Performance Guidelines

We believe that performing is a vital part of a dancer’s education. For this reason, we attempt to provide experience for all of our students in dancing roles from the classics.

The fall production is Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. In the spring, excerpts are drawn from other well-known ballets and from new works to add to our students’ range and depth of experience. Both of these productions are enormous undertakings and require many hours of rehearsal on the part of the dancers as well as many hours of volunteer support behind the scenes.

We need every parent/student to volunteer to help with some aspect of the performance. There are many different kinds of jobs to be done; with everyone’s help we have fun and are able to put on a smooth performance.

The information contained in this booklet is meant to make the first-time performer feel as comfortable as the “veterans” who have danced in many productions. We have great shows and want everyone to have a wonderful experience dancing with the Academy of Classical Ballet. It is important to us that everyone from the smallest mouse to the Sugar Plum Fairy learns and expands their skills as a dancer through performance. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your cooperation—it is only with your support that we can achieve excellence.

If you have questions, please ask. Any of the staff will be happy to explain anything that is confusing or not clear.

Click here for a downloadable, printable version of the Performance Guide

Tuition and Fees

- A special performance fee is charged in addition to regular tuition. This fee is used to defray such costs as extra staff time and the theater rental. - A costume fee is charged for use of each costume.

- A security deposit fee in the form of a separate check is required before any costumes are issued. This check is not deposited but will be held until costumes and accessories are returned clean, in good repair, complete and labeled. If costumes are returned dirty, stained, missing parts or damaged the deposit fee is forfeited.

All students must be current with tuition through Session 12, annual registration fee, performance fee, costume fee, and security deposit as well as having signed a performance agreement before they will be allowed to perform in a production.

Costumes will not be checked out until each student has signed the costume check-out form and paid all fees.

Please check the bulletin board for the current amount of each fee.


A costume will be provided for each dance in which the student is cast. It is the responsibility of the dancer and/or his or her parent to make sure that the costume and all accessories are at the theater, clean (costumes are issued clean), pressed if needed, and ready to wear for all performances.

Female dancers are expected to bring at least two pairs of pale pink nylon tights (Capezio, Danskin, or Baryshnikov - no other brands please) in case of runs or tears. Shoes should be clean and in “new” condition; dancers enpointe need to be sure that ribbons are properly stitched and tied. All pointe shoes must be pancaked (we provide “pancake”). Girls, do not wear underwear under your tights – your tights are your underwear.

Black leather shoes are provided for boys. Adult male dancers need to have ballet technique shoes in good condition, a dance belt, and appropriate tights. Male dancers wearing a “solo shirt” are asked to wear a white tee shirt (cut so as not to show) to absorb perspiration.

Minor repairs are the responsibility of the dancer or parent, so it is a good idea to come prepared with safety pins and a needle and thread. Dancers may not eat, drink, or apply makeup while in costume unless the costume is protected by a smock, big shirt, or other means.

Costumes are not to be worn to or from the theater; no one is to be in the lobby during intermission while wearing a costume.


Newsletters are published fairly frequently and are meant to inform you about upcoming studio activities and events. “The Pointe” is always posted on the exit door and copies are available on the table near the entrance to the dance floor. Please check each time you come to the studio to see if there is a new edition available. This is the best way to receive information in a timely manner. The current newsletter is also available on the website.

Dates of Performances

The fall performance (Nutcracker) is normally held over Thanksgiving weekend so that there is minimal impact on students’ school schedules. The dress rehearsal is usually held on Wednesday evening and performances begin on Friday evening and go through the weekend, with the final performance on Sunday afternoon.

The spring production is usually held the weekend following Memorial Day, which means that most schools are out for the summer. There are usually two performances, with a dress rehearsal the evening prior to the first performance.


Audition times and fees for advanced roles (no children’s roles) will be posted on the studio door and in the newsletter.


All students will be cast in dances appropriate to their skill level and age. Availability, energy level, and behavior during class may also be a consideration. No children under the age of ten will be cast in roles occurring in the second act of the Nutcracker without individual parental permission.

You may be less than thrilled with the part(s) for which you have been chosen. Each student needs to find within themselves a way to make their roles (no matter how small) 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. Therefore we ask all of our dancers to be conscientious, enthusiastic, and dependable.


The schedule for rehearsals will be posted on the bulletin board. Once the cast list is posted, it is the dancer/parent’s responsibility to check the schedule every time they come to the studio.

Rehearsals that are held during regular class times will not be posted. All Nutcracker rehearsals will eventually be held outside of class time, so you will need to keep checking the schedule.

All scheduled rehearsals are mandatory; if you are going to miss or be late for a rehearsal you must let us know. If you miss more than three rehearsals we may have to replace you (children’s classes excepted). Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your rehearsal is scheduled to begin to allow yourself time to prepare. Please be aware that we do our best to schedule rehearsal times as logically as possible and as conveniently as possible. However, our time is limited and there are many dances and roles to be rehearsed, so you may occasionally be inconvenienced during this preparatory period.

It is especially important not to miss rehearsals when we are setting a dance. If you do miss one of these, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and learn your part before the next rehearsal. It is suggested that you bring a good quality audio tape cassette and we will be happy to tape your music for you. Please do not practice to other versions of the music.

Dress Rehearsals

There will be two dress rehearsals prior to performance. The first will be held at the studio; the second and final one will be held at the theater.

The length and exact timing of dress rehearsals cannot be predicted ahead of time as these rehearsals are used to solve problems, and adjust sequencing and time so that the entire production runs smoothly for performances. Therefore, the entire cast must be present before the rehearsal can begin.

The dress rehearsal at the theater is both a technical rehearsal to coordinate lights, props, sets, and music as well as the first opportunity to orient dancers to the space, acoustics and to figure out the logistics of entrances, exits, curtain calls, and bows. Please come prepared to be very patient while all these complicated factors are worked out.

Children may need to be up fairly late on this one evening, so naps and healthy snacks and plenty of fluids are advisable. Young children will be excused as soon as possible but not until their dances are finished.

Children’s Waiting Area

All children under the age of 10 are usually asked to wait to go on stage in the “Mountain View” room that is on the north side of the theater. Parents are responsible for their children except when they are on stage. Loud noise and running are not permitted. We are aware that this is the most difficult part of performing for children, but we ask that you discuss these rules ahead of time with them so that they understand (as much as possible). Parent volunteers are asked to stay in the room with the children on a day when they are not watching the performance, thus allowing everyone to see the show.


All female dancers are to have hair securely pulled back in a bun with no bangs for performances. Please do not use big or shiny hair clips or bun holders. If you need help in getting hair up please ask; it is a good idea to bring gel, hairpins, bobby pins, and a hair net.

Male dancers may also wish to use gel to comb hair away from the face and must have hair pulled back and worn close to the head.


There are specific guidelines for makeup for various roles; the studio will have trained staff and volunteers to apply makeup before each performance. Please remember to have makeup applied before putting on costumes. If you wish to provide your own make-up, please discuss this with Carla ahead of time so that you will know what colors are acceptable for your role and how much to wear.

Male dancers also wear make-up; we have men’s make-up as well as women’s.

Please note: No jewelry, no fingernail polish, no watches, no eyeglasses, and no earrings.


A professional photographer will take pictures at the theatre dress rehearsal. These pictures will be offered for sale with proceeds going help fund future shows. You may also sign up to have individual photographs taken before or after each production.

No other pictures may be taken during performances or rehearsals. Individuals may take pictures before or after each performance.


Each performance is videotaped by a professional. DVDs will be offered for sale with proceeds going help fund future shows. No individual videotaping is permitted.

Volunteer Opportunities

Each production requires volunteer assistance in the following areas: 

- Sewing/costume production 
- Wardrobe management—checking costumes in and out
- Sets/props
- Transporting and laying suspended flooring and Marley and props and return to storage (requires truck/van and upper body strength)
- Ticket sales and distribution
- Publicity
- Sales of cookies and desserts, flowers, and sweatshirts at intermission
- Telephoning
- Flowers for principal dancers
- Host family for cast party following last performance
- Supervision/activity leaders for children’s waiting room

Please choose one area that you would like to work in and sign up on the list on the studio door.
Thank you for your help!

General Do’s and Don’ts

Label all belongings. Keep all your personal items in one area backstage—a bag or backpack is very helpful for younger students.

Pick up after yourself—everyone tends to move very quickly through the backstage area and clutter is dangerous.

Nobody is to stand in the wings and talk or make noise of any kind. This compromises the performance both visually and aurally. No one should be in the wings until immediately before their number.

Pay attention to when you are supposed to be on stage and be available on time. No one will be able to go looking for missing performers. Back stage assistants will help the young children be ready for their cues.

5470 Marshall St. Arvada CO  80002     303-420-5613                        © Academy of Classical Ballet 2017