Handbook

Your McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) Faculty and Staff are committed to the McAllen Ballet Incubatorʼs Mission to be a sanctuary for aspiring professional ballet dancers. We also desire to create an overall customer experience for our parents and students who train in our school. This desired experience drives MBI communication planning as well as our overall processes and procedures. Please review this handbook carefully as it is the first step in aligning our McAllen Ballet Incubator's expectations with those of our students and parents.

School Faculty and Administration

  • Esmeralda Ruiz, Director

  • Gaby Antuñano, Artistic Director 

  • Marcela Cavazos, Professional Teacher

 

General School Contact Information

Main Phone: 956-322-3707

admin@mcallenballetincubator.com

For registration, contact:

register@mcallenballetincubator.com

1. Objective & Intro.

Desired MBI Student and Parent Experience

  • Students, parents, and staff recognize MBI as having world-class dance facilities and instruction

  • Students, parents, and staff feel valued—always treated with the highest respect and sincerity

  • MBI fosters a fun and secure environment that promotes healthy living

  • Internal and external communication is efficient, effective, and proactive—conducting business with MBI is easy

  • Feedback from students, parents, and staff is encouraged, listened to, and acted upon when appropriate

  • MBI Staff is knowledgeable, capable, and completely prepared to serve both students and parents

The McAllen Ballet Incubator recognizes that Parents and Students lead busy lives and it is our goal to communicate upcoming events, reminders and changes in the schedule effectively. To accomplish this goal, MBI will use Social Media pages, Email, Text and regularly distributed electronic newsletters. It is very important that you review your spam filters to ensure acceptance of MBI communications and that you proactively check these agreed upon methods regularly and please update us in the event of any changes to your contact information.

The MBI considers students and parents to be a part of the MBI family. We offer registered students and their families:

  • Social events

  • Discounts to Master Classes and camps

  • Discounted Fitness thru Dance classes

  • Special Pre-registration period for year round programming students prior to public availability

2. Uniforms

McAllen Ballet Incubator follows a dress code. All clothing must fit properly. Hair must be secure. It is inappropriate and distracting to adjust hair and clothing during class. 

Ladies'

Pre-Ballet (L1): 

Leotard: Bloch #CL5407 Black Leotard

Tights: Pink tights Body Wrappers TPK C45/A45. 

Shoes: Pink leather or canvas ballet shoes. 

Hair: hair up and secure in a bun, and pinned away from the face.

 

Ballet (L2, L3, L4, L5): 

Leotard: Bloch #M201LD Black Leotard

Tights: Pink tights Body Wrappers TPK C45/A45. 

Shoes: Pink canvas split-sole ballet shoes & Pointe shoes.

Hair: hair up and secure in a bun. 

 

Adult Ballet: 

See Ballet, or if necessary, you can also wear leggings or comfortable stretchy pants, and a comfortable shirt. 
 

Men's

Pre-Ballet (L1, L2) and Ballet (L3, L4, L5): 

Shirt / Leotard: White fitted short sleeved shirt 

Tights / Bottoms: Black tights 

Shoes: White nylon socks with white ballet shoes

Other: Dance belt

 

Adult Ballet: 

See Ballet, or if necessary, you can also wear leggings or comfortable stretchy pants, and a comfortable shirt. 

3. Enrollment and Placement

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) curriculum is a year-round semester-based program consisting of 33 weeks. By design, this type of schedule pre-plans for holidays and other dates when classes are not scheduled. This eliminates the need to provide refunds or to schedule make-up classes during these anticipated breaks. As a result, MBI students are provided a full curriculum without being charged per class.

All students, new and returning, are carefully placed at the most appropriate level based on their age, ability, skill, and potential.

Students aged 11 and below as of September 1st can enroll in an available class based on their age.

New students aged 12 and up as of September 1st are required to complete a placement for enrollment into the school. The placement fee is $35.

Returning students with continuous enrollment are placed based on their year-end evaluation results for the following school year.

Students registered with MBI for less than one school year will be required to take a placement class to be re-evaluated. Placement class supersedes year-end school evaluations and level recommendations from the last registered term. This includes students who have not completed a full school year or did not enroll consecutively with a gap of 6 or more months since last attending MBI.

Students that enroll in a class without approval or placement will be automatically disenrolled.

4.1 Registration Process

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) accepts registrations throughout the school year based upon availability. All registration is completed online.

  • The registration fee and 1st month's tuition are due at the time of registration.

  • A credit card or debit card must be on file in the system in order to register.

  • Students must be officially registered before attending class. Only students who are in good standing & current with the required payment before their first day of class will be permitted to attend.

  • Returning MBI students must register at their recommended level based on their year-end evaluation.

4.2 Waitlist

If a familyʼs desired class option is full, we will suggest another available class session option for the family to enroll in, or the family may enroll on the waitlist at no charge. 

 

If the family wishes to enroll on a waitlist for a preferred option while enrolling in another class option, they will be able to transfer to the preferred session up until November 1st pending a space becoming available in the preferred session. After November 1st, transfers are not able to be accommodated.

Families who enroll on a waitlist only can be registered to a class upon open availability until January 31st. Families who opt for this option will only be able to participate in the scheduled programs if their child is officially enrolled by November 1st or at the discretion of the Director and staff. 

4.3. Payment Options

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) offers two payment options:

  1. One tuition payment in full at registration, with 10% tuition discount. 

  2. Monthly installments for the duration of the school year. Installments will be divided equally based on the month of registration and the remainder of months in the school year.

 

If the installment plan is selected for the studentʼs leveled classes, auto billing will be processed on the 1st of every month (From September-April) regardless of the registration date.

 

Installment plans are also available for other sessions during the school year such as Competition, Winter Intensive, Spring Break Camp, etc. The auto-billing date will be noted during the registration process. Some programs require payment in full.

 

MBI accepts credit or debit cards, cash, check, and cashierʼs check as forms of payment. MBI does not accept PayPal or any form of direct deposits as a form of payment including eChecking accounts, eCheck or wire transfers.

4.4. Tuition and Fees

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) tuition and fees vary from level to level.

  • The one-time school registration fee is due per enrolled student and additional registration fees may be due according to each program.

  • MBI will offer optional workshops and Classeʼ De Excellence throughout the year. Cost to participate varies but can range from $30-$300 pending the number of days, hours and type of class or workshop.

  • Tuition cannot be credited towards any future class sessions or class registration unless approved by MBI management in writing. Tuition payment is non-transferable.

4.5. Refund Policy

If parents/students elect to withdraw from McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) before the first day of class, the tuition down payment will be refunded. The registration fee is non-refundable.

If a family elects to withdraw from any additional programming, they are subject to the refund policy as stated for that specific program.

 

Non-refundable fees and payments include:

  • Registration fee

  • Transfer

  • All discounts

  • Missed classes

  • All tuition payments toward class hours

  • Full monthly tuition payments

  • All fees associated with auditions, professional performances*, and/or competitions

  • Canceled classes due to scheduled/holiday breaks, weather, unforseen extreme emergencies, nationwide pandemic or government mandated emergencies.

  • Full prepaid tuition and fees from students who have not notified administration of withdrawal promptly when the student stops attending classes.

  • Participation Fees (If a student withdraws from MBI and is cast for a role in a professional performance).

  • Deposits or down payments made towards another program such as camps, workshops, intensives or other classes.

4.6. Returned/Declined and Late Payments

If any payments are returned or declined (specifically in the auto-billing installment plan), a courtesy email will be sent to parents/guardians.

 

Families will have 10 calendar days to reconcile that payment. If the balance is not submitted by the 10th day, students will not be permitted to attend classes, performances, and rehearsals until the account is current.

  • For every 4 days the tuition payment is late, a late fee of $25 will be added to the account if any payments are not submitted after the 10th day.

  • If the account reaches 30 days past due, McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) will administratively withdraw the student and they will revoke their spot in the class.

  • If a student withdraws or is administratively withdrawn, any past due amount will be due in full, immediately.

  • There will be a $30 service charge for any returned check, regardless of check amount. OBS will not accept more than a total of two returned checks. After the second returned check, payments must be made by credit/debit card, certified check, or cash.

5.1. Class Schedule

Every effort will be made to conduct class as scheduled with the primary assigned instructor.

  • McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) may, from time to time, combine classes, adjust class times or provide substitute instructors due to unexpected instructor absences or emergencies.

  • MBI may be closed due to holiday or assigned breaks, weather conditions or other notable and unforeseen emergencies. MBI will strive to communicate any changes as clearly and quickly as possible either by email or phone call.

  • In the event of weather-related or other unexpected cancellations, MBI will follow the McAllen ISD decision.

  • Classes that fall on a national holiday or weather emergencies will not be rescheduled. If an unexpected cancellation occurs, notices will be published on social media (Facebook, Instagram), text or email.

  • Some classes will be combined with other MBI levels. This is to ensure that all aspects of dance training and education are being met.

  • Adjusted or revised schedules are only permitted if approved by the Director. However, the Director may permit students to take additional classes that are outside their confirmed schedule. If so, the MBI will communicate with the family. The approved classes will be an additional cost and it will be added to the account.

5.2. Transfer

All students transferring to another class or level (including mid-year promotion), after the first 3 weeks of the school year, require written approval from school staff or their instructor.

  •  There is an administrative $10 fee for transfers which will be automatically added to the account.

  • Transfers are completed after accounts have been updated with the fee.

  • Transfers must be completed by November 1 in preparation of scheduled programs.

  • In order to ensure the safety and effective progression of students, they may be required to transfer from their original registered level to another class level from advice by artistic staff and instructors.

  • Transfers can only be completed in classes that have space available.

5.3. Attendance

Students must be registered online before attending class. Artistic staff highly encourages all students to attend their classes to achieve the integral part of training and physical development. Staff understands emergencies and absences due to sickness may occur.

  • Absences in relation to education, medical condition, or religious events are excused. As a courtesy, please notify administrators or instructors at least a day in advance before the absence.

  • All absences such as planned (doctor appointments, family vacation, etc.) or excused absences (sickness, religious holidays or graded academic related events) must be communicated to school staff via the Absent Form found in the parent portal.

  • Please keep your child home if he/she is sick for the safety of all.

  • Please note that if a student arrives late due to personal schedule, appointments, etc., students may not be able to participate in class and will be asked to observe that day. This will be at the discretion of the instructor.

  • During preparations for a scheduled program, excused absences such as illness/injury (with doctorʼs note), observed religious holidays, or graded academic related events will not count against the student if notified in advance.

    • We will work with you to the best of our ability to mitigate any issue with the scheduled program.

    • If the student has a considerable amount of absences, they may be required to "catch up" on material to be approved to perform in the scheduled program. The final decision on a student's participation will be made by the Director.

  • Extended absences of more than 2 days must be communicated through email, which will go to the administrative team and the appropriate division head.

    • If a student has extended absences without communication regarding the absences for more than 30 days or more, they will be administratively withdrawn from the school.

  • Students are encouraged to participate in performance opportunities scheduled throughout the year which includes community enrichment.

  • Planned absences must be communicated in advance. Any student who accrues multiple unexcused absences without communicating to the school will be subject to approval for participation in registered events and other performances and may affect future performance opportunities.

  • If a student accrues a considerable amount of absences, they are subject to evaluation for eligibility to promote to the next level.

Make-up Class

At the discretion and approval from the School Director, make-up classes may be provided only if the school must close due to inclement weather or unforeseen emergencies. This will be contingent upon the schoolʼs schedule as well as the availability of class instructors. Make-up classes are not for student absences.

5.4. Student Resources

  • Cubby spaces are available for usage to students in the Young Dancer Division (Pre-Primary 2.5 through Level 2B). Please note that these spaces are not assigned and can be used on a first come first serve basis. Spaces will be cleaned at the end of every month. Any items left in the spaces will be disposed of.

  • The Student Corridor (hallway) and changing rooms  are designated student areas. However, these areas must be kept quiet as administrative staff offices are nearby. Bags and personal belongings should not be kept in the hallway. Students can bring their items in the studio or use the designated cubby spaces. McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) is not responsible for any lost or stolen items left in these areas. Please be mindful of belongings specifically in the Student Corridor as this space is considered as a high traffic area.

  • All lost and found items will be discarded at the end of every month. The lost and found is at the Director's office.

  • McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) is not responsible for lost or stolen items. As MBI has uniforms, please label all dance items with your dancerʼs name.

5.5. Lobby

The lobby is available for all students waiting prior to and after classes as well as students who are on lunch or dinner breaks. The lobby is deemed a “quiet zone” and all students, parents or staff utilizing the lobby are asked to monitor their sound levels.

In the event that the lobby may become unavailable, McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) will assign other locations within the facility for students to wait or have their meal breaks.

During these occasions, MBI will not be able to provide additional locations for waiting families.

Waiting families that are not able to obey lobby policies may be asked to leave the facility.

5.6. Studios

Students are not permitted to be in the studios alone for Safety Reasons. They must be accompanied by an McAllen Ballet Incubator Staff member or Instructor. Any student who would like to use the studio space for personal use must reserve the space and submit the studio rental fee.

5.7. Safety & Security

The health and safety of all students, parents, faculty, and staff are of utmost importance to us. The following safety features are in place at our facility:

  • All studios as well as entrances to the facility are equipped with security cameras that are monitored by staff.

  • Studio doors are equipped with an “auto-lock” feature to protect individuals inside in the event of a lock down emergency

  • All entrances and exits to the student areas are locked at all times.

  • McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) staff are CPR trained.

  • In the event of a fire, signage to appropriate exits are posted in each studio and MBI may have routine fire drills.

5.8. Private Lessons

Scheduling private lessons are contingent upon instructor and space availability. Students inquire with an McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) administrator to facilitate communication with requested MBI faculty members and to confirm space. Instructors have their individual fees in which this fee is submitted directly to them, while the studio rental fee is submitted to the School.

 

During private lessons, all studio doors remain open.

 

A parent must be present for the lesson with studentʼs if the student is not legally an adult. An MBI staff member will do periodic check-ins.

5.9. Withdrawal

The Withdrawal Form must be completed and submitted to the Director in order to officially withdraw from the McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI).

  • Only written communication and complete forms will be processed. (No Voicemail and Phone calls)

  • The parent or guardian will be responsible for all tuition payments due until the Director receives the Withdrawal Form.

  • In addition, full tuition for the month the student stops attending classes remains.

  • Student withdrawals from the MBI will only be accepted once all financial obligations and balances have been met.

  • MBI may enlist an outside collection agency to recover any remaining overdue balances.

  • Students/Families who notify MBI staff in writing and/or submit the withdrawal form will be refunded if tuition and fees were paid in full.

  • Students may be administratively withdrawn if an account is outstanding for more than 4 weeks, a student has stopped attending classes without notice or if a student or family fails to comply with any payment or behavior policies as indicated in this handbook.

  • All scheduled program items included in the scheduled programs fee will be forfeited, if the student withdraws.

5.10. Leave of Absence

Students from time to time may need to leave during the school year due to medical conditions or to recover from physical injury. 

  • A doctor's note must be submitted with the withdrawal form (with the Leave of Absence option checked) in order to keep his/her registration status as active.

  • The parent(s) or student must notify the Director in writing, when they intend to return.

  • If students decide not to return, an official Withdrawal Form will need to be submitted to withdraw from McAllen Ballet Incubator for the remainder of the school year. 

  • Excessive absences without notification to instructors or school staff does not constitute an official leave of absence. Families will still be responsible for tuition payments.

  • Please keep your child home if he/she is ill for the safety of all. We will work with you to the best of our ability to mitigate any issue with the advancement and evaluation of your student by the discretion of our Artistic team.

5.11. Student Injury or Medical Conditions

Any student who has a chronic injury or medical condition and becomes injured or ill either before or during attendance in their programming must provide notice to the school and Director.

  • A note from the student's doctor should be provided regarding the restrictions or details that will affect a student's participation in class.

  • If the illness or injury will accrue extended absences for the student, or causes the student to be unable to fully participate for a period of time, a doctor's note will be required to be provided in order to resume full participation in classes or the showcase.

    • If the student is unable to perform at their registered level upon return from injury or illness, they may not be able to participate in scheduled programs or may be transferred to another level to best benefit their recovery.

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) is not responsible for administering medications or managing a student's medical condition. Families must notify us regarding all requested accommodations and needs related to the condition in advance of the season start or prior to resuming classes.

5.12. Evaluations

Students are evaluated for the purposes of gauging progress and areas of improvement year-round as well as during scheduled placement auditions.

  • Evaluations are completed by McAllen Ballet Incubator faculty. Concerns regarding a studentʼs progression can be addressed with the Director and faculty.

  • Completing the school year in the registered level/class does not guarantee automatic progression into the next level. Students must meet their leveled requirements and proficiency.

5.13. Student and Family Behavior Etiquette

McAllen Ballet Incubator (MBI) strives to provide the highest quality of training and the safest environment for all students. In order to do so, the School Staff asks for all parents, guardians, and students to help with creating this environment. MBI faculty, staff and Director are always available to discuss any needs with a parent directly. The School believes the following guidelines and commitment will help create this environment:

  • Follow school rules

  • Be respectful to all

  • Remain disciplined and focused on daily training

  • Be courteous to fellow students

Please understand the School practices a Zero Tolerance Policy and does not tolerate the following:

  • Any form of bullying, including cyber bullying, and any similar actions that occur within the student body, offsite and/or onsite.

  • Any form of violence, harassment or discriminatory remarks, both verbal and physical.

  • Inappropriate conversations, talks, or comments.

  • Any inappropriate social media posts, including photos or comments.

  • Inappropriate physical touching of any kind.

  • Possession of any kind of weapons, such as firearms, knives, or of the sort.

The School asks that all families accept the following responsibilities:

  • Support your child in his or her efforts in attending MBI by ensuring punctual transportation, supporting classroom methodology, and respecting the relationship between your child and his/her instructor.

  • Understand that your child may be dismissed from MBI if he or she has unexcused and/or excessive absences or if circumstances become necessary.

  • Monitor school calendars, schedules and be aware of policies (including helping my child be correctly dressed in proper attire and hair for class) and be responsible for your childʼs consistent participation in all scheduled events.

  • Respect the advice of the MBI faculty regarding your childʼs progress in their program.

  • Bring any problems or potential issues to MBIʼs attention in a timely fashion to ensure all studentsʼ needs are being met and addressed.

  • Be mindful and respectful of different viewpoints, cultures and lifestyles.

  • Be sure your child is aware of all MBI policies and the behavior that is expected of him/her while at MBI.

  • Understand that it is important that your child is practicing good hygiene and do not bring them to class if they are sick. If your child is determined to have a fever, they will be segregated from other students and will need to be picked up and taken home.

  • Adhere by MBI COVID-19 Safety protocols, or any other protocols that may be put in place to protect all students, staff and faculty.

  • If you would like to speak with an instructor to review a student's progress, please set an appointment by providing your request to the front desk personnel. Please provide contact information and an administrator will reach out within 2-3 business days to coordinate a meeting.

  • In the event that an issue or change in may affect a student's participation or enrollment at MBI, please contact us contact@mcallenballetincubator.com to update your registration information.

  • Parents are not permitted in the studios. 

  • We ask parents to not observe classes from windows. Especially with Level 1, as this distracts the students at a young age. Young children are distracted by seeing if their parents are watching, have a tendency to want to leave the class to be with their parents, and may be affected emotionally if their parents are not watching while other parents are watching their children.