December 2020 Newsletter
Reflection
Here we are, the end of 2020 and this is the first newsletter I am sending. I apologize for not being as communicative as in past years. I am sure you all can identify, it has just been so much constant change that it seems like I could or should be sending you an email every day to update you! I try to err on the side of not annoying, but I fear that I may have made you feel you were being ghosted. So, at the end of a year for the history books, I am getting back in the game.

The end of the year has always been my time to reflect. In a year that has felt like flying by the seat of my pants, I have so much to be thankful for. I am so very thankful for the instructors and staff. They always go above and beyond, and this year has been no different. It is nothing beyond remarkable how hard they have worked to continue to share their passion with all of you. And you know it is their passion because why else would they work so hard doing something in a way that none of us were trained for? Their love for their work AND the dancers they teach is amazing. I think we all have realized through all of this how you, the dancers, feed our souls in a way that we always knew, but now it has become even more solidified.

Believe it or not, I am also thankful for the federal government. If they hadn't granted me the PPP loan last spring this newsletter might not be being written.

And of course, I am so thankful to all of the families and dancers who continue to take class. This year (2020/21) is proving to be a challenge for everyone. Your kids are amazing! The way everyone has learned to navigate Zoom is fantastic. I hope you feel that we are continuing to offer something that is worth putting your time, effort and finances towards. I want you to know that you are all part of the Ballare family. I couldn't do what I do if it weren't for your generosity.

If you had to take a pause for whatever reason, I am thankful that it is just a pause and not a goodbye. Everyone who has chosen Ballare Teatro for dance instruction has earned my eternal gratitude.

I also just want to make sure I thank all of the frontline workers who are putting their lives at risk every day. Thank you. And I want to thank everyone who is doing their part, taking this situation seriously. This is a testament to thinking beyond ones self. Everyone who does that is working to bring the day when we can dance together in person to fruition sooner rather than later. And, not surprisingly, Ballare dancers, families, teachers and staff have an amazing generosity of spirit.

I hope this holiday season, you are all able to take a moment to acknowledge the blessings that we all are given. Times like these call for grace and gratitude.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do send me an email at ann@ballareteatro.com, or you can call me on my cell: 612-267-1766. I am more than happy to talk to any one of you.

Sincerely,

Ann Williams, Director
Ballare Teatro Performing Arts Center
Recital? Costumes? What Gives?
We normally also start measuring dancers for costumes in October. We aren't completely sure where we will be having the show. I am looking into outside venues, the inside venues aren't doing any reservations yet but I have reached out to them as well in the off chance that we are able to use a facility. We are hopeful we will be able to have some sort of performance, either outside or in an auditorium with restrictions and possibly a live stream option. Because of this continued uncertainty, I don't feel comfortable ordering formal costumes. The longer we wait the more difficult it will be to have the costumes in hand by picture day, let alone the show. What we are doing is picking different color/style of leotard for each class, Fundamental A-IB. Adding some sort of 'accessory' (tutu, ballet skirt), and use the black leggings or something from home (instructors choice). For levels IIA-V we will be doing something similar, but spicing it up with items from our costume closet (Isabella or Excellent Adventure costumes), clothes from dancers closets, and/or an item that the instructor will find and parents will purchase from a retailer. This will enable us to have something special for our performance, but they should be items dancers can use again for class or even on the street ;) The instructors will be figuring all of this out by the end of January. We hope this seems more reasonable.


Virtual Dance - Etiquette and Resources
Since we are back to dancing at home, we wanted to provide some resources to make it easier for your dancer to learn at home, as well as some general etiquette reminders for Zoom classes.

Zoom Class Etiquette*
  • Do treat Zoom classes the same as if you are in the studio space. This means 1. proper dance attire, hair up, proper dance shoes* PARENTS OF YOUNGER DANCERS - if this becomes a battle, we would rather have your dancer dancing than create a struggle for you. Please know that we realize how difficult this transition is for you. 2. Water bottles only - and dancers should ask to get a drink. Please don't hand your dancer a sandwich in the middle of class. Dancers of longer classes will be given breaks for a snack just as they were when we were at the studio. It is a safety hazard for dancers to be eating while dancing. 3. Put phones away. We don't allow phones in the studio space. Please help your dancer by keeping the phones out of reach. 4. Try not to sit down unless the instructor directs you to do so.
  • If a larger screen is available for your dancer to take class - please help them to use that. It is just so difficult for dancers to be taking class off of a phone. We also would like to be able to see your dancers body - not just their feet. So help them to get the best shot they can.
  • Please minimize the use of the chat function in zoom to class questions or any direction the instructor gives.
  • Please have your dancers name in as the name on the screen. This is especially helpful for younger dancers (preschoolers).
  • Parents of younger dancers - your dancers need to be supervised. Even when they were in the studio we weren't allowed to touch them to help redirect them because of social distancing - it is even more difficult when we are just talking heads on a screen. We could really use your help with this!

Thank you so much for your adherence to these guidelines.

RESOURCES!!
Here are some resources we have collected from the internet, and families, to set up your dancer for at home success!

In this link, the woman sets up a whole room as a studio. It is good because she talks about where she purchases the materials. Most of you won't dedicate a whole room, but you could purchase a mirror, and put a barre on the wall with the brackets attached on each side of the mirror. The only thing I would change is have the brackets place the barre off the wall by about 6"-8". You want to think about eventually putting your foot on the barre. At home studio

You can also purchase flooring so your dancer can tap, but then put it away when not in use: Portable tap floor

This site has ideas about DIY portable barres, and studio set ups : Portable Barre and more!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
2020 Virtual Recital And Yearbook
It's been MONTHS! When is the virtual recital and digital yearbook going to be ready???

Well, after running into many roadblocks in the process, we are happy to announce that you will be receiving a link to the virtual recital and digital yearbook on Tuesday, December 22! This will be a password protected site, but you are welcome to share with families and friends.

Thank you so much for your patience with this. Happy Holidays!
Adult Classes for YOU!!
That's right! We have great adult classes for you to try. You can purchase a 10-class card for $110. But wait! Did you know that if your child is enrolled at Ballare you get a 25% discount off of your class card? It's true! Check out the schedule below*:
Beginning
Tap Wednesdays 8-9 pm with Emily

Advanced Beginning
Tap Wednesdays 7-8 pm with Emily

Intermediate
Ballet Tuesdays 7:30-8:45 pm with Hollie
Tap Tuesdays 6:25-7:25 pm with Emily

Fast Intermediate
Tap Tuesdays 7:25-8:25 pm with Emily

Advanced
Tap Sundays 1:30-2:30 pm with Bruce

Mixed Level
Cardio Funk Thursdays 7:15-8:45pm with Molly

*Currently all classes are virtual on Zoom. Please sign up Here for access to the zoom link.
Fun Holiday Viewing
Here are some fun suggestions for you to watch during winter break!

Debbie Allen's "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" on Netflix

Here is a list of different Nutcracker performances available to Stream:

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is offering free performances:
Mark Your Calendars!!


December

  • December 21-January 3 Winter break - Studio closed

Looking Ahead

  • January 4 Classes Resume - continuing all virtual
  • January 15 re-evaluation of all virtual vs move back to hybrid
  • January 18 MLK - WE DO HAVE CLASSES
  • February 1 Summer Registration opens
  • February 15 President's day - WE DO HAVE CLASSES
  • April 5-11 Spring Break - Studio closed
  • April 12 Classes resume
  • May 28-31 Memorial Day Weekend - studio closed
  • June 5 or 12 TENTATIVE date for spring concert
  • June 28-July 29 Summer Session
  • August 5-13 - Audition workshops for levels IIA-V: Level II/III (choose ONE) - 8/2-6 during the evening; 8/9-13 during the daytime; Levels IV/V 8/2-13 (no weekends) during the evening.