Student Handbook

Welcome to Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, the only professional school for classical dance in the State of Wisconsin. Training at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is much more than a simple extracurricular activity. In addition to the technical aspects of a fine art form, students develop self-confidence, self-discipline and self-assessment skills useful in all areas of life.

Classical dance training is a methodical, graded process that demands a high level of commitment to reach maximum potential. It requires a self-discipline rarely matched by any other endeavor. Students become an active partner in the process, developing a respect for the art form of Classical Ballet.

By enrolling in MBSA, I/my child will respect the art and discipline of Classical Ballet by:

  • respecting my instructor, accompanist and fellow dancers
  • coming to each class with a positive attitude and ready to learn
  • being fully attentive in all classes
  • dressing in proper dress code for my level
  • arriving a few minutes early so that I/my child am/is ready to dance when class begins
  • departing class on time
  • keeping the dressing rooms and waiting areas clean

This information is designed to help answer questions regarding policies of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. Review this  thoroughly and direct questions to your instructor or to the staff. The policies, rules and regulations set forth will be strictly followed.

Faculty will use their best judgment while enforcing all Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy policies. If you have questions or concerns, please first see your instructor. You may also seek information from the branch manager. If you feel your needs have not been met, please then contact the School & Academy Director regarding instruction on artistic matters or the General Manager regarding administrative issues.

  • Communication

    Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy staff uses email to communicate information to families. Please ensure an adult’s current email address that is checked on a regular basis is listed in your on-line account. Additional family members can be added to the general email newsletter list, but please note there will be some communication that does not come through the main newsletter, so it is the responsibility of the main account holder to pass along information as applicable.

    Healthy and constructive communication is necessary for the advancement and progress of students and the development of their self-esteem. If you have questions or concerns, you may reach your child’s instructor via email listed in the back of this handbook. Please do not try to just “catch the instructor” in the hallway. Every effort should be made to resolve any issue with the instructor before contacting the Branch Manager or School & Academy Director.

    We recommend parents become involved in their child’s dance education. Please share the information from this handbook with your enrolled student. Disciplinary actions are time consuming and detract from the progress of everyone at MBSA. Parents must assist MBSA Staff in resolving any matters of discipline with their child.

    Ballet is a physical activity and at times faculty may need to physically move a student’s body into the correct position. This is always done professionally and with care and consideration for the student’s progress. If a student is uncomfortable with this physical interaction, please speak with your child’s instructor.

  • Emergency Procedures

    Staff is trained on how to evacuate MBSA students from the studio locations in case of an emergency. Should an evacuation without the possibility of returning to the building in quickly become necessary, parents should meet their child at the designated reunification location.

    Baumgartner Center for Dance: Empty lot to the east of the building, accessible through the parking lot of the Italian Community Center

    Riverpoint: McDonald’s in the shopping complex

    Towne Centre: Sendik’s store in the shopping complex

    Schauer Center, Community Arts Studios: Schauer Arts Center main building

  • Registration and Payment | School Year

    Students register for the entire dance year, September through May, on a first-come, first-served basis online at milwaukeeballet.org/school-academy. Phone registrations are not accepted. Class sizes are limited. A waiting list will be started if a class fills. Classes not meeting minimum enrollment by August 15 may be rescheduled or canceled. A confirmation letter will be sent via email upon registration.

    The first monthly tuition payment is due with a completed registration form. If paying by credit card, the first charge will be made upon receipt of your registration form. It is required that families be on an automatic payment plan. Remaining payments are processed automatically on the 1st or 15th of the month, depending on the families’ preference; October through May. A credit or debit card number must be entered in Mindbody at time of registration and must be kept current by the billed party. An automatic payment contract will then be created, and the requested payment date of the 1st or 15th will be honored. Payment will be assumed on the 1st of the month but if the billed party would prefer the 15th, contact the Registrar before the 1st of the month. Should the monthly auto-charge be declined for any reason, the billed party will receive a courtesy email reminder to provide useable card information before late fees are assessed.

    A 15% sibling discount off the lesser tuition amount applies to the second, third, etc. child enrolling for classes. Contact the Registrar to have this discount applied. Boys Class I and II are not applicable for any discounts or financial assistance.

    Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable to other classes, students or sessions, except in the event of a doctor verified serious illness or injury. Requests for refunds must be made in writing within 30 days of the injury or illness and be accompanied by a doctor’s certificate of inability to continue class. Refunds will be 50% of the prorated tuition amount, minus a $25 processing fee.

    Students who withdraw from class mid-year are not obligated to pay remaining tuition but will not be refunded any tuition paid. The MBSA Registrar must be officially notified of a student’s withdrawal before the next billing date or billed party will be responsible for all tuition. All tuition received will be applied to most current outstanding balance (late fees, current balance due, then future class).

    Accounts 10 calendar days or more past due incur a monthly late fee:
    Balance less than $100  = $15 monthly late fee                  Balance of $251–$500 =$50 monthly late fee
    Balance of $100–$250 = $30 monthly late fee                    Balance more than $500 = $75 monthly late fee

    Late fees reoccur monthly until the tuition balance and outstanding late fees are paid in full. Late fees will be applied if a declined credit or debit card is not corrected within 10 days of the declined transaction. Students with a past due balance beyond 30 days will not be allowed to participate in any Milwaukee Ballet or Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy classes, performances, or activities.

    Students with a past due balance beyond 60 days will be withdrawn from the class, unless payment arrangements have been made with the Register. To continue with classes, re-registration will be required and is subject to availability.

    Refunds or tuition credits are not given for missed classes, but students are encouraged to makeup missed classes. Make-up classes may be done at any branch in the same level or one level lower than the registered class. Refer to the website for class schedule updates. Performing experience is considered part of dance education. There is no refund or proration for classes missed for appearing in Milwaukee Ballet or Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy performances, but classes can be made up.

  • Registration and Payment | Summer Camps and Classes

    Summer camp and class tuition is due in full at the time of registration. Students register on a first-come, first-served basis online at milwaukeeballet.org/school-academy. Phone registrations are not accepted. Class sizes are limited. A waiting list will be started if a class fills. Classes not meeting minimum enrollment may be rescheduled or canceled. A confirmation letter will be sent via email upon registration.

    A 15% sibling discount off the lesser tuition amount applies to the second, third, etc. child enrolling for classes. Contact the Registrar to have this discount applied. Boys Class I and II are not applicable for any discounts or financial assistance.

    Summer Class tuition is refundable only as follows, after a $25 processing fee is assessed.

    • Withdrawn request made 30 or more calendar days before the start of class/camp: 50% of tuition refunded
    • Withdrawn request made 15-29 calendar days before the start of class/camp: 25% of tuition refunded
    • Withdrawn request made less than 15 calendar days before the start of class/camp or during the class/camp session: No tuition refund, except in the event of a doctor verified serious illness or injury, which will result in a 50% refund.

    Refunds or tuition credits are not given for missed classes, but students are encouraged to makeup missed classes. Make-up classes may be done at any branch in the same level or one level lower than the registered class. Refer to the website for class schedule updates. Performing experience is considered part of dance education. There is no refund or proration for classes missed for appearing in Milwaukee Ballet or Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy performances, but classes can be made up.

  • Financial Assistance

    Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy offers a limited amount of financial assistance for fully registered students with financial need. Applications open in June and financial assistance is awarded in July for one school year only (Sept – May). Financial assistance is not available for summer classes, except for the Summer Intensive Program, which requires a separate application. Denial of financial assistance is not a negative indication of a student’s ability. Students receiving financial assistance must be fully committed to training at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. Students receiving financial assistance must sign a Financial Assistance Agreement and are subject to all MBSA policies.

    Apply here.

  • Scholarships

    Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy offers two merit scholarships each school year. The Peter Schetter Scholarship was created in honor of Peter Schetter, a former principal dancer with Milwaukee Ballet. Each year, it is awarded to an upper level student exhibiting strong professional potential. The Schomer Lichtner Scholarship was established by the Milwaukee Ballet Friends and is administered by the Milwaukee Foundation. It was created in honor of longtime friend of the Milwaukee Ballet and local artist, Schomer Lichtner. It is granted each year to a student exhibiting the desire and discipline to achieve his/her maximum potential as an artist. The artistic staff grants these scholarships at the end of each school year for the upcoming year.

    Additionally, Milwaukee Ballet’s Relevé program offers scholarships to students showing success in that program.

    Scholarship students are accountable to all polices of MBSA.

  • Studio Etiquette and Rules

    • Please respect the business and classes that must be conducted at all branches of MBSA. All students, parents, siblings and other guests must conduct themselves in a quiet, safe, and courteous manner always, refraining from loud and boisterous behavior in the lounges or running around in empty studios.
    • Young children must not be left unattended, run in the halls or play in studios.
    • Students are expected to be attentive and courteous at all times.
    • Unacceptable behavior will result in dismissal from class and a phone call to the parents. Continued misbehavior could result in student suspension or dismissal from Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy.
    • Family and friends can view classes in the studio by invitation only during Open House week at the end of each semester. If you do catch a glimpse of your child during class through an observation window, please do not judge your child’s work. Your child’s progress is best monitored by his/her teacher.
    • Students must be ready to dance at the start of his/her class, not arriving to the studio. Plan a few extra minutes for changing and other preparations and be ready to enter the classroom on time.
    • Parents should be prompt in picking up students after class. The studios are locked promptly 10 minutes after the last class of the day.
    • A staff member must be present in a studio for students to enter a studio.
    • Pianos are for accompanist use only.
    • Students must have instructor permission to leave the classroom.
    • Milwaukee Ballet locations are smoke-free.
    • Weapons or firearms are not allowed in any Milwaukee Ballet facilities.
    • Milwaukee Ballet telephones are not to be used without permission.
    • Students should remain inside the building while waiting to be picked up.
    • Students must put street clothes on over dance clothes when outside. Ballet shoes are not to be worn outside.
    • Students who drive should always walk with a friend to their cars.
  • Attendance

    Progress in class depends upon regular and consistent participation. Excessive absence from class will slow the student’s progress, hinder promotion, and could prevent the student from participating in performances or result in his/her dismissal from Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. Attendance is taken in all Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy classes. Students are expected to attend every class in the level in which they are registered.

    Excused absences are accepted only for medical, academic or serious personal reasons and must be phoned in to the School or Branch Office. As a courtesy to the instructor, please call in your child’s absences:

    Baumgartner Center for Dance           414-902-2150
    Riverpoint Village                                  414-228-8128
    Towne Centre                                          262-790-1380
    Schauer Center                                        262-670-0560

    All students are expected to arrive on time for class. Students entering class late for any reason may be asked to observe the class rather than participate, if they have missed too much of the warm-up exercises. This decision is left to the instructor’s discretion. Please do not send your child to class if he/she has an illness that can be passed along to other students.

    Refunds or pro-rated tuition will not be granted for missed classes, except for classes missed due to serious injury/illness and attested to by a doctor’s certificate of inability to participate. This includes classes missed due to Milwaukee Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy events such as The Nutcracker and the Spring Showcases. Steady attendance in classes is critical to steady progress.

  • Make-Up Classes

    Make-up classes are offered as a courtesy so steady progress can be maintained even in the event of minor illness, academic commitments, family emergencies, etc. Students may make-up missed classes at any branch in the same level or one level lower than the class in which they are registered, within one month of the absence. Students in Pre-Academy and Academy I may make up in one level higher than their level, if necessary, due to the intensity of the Academy schedules.

    You do not need to call ahead or sign-up to take a make-up class, but a form is required. The form is found in the registration section of the website or on the bulletin boards at the studios. Students (or parents) must complete the form, have it signed by the make-up teacher, and return the form to the regular teacher to receive credit for the make-up class. This form is fully the responsibility of the student. Teachers will not communicate about student make-up classes to other teachers.

    Make-up classes may not be done during Open House weeks.

  • Promotion Policy, Progress Reports & Conferences

    It is the policy of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy that students are promoted only when they have demonstrated a mastery of the material in their current class. Students are not automatically promoted after one year in a particular class, regardless of age. Students missing more than 10% of their regular classes will often not be promoted, as adequate time has not been spent mastering the work.

    Students in the Student and Academy Divisions and the Pre-Professional Training Program will receive a progress report at the end of the fall semester. A full written evaluation will be given to students in the Children’s, Student and Academy Divisions and the Pre-Professional Training Program at the end of the spring semester. This evaluation will contain class placement information for the following summer and year.

    At the end of the fall semester and spring semester class time will be reserved for parent/student/faculty conferences for each Ballet IV class and higher.

  • Private Lessons

    Private lessons are sometimes beneficial to students who are:

    • returning to class after an injury and need to regain lost strength or flexibility
    • working on improving a specific physical limitation in ballet
    • working on choreography for a special event

     

    Beyond these needs, students will make steady progress by attending their scheduled ballet classes each week. Some MBSA Faculty and Company Dancers offer private lessons. If you are interested in this option for your child, please speak directly with the teacher you have in mind for lessons then complete a Milwaukee Ballet Private Lesson policy waiver, which is available from the teacher. A studio rental fee is paid to MBSA for each lesson, in addition to any fees paid to the teacher. If you have questions about the benefits of private lessons, please speak with the MBSA Director.

  • Performance Opportunities

    Student performances

    MBSA presents a full school showcase each spring that involves students in Pre-Ballet I through Academy II. All students in performances must commit to all scheduled rehearsals in order to participate.

    Academy level students also have the option in participating in a special fall holiday performance.

    Milwaukee Ballet Company Productions

    Milwaukee Ballet Company productions sometimes include a student cast. Auditions are held for these roles. Only fully registered Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy students may audition for these productions. Information about these opportunities will be communicated during the school year.

  • Student ID and Ticket Information

    As a fully enrolled member of our school, you are entitled to generous ticket discounts for Milwaukee Ballet Company.

    • 25% Discount for Full Season (4 show) packages;
    • 25% discount for regular tickets for all shows, all year round (no limitations to show or dates). Promo Code is MBSA1920. Ticket exchanges cost $1/seat except for families with children in The Nutcracker cast (when ticket exchanges for cast reasons are complimentary).
    • 15% discount code to share with your Friends & Family. This Promo Code is FFMBSA.
    • A 50% off Day-Of-Show Discount Card to use at Marcus Center or Pabst Theater. This card will be mailed directly to your home. Please keep this card in your wallet so it’s available when you need it during the year.
    • Please note Milwaukee Ballet Box Office normally charges a $4/ticket transaction fee. For MBSA parents, Milwaukee Ballet Box Office only charges $5/order (similar to subscribers). If you buy tickets through Marcus Center Box Office, the ticket transaction fee is $4.50/ticket. Tickets are also available online through Ticketmaster (via milwaukeeballet.org) and these transaction fees vary based on the size of the order.

    Viewing dance performances is an important part of ballet training. Fully registered students in Student Division Ballet IV through Academy II and students in PPTP receive a complimentary ticket to each series of Milwaukee Ballet’s season (excluding The Nutcracker). It is an opportunity for students to attend performances as a social group with their peers. Tuition payments must be current for students to attend. Details will be distributed to eligible students closer to each performance date.

  • Dress Code

    Please click for information on the required dress code for MBSA classes.

    Dress Code
  • Parking

    Baumgartner Center for Dance
    Abundant, free street parking is available in the area. Parking in Milwaukee Ballet’s lot may be available after 6pm and on weekends but during regular business hours, this parking is reserved for staff.

    Riverpoint
    A large parking lot is part of the shopping center.

    Towne Centre
    A large parking lot is part of the shopping center.

    Schauer Center, Creative Arts Studios
    A small lot is available next to the studios. Street parking is also an option.

  • Dressing Rooms & Waiting Areas

    Lounges must always be kept quiet for the benefit of those taking or teaching class, as well as for administrative staff working in nearby offices.

    Please do not use the restrooms as changing areas.

    Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Valuables should not be left unsecured in the dressing rooms. Please be respectful of everyone’s belongings. People disturbing the property of others risk being expelled from Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy.

    Baumgartner Center for Dance
    First Floor: Students and parents have access to the public dressing rooms near the elevator and waiting areas in the atrium lobby. Parents/guardians/family/friends are not allowed beyond the security door, except for special events.

    Second Floor: Only students may pass through the security door and have access to the dressing rooms and student lounge. Students must supply their own locks for day-use lockers. Items may not be stored overnight.  Parents/guardians/family/friends are not allowed beyond the security door, except for special events.

    The refrigerators are for staff and faculty use only; students may use ice as needed for injuries. The first-floor training facility is for Company members use only. Students must have permission from the School & Academy Director to use this area.

    Riverpoint
    Dressing rooms and a waiting area is available for students and parents.

    Towne Centre
    Dressing rooms and a waiting area is available for students and parents. Public restrooms are located just outside the studio, near the elevator

    Schauer Center, Creative Arts Studios
    Dressing rooms and a waiting area is available for students and parents.

  • Lost & Found

    Please mark all dance attire, shoes, bags, coats, etc with student’s name in indelible ink.

    Baumgartner Center for Dance
    Lost and found is in the Student lounge and is emptied monthly on the 1st and 15th.

    Riverpoint Village
    The lost & found is in each dressing room. Items are kept for a maximum of 1 week.

    Schauer Center
    The lost & found is above the coat rack, near the Men’s Restroom.  Items are kept for a maximum of 1 week.

    Towne Centre
    The lost & found is in each dressing room. Items are kept for a maximum of 1 week.

  • Volunteers

    Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy needs volunteers at various times during the school year. Often the events for which volunteers are needed are student related. Please be generous with your time to help with these important events.

  • Information Changes

    Please make any changes to your address, email address, phone number, auto charge credit card or other information directly in your online account though MBSA’s Mindbody.

  • Weather

    In the event of inclement weather which might cause class cancellations at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, notification will be to local news outlets and social media. If possible, an email will be sent please do not count on this as your primary weather information.  In general classes will remain in session during a winter weather advisory.  A weather warning would provide grounds for cancelling classes.  Parents/guardians are always encouraged to do what is best for their family.  Refunds or credits will not be given, nor will classes be rescheduled if classes are cancelled due to inclement weather but students may take a make-up class.

Discover More

Community Engagement

Dance is a powerful tool. Our education and outreach programs inspire confidence, creativity, and health throughout the Greater Milwaukee community, reaching more than 30,000 people annually.

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Relevé

The Relevé program delivers three years of high-quality ballet classes to over 200 students at three Milwaukee Public Schools.

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Donate Today

Supporters of Milwaukee Ballet deserve a standing ovation for their lasting impact on both the company and our community.

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Our Story

Milwaukee Ballet was founded in 1970 by Roberta Boorse, we are an international company of dancers, a thriving school and academy and a force for change in the community.

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