LPA Company and Professional Division Policies and Procedures

Mission of LaBelle Performing Arts

Labelle Performing Arts (LPA) is dedicated to inspiring the love of the arts in students of varying abilities and ages, from preschool to pre-professional.  LPA supports the growth of the arts by maintaining the highest standards and by nurturing the talent of every student.  LPA teaching staff has been trained in the various styles and disciplines as well as the syllabus, which the school employs so that students benefit from cohesive and consistent training.

Professional Division students have the opportunity to perform at competition, as well as throughout the year at festivals, and events developing the skills, experience, and discipline which are the necessary foundations for a professional career.  Students whose paths lead to non-dance careers gain immeasurably from the discipline and other qualities associated with study in the arts.  They develop self-motivation, poise, grace and an appreciation for the arts which they will carry with them throughout their lives.

Expectations for Students

It is the goal of LPA to instill in all students a love for the arts, with a full understanding of the different disciplines as well as the appropriate tools needed to pursue a professional career if he/she chooses.  Students entering a specialized program of any kind would face an intensive course of study.  It is necessary to have a student's full concentration and dedications to his/her arts study to help them successfully reach their goals.  A course of study for LaBelle Performing Arts has been developed to provide students with the necessary elements for a professional career.  Consistency in technique and approach to daily work is vital to development as artists.  A serious student recognizes his/her own strengths and weaknesses and through perseverance minimizes the effect of their weaknesses.  A teacher's high standards and expectations serve to continuously motivate a student.  Ultimately, a student needs to have a positive attitude and strong self-discipline in order to achieve their fullest potential.

Although a student's goal may not be that of becoming a professional, good training will never be wasted.  If a student persists in his/her training, they will be rewarded with a heightened understanding of the arts and what it takes to achieve excellence.  Students will develop strength, discipline, grace and other qualities that will last a lifetime; often applying these attributes to other parts of their lives.


General Policies and Procedures

Tuition for the dance year may be paid in full or in monthly installments.  All monthly payments are to be paid in equal installments regardless of the number of lessons in a month or number of lessons a dance student attends.  Tuition is due the first of every month.  Payments will be considered late if received after the fifteenth of the month or payment deadlines and a $15 late fee will apply.  If a student's account has not been made up-to-date by the last day of the month, a notice will be sent home and he/she will not be allowed to participate in class until the balance has been paid.  If the balance has not been paid by the fifteenth of the following month, the student will be removed from the class.  Once the account has been brought up-to-date, the student may return to the class if space permits.

Payments may be made in cash, credit card, debit card, online payments and by check/money order.  Please make all payments out to LaBelle Performing Arts, and write the student's name in the note section.  There will be a $25 fee for all returned checks.  If more than two checks are returned, payments will only be accepted in cash or money order form.  If a student chooses to drop a class or a medical emergency arises, he/she must submit a Drop Form to cancel a class.  These forms may be retrieved on-line or from the studio office.  If a student has paid for the year in-full, LaBelle Performing Arts will not refund the tuition.  Exceptions will only be made for cancellations due to medical reasons.  A written doctor's excuse and drop form will be required before the student will be refunded the remaining full months’ tuition minus the registration fee that was waived.

There will be no exceptions for the following:

- Credits

- Refunds

- Make-ups for unattended classes

- Refunds for registration fees

All accounts must be up-to-date to participate in the end-of-the year showcase.

Class Placement
Labelle Performing Arts follows a stair step method of teaching and, therefore, each level is attained by a student’s ability to comprehend and perform the previous year’s work.  Basic placement is determined primarily by age; however, your child's final placement is based on skill level.  The student will be assessed by the instructor during the first month of class and adjustments will be made if necessary.  The instructor has the final decision on the placement of the dance student.  The evaluation will be in written form and is available to the parent and student by request.  This form serves as an excellent source for the student to see which areas they excel in and which areas need the most work.  Please note that it is common for students to repeat a level.  Registration forms, registration fee and first month's tuition is due before a student is enrolled in a class. 

Dress Code
Teachers will be strictly enforcing the dress code in all classes.  Please be sure you have reviewed the dress codes for each class. Students who do not have their appropriate dress will not be allowed to participate in the class.  Click here for a comprehensive dress code.

Student Evaluations
All students will be evaluated by the teacher of the next highest level near the end of the year.  This evaluation along with the current teacher’s recommendation will determine the students following year level placement.  Attendance will be a consideration for placement in the following year’s level.

Attending class is a vital part of a dance student's progression.  The staff understands emergencies and illnesses arise but would like to keep absences to a minimum.  Attendance will be taken all year long.  Students are allowed one excused absences in each of their disciplines within a three-month period.  More than one absence must be made up by attending another class.  This class must be equal to your enrolled class, a lower level class or you may also schedule a private lesson.  Missed classes must be made up within a two week period following the date of the student's return to classes.  Please schedule your makeup classes with the office.

LaBelle Performing Arts Calendar (LPAC)
The LPAC Calendar is available in the office. Students must put all scheduled absences in advance of classes to be missed.

Record of Attendance
Students must sign in at the front desk to record their attendance to classes.  If a student does not sign in, his/her attendance may not be recorded and therefore receive an unexcused absence.

Excused Absences
Any absence that has properly been made up will not be counted against the student:  however, if excessive absences occur, a meeting will be held with the student and his/her parents to discuss scheduling options which may include attending a lower level class.  Allowances:

- Sickness

- Family Vacations

- Family Emergency

- Car Emergency

- Excessive Homework

**In the event of an unforeseen absence, students or parents must call prior to scheduled class time to let the teacher know they will not be in attendance.  These absences will be treated as excused, but must also be made up within a two-week period of returning to class.

Rehearsal Attendance
Students who are enrolled in the Professional Division and or Company must adhere to all rules and regulations contained in the Professional Division Contract.  Students are expected to attend all of their scheduled rehearsals and are responsible for the material covered.  If a student is to miss rehearsal, he/she must place it on the LPAC CALENDAR prior to the rehearsal to be missed.  Any material missed must be learned prior to the next scheduled rehearsal.  If a student misses an excessive amount of rehearsals, the choreographer will use his/her own discretion for that student's involvement in the work.

Students who have missed more than two scheduled rehearsals in a three-month period may be asked to:

1. Understudy the piece for future performances.

2. Schedule a meeting with the Director to discuss their attendance.

Disciplinary Actions
For unexcused absences only:

- Warning/Probation - Two unexcused absences in a three-month period.  Student will not be allowed to participate in the next scheduled performance.

- Level Shift - Three unexcused absences in a three-month period.  Student will be placed one level down for the remainder of the school year.

- Removal from Professional Division - Four unexcused absences in a three month period.  Student will be removed from the Professional Division.

Students should arrive at least five minutes prior to their scheduled class time.  Students who are five minutes late to class will have three options:

1. Quietly enter the classroom, sit and take notes.

2. Attend a lower level class within the same discipline.

3. Use one of the four Tardy Tickets offered during the year. These tickets will be available at the front desk in the student's file.

The syllabus is both progressive and graded by level to ensure the best possible training for each student.  With the implementation of a syllabus, LPA teachers are able to consider each individual student’s needs strengths and weaknesses and better prepare them consistently for the next level of training.  The syllabus is developed with observation of some of the world’s most well-respected arts institutions and strengthened with time proven methods of teaching.

The Use of Touch in Dance Classes
It is extremely important in all aspects of dance training to incorporate the use of touch in order to facilitate kinesthetic awareness.  Students will be made aware from the beginning of their training that if they feel uncomfortable with any aspect of physical contact or touch, they will be supported if they tell the staff member involved, "I'm not comfortable with that."  If they feel their needs or concerns have not been met though this exchange, they are encouraged to talk to the Artistic Director.

Studio Etiquette
The atmosphere inside an arts school is absorbed and enthusiastic.  Students must keep their goals in mind and maintain a respect for their art form.  They must always attend classes properly dressed.  Promptness to class is a must.  Students who are late must follow the rules outlined in their attendance policies.  Students are not allowed to hang on the barres, talk to other students while class is being conducted, chew gum, drink or eat in class.  They should attend to their personal needs prior to class or during breaks.  Students are expected to behave with politeness, respect and courtesy towards faculty, staff and peers.  Students are expected to clean up after themselves and not leave food, water bottles, wrappers, bandages, etc. in the dressing room, bathrooms, studios or lobby.

Dressing Room Etiquette
The dressing rooms are intended for students of LaBelle Performing Arts only, and should be used and maintained in a responsible manner.  Students are expected to use the dressing rooms and not the bathrooms for changing.  Students of all ages use these rooms and the use of improper language is inappropriate at all times.

Career Path Counseling
The objective of career path counseling is to guide Advanced Level students in evaluating their identity as performing artists and researching which companies or opportunities might prove a suitable match to their skills and interests.  Resume/Letter Writing Classes, as well as Video and Headshot sessions will be scheduled with juniors and seniors of the Professional Division.  Letters of recommendation may be requested by the teachers and Artistic Directors.

LaBelle Performing Arts awards and recognizes all the hard work, dedication and determination that go into multiple years of dance training. Dancers for consideration must be in the following categories: fifteen (15) years or be a graduating senior, ten (10) years and five (5) years. Those who qualify will perform in the opening production at the end-of-year Showcase.  Fifteen year or graduating senior dancers will perform a solo.  All dancers will receive an award that will be presented at the Cast Party.  It is an opportunity and an honor for LPA to congratulate and award all of these accomplished dancers for their achievements.

A limited number of scholarships are available.  Scholarships are based on talent, physical potential and financial need.  Scholarships may be partial or a full year’s tuition.  If a student leaves before the end of the school year or their scholarship expires, they will be required to pay full tuition up to the time of leaving.  Scholarship students must respect and adhere to the policies of LaBelle Performing Arts and be exemplary students, strictly following the studio’s dress code, avoiding tardiness and unexcused absences.  Two unexcused absences will be cause for teacher inquiries and may result in a re-evaluation of the student's scholarship status.

The Producers is a Parent Fundraising Committee made up of members, whose sole responsibility will be to raise $5,000 each school year to be given away as scholarships to seniors who intend on going to college.  All parents are invited to be a part of this committee, however; parents of current seniors may not play a part in the voting process to decide who receives such scholarships.  One $2,500 scholarship will be provided, and the remaining money raised will be put into an annuity account for future years.  There is a $50 contribution for members to purchase.  Funds collected from the members will count towards the total money raised for the year.

End-of-Year Performance
Costumes must be ordered by November 22 to insure that they arrive before the scheduled performance.  All costume fees are due by November 22, 2008.  Accounts must be up-to-date for students to perform in the end-of-year performance.

Dress Rehearsals
All students involved in performances must be present for all scheduled dress rehearsals.

Lobby Information
Parents are responsible for all information that is placed on the board or made available in our lobby. Information regarding classes, rehearsals, performances, make-up classes, etc. will be posted in the lobby area.

Arrival and Departure
To ensure the safety of our students, LaBelle Performing Arts requests that you follow these important steps when arriving and departing:

1. Parents must accompany minor students into the lobby and wait with them until class begins. This will ensure they are safe and supervised at all times.  Teachers and staff will not be held responsible for students until class begins.

2. Please arrive a few minutes before classes are dismissed to pick up students.  Under no circumstances are students to wait outside the facility to be picked up.  Your cooperation assures the safety and welfare of all students.

Severe Weather Conditions
Please call the studio if a storm is approaching for details on closings and/or rescheduling.  There will be no refunds or credits due to storm closing.  If LaBelle Performing Arts is closed for more than two weeks due to severe weather conditions or storm damage, students will be notified regarding make-up classes.

Drugs and Alcohol
Absolutely no drugs or alcohol permitted on the school property at any time.  Those in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be asked to leave the premises.  Students who are caught with drugs or alcohol will be expelled--no exceptions.

Parent Involvement

Parents are as central to the life of LaBelle Performing Arts as they are to the lives of their children.  A special effort has been made to structure operations to maximize the opportunity for parent involvement.  The production of this handbook is one example.

Since a parent's main priority is to support his/her child's development, LPA encourages staying in touch with your child's progress and learning as much as possible about how education programs work.

Open House/Observation Days
Parents and friends are welcome to attend the annual Open House in August.  Dates are published in the local papers and advance notice will be made available to all previously enrolled students.  Additionally, parents and friends are also invited to follow their child’s progress by attending classes on our Observation Days.

Student Evaluation Reports/Parent Conferences
Students who audition and are accepted into the Professional Division Program will receive written evaluation reports bi-annually from their core class teacher.  These evaluations address effort, attitude, strengths and weaknesses and will include suggestions for improvement.  Placement for the following year will be given with the final report.  Students in young children's programs, creative dance, pre-ballet and the Recreational Division Classes will receive an end-of-the-year report from their teacher.  These reports comment on a student's overall progress and effort.

Placement for the following year will accompany this report.   It is important that parents discuss these reports and evaluations with their child to ensure that there is a shared understanding of the student's progress.  This report also provides an opportunity to identify issues parents may wish to discuss with the Directors or appropriate faculty member.  Parents are also encouraged to contact the school at any time if they wish to discuss their child's development, concerns regarding school policies or tuition payments.  Such meetings should be scheduled in advance and not during class times. 

Parents who are interested in volunteering for LaBelle Performing Arts will find no shortage of opportunities.  Volunteers are needed for a number of special fundraising events held each year to provide scholarships and other enrichment opportunities for students.  Volunteers are also needed to help build sets, props, and for help at different performance events.  Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the office.


Monthly Newsletter
LaBelle Performing Arts
offers an email based newsletter that is sent out every month.  This newsletter is intended to keep you informed of class schedules, rehearsal times, events, updates and resources available to you through the school.  This newsletter is just another way LPA is trying to have ongoing conversation with participating families.  LPA would also like to invite business owners who have children studying in the school to place an ad in the monthly newsletter.  You will find the rates are very affordable, and it is the best way to reach LPA families.

Email Communication
All accounts should have a registered email address.  Please make sure we have your email information.  Most communication from the office will come in email form.  We will continue our monthly newsletter and for those who do not have email, copies will be available in the lobby.  If you do not currently have email, please let LPA staff know so that other arrangements can be made. Copies of all communication will be available in the lobby.


Professional Division Program

The Professional Division classes are intended for those students who wish to pursue a professional career in the performing arts.  Professional students must audition and be invited by the Artistic Directors.  These students are required to sign a contract maintaining their attendance in all of their core classes (Jazz, Tap and Ballet) and to participate in at least two performance opportunities throughout the year.  Students are chosen based on their level of achievement both technically and artistically, their attitude towards other students and teachers, their work ethic and potential for growth.  Students are encouraged to participate in enrichment classes including music, theatre and voice and to participate in competition workshops and classes.  Many opportunities will be provided exclusively to the Professional Division students, and special tuition rates may apply to competition participants.  Participation in the competitions is not required unless a student is a Company Dancer.

Classes available to Professional Division students:
- Ballet
- Jazz
- Tap
- Hip-Hop
- Lyrical
- Modern
- Music
- Voice
- Theatre
- Salsa
- Pre-Pointe (by invitation and at level 3)
- Pointe (by invitation and at level 4)
- Variations

Enrichment Classes:
- Resume/Letter Writing (Juniors and Seniors)
- Video Audition Preparation
- Choreography/Composition (Juniors and Seniors)
- Kinesiology 
- Healthy Eating For Dancers
- Partnering
- Ballet Variations

*Students who are not enrolled but wish to take Professional Division classes must audition or be invited and will pay the drop-in fee for each class.

Private Lessons
Private lessons are available as supplemental classes to the Professional Division student's normal schedule.  Private lesson rates are $40/hour for the first student and $20 for each additional student  (final price can be split equally).  Each teacher has his/her own requirements, so please consult your teacher for more information.

Pointe Classes
Pointe classes are demanding and require a high level of technical ability and physical aptitude.  Students who wish to take pointe classes must be enrolled in the Professional Division Program, have completed the first, second and third year of the school syllabus, and be evaluated by the Ballet Director.  Students who are invited to attend pointe classes must have and maintain the proper point shoe requirements and be required to complete all classes.  Due to the high risk of injury, these classes will not be made available to students who do not qualify.