Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet?
As a not-for-profit school, our mission is to cultivate the artistic and personal development of our students by providing a supportive environment of dance study to motivate and inspire. The School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s Vision is to develop the skills of the student professionally and artistically by introducing both traditional & innovative dance techniques. This Vision is supported by two fundamental principles which provide our foundation: continual growth and the pursuit of excellence. At the School of MCB we are guided by the strategic ideals of Missouri Contemporary Ballet: to provide education, promote involvement in the arts & enrich our community. These goals required hiring only the highest caliber instructors, developing a competitive yet supportive class structure & retaining students dedicated to the study of dance. We stand alone as the only dance institution in the area to provide instruction exclusively from professional dancers.
How are you keeping students and staff safe during COVID-19?
Please see our COVID-19 Information page here.
How do virtual classes work?
Virtual classes are available for every single class on our schedule! The teacher and the students who attend in-person are set up in the studio facing a computer or iPad on Zoom. Students who attend class virtually will dance from their homes and also use a computer or iPad on Zoom. This way, all students can clearly see the teacher and are able to attend class in the location that works best for them. When enrolling in classes, please let us know if you would like to attend virtually so that we can provide you with the Zoom link.
How do I enroll in a class?
If you are new to the School of MCB, your first step in enrolling in a class is to fill out our Pre-Registration Form. In this form, you’ll answer basic questions about age, dance experience (if any), along with any other information you would like us to know. From there, a School of MCB staff member will contact you to discuss placement or set up a free trial class (if necessary). This class is designed to be an opportunity for your child to see if he/she enjoys the class, as well as an opportunity for the School of MCB director to assess your student to be sure he or she is placed in the correct level. This process is incredibly important to ensure that each student is placed in the correct level, keeping students healthy and learning in the best possible environment. For students under the age of 8, or for students with no previous dance experience, placement can be determined without an assessment. Once placement is determined, you may enroll your student in the appropriate level through the Business Office.
When can I enroll in a class?
For fall semester: Enrollment begins August 1st
For spring semester: Enrollment begins December 1st
Is there a waiting list?
A waiting list will be made for every class that becomes full. In the event that a student drops out of a class, dancers from the waiting list will be contacted to fill the empty space. If there are no students dropping from a class with a large waiting list, we will try our best to open a new class day and time to accommodate those on the list.
How much do your classes cost?
Tuition is based on the number of hours of dance classes per family for our Children’s and Pre-Professional Divisions.
DanceAbility is a flat rate of $70 per semester.
Tuition can be paid monthly or for the entire semester up front. The chart below is based on a 16-week semester and shows both options. If the full semester tuition is paid up front, there is a 10% discount, calculated in the right side of the chart.
Classes in the Adult & Teen Division are charged per class grouping as illustrated in the following table. The number of classes paid for must be utilized within the semester; there will be no refunds on missed classes upon completion of the school semester. Please inquire about student rates.
Priced Per Class Grouping
**Tuition Rates are not subject to a refund. Students are expected to attend or make-up missed classes.
What are your tuition and payment policies?
Classes may be paid for online or in the School of MCB office by check, credit card, or cash. Tuition is due on the 1st of the month. After a 5-day grace period, a $15 late fee will automatically be assessed to your account, no exceptions granted. All accounts on a monthly payment plan will be required to have a credit card held on file. The credit card will be run on the 15th of the month if payment has not yet been received. Should accounts remain delinquent after 30 days, the student will be unable to attend further classes at the School of MCB until payment is brought current, no extensions into makeup classes or refunds for missed classes during the delinquent period will be granted.
Do you offer discounts?
Full Semester Payment: Tuition and registration payments made in full before the beginning of the school’s semester will be granted a ten percent (10%) discount on their bill.
Are Scholarships Available?
A limited number of scholarships are available through the School of MCB for students ages 8 & up who have a strong passion and desire to study ballet. Scholarships are awarded for the entire calendar year, August-May, with amounts based on financial need, talent, and physical potential. Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in a class schedule as recommended by the School Director. Minimum class requirements vary depending on the level and age of the student. They must be exemplary students and respect MCB’s policies. Please read the Scholarship Contract thoroughly to be aware of all expectations before applying. Scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed. Please check back in Summer 2019 for application information for the 2019-2020 school year.
For students living in the Columbia School District, scholarships are also available through ‘Day Dreams Foundation’. For consideration, please visit Day Dreams Foundation to determine eligibility and complete an application.
Where is the School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet located?
Missouri Contemporary Ballet 110 Orr Street Suites 102 & 106 Columbia, MO 65201 Directions: Located inside the Balsamo Warehouse in the North Village Arts District. If entering from the front of the building on Orr Street, continue all the way to the back of the building and office will be located on the right side. If entering from the side door off of Ash, office will be located at the top of the stairs.
History: We were founded in this location in 2011 as the official school of mid-Missouri’s only professional ballet company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet. In advancement of the company’s mission, the school cultivates the artistic and personal development of students by providing a supportive environment of dance study to motivate and inspire.
Where is the best place to park?
Metered parking is available among Orr, Ash and St. James Streets. Meters are active Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. As parking is limited in this location it is highly recommended to allow for extra time.
What is your weather cancellation policy?
The School of MCB abides by the University of Missouri weather cancellation policy.
Are trial classes available?
We would be happy to offer a free trial class prior to enrolling your student at the School of MCB. In order to schedule your trial class, fill out our Pre-Registration Form. A staff member will reach out to you within a few days to set up an appropriate trial class.
What performance opportunities are available?
Each season the School of MCB performs a Winter and Spring Showcase. Students have the option to participate each semester. Rehearsals are held independently of school classes so that students may continue to focus on technique during class time. Past production repertoire includes Yes, Virginia, The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals & excerpts from Sleeping Beauty. In addition, students have the opportunity to audition to be a part of Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s biennial production of Alice in Wonderland, performing side by side with the professional dancers of MCB. Students in levels III and higher have the opportunity to audition to become a member of the School of MCB Student Performance Company. The Performance Company aims to provide performance opportunities in a professional atmosphere for School of MCB students to further prepare them for a future career in dance. In addition to Winter and Spring Showcases, students are given additional opportunities to perform in the community throughout the season.
What are the benefits of participating in a production?
A collaboration of this scale offers a unique experience for participants, allowing different ages and levels to come together and work as a company. All rehearsals are held outside of precious classroom time, so dancers can focus on improving and developing the skills required for productions in the classroom. Then, the dancer can focus on learning and improving upon the production work in the separately scheduled rehearsals. Through the production process, dancers develop a strong sense of confidence, discipline and self-motivation. Through their exposure to the arts, dancers learn rewarding life skills such as problem solving, memorization, and social interaction.
Do you offer any classes other than ballet?
Since the School of MCB is a classical ballet institution, our main focus on dance training is rooted in classical ballet. Our philosophy is that classical ballet is the basis for most forms of dance, so we believe that dancers need to have a solid foundation in classical ballet prior to taking other forms of dance. We offer elective classes as a way to supplement and positively support the ballet training of dancers in Ballet 1 and above. The elective classes we offer include modern/contemporary, jazz and Pilates. These days, it is not enough for dancers to be proficient in only classical ballet. Dancers are expected to be well rounded and proficient in multiple styles and techniques. It is highly encouraged that dancers consider adding electives in other styles to supplement their ballet training and prepare them for a future career in dance.
What other workshops and programs do you offer?
Master Classes Due to our affiliation with a professional ballet company, the School of MCB is able to offer many master classes with guest artists each semester. Past guest artists include Peter Pawlyshyn, Samantha Shelton, Joshua Blake Carter, Autumn Eckman, Megan Pulfer, Lindsey Matheis, Tauna Hunter and Kameron Saunders. Master classes are geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers, though other levels may be invited to participate as appropriate.
Summer Camps and Intensive During the summer months, we offer various camps and an intermediate/advanced level intensive. These programs, offered at all levels, focus on dance and dance-related topics. The dancers take a ballet technique class daily. Since the dancers are taking daily technique class, they are able to retain their corrections more easily, allowing them to find a deeper and quicker understanding of them. Additionally, we offer them the opportunity to try different styles of dance as well as give them an education on topics that are helpful in making them well-rounded dancers, such as daily lessons in nutrition, anatomy and physiology, music, drama, choreography, etc. For more information, visit our Summer Programs page.
What is the dress code?
For Every Class: *Hair is to be pulled back & neatly secured *No Jewelry
Children’s Division (Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet) Girls: pale pink leotard, tights, & ballet shoes Boys: white shirt, black bottoms (preferably black tights), & black ballet shoes
Pre-professional Division (Ballet I-V) Girls: black leotard, tights, & ballet shoes Boys: white shirt, black bottoms (preferably men’s tights), & black ballet shoes
Modern/Jazz Girls: solid color leotard and tights Boys: solid color shirt and tights Open Classes Appropriate footwear (ballet/jazz shoes, etc) Athletic clothing granting movement
What is the purpose of the dress code?
The School of MCB’s dress code is designed to encourage unity and discipline among its students. Instructors are aided by the dress code in that they are able to see the body’s form to ensure that the dancer is moving safely and correctly. A dancer should focus on developing technique and artistry without distraction of loose or cumbersome clothing.
How do I make a proper ballet bun?
A ballet bun should be tight, near the crown of the head and without the ends of the ponytail sticking out. Use a hair net, bobby pins and hair spray to secure the bun in place. These items can be found at most drug stores.
- Start with damp or wet hair
- Brush into a tight ponytail near the crown of the head
- Twist the ponytail on itself and wrap around the hair tie, forming a circle. Pin the hair down with several bobby pins along the way
- Wrap a hairnet, same color as hair, around the bun several times as needed
- Finish with a mist of hairspray around the entire head. Smooth down any loose pieces
Please wear a bun to each and every class/performance. It is an important part of the dress code.
When can my child go on pointe?
Training on pointe is very individualized. School of MCB dancers are invited to begin training on pointe when they display proper fundamentals, strong foundation, and enough core strength for support. Dancers will typically be invited to train on pointe when they reach the Ballet IV level. However, due to age or technical level it is common for dancers to spend a year in ‘pre-pointe’ shoes once they reach level IV before graduating to full pointe shoes.
Can I observe my child’s class?
In order for classes to achieve an optimal learning atmosphere, minimal distraction is required. Parents are invited to observe their child(ren)’s classes during Parent Observation week, which occurs the last week of the semester. Video-recording and photography are permitted during observation weeks only. During all other weeks of classes, we have observation windows available to view classes. Studio B offers two observation windows (one from the office and one from the hallway), and Studio A offers an observation window with seating in the Range Free café! Feel free to grab a coffee and snack and view your dancers progress! Please do not take pictures through the observation windows as that can be distracting to the dancers.
What opportunities do you offer for adults?
The School of MCB offers several opportunities for adults to get involved in our programming. First, we offer an Adult & Teen Division, which runs on a drop-in basis and is open to teens and adult students. Classes are offered for all levels of experience in ballet and modern. For more information visit our Adult & Teen Division page. Additionally, as a not-for-profit organization, we have several volunteer and support opportunities throughout the year. To volunteer, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you rent your studio space?
We do rent our studio space! Studio A is available to rent for $50/hour and Studio B is available to rent for $30/hour. Both spaces are used primarily for classical ballet classes and rehearsals, so to preserve our floor absolutely no street shoes are allowed inside the studio. If you are interested in renting, please contact us by email at email@example.com.
What are the volunteer and support opportunities at the School of MCB?
As a not-for-profit organization, the School of MCB depends on volunteers at its performances and special events. We are always in need of volunteers to assist with upcoming productions (costumes, group leaders, fundraising, ushers, etc.). If you would like to volunteer, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.