A few weeks into the beginning of the ballet year, it is great to see dancers and their families catching up in the lobby and stairwells, getting (re)acquainted with new & returning classmates of all ages, and generally making Amherst Ballet warm, welcoming, and lively.
There have been some changes this fall at Amherst Ballet, and one of those changes is the establishment of an association for the Amherst Ballet family. If you’d like to join the Amherst Ballet Family Association (ABFA), it is open to dancers in the upper school, adult dancers, and parents/guardians of dancers. Our focus so far has been on community building, feedback, and volunteer coordination.
The ABFA meets in person once a month, on Thursday evenings; the October meeting will be Thursday, October 12, 6:15 pm at 81 McClellan Street. If you can’t meet (like, you are in an upper school rehearsal), but still want to be involved, email Beth (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask to be added to the ABFA email list. Most of us can’t make meetings at least some of the time, so we’re aiming to make good use of email as well.
Also, you may have noticed the new feedback boxes/envelopes in the first floor hallway and upper school changing room. Please make use of them! We want to hear how things are going:
One of the most exciting new opportunities at the studio this fall is the master class series with Eris Nezha. My son tells me I should have signed up for his beginning adult class, because his classes are great and I’ll never have this chance again. Consider enrolling in one of the last two classes this weekend.
Click here for more information and to enroll!
Finally, we are excited to be planning an upcoming DAY OF SERVICE on October 21 from 1-3 pm at Amherst Ballet. Part of the fun of being a non-profit is that we can all make a meaningful difference with small commitments. Please join in keeping our studio beautiful, while having the chance to get to know other members of the Amherst Ballet family. The main things that need to be done are weeding the beds in the front and along the side of the building as well as washing windows. ABFA will provide snacks/drinks. Questions? Email Beth: email@example.com.
Happy fall (although it felt like summer this week) and happy dancing!
Mary Hannah Henderson, dancer parent
You may or may not know this, but Amherst Ballet is a registered non-profit. What does that mean? In the simplest terms, it means that Amherst Ballet's goal is not to make a profit, but rather to work towards is's mission goal, which is the belief in our Ballet4All! initiative. We operate on a budget that is approved by our Board of Directors, and the goal for that budget is to break even at the end of the fiscal year. Some years, our expenses are greater than our income, and other years it's the opposite. This is the challenge when you are trying to figure out what your income and expenses will be months ahead of time. Our expenses are many and varied, and include things like teacher salaries, insurance, utilities, theater rentals, props, and since we own our building, a monthly mortgage payment! Tuition helps cover some of these costs, but we also rely on donations and grants. Because we are registered with the government as a non-profit, we are eligible to receive grants and donations on a tax-free basis, and those same gifts are tax-free to the donor, as well. So the next time you see an annual appeal letter, or a request for items or help with accomplishing something around the studio, remember that we need that help in order to bring quality dance instruction to our students!
We were so happy to have the wonderful Eris Nezha with us at Amherst Ballet on the 9th.
He ran two really lovely classes, even through an unexpected case of food poisoning - a very committed professional!
I spoke with Eris afterward who had this to say: "I saw a great deal of talent there in class, some very beautiful dancers!"
He's looking forward to being back on the 23rd to continue to work with some of these dancers, and welcome new ones as well.
The next classes will meet on the 23rd and the 30th of September. We will be scheduling a group picture at the end of each class with Eris going forward. If you were in the classes on the 9th and would like to join one of the group shots later please come at the end of the second class on the 23rd or the 30th. Our intermediate class was completely full on Saturday- be sure to grab a spot on the other days if you want to keep working with Eris in September. So happy to bring this program to AB! With your support we can make it the first of many special programs!
President, Board of Directors
Click here to enroll in the remaining classes
Today Molly and Josh made the trek to UMass to attend the UAW Graduate Benefits Fair! This was all about getting the Amherst Ballet name out into the community, and a way to introduce Ballet4All! to people who may not know who we are or what we do. Expanding both our School and Adult Programs with members of the UMass family is a great way to grow both of our Missions. If you were one of the many people who stopped by to say hello and learn more about Amherst Ballet, we can't wait to see you in class!
There have been a lot of changes at Amherst Ballet this summer. We have a new Artistic Director, small changes to the program, and a new Amherst Ballet Family Association! However, none are as visible as....A NEW DANCE FLOOR IN THE UPPER STUDIO!!! The old floor was badly in need of replacement, as it had been broken through and then patched in places. With the help of some very generous anonymous donors and our "Contractor Extraordinaire" Brian Plummer (and Sully!), we were able to replace the floor during the last week of August! The project started on a Monday, and by Friday afternoon the new floor was installed. All that was left was laying the marley... Josh and Molly started on Friday afternoon, and it quickly became apparent that it would be a tougher task than originally thought. So they decided that Labor Day would not be a day off, but rather a day of laying marley! And to their great surprise, Board President Rebecca Guay had recruited some Board members, parents and students to come in and help! With their assistance, the floor was finished in a few hours, ready in time for the new season! What a sense of community! Scroll through the gallery below to see how the project unfolded!
Want to see the finished floor? You'll have to come in and see for yourself! Welcome to the 2017/2018 season! Happy Dancing!