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Whether taking their first steps or dreaming of a career in ballet, students at SMB are nurtured to become the best they can be, both inside and outside the rehearsal studio.

 

 

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Established in 2005, the School of Madison Ballet offers dance classes in a welcoming, positive atmosphere with a curriculum designed to foster a lifelong love of dance.

 

 

Classes for all ages and abilities.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director, W. Earle Smith, SMB has become one of the most highly respected—and affordable—dance schools in the Midwest.

 

 

Frequently Asked Topics

Click on the title heading for more information.

|| SMB General Information

The School of Madison Ballet (SMB) provides professional ballet instruction for dancers birth to adult and is the official training institute of Overture Center resident Madison Ballet.

SMB is designed to take students from their very first steps through a comprehensive curriculum of classical ballet and related studies. Ultimately, students completing the SMB curriculum will be fully prepared for careers with professional ballet companies. SMB also has a goal of providing quality training for those who will not become career dancers but who will gain the poise, confidence, discipline, and fundamental life skills inherent in the study of classical ballet.

The curriculum of SMB is performance-based and emphasizes a strong classical technique and a flow of movement that expresses a sense of energy, freedom, and joy. This style readily adapts to a variety of repertoire in different styles by choreographers, past and present.

With a strong focus on discipline and respect, the school prepares students for accomplishments in dance as well as other areas of life.

The SMB faculty features experienced teachers, several of whom have enjoyed successful careers as dancers with major companies. The SMB program aims to replicate the success of other ballet schools throughout the country that are affiliated with professional ballet companies. SMB focuses on providing students with a unique experience in a professional atmosphere that allows each student to develop to his or her highest possible level of individual achievement.

|| SMB Mission & Vision

Mission

The School of Madison Ballet provides high-quality technical training in the art of ballet.

Vision

The vision of the School of Madison Ballet is to engage all students and provide them with a dance education that:

  • Builds a strong technical foundation based on the methodology devised by 20th century masters of the art form.
  • Prepares them for the technical, artistic, and mental challenges of ballet by introducing them to the vast repertoire of classical ballet.
  • Emphasizes a strong foundation focusing on proper placement, technical precision, musicality, and artistic confidence.
  • Provides workshops and classes in technique, pointe, and variations that set immediate and long-range goals with an end goal of technical and artistic mastery.
  • Creates the optimal conditions for learning by building and nurturing a mentoring relationship between student and teacher that is based on trust and respect.
  • Allows students to achieve excellence in a manner that increases their self-confidence to aid them as they face challenges in other areas of their lives.
  • Creates a non-threatening yet highly disciplined environment in the studio that emphasizes positive reinforcement to stimulate immense personal growth and progress.
  • Shares the teachers' passion for ballet with students in a way that inspires each of them to pursue their own passions and goals.

|| General Policies

  • Students are expected to arrive at the studio in time to be dressed and in place at the start of his or her class. Because dance classes are a careful progression of exercises designed to safely warm up the body, students in the School or Pre-Professional divisions who enter class late may be asked to sit out and watch class at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Students are expected to behave respectfully and courteously at all times toward SMB faculty and staff, as well as toward each other.
  • No one may smoke, chew gum, or use bad language, alcohol, or drugs in or near the dance studios.
  • SMB has a zero-tolerance guideline for drug and alcohol use.
  • Students must follow the dress code for all classes and rehearsals.
  • Students must show respect for the property of others and for the facilities. All students are expected to help keep the studios and grounds clean by putting trash in the proper receptacles.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the actual dance studios.
  • Students should put their belongings neatly in the places provided for them in the changing rooms.
  • Students under the age of 12 may not leave the SMB waiting area of Westgate Mall without their parent or guardian.
  • SMB is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged items. Students are strongly discouraged from bringing valuables to class.
  • SMB shall not be liable in any way for injuries sustained from participation in any SMB activities. All students/guardians must sign a statement of understanding and liability waiver each year.
  • Students should not wear perfume or other strong body fragrances in class.
  • Cell phones may not be brought into the studio. Cell phones left in the dressing room should be set to silent or vibrate.
  • Students must maintain proper hygiene and care for their bodies outside of class.
  • Any student may be dismissed from the School for breaking these rules, for being uncooperative, disruptive, destructive, or for endangering the health, safety, and welfare of one’s self and/or other’s.
  • Proper dance instruction generally includes physical contact between teacher and student for purposes of addressing proper alignment, body position, etc. Parents or students with concerns regarding this matter should discuss those concerns with the Artistic Director prior to the start of classes. Any concerns over inappropriate physical contact should be immediately reported to the Artistic Director, or the General Manager.

|| Dress Code

All students must provide their own clothing and shoes for classes. By the end of the first two weeks, students should be dressed as follows for class.

Children's Division

Wiggle Worms, Me & My Parent and Creative Movement **

No dress code applies. No jewelry (except small earrings), leg warmers, or extra clothing of any kind may be worn to class.

Children's Division

Pre-Ballet (Females)

  • Pink or white leotard, traditional conservative styles
  • Pink tights with feet
  • Pink ballet shoes with elastic strap
  • Underclothing must not show
  • Hair in a bun or similar style if possible; short hair secured with a band; all bangs neatly pinned or sprayed back
  • No skirts, please.
  • No jewelry (except small earrings), leg warmers, or extra clothing of any kind may be worn to class.
  • All students should dress appropriately when arriving and departing class. Dancewear is not appropriate street attire. Students must wear street clothing over their leotards and/or tights when arriving and departing.

School and Pre-Professional Divisions (Females)

  • Black or navy blue leotard, traditional conservative styles
  • Pink tights with feet
  • Pink ballet shoes with elastic strap
  • Underclothing, including bra straps, must not show
  • Hair in a bun or similar style if possible; short hair secured with a band; all bangs neatly pinned or sprayed back. No scrunchies or large hair accessories are allowed.
  • No jewelry (except small earrings), leg warmers, or extra clothing of any kind may be worn to class.
  • All students should dress appropriately when arriving and departing class. Dancewear is not appropriate street attire. Students must wear street clothing over their leotards and/or tights when arriving and departing.
  • Students are allowed casual dress for Master Classes or Health & Wellness seminars

Males

Children's Division - Pre-Ballet, School and Pre-Professional Divisions

  • White leotard or plain white T-shirt tucked in tights
  • Black or grey tights
  • White or black ballet shoes with elastic strap
  • White socks (short)
  • Black or tan dance belt (athletic supporter)
  • Hair neatly combed back out of face and secured
  • Students are allowed casual dress for Master Classes or Health & Wellness seminars

Open Division

Students should wear appropriate dance shoes for their class. No other dress code applies.

NOTE: All clothing and shoes should be marked with the student’s name. No jewelry (except small earrings), leg warmers, or extra clothing of any kind may be worn to class. Holes that appear in leotards or tights should be mended immediately. Long-sleeved leotards (not sweaters) are appropriate in cold weather. All students should dress appropriately when arriving and departing class. Dancewear is not appropriate street attire. Students must wear street clothing over their leotards and/or tights when arriving and departing. For SMB Master Classes the dress code above does not apply.

|| Attendance and Make-up Policy

Attendance is mandatory. Regular attendance is critical to the progress and development of each student. In the event that a student misses a class, he or she may attend a make-up class at the student’s own level or at one level lower as approved by the Program Services Coordinator. Absences for cultural and religious observances, injury, or illness are excused.

Children’s Division

  • All absences should be reported to the Program Services Director in advance.
  • Missed classes are non-refundable.
  • Classes may be made up within the week of the class missed.
  • Students who are injured should observe class.
  • Students who are ill should be resting and are not permitted to observe class.
  • A student who has missed three consecutive classes without advance notification may be withdrawn from the program or assigned to a lower class level. Those students will be responsible for the full tuition.

Student and Pre-Professional Divisions

  • All absences should be reported to the Program Services Director in advance.
  • Missed classes should be made up within a week for the student to continue taking class at that level.
  • Students who are injured should observe class.
  • Students who are ill should be resting and are not permitted to observe class.
  • Students who arrive late may be asked to observe class at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Excused absences for personal reasons are granted on a case-by-case basis. Students must notify the Program Services Director at least one week in advance, whenever possible, and have it approved by the Artistic Director. Excused absences must be made up within one week.
  • A student who has missed three consecutive classes without advance notification may be withdrawn from the program or assigned to a lower class level. Those students will be responsible for the full tuition.
  • Students may receive make-up credit by attending a Master Class or Open Division. Age restrictions to Master Classes and Open Division apply. This should be communicated to and approved by the Program Services Director in advance of the Master Class or Open Division class.

|| Weather Cancellations

Weather cancellations will be recorded on the School’s main phone line at (608) 278-7990 and posted on our website on the home page.

It is understood that when the roads are bad, many parents cannot, should not, or prefer not to drive. Classes missed due to bad weather should be made up as soon as possible.

|| Class Observation

All classes are closed to viewing by parents or public. Parent Peek Week is scheduled for the last week of each Quarter for the Children's Division, the last week of 2nd and 4th Quarters for the School and Pre-Professional Divisions and the last week of the Summer Program.

This is an opportunity for parents and family members to attend and observe the progress made by their students. This format affords the individual student the best environment to focus and grow. It also gives sufficient time between viewing for the parents to more fully appreciate the amount of improvement made each semester.