive Program?
Tuition varies and depends upon how many classes a student chooses to take. Arrangements may be made through the school administrator to pay in installments. Ballet Fantastique tuition is very competitive with other fine institutions.
VII. Do tuition costs include dancewear and shoes?
Your dancer will need to purchase his or her own dancewear and shoes for ballet class. These items may be purchased at a local retail store (Target and Wal-Mart actually carry tights and leotards, and some local consignment stores have a nice selection, as well); but note that it's best to get your ballet slippers fitted by a store specializing in dance accessories (we recommend Dancer's Closet on 5th and High). Here's what you'll need for class:
VIII. How do I know at what level my child should be enrolled?
After your Placement/Audition Class, Ballet Fantastique's coaches will place your dancer in the level that is best for his/her personal growth. Each June and September, Academy of Ballet Fantastique coaches will also announce class placements for the following year. Dancing is fun, but it is also serious business with inherent risks like any intensive athletic activity. Ballet Fantastique coaches take into consideration physical development and readiness for technique and class demands and carefully group students in cohorts according to their challenges and strengths.
IX. Do you award scholarships?
Yes, need-based scholarships are an integral part of Ballet Fantastique's non-profit mission. However, scholarship funds are modest and are competitive. The scholarship program is usually reserved for pre-professional students and those who have attended Ballet Fantastique classes for three months or more.Scholarship info
X. What other styles of dance does Ballet Fantastique offer?
Ballet Fantastique's primary focus during the school year is ballet. We believe that a strong foundation in ballet is the basis for success in any other dance form. For Professional Division students, Contemporary and Conditioning is also required, and the Training Program also includes Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, and Composition for intermediate and advanced students. Moreover, theSummer Intensive Program includes seminars in Jazz, Modern/Contemporary, Native Dance, Hip-Hop, Stage Makeup, Nutrition, Performance Preparation, Dance History, Core Strength, among others. Young Dancer Program classes are primarily ballet-based, but explore concepts through a number of creative movement styles.
XI. Do you offer adult classes?
Yes! Adult Ballet Program classes with Leanne Mizzoni feature Ballet Fantastique's trademark stellar instruction in a limited class size with a motivated atmosphere focused on the achievement of your personal goals in classical dance technique–and getting in great shape! Classes are a great way to challenge your mind and body while learning the basics of ballet in a progressive, non-intimidating environment; and class cards offer a great value. The Adult Ballet Program has been especially developed for teens, UO/LCC students, and adults who have had ballet training but really want to get serious about their ballet technique–and who want class times that will fit with a school or work schedule.
XII. If my child were enrolled in Ballet Fantastique, would they get to perform with professional artists in Ballet Fantastique productions?
Yes! A unique benefit of training at Ballet Fantastique is the extensive roster of professional performance opportunities available to all of our dancers (and especially Professional Division dancers) several times per year. Think "concerts," not "recitals"! Read more about our shows: Reviews
XIII. Do you have summer classes?
XIV. Is room and board available for Summer Intensive Program students from out-of-area and what are the costs?
Room and board is available for international students and out-of-area students with Ballet Fantastique dancers and their families. Cost varies with the family and with the number of meals.Contact us for more information!
XV. Is an audition required to attend Summer Intensive Program? Where is it held?
Ballet Fantastique accepts video applications for Summer Dreamworks placement from out-of-area students, and visiting students are always welcome to audition by coming in for a class. Auditions/admissions info
XVI. What is Ballet Fantastique's Private Lessons Policy??
Ballet Fantastique offers private lessons for interested students and their families. Rates and guidelines include:
PRIVATE LESSONS (LIMIT 1 STUDENT/CLASS)
$60/hr for BFan student private lesson
$80/hr for non-BFan student private lesson
SEMI-PRIVATE LESSONS (LIMIT 3 STUDENTS/CLASS)
$40/hr per person for BFan student semi-private lesson (2-3 students)
$60/hr per person for non-BFan student semi-private lesson (2-3 students)
APPROVAL: Students must obtain Ballet Fantastique director approval before beginning private lessons, communicating personal goals and objectives for the private lessons sessions. CANCELLATIONS: Appointments cancelled within 24 hours will be charged at the full amount. TARDINESS: Due to teacher and studio scheduling requirements, lessons will end at the scheduled time at the full amount, even if students arrive late to the scheduled time. PAYMENT: For non-BFan students, payment is required no later than the start of the lesson. BFan students may pay with monthly tuition installment or by separate cash/check. Payments should be made to “Ballet Fantastique.”
XVII. What is Ballet Fantastique's Tuition Billing and Withdrawal Policy?
TERMS OF STUDY:
- Fall: Sept-Dec
- Winter: Jan-Mar
- Spring: Apr-Jun
- Summer: Jul-Aug.
Like other private and professional dance schools, Ballet Fantastique's year-long training program is broken into terms of study for billing and class observation purposes. DEFAULT TUITION PAYMENT OPTION (unless you notify us otherwise): Equal monthly tuition installments toward full tuition balance will be automatically assessed on the 5th of each month. Summer Courses (Jul-Aug): For your convenience, multi-session workshops will be charged in two installments on July 5 and August 5.
If a student wishes to withdraw, the Ballet Fantastique office must receive the written Academy of Ballet Fantastique Withdrawal Request Form by the following deadlines. WITHDRAWAL REQUEST FORM MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE BALLET FANTASTIQUE OFFICE BY THE FOLLOWING DEADLINES: Aug. 5 for Fall Term • Dec. 5 for Winter Term • Mar. 5 for Spring Term • May 5 for Summer Term
IX. What is Ballet Fantastique's Refund Policy?
Ballet Fantastique is not able to issue refunds for any missed class, for holidays or studio closure days, or for withdrawal that does not follow the below Withdrawal Policy.
- Tuition is non-refundable. Refunds will not be made, except in the case of serious illness or injury, verified by a doctor's letter. If a student is dismissed from the Academy because of unacceptable behavior, no tuition will be refunded. Ballet Fantastique has the right to deny any refund request. Ballet Fantastique does not issue cash refunds, only credits to studio account, minus appropriate processing fees.