Alabama Youth Ballet Company FAQs …About the Company What is the Alabama Youth Ballet Company? AYBC is a nonprofit arts organization, and is the performing wing of The Stevan Grebel Center for Dance. It is comprised of the Senior Company, Junior Company, apprentices and trainees. The purpose of the AYBC is to give young dancers the opportunity to work with renowned teachers and choreographers and to provide dancers with professional performing experience. Students who decide to join AYBC's personalized dance program will experience an enhanced personal relationship with artistic director Stevan Grebel, focusing on your individualized dance training needs.
How old do you have to be to join the company? Junior Company members are ages 8 & up. (7 year-olds training two times per week may audition), and advancement to Senior Company is based upon class level and ability.)
How do you become a member? Auditions are held in May and August of each year. This year, the auditions are on Saturdays from 11am-12:30pm. A parent or guardian/representative must attend a mandatory meeting while the dancers audition. The audition fee is $20. If you cannot attend the audition, you may fill out an application form in the office prior to the audition date. Membership is for one year, August to August.
What are the benefits of being a Company member? The benefits include many performing opportunities, a Company Member t-shirt, priority casting in all productions, studio cubbies, scholarship opportunities, and the distinction of being affiliated with a world renowned director. Special opportunities with guest teachers, classes, Star Concert and Encore Performances, and seminars may be provided, as well as fund raising opportunities to raise money for tuition, rehearsal fees, trips, dance supplies, etc.. Apprentices and trainees have the same benefits as company members and are invited to most rehearsals, classes, and seminars.
Community service points
Fund raising for company workshops, trips, fees, pointe shoes, and more
Unlimited classes with Stevan and Deborah Grebel
Unlimited rehearsals for performances.
Individualized training strategies
Referrals for specialty workshops, schools and dance camps
Who should join? Any dancer who loves to perform and is willing to make the commitment to study at least 3 times a week.. Are there any special fees for company members? Company members pay a reduced fee for classes as well as Summer Intensives at Grebel Dance. This year round fee will give them unlimited classes in their appropriate level.
…About “Star Concert Performances” Star Concert performances are strictly the Senior Company who will perform contemporary and classical short pieces, solos and small group pieces. Some may be invited to choreograph and produce their own pieces, while learning how to manage many aspects of production. The Star Concerts are designed to be an educational tool for the students as well as a performance opportunity. The concerts will be in September and February of each year. Junior Company members are invited to help with production and play the role of Ambassadors at the performances.
…About the “Nutcracker” Who is eligible to participate in the Nutcracker? Any dancer over the age of 5(even beginners) may participate. Auditions will be held Saturday, September 12, and is open to any student of ballet. There is a $10 audition fee. The audition assesses the dancer’s ability so that he/she may be appropriately cast in a role. A child who wishes to participate is never turned away. Brothers of students may be considered and many times we need adult performers. Of course, boys enrolled in classes receive priority in casting. However, participation is voluntary; no Grebel Dance student is required to perform. How does the casting work? Last year, over 50 children were cast in the “Nutcracker”. If more are involved, then the dancers are separated into two casts. Cast 1 performs the Saturday performance and Cast 2 performs Sunday performance, just like a professional company. Each child participates in at least one performance. The casts are balanced by the numbers and sizes of dancers. How often are rehearsals? For most roles, rehearsals are held one hour every week, usually Saturday or Sunday afternoons, starting September 20th. Dress rehearsal will be held on Friday the weekend of the show. What are the fees involved with the “Nutcracker”? Because the performance is staged by AYBC, each dancer must pay a $85 rehearsal fee. The rehearsal fee is used to pay the teachers who train the children for their parts and to support the other aspects of production, such as costumes, stage contracts, props, lighting, and music. What about costumes? AYBC maintains a costume library, so the “Nutcracker” costumes are loaned to the dancer free-of-charge in most cases. Many of the costumes cost well over $100 (some as much as $500), so maintaining this collection reduces the cost of performing for our dancers. What is the Patron Program? A ticket program offering priority seating and recognition in the Nutcracker Program. Ticket forms will be available at the audition. The ticket orders are numbered as the forms reach the office. Platinum patron tickets are given the best seats, followed by Diamond, Gold and Silver. Can families get involved too? YES! An experienced and highly talented staff of teachers prepare the children for their roles. However, all other aspects of production are handled by an all-volunteer staff. The people making your child’s costume, setting up the stage, doing the lighting and effects, preparing the program, arranging for advertising, selling tickets, and printing the cast sweatshirt do it all for love. New hands are always welcome and very much needed! Please check the bulletin door for sign-up sheets. What is The Alabama Youth Ballet Guild? The AYBG is a support organization for the company. It is a non-profit organization designed to further the arts in Shelby County and surrounding areas. We encourage all members families to join, and to invite their friends and other supporters. The membership is $25 per family per year. They work together to select fundraisers to raise money for AYBC performances, workshops, master classes and more. They also present the Ballet Boutique at each performance with gifts and items for sale, organize volunteers, create the performance program with ads and organize yearly pictures for the program.