FAQs Topics
Benefits of Ballet
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Phone: 718-769-9161 
E-Mail: info@brightonballet.org

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New parents and even those whose children have attended BBT’s classes for years often contact us with questions about our program, techniques, competitions, and their child’s suitability for various classes and activities. We have collected many of the most common questions and answers into a few broad categories on this page so that they may be a reference for all who are interested.
BBT Age Requirements, Divisions and Placement

Who can attend ballet classes/ at which age should my child start classes at BBT?

We teach students from ages 2 to 72. Classes for our youngest children emphasize creative movements, acrobatics, posture and rhythm. By age seven, children are able to start serious instruction in ballet. No special physique, disposition, or athleticism is required before beginning classes at BBT because anyone can practice ballet as a form of exercise, relaxation, or strengthening.

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What is the Advanced Division and how does BBT know if my child is ready for it?

Students ages 2-7 years-old begin in our Children’s Division. Some children as young as ages 6-7 years-old show signs of physical ability, motivation, and certain intangible factors unique to ballet that may make them suited for pre-professional studies and potential careers in dance. Our faculty and staff consider these qualities, as well students’ years of dance experience, when inviting students to join the Advanced Division (also known as the Pre-Professional Division). Priority is typically given to students who began dancing with BBT from an earlier age.

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Can parents stay in class?

Parents of new students can stay in class when they first come to observe the school, but ONLY if they request permission in advance from the office. Our policy is not to allow parents in the classroom except for certain “open classes” and for very young children (ages 2 and 3). After age three, we do not allow students to be with their parents in class as it distracts from the learning process; it is important for students to gain independence and to focus on the teacher rather than their parent.

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How many students are in each class?

A typical class enrollment is 10-14 students, although this number may be smaller with student absences, etc. Each class is staffed by two adults: one instructor plus the accompanist. Semi-private classes and boutique classes are sometimes available and may have significantly fewer students but they also have a different price structure.

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Why should I enroll my child in ballet?

Classical ballet provides the technical foundation for almost all forms of dance. With a solid beginning in ballet, a student can easily transfer the skills acquired to modern, jazz, contemporary or any other style. In addition to learning how to dance, ballet lessons help students develop poise and body awareness, improve their coordination and flexibility, discover how to feel the beat and count musically, explore how to work in groups and learn how to carry and present themselves on stage.

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Can ballet help my child with scoliosis or intoeing (aka “pigeon toe”)?

Yes, ballet can certainly help scoliosis and intoeing but these conditions also require daily exercises and medical supervision, so ballet alone will not be enough. We can also refer students for evaluation to Harkness Center for Dance Injury at NYU Medical Center.

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Performances and Competitions

How are students chosen as soloists for BBT performances?

It is important to understand that students dance before audiences of 700-1000 people at each BBT performance and therefore we must prepare a program that is varied, visually interesting, and allows as many parents to see their children on stage as possible. This means we must balance the number of solos against the number of class and small group performances. Solos in ballet are different than solos in gymnastics, as students are not competing against each other in ballet performances. We choose students whose personality, ability, technique and physical characteristics match the choreographer’s vision for specific dance solos in the context of the broader dance program.

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Do children have to buy their own costumes for performances at BBT?

No. BBT has a large inventory of costumes, which can be tailored to each year’s individual students. Costumes are one of BBT’s greatest treasures; most are made by hand and are very expensive, which is why we do not sell costumes. Additionally, BBT rents many costumes for specific dances. These costs are covered by a participation fee (see the question below about participation fees for more details).

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What are participation fees for dance performances, and how much are they?

Performances are very costly for any dance school and most schools sell costumes at a significant markup to cover those costs (typically $150 or more per costume). BBT approaches this differently. We rent, rather than buy or sell, very elaborate costumes and we charge participation fees to pay for the costume rentals, theater rental for rehearsal and performance times, as well as staffing costs for lighting and sound technicians, a wardrobe supervisor, wardrobe attendants and backstage assistants who help children change, supervise younger students as they come on and off stage, and troubleshoot last-minute issues. We keep our participation fees very moderate, typically ranging from $75 for one dance to a maximum of approximately $200 for a student who is performing five or six dances.

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