Student and Parent Handbook


Placement 2

Communication 2

Observation of Classes                         2

Procedure 2

Expectations 3

Performance Opportunities 3

Class Descriptions and Requirements.             3

Dress Code 5

Private Lesson 6


  • Dancers are placed by age in Creative Movement (3-4 years old by start of classes) and Pre-Ballet (5-6 years old by start of classes).
  • Dancers are placed in Levels 1-7 by ability, not by age.  Placement is carefully considered and is solely at the discretion of the SBI faculty. 
  • Dancers will be evaluated at the end of each season (Fall and Spring) and frequently spend two years in one level. 
  • Pointe work requires a solid technical foundation and physical strength that can only be built through consistency and frequency of study.  Dancers will be evaluated individually for readiness.  Dancers taking pointe classes are required to study a minimum of three days per week in their assigned level.
  • Goal assessments are held in May.  Dancers can sign up for an appointment to review and reset goals for the next year.


Information and announcements will be distributed mainly via email and posted on the bulletin board at the studio. Twitter is another form of friendly reminders.  Dancers and parents are expected to check frequently to stay informed. 


Parents are invited to observe classes from the lobby via the closed circuit television system.  The studios are not open to family or friends except on special occasions with special permission from the instructor.


  • Arrival and Departure – Dancers should arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of all classes and rehearsals so they are prepared, appropriately dressed, and can use the rest room.  Dancers may not wait outside for their ride, but must wait in the building.
  • Tardiness – Dancers arriving late can join class with approval from the instructor.  Please wait       at the door and do not interrupt class until the instructor acknowledges you.  Dancers more than 15 minutes late may not join class but must observe. 
  • Absences – Dancers must make up all missed classes.  Classes can be made up in any class at the same level or below.  If your dancer cannot attend class, please inform SBI of the absence and when it will be made up.
  • Food and Drink – no food or drink is allowed in the studios except for bottled water. 
  • Correction – Dance classes include corrections and modifications from the instructor to individual dancers and the entire class, verbally and physically. 
  • Cancellation of classes – Classes will rarely be cancelled due to inclement weather, but dancers and parents should use their discretion and put safety first.  In case there is a cancellation  due to weather or another emergency, the information will be posted on Instagram.


  • Every person in the lobby and the studio contributes to our positive, supportive, and inclusive atmosphere.  Cultivate kindness and compassion.   
  • Demonstrate respect for yourself, the art of dance, your instructors, and fellow dancers at all times.
  • No talking in the studio unless called on by the instructor.
  • Do not hang or lean on the barres.  Do not lean on the wall.
  • There are no bags, food, gum, or cell phones allowed in the studio.  Warm ups should be folded and placed neatly against the side walls. 
  • Dancers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle from home; bottled water should also be placed against the side, not the back, wall of the studio after barre.
  • Thank your teacher after each class.
  • Inappropriate behavior will result in immediate dismissal from class.  Repetition of such behavior will result in dismissal from the school without a tuition refund.


The School of Ballet Indiana is the home of our non-profit performance group, Ballet Indiana.  Each Semester, our students have the opportunity to perform through Ballet Indiana with amazing and challenging shows. Dancers at SBI have several performance opportunities each year produced by Ballet Indiana, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  More information is available at the studio.  SBI also organizes a performance specifically for dancers in Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet in the spring.


SBI is proud to support our dancers’ participation in the Youth America Grand Prix.  YAGP is a prestigious ballet competition offering valuable experience, master classes, networking, and scholarship opportunities.  At SBI we focus on the process, rather than the end result.  Dancers learn and refine choreography, polish details of technique and develop artistry as they work intensely with their coaches.  Additional information is available at the studio.


Pre-Primary Levels

  • Creative Movement, for ages 3 and 4, assists the very young dancer in identifying basic        forms of movement through imaginative games, songs, music and rhythmic patterns. Students practice self control, taking turns and following directions from the teacher.   (45 min class)
  • Pre-Ballet, for ages 5 and 6, is an introduction to basic ballet concepts such as posture, coordination, musicality, spatial awareness, class etiquette and terminology.   (1 hr class)

Preparatory and Pre-Professional Classes

Dancers should anticipate staying in each level for more than one year. However, the more often dancers attend class, the more quickly they will build strength, master the material, and advance to the next level.

  • Level 1:  Dancers practice the focus and etiquette required for the serious study of ballet.  They learn fundamental vocabulary and the essential elements of technique. Strength is built through careful repetition with new material added each week.  Dancers must be in or beyond first grade before being invited to start Level 1.  “Recommended” study- 2 days/week
  • Level 2:  Dancers expand their vocabulary and continue to focus on building strength in the legs and feet.  A greater emphasis is placed on developing balance, preparing for turns and exploring various movement qualities. “Recommended” study- 2 or 3 days/week
  • Level 3: Dancers continue to expand their vocabulary and begin combining steps.  Exercises increase in rhythmic complexity.  Dancers begin to study jumps with batterie.  The focus is on coordination of the legs and upper body and practicing epaulement.  Pre-Pointe classes specifically focus on the strength required in the lower leg and foot for later pointe work.  “Recommended” study-3 or 4 days/week
  • Level 4:  Dancers improve flexibility, build speed, and add additional vocabulary, particularly in center and allegro.  More complex patterns and longer combinations are included.  Grand pirouettes are introduced.  Dancers with faculty approval start the study of pointe work.  “Recommended” study- 4 or 5 days/week
  • Level 5 and above: Dancers expand their vocabulary to include virtuoso steps.  The focus is on refining technique, developing subtlety and nuance.  Dancers explore the individual choices in movement quality, timing and expression to develop artistry.  The goal of these levels is to prepare the dancer for a professional career or university.  “Recommended” study- 6 days/week for those desiring to continue professionally.

Teen/Adult Classes 

This beginning level class is intended for those with no or minimal previous dance training.  These classes may also be attended by current students who would like a make-up class.

Progressing Ballet Technique

Progressing Ballet Technique is an innovative program developed by Marie Walton-Mahon for students to understand the depth of training muscle memory in achieving their personal best in classical ballet.  Each exercise has been developed with care and guidance with a team of physiotherapists. 


  • Dancers must wear a cover up over their dance clothes and street shoes when entering and exiting the building.  BALLET SLIPPERS MAY NOT BE WORN IN THE PARKING LOT.
  • Tights under Leotards serve as undergarments.  So, no visible undergarments or underwear should be worn under tights.
  • Hair must be pulled neatly into a bun or twist for ALL classes, ALL levels. All bangs and wispies should be pinned or secured up away from the face and neck.  Ladies can wear small, tasteful hair decorations and small earrings.  No other jewelry may be worn. 
  • Gentlemen need to keep their hair trimmed so it is off of their face and neck.
  • Shoes must fit snuggly!  Ballet shoes and pointe shoes cannot be worn with “room to grow.”  Do not sew any new pair of shoes until the fit has been approved by an instructor.  When dancers are approved to begin the study of pointe work, an instructor will accompany them to their first pointe shoe fitting.

Creative Movement and Pre Ballet

  • Ladies: Any style plain black leotard, pink ballet tights, pink ballet slippers. 
  • Gentlemen: black or white t-shirt, black or white shorts or leggings, black or white ballet slippers.  Socks optional.

Levels 1-7

  • Ladies: plain black leotard, pink ballet tights, and pink ballet slippers. For some productions, tights with seams will be required.
  • Gentlemen: young dancers may wear white t-shirt, black shorts, black or white ballet slippers with matching thin socks.  Intermediate and Advanced dancers must wear white t-shirt, black tights, dance belt, black ballet slippers.
  • Levels 5/6/7 dancers may wear a solid color leotard of any color on Saturdays.  Gentlemen may wear a solid color t-shirt of any color on Saturdays.

Teen/Adult Students

Comfortable work-out clothes, ballet slippers.

Warm Up Attire

We recommend the dancers arrive early to spend some time warming up before class begins and wear long sleeve leotards during the winter months. 

If the studio is cold and the instructor gives permission, dancers may wear snug fitting sweaters.  Levels 5 and up may also wear warm up tights or leg warmers. During Contemporary classes dancers may wear jazz pants.  All warm ups must be solid black or grey colors only.  The teacher must still be able to see if the dancer is in correct alignment, so no loose or bulky clothing, bright colors, or distracting patterns will be allowed.  It is up to the individual instructor to decide what is acceptable as well as when the warm ups must be removed during the course of the class.


Private lessons are available for dancers preparing variations or solos for competition or to work on specific aspects of technique.  Lessons are available for 25, 55, and 85 minute segments; please ask the front desk to schedule a private lesson.

Private lessons must be paid for in advance in order to reserve the studio time. 

Cancellation of Private Lessons

  • Cancellation must be communicated via email to sbi@schoolofballetindiana.com AND the Instructor.
  • Cancellation must be communicated with a minimum of 24 hours notice in order for the fee to be refunded or the lesson rescheduled.

You are welcome to request an instructor, but we cannot guarantee your request will be granted due to time and studio constraints.