Parent Handbook


Students should arrive with enough time to be dressed and ready when class begins.  This is especially important for any students wearing pointe shoes in class. Generally, arriving 10-15 minutes early is required. Participation in Nutcracker and spring performance pieces are based on attendance, and HDT choreographers are not required to hold spots in pieces for students who are absent from class and rehearsal.  If you know your child will be absent, you are required to call or text the studio at 304.522.4230 and speak to an instructor or leave a message. Please do not email administrators, as we may not receive the message in enough time to inform the class teacher for that evening. If a student of any age misses the first rehearsal without prior notification to the choreographer, that student will forfeit their spot in that piece.

Tuition Policies


Huntington Dance Theatre accepts tuition by direct pay through Jackrabbit, checks to HDT or cash (exact amounts only please). Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year can be paid in 9 monthly installments (August – May), by the semester or by the year. The first installment is due at the time of registration, and monthly tuition is due by the 10th of each month. A late fee of $10.00 per week will be applied to tuition bills that are not paid on time.  A 5% discount will be applied to students who pay for the entire year at the time of registration. Please write the student’s first and last name on the memo line. There will be a $50 bounced check fee. Tuition is not refundable or credited due to absences.

 *10% yearly tuition discount for all subsequent family members


 * If you refer a new dance family that stays with HDT for the school year your student will receive their last month of tuition for free.   

 *Application for Need-based scholarships are available and can be obtained at the studio or via email. Students must attend all ballet classes for their level in order to be considered. 

 *Non-refundable annual registration fee: $40.00 for the first student, $20.00 for any subsequent family members. The registration fee and first month’s tuition is due at registration. 


Dress Code

For the dancer’s safety, teachers will ask students to watch class if they are not dressed appropriately. Dance is a discipline, and like any sport, participants must dress in proper “gear.” DRESS CODE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED. Similarly, Apprentice and Company members (Ballet 7/8) will NOT be allowed to wear socks. Ballet or pointe shoes must be worn by these students or they will be asked to watch class. No exceptions. 


Ballet Attire: In order to participate in class, it is required that students arrive with the proper dance attire, hair style and shoes. Teachers must be able to see that the student’s alignment is correct. Students are required to wear a leotard in their designated class color, tights and ballet shoes.  Hair must be pulled up away from the face and off of the neck. in appropriate Ballet Bun. No street clothes are allowed. Skirts, shorts or sweaters can be worn only with the permission of the instructor. 


Optional Class Attire:  We ask that you wear a leotard under jazz pants or leggings. Shirts and skirts may be worn in these classes, as long as they are not loose on the body.


Costume Fees:  All students will be required to pay a $100 costume deposit due by October 1, with the balance to be determined by March 15 after all necessary costumes have been ordered for Spring Recital and Concert, if applicable.  If your student has a costume balance it will be due by April 15th. 

When rented costumes are returned they need to have been drycleaned or hand washed.  If any costumes are returned unclean there will be a $50.00 charge per costume.

HDT has set up a school page on Discount Dance Supply’s website where proper leotard styles and colors are available, as well as the required shoes.   Website:    HDT Code: TP36909

Leotard colors:

Creative Movement: Pink

Beginner Ballet: Yellow

Ballet 1: Red

Ballet 2: Lavender

Ballet 3: Light blue

Ballet 4: Maroon

Ballet 5: Hunter Green

Ballet 6: Royal Blue

Ballet 7: Plum

Ballet 8: Black

Class Placement and Casting

Class placement and casting are at the discretion of HDT administrators and instructors. If your student’s class placement changes, you will be notified. Class placement and casting are not based on age but rather technique. Attendance is also taken into serious consideration when determining class placement and casting. Consistent attendance will help increase a dancer’s technique, so technique and attendance are often correlated; both are taken into consideration when determining casting and class placement. It is not unusual for a student to be in the same level for more than one year. Administrators will not discuss casting decisions with students or parents. If a student has poor attendance, it is possible they may be removed from their role and an understudy will replace them. Student evaluations will take place at least twice per semester by the directors and notes will be entered into your Jackrabbit account.

Students 18 and Older:  We cannot discuss students 18 or older with anyone, including their parents, without a written, signed statement from the student. 

Inclement weather and holidays

Inclement Weather: When Cabell County schools are closed or choose to dismiss early due to inclement weather, HDT classes and rehearsals are also cancelled. Please email  or check our Facebook page for cancellation information. This does not include early-out days. 


HDT Closing: HDT will be closed for major holidays. Any other cancellations will be communicated via email and on social media. If there is no update emailed or posted, classes are still in session as scheduled. 

Additional Opportunities

Private Lessons: If you are interested in private lessons, please contact an HDT Director. In order to be eligible for private lessons, a student must be consistently attending his or her regularly scheduled classes and attending all required minimums. Private lessons are not to be held during class time or rehearsal time.  Pricing varies by instructor.


WV Dance Festivals: Dance WV Fall Festival will be held in Jackson’s Mill October 18-20th and is open to dancers ages 9 and up. The WV Dance Festival is held at the state Culture Center in Charleston, WV in April, dates to be determined and is open to dancers in Ballet 5-8. 

Performance Schedules

Nutcracker Schedule: This year’s Nutcracker will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 6, 7 and 8, 2019 at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. It is the 39th anniversary of our wonderful show! A school performance will be held on Friday, December 6. Beginner Ballet students though Ballet 8 are invited to participate. Younger students will learn choreography during class time. Tuesday rehearsals 6-9pm begin August 20th  and will be required of Ballet 5-8 based on certain dance pieces, and younger students will also be required to attend rehearsals on designated Tuesdays.  


School Spring Recital and Company Spring Concert: This year’s Spring Recital and Spring Concert will take place Saturday, June 6, 2020, location to be determined. All students are invited and expected to participate. Younger students will learn choreography during class time, while Ballet 6-8 will be required to attend Tuesday rehearsals. In addition, some choreography for Ballet 6-8 may be done during class time, so attendance is of the utmost importance. Parents are asked not to schedule vacations or trips two weeks before the show, as rehearsals are mandatory.

Fundraisers and Events

Huntington Dance Theatre is a non-profit school and dance company which makes us unique, because most dance companies have for-profit dance schools associated with them. HDT’s administrators and many faculty members operate on a volunteer basis to provide the highest quality dance program at an affordable level.  Therefore, HDT’s performance and operating expenses require additional fundraising activities. Your participation in these activities is an investment in HDT and your dancer’s future. Thank you for your continued support.

Questions and Concerns?

Please be aware that many of our teachers often teach back-to-back classes and are therefore unable to speak with parents directly before or after their student’s class. If you would like to address a concern with your child’s teacher, please contact the studio at 304.522.4230 or at to schedule a time. As a courtesy to teachers, students and other parents, parents are asked not to approach instructors while they are in the middle of class or rehearsal for any reason other than an emergency.


Please Note: The majority of HDT instructors, including the director and assistant director, work full-time day jobs outside of the studio. Please keep in mind that they are often not able to immediately respond to texts, voicemails or emails. If you know your child will be absent, please call OR TEXT the studio at 304.522.4230 and leave a message. Rehearsal schedules are provided well in advance and extra copies are always at the studio.

Student Expectations

Classroom Etiquette 

  • Food and drink are not permitted in class at any time. Water is the only acceptable drink to bring to class, as it will not damage marley flooring. 

  • Students should be respectful of other classes going on.  

  • Dancers are not to engage in excessive conversation during class time. 

  • Cell phone use is not permitted in class, and all cell phones must be kept off the dance floor.  If there is a special circumstance, please inform the instructor.

Proper Hair

  • All female dancers MUST wear their hair in a bun for all ballet classes. To properly and safely execute movements in ballet class, hair must be out of the face and unable to get in the eyes, which is why anything but a bun, even a ponytail, is not permitted. 

Dress Code 

  • Students must wear proper ballet attire to class (leotard, ballet shoes, and tights) or they will be asked to sit down. In order to move freely and for the instructor to be able to adequately see alignment, it is crucial that students adhere to the dress code. Just as other disciplines have uniforms, this is our “uniform.” 

  • Socks are not permitted in ballet class. 

Parents in Class 

  • Parents are not permitted in the classrooms and must remain in the waiting room for class to end. 


  • Students should arrive to class with enough time to be dressed appropriately and ready when class begins. Arriving 10-15 minutes early is strongly suggested. 

Class Attendance

  • Much choreography is done during class time, especially at the lower and intermediate level. This is because it is difficult for both the instructor and students to hold someone’s spot and can become extremely confusing. Nutcracker choreography will begin after Labor Day. Spring choreography will begin during the month of February. 


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