The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the program.
Who can go to these classes?
The classes are open to all children who want to attend. They were set up especially for children whose parents cannot afford classes,children with health challenges, disabilities and/or high health needs, and children who might struggle with a heavily structured, graded ballet class. Anyone can attend. Just come on Sunday and join in!
How do you decide who can attend a class?
We haven’t turned away any children yet, and we are hoping we never do! We have a much bigger studio space now so we can cater to a lot of children. Please just come along and we will make room for you and your child. Bring a friend – the more the merrier 🙂
Does my child need ballet shoes or gear?
No! We have collected donated items for the children to use during the class. Children are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes they can dance in and bare feet. There will be dance clothes available if any children want to use them during the class. There is also a big box of tutus for children to wear.
Where do your donations go?
Our hall hire is $30 per one hour class. We run three to four classes a week. This is by far our biggest expense. If we can’t cover hall hire – we can’t put on classes.
Nobody involved in this venture is paid – Emily and Sarah the founders of Ballet is for Everyone are volunteers and they plan all of the classes and organise all of the administration for the classes. All of the dance teachers are volunteers.
We would like to hold as many classes as possible. To do that we need funds for hall hire and we need more teachers to volunteer their time.
Are the teachers trained?
Our selection of teachers are all trained dancers but most are retired. We have four teachers who run all of our classes – four classes a week for 40-60 children. We have around six helpers.
What are the classes like?
They’re fun! They’re not structured too heavily. Children aren’t forced to take part. The emphasis is on enjoying dance.We don’t separate children based on skill and there isn’t time for one-on-one learning. It’s a casual, fun, introduction to ballet.
How long are lessons?
Classes are split into under 4s and children aged four and up – they’re around half an hour to 45 minutes.
Where are lessons?
Our classes are held at the wonderful Whitireia Performance Centre in the foyer studio on the ground floor at 27 Vivian Street.
I can afford to pay for a class, can I still attend?
Yes, there are a number of reasons why someone might want their child to be in a class even though they can afford “conventional” classes. Your child having high health needs or not being well suited to a competitive, structured environment are just two! We welcome all children – if you can provide a koha, it will be used to pay for expenses for the class (for example, for hall hire). But there is absolutely no obligation to provide koha.
Can I enrol in a term’s worth of classes?
We are looking at this option! Let us know if it’s something you’d be interested in.
Can you have a class on Saturday/during the week?
Almost all of our teachers work full-time. So it’s unlikely we will have ever classes during the week. We used to hold classes on Saturday but found too many children didn’t show up. We need to be careful with our limited funding so we had to stop holding those classes. If we have enough interest we would be open to holding Saturday classes.
My child isn’t vaccinated. Can I still come?
Sorry you can’t. We have children attending who have fragile health. Under the order of their paediatricians and health teams we have made the decision not to allow children who are unvaccinated or children who have contagious illnesses – colds, flus, stomach bugs etc. This may seem exclusionary, but there are few spaces available to children with high health needs. We want to provide a safe place for them to enjoy something they would likely never get a chance to do otherwise. We appreciate your understanding and your compassion for them.
My child has a runny nose, can they still attend?
The “sniffles” can make a child with high health needs really, really unwell. They could end up in intensive care. Please help us make sure the classes are safe for them by not attending if your child is unwell. Please let us know as soon as possible if you can’t make it. Please let us know as soon as possible if your child develops measles-like symptoms after one of our classes.
What if my child doesn’t want to dance during the class?
That’s totally ok! It’s not for every child. And if they come along and they don’t like the class, that’s alright. We believe in kids being able to choose what they do or don’t do. So they can choose to take part or sit out the class. It’s casual, fun, and informal. Parents can also join in. Ballet is for Everyone is a family thing!
What does non-binary and gender-fluid mean?
Non-binary gender is a gender identity that doesn’t fit within the binary of female or male. Children and adults with non-binary genders can feel that they have no gender identity or have a masculine or feminine identity or one that covers many different genders. They may be intersex or identify as intersex. They might have a gender identity that is specific to their culture. Or they might feel their gender isn’t absolutely female or 100% male. Genderfluid is a gender that changes over time.
I have a son that wants to wear dresses. What should I do?
Let them! Children should be allowed to dress how they want to dress. Ballet is for Everyone is a safe place for all children to dress how they wish. If they’re exploring or expressing their gender – Ballet is for Everyone is a safe place for them to do that. We hope one day the whole world is a safe place for them to do that.
I have another question!
No worries! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to help!
Awesome! We would love that. Here are ways you can help.