Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer discounts for the military or families with siblings?

BVI offers discounts for our military and families with siblings.  BVI appreciates our military families' service so all active duty military families receive FREE registration (proof of valid military ID required). We also value our families with siblings and in honor of those families BVI offers a family discount on registration fees.  One dancer registration fee is $30 for the academy year and $15 for summer.  Two or more sibling registration fee is $50 for the academy year and $20 for summer.
*All the above offers are only good at the time of registration.  The offers listed above are not retroactive and no refunds will be granted.   

I am an adult and want to take a dance class, does BVI offer anything for me?

Yes, BVI offers adult-only ballet and tap classes. Friday morning ballet classes are taught by Patricia Sorrell and the level varies based on the adults that attend. Wednesday evening ballet classes are taught by Lisa McCarty and dedicated to the adult beginner to advanced beginner. Monday evening ballet classes are taught by Suzanne Lownsbury and dedicated to the intermediate adult beginner. Monday evening tap classes are taught by Kim Lawver. Please call 757-446-1401 or look under "Adults" in the registration section of the website if you have questions or for more information.

Do you offer private lessons?

Private lessons are available to students ages 6 and up.  Ballet Virginia International faculty and guest instructors teach the lessons.  Private lessons are $70/per hour and semi-private lessons for two students are $100/per hour.  You may speak directly to the instructor to schedule all private lessons either through an email or phone call, see the front desk for details.

Are there any additional costs like recital schools?

Ballet Virginia International is a tuition based, non-profit, organization.  Our mission is to make strong classical ballet training accessible to the Hampton Roads community.  A simple dress code that consists of the basics of dance attire; leotard, pink tights, and pink ballet shoes are required for all levels of our academy.  An audition fee and performance fee applies to those students who wish to be involved in a BVI production, which includes rehearsals, costumes, and headpieces.

How many students are in each class?

For our children’s program, classes close at around 15 students. For the other levels, classes are closed at 20 to 30 students depending on age and studio space.

I don’t look like a skinny ballerina. Does it matter?

You will be amazed at the different shapes and sizes of our dancers.

Can I wear sweat pants or skirts as an adult or do I have to wear leotards and tights?

We allow skirts in our community classes and sweat pants can be worn too. However, it is important for us to be able to see your body for proper alignment and muscle usage.

I’ve heard ballet is too hard and not much fun. Is this true?

In our experience, the vast majority of our students find a true passion with ballet. The hours are long, and it is hard work, but just like baseball, or gymnastics, or skating, if you like it, the work is fun. Most of our dancers find a special group of friends away from school or work that share their passion and love for dance.

If I don’t like it, what is my committment?

The tuition for the year is broken down into 10 monthly payments. Students pay a non-refundable registration fee. If for some reason you need to withdraw from BVI, let us know by filling out an academy withdrawal form at least 30 days before the next tuition payment due date.

Will I be able to perform on stage?

BVI offers many performance opportunities throughout the academy year, and there are various ways this can be achieved. All students, Beginning Ballet and above, are invited to perform in the Concert Classique in June.  Students 6 years old and older also have the opportunity to audition and then perform in BVI's very own Nutcracker.  The spring offers yet another opportunity to audition and perform  in various story book ballets.  All performance opportunities are performed on a professional stage, in a public theatre, within the Hampton Roads area.

Am I too old to start ballet?

You are never too old to start ballet. If you are serious and are thinking about becoming a professional dancer, there is an age limit for such an expectation. Otherwise, dance is a wonderful form of exercise and is a great stress reliever for all ages.

I am taking at another studio, is it OK to come to BVI as well?

We welcome dance students from other schools to try a class at BVI but we ask that you commit to a the full schedule of whatever BVI level you are placed in. Under the discretion of the directors, sometimes exceptions are made.

Why take ballet at BVI rather than at my local studio?

At BVI, our highly trained professional faculty will teach a dancer how to dance, not just a collection of dances that will be performed at a recital. Artistry, performance skills and safe, technical training will allow talented and hard working dancers to have the choice for a professional career or college dance program.

When is too young to start?

At BVI we offer a class called Dance with Me.  This class is designed for any student that shows interest, 18 months to three years old.  The Dance with Me class includes participation for the young dancer as well as one parent, guardian, grandparent or nanny.  Once fully potty trained a 3 year old student will enter our academy and continue their dance education independently from a parent or guardian in our safe, supportive and constructive Pre-Ballet classes.  BVI excels at providing solid dance training while working on gross motor skills and providing the tools to "learn how to learn."

How do I get started in your school?

Call us at 757-446-1401 to set up an appropriate complimentary placement class. Once we place the dancer in a level, a tuition payment will be set, and we will help you with any other questions you may have.

Why does Ballet Virginia collect a full tuition payment in June if classes are only held until mid June?

At BVI we offer a pay in full tuition option or a 10 month payment plan tuition option for our academy year. We offer two options so families can choose which option best fits their budget. We collect a full tuition payment in June from every family who chooses the 10 month payment plan, because June is the 10th month. Allowing families to spread out tuition payments over 10 months allows for smaller payments, therefore making BVI affordable to more families.