Welcome to the exciting experience of watching your child grow through the exposure to the world of dance! We know there are many venues in choosing dance for your child, and we offer below some important considerations when selecting a dance school. We are dedicated to safe and correct technique, the development of artistry and providing a supportive and dignified environment for your student. Many of our students begin in our program as early as three years old and remain with us through high school and beyond. In fact, the children and grandchildren of former students now study at the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet Dance Conservatory! Our Director is a Fellow of Cecchetti USA and is an examiner for the organization. All staff are professionals in their field, or are carefully trained in our teacher training program. Be wary of teachers who may have been professional dancers but know nothing about teaching! Many former professional dancers have no idea how to train a beginning student. A professional career is no substitute for careful teacher training. The standard of teaching at the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet Dance Conservatory is a high priority. Our classes are carefully graded to provide age appropriate training. Utilizing the Cecchetti syllabus ensures a careful progression as the dancer advances through the levels of the school and provides a consistent basis of training adhered to by all teachers in the school. Our students are externally evaluated each year by taking the Cecchetti examinations. SBFB Dance Conservatory students consistently perform well in these examinations, assuring you that the teachers are doing their job. In addition, we provide a program for young students to work as assistants and demonstrators, as well as a comprehensive teacher training program leading toward certification for those who wish to pursue a degree. Our program has consistently produced professional dancers and well educated art enthusiasts. One of our alumni is currently a principal dancer with the Oregon Ballet Theater, another has his own company in New York, another is a well received choreographer, and several can be found in companies throughout the country. The performing company of the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet provides opportunities for students to work alongside professional dancers. The Festival Ballet performs an annual production of the Nutcracker, one of the few in California performed with live orchestra. Other repertoire includes evenings of classical and contemporary ballet, full-length ballets and collaborations with other entities. As students progress through the school, they are challenged by performance opportunities commensurate with their level of commitment and ability. Rehearsals are not held during class times, with the exception of the annual June recital. This ensures that technique is not sacrificed for performance, that students not participating in performances are not left out, and that the performance experience is professionally conducted. Thank you for considering our program. We invite you to join us to observe or try a class at your convenience. The education of your child is important. Please join our dance family at the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet. Santa Barbara Festival Ballet is a member of The Ballet Alliance, a national association of pre-professional ballet companies.
“Every Saturday, my 5-yr old daughter wakes up and exclaims happily “Today is ballet class!” The teachers are knowledgeable, energetic, cheerful, and give a lot of individualized attention to each young ballerina. She has learned so much of this art form while having fun doing what she loves – dancing!”