Alabama Ballet School

FAQ & General Rules

What is the RAD?

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is an international dance education and training organization, and examination board that specializes in Ballet. The RAD was established in London, England in 1920 as the Association of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain, and received its Royal Charter in 1936. HM Queen Elizabeth II is currently the patron of the RAD and Darcey Bussell CBE has served as President since 2012.

The RAD was created with the objective to improve the standard of ballet training in the UK and, in pursuit of that goal, a new teaching method and dance technique was devised for the Academy by a group of eminent European dancers. The RAD is one of the largest dance organizations in the world with over 13,000 members in 79 countries, including over 7000 who hold Registered Teacher Status. There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or part-time RAD teacher training programs and each year the examinations syllabi are taught to over 250,000 students. For more information, go to

How are students placed in classes?

Students are placed in a level appropriate for both their age and level of physical and/or technical development and based on the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. Our instructors are trained professionals who provide age appropriate dance training for all our young artists. Placement within a level is subject to change solely at the discretion of the Artistic Director.

What do we mean by developmentally appropriate?

It is important to understand that ballet is a rigorous activity both physically and mentally. When young students begin ballet training, it is extremely important to remember that their bodies are still developing. At an early age the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles are not necessarily strong enough for the support of the body required by formal dance training. Strength, flexibility, coordination, confidence and the love for dance may be gained during these early years and will prepare the student for the demands of the art. For the same reason, students should not be put on pointe too soon. Eleven is generally an appropriate age for beginning pointe. Readiness for pointe is assessed on an individual basis taking into consideration age, years of training, strength and the understanding and physical demonstration of necessary skills and the required technique.


Will I be able to see my child perform?

Students in Pre-Ballet/Tap, Dance To Your Own Tune, Pre-Primary and Primary will present “Reports of Progress”performances at the end of each year instead of a year-end recital. These reports are presentations performed at our dance studios for each level, and are open to parents and family friends. They show a cross-section of class to illustrate the work that has been done throughout the year.

Students in Grade I through Advanced II classes will have a “Spring Finale” at the end of the school year. Students will showcase what they have worked on throughout the year as well as choreographic pieces set by their teachers at the BJCC Theatre. There will be a separate production fee of $150.00 due in January 2024 for students participating in a “Spring Finale.”

Students are encouraged to audition for community cast roles in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® and other productions of The Alabama Ballet.  Auditions and rehearsals are held at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance.


General Rules

  • Observation of classes is only permitted during Parent’s Observation Week, or by special arrangement with the Artistic Director and faculty.  It is highly inappropriate and disruptive to the class for parents and friends to wander the hallway looking in on classes. This is to ensure that the students stay focused on their class work and teacher, rather than visitors.
  • The ballet and school are not responsible for personal property. Please put your name in all your belongings.
  • All students are expected to wear the dance apparel specified. (see dress requirement) Dance clothes and shoes are to be kept clean and sewn.
  • All students are required to wear street clothes (a complete cover-up) and street shoes when entering and exiting the building. This preserves the life of our highly specialized dance floor as well as students’ dance shoes.
  • All parties picking up children or carpool participants must wait outside the building to pick students up at the end of classes. Please inform the school office if there is anyone with whom your student is not to leave the building. Do not park in the “drop-off” circle to come into the building. This causes traffic problems. If you need to come in, please park in a designated parking space.
  • The Alabama Ballet is a smoke-free environment. No gum chewing is allowed in the building. No food and drink in the studio except water.
  • Once class has begun, students are not permitted to enter without the permission of the teacher.
  • Students are to use only the front school entrance to enter and leave the building except in case of emergency.
  • Students are not to open any outside doors in the building for any person other than a faculty or staff member. When in doubt, don’t let them in.
  • Students are to check the school message board daily for changes in the schedule, special events, messages, etc. You can also check the website – – for additional information.


  • Except in the case of an emergency, office staff will not interrupt class for phone calls, messages, etc. Messages will be taken and given after class.
  • Absences must be reported to the office prior to class time.
  • Students may make up missed classes in a level equal or below their own. This must be coordinated with and approved by the school administrator and primary instructors.
  • A release of claims and treatment authorization form must be completed and on file before a student will be allowed to take class. This should be completed at the time of registration.
  • For all students – no skirts except those in the adult classes.
  • No jewelry (watches, necklaces, etc.) except small earrings are to be worn.
  • No loose hair around the face.
  • No plastic, rubber, cloth pants, or loose shirts are to be worn in class. With permission from the teacher, close fitting warmers may be worn in case of injury.
  • If a student is excessively tardy, incorrectly dressed or is disrupting the class, he/she may be asked to observe class rather than participate.
  • All dancers must wait for their parents inside the lobby.
  • No food or drink in the studios. You must clean up after yourself.
  • We ask that all students do their best to keep the hallways, lobby, and studios clean.
  • Every student, parent, and teacher in the school is expected to conform to the rules and regulations and to behave throughout the facility in a disciplined, responsible, and courteous manner. The school reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student or family whose attitude, attendance, or conduct is found to be unsatisfactory.


2726 1st Ave S.
Birmingham, AL 35233



Upcoming Performances

Alabama Ballet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization