Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School located?
The ABT Gillespie School is located at Segerstrom Center for the Arts at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Classes are held in the studios of Segerstrom Center.
What are the ABT Gillespie School's office hours?
During the school year, our office hours are Monday through Friday, from 12-7pm and Saturday, 9am-4pm.
Over the summer, our office hours are Monday through Thursday, from 10am-6pm and Friday, 10am-2pm.
How is the school year organized?
The ABT Gillespie School has a fall semester and a spring semester.
The fall semester runs early September through early December, and the spring semester runs from early January to late May. Classes run for the full year; we do not offer a single semester option due to the curriculum.
My child is unable to attend the open audition. Can we schedule an individual audition?
Can students still register once the school year begins?
No, enrollment will close approximately two weeks after classes begin.
In rare cases, mid-year enrollment may be opened for Pre-Primary and Primary levels, however it is not guaranteed. If you are interested in mid-year enrollment, please email ABT Gillespie Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a dress code?
Yes, there is a dress code for each level at the ABT Gillespie School. In order to accurately instruct students in executing proper classical ballet technique, the positions of the legs, feet and torso must be visible. The physical transition of changing into dance clothes assists students in making the mental transition to focusing on the body that is essential to a successful learning environment.
Please contact us at email@example.com for the 22-23 Uniforms.
Where will kids be dropped off? Are parents permitted to park somewhere short term (and free) to walk kids to school?
Dancers should be dropped off at the Judy Morr Theater Lobby of Segerstrom Hall. Families will be notified via email if their dancers need to check in at our lobby in the Concert Hall building.
For pick-up and drop-off, please bring your parking garage ticket to ABT Administration for validation. The ABT Gillespie School will validate your ticket for 30-minutes of free parking.
Click here for more parking information and a map of Segerstrom Center.
How are students evaluated?
Every student will receive written evaluations following the fall and spring semesters. A second written evaluation will be given at the end of the spring semester, which includes the level the student has been placed in for the following year. For our young dancers, this process provides an opportunity to receive the acknowledgement of their physical efforts and feedback from their teacher. Many factors are evaluated, including classroom behavior, progress, presentation, and current abilities.
Are classes open to observation throughout the school year?
Unfortunately, parents and outside guests are not able to observe weekly classes as our studios are backstage of Segerstrom Hall. We do designate one class per semester as the 'Family and Friends Observation Day', where we invite guests to observe in-studio classes.
Do students participate in a final performance?
All ABT Gillespie School students have the option of participating in a Spring Performance during the second semester. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to audition for ABT's production of The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Hall and other productions.
Can my child take ballet classes outside of the ABT Gillespie School once enrolled?
Each class level follows a carefully planned curriculum every year, requiring students to attend a specific number of hours per week throughout the school year. Students are not permitted to seek outside ballet training or private lessons without permission from the School Principal.
What if my child wants to take dance classes other than ballet?
Students may take dance classes other than ballet, such as Jazz, Modern, Tap, etc. as long as it does not conflict with ABT Gillespie classes and rehearsals and has been approved by the School Principal. Any outside training may negatively impact a student’s progress and over-tire the child, especially if they are not practicing proper technique and placement.
Does the ABT Gillespie School participate in competitions?
No, the ABT Gillespie School does not participate in any competitions. Students enrolled in the school are not permitted to participate in ballet competitions/performances with outside studios or groups without consent from the School Principal.
Are scholarships offered?
A limited number of scholarships will be offered based on financial need for students 3-18. Click here for scholarship information.
Are payment plans offered?
Yes. Payment plans are available and can be made with a credit card on file which must be valid through the due date of the final payment. If any credit cards decline, please note that there is a $10 decline fee. All payment plans need to be completed before the end of the first semester.
What is the ABT Gillespie School's refund policy?
If a child withdraws before the start of the school, all payments already made will be refunded less the non-refundable registration fee. Refunds requested after the school year has begin will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
I don't see an answer to my question on the FAQ. Who do I contact if I have any questions?