Student Handbook

Please read every section under "All Levels" carefully. Then see more info about specific class levels below. 

All Levels


It is our goal that ballet be a wonderful experience and hope that by reviewing this information with you beforehand, the school year will be enjoyable and provide a positive experience for both you and your child. We ask that you discuss this as a family so that students are aware of expectations. This is done to make the learning environment one that will help your child learn most effectively. Thank you for your support and cooperation.


“Attitude determines altitude” – To best benefit from the class, students should come with a positive attitude, ready to learn and willing to actively participate in class.

In order to create a conducive fun learning environment, students should be respectful and not be distracting the class while the teacher is instructing. If anyone is interfering with the progress of the class repeatedly, the child will be asked to sit and watch the remainder of the class time. Any behavior that seems disruptive on a regular basis will result in a parent-teacher conference to correct the situation.

While waiting outside before or after their classes, noises should be kept low to avoid disturbing the ongoing class. Students are encouraged to bring their water bottles, but food or gum are to be avoided.

Classroom Observation

Our studio window to the classroom is open the last week of each month so that parents and friends may observe. Please do not cause any distraction so students can remain focused on the lesson being taught.

Photography and Video/Audio Recording of Classes

Photography and video/audio recording of our classes is not allowed without special permission from Rachel’s Ballet.


Communication at our school is done primarily by email and our website. Please check your e-mail regularly for updated information such as schedule changes, rehearsals, performances, exams and other announcements that may affect you/your child. Our website will have the latest general updates, but e-mail information for specific classes or groups will not necessarily be posted.

Suggestions for Younger Children

Please accompany your student into the lobby 5-10 minutes before the start of class time. Make sure any bathroom needs are taken care of, and check that your student is properly groomed for class (hair pulled back, leotard, tights, shoes, and skirt all on and shoe elastics tied and tucked in).

Please be mindful that the students are not just entering an exercise class, but are about to practice a performing art which requires a calm focus of body and mind. Please do not allow your students to play loudly or to climb on the furniture in the lobby as this does not prepare them properly for class, but also does not show proper respect to the studio environment. If you notice any unfriendly interactions between students, please try to resolve them before class begins so they do not carry over into the classroom.

When class ends please be ready in the lobby to receive your student since the teachers must immediately start the next class and cannot focus on the students who have just finished.

Please encourage your student to show you some of the things she/he has learned or has been working on in class. Not only does this give her/him a chance to practice the steps, but it is a lovely reminder of how fun it can be to perform ballet.         

Be On Time / Attendance

Attending on a regular basis and arriving on time are crucial for a successful experience. Please attend all your classes and be on time. If you come late, please wait until the music has stopped or there is a break before entering to minimize disturbance to the class. Proper warm up is required before joining the rest of the class. 

Children & Belongings Should Not Be Left Unattended*

Child safety is of the highest importance. We ask that parents pick up their children promptly after class so they are not left unattended in the waiting area. All of the student's belongings should be taken into the studio area with them during class. The waiting area is unattended and Rachel's Ballet is not responsible for any losses while at the studio.

*At the discretion of Rachel’s Ballet and/or the class teacher, we may assess a fee for late pick-ups if it interferes with the next class or the teacher’s ability to lock up. The fee will be charged at a rate of $1.00 per minute, after a 5-minute grace period. 

Absences / Make Up Classes

Absences: No credit or refund is given for illness, trips out of town, or other absences. Please see the “Make-Up Classes” below.

Make-up Classes: Students must email Rachel at least two days in advance of attending a make-up class. Students can make-up classes missed as available at both locations, but only for the SAME grade level or below. Students who are 9 years or older may attend a Contemporary or Lyrical class as a make-up class. Make-up classes may be taken BEFORE or AFTER an absence, but must be within the same school term as the absence. (For example, you cannot make-up a Summer Session absence during the Fall/Spring School Year. Summer make-up classes can be taken in either Summer Session 1 or Summer Session 2.)  It is the student/parent’s responsibility to schedule make-up classes for absences.

Dress Code

Rachel’s Ballet has a required uniform for the classroom and for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examination. Colors correlate with grade levels. Please purchase all uniform items at the beginning of the school year. Some items, such as Character Shoes and Character Skirts, must be custom ordered; you may order the items individually or coordinate an order with other parents in your child's class to save on shipping costs. Our school will not be placing any orders for uniform items.

Good Hygiene

The student's appearance in class must be neat and clean at all times. Students are expected to observe good personal hygiene habits.


Students need to come to class with their hair properly groomed. Hair should be tightly secured and styled away from the face. For females, the hair should be in a neat bun. See more info here: Hair Grooming for Females and Males


Dancewear is to be kept in good repair and laundered on a regular basis. Ballet sweaters and leg warmers are permitted for the warm up section of the class only (pending the season). Jackets, sweat pants/shirts and plastic pants/shorts may not be worn during any portion of the ballet class, as this makes it difficult to observe posture and teach correct body placement.


Jewelry is not to be worn during class unless it is mandatory for medical reasons. Small earring studs are fine at your own discretion, but no long earrings, bracelets or necklaces will be permitted. Jewelry worn this way can be a safety hazard to your child and the other children in the class.

See PDF for Viewing / Printing: Uniform-Requirements-2017-18 

Please verify with Ms. Rachel before purchasing ballet items from any source other than the vendors listed here.

Where to Buy

Most uniform items (leotards, tights, belts, pointe shoes, ballet skirts/circle skirts, etc.) may be purchased from Encore Theatrical Supply Company Inc., in Dublin, CA. (Exceptions include character skirts, character shoes, and demi pointe shoes which must be purchased from other vendors.)

Please inform the Encore salesperson that your student attends Rachel's Ballet to ensure you are purchasing the appropriate items. Encore Student Discount Cards (10% discount on shoes and dance attire only) are available at the studio.

Encore Theatrical Supply Company, Inc.
7182 Regional St. Dublin, CA 94568
(New location- across the street from Rachel’s Dublin Studio!)
Phone: 925-463-2140

Contact the General Manager if you have any questions

We order costumes for all students for our annual Spring Showcase. The following chart will help determine the correct size. Please remember to allow room to grow as the Showcase is in May.

See Costume Sizing Chart


The Dress Code for “Tights for Grade 1 and above is Capezio Convertible Tights (ballet pink) in either style:

Style #1916 OR Style #18 (microfiber mesh w/seam)

These are transition tights (convert from footed to footless). Choose the style to best match your ballet shoes - especially students en pointe. They are available in three sizes but tend to run small in size: Child (One-size-fits-all), Adult Small/Medium, or Adult Large/X-Large. Tights can be purchased at Encore Theatrical Supply Company, Inc.

Grades 1-8

Boys & Men: Jazz Shoes


Girls & Women:

All shoes are Black Canvas with Pink Elastics. Heel size is either LOW or CUBAN as described below.


Grade 1 and Grade 2 (LOW HEEL)

Choose one: Freed Character Shoe - LOW HEEL or Katz Character Shoe - LOW HEEL

Character Shoe - LOW HEEL


Character Shoe - LOW HEEL


Grade 3 (Transition from LOW to CUBAN HEEL)

If your shoes from Grade 2 still fit, you may use them.

If you are ordering new shoes, please purchase the higher CUBAN HEEL.

Choose one: Freed Character Shoe - CUBAN HEEL or Katz Character Shoe - CUBAN HEEL


Grade 4+ (CUBAN HEEL)

Choose one: Freed Character Shoe - CUBAN HEEL or Katz Character Shoe - CUBAN HEEL


Character Shoe - CUBAN HEEL


ALL SHOE ELASTICS MUST BE PINK for exams. If you have black elastics (or any other color), please change your elastics to pink (it is just like the elastics on pumps). Thank you.

(You may order this item individually or coordinate an order with other parents in your child's class to save on shipping costs. Our school does NOT place orders for these items.)

Ordering tips and links for the FREED shoes:

  1. Dance Supplies, Etc., Inc.

- Customer Service Phone 1-800-90-DANCE. On their web site, click on “Tap & Character Shoes”, and select “Freed Low Heel Character Shoes” OR "Freed Cuban Heel Character Shoes". Shoe sizes listed are UK (British) sizes.

- Women's Shoe Sizes: While Freed of London recommends ordering 2.5 sizes smaller than your regular US women's shoe size, this supplier has a different recommendation. If you want the adult size shoes tight, go with 2.5 sizes down. Most parents want a little room for their children's feet to grow, so this company usually recommends you only go 2 sizes down.

- Children's Shoe Sizes: The children's sizes (the sizes listed with the C) are about the same as US street shoe size (not 2.5 sizes down) so order the usual size your child wears in street shoes.

2. Freed of London,

- Customer Service Phone at 1-866-MY-FREED (1-866-693-7333) ext. 232 or Email at

- Women’s Shoe Sizes: Click on “Other Shoes” and select the Cuban Heels. The site recommends ordering 2.5 sizes smaller than your U.S. Women’s Shoe Size (order only 2.0 sizes down to give room for growing feet). It lists the equivalent U.S. Women’s Shoe Sizes to assist you in ordering.

- Children's Shoe Sizes: Click on “Other Shoes”, and select the RAD LOW HEEL Character Shoes. Order the usual size your child wears in street shoes.



Character Skirts

IMG_3770 (1)Character skirts are made of black fabric with multiple ribbon strands sewn parallel to the hem. Grade 1 students onward will need a character skirt from New York which can be ordered directly at Lilly’s Creations,  or call Lilly at 212-795-6767.

For ribbon color selection, you only need to specify “Rachel’s Ballet” on the order form. Please specify "Hook & Eye Closure" and two waist measurements: your child's actual waist measurement and that measurement plus one inch. For example, if your child's actual waist is 25 inches, then specify "25 / 26" as the waist measurements. (You may order this item individually or coordinate an order with other parents in your child's class to save on shipping costs. Our school will NOT be placing any orders for uniform items.)

Demi Pointe Shoes
Demi-Pointe Shoes are at the discretion of the instructors on a student-by-student basis. Key criteria will be assessed by staff for Levels G5 and up. DO NOT purchase unless you have been asked to by the instructor.

DEMI-POINTE SHOES (General Information for Parents)
Demi-pointe shoes help strengthen the feet and prepare girls for future pointe work. These shoes look just like pointe shoes, except they do not have the hard shank. You may purchase demi-pointe shoes and other needed items online or at Contra Costa Dancewear in Walnut Creek, CA. Usually the shoes purchased online are less expensive.

You will need to buy the following items: Demi-pointe shoes and ribbons.

Demi-Pointe Shoes: Have your child bring her demi-pointe shoes to class for a teacher to check them BEFORE sewing on the ribbons.

Ribbons: To sew the ribbons on you will need the following items: Ribbons, needles, scissors, and seam ripper. Use a strong thread to sew on the ribbons. Carpet thread or dental floss is recommended. Cut purchased satin ribbon into 4 equal lengths. If needed, ask for assistance from teachers to help you find the right place to sew the ribbons on to the shoes. After ribbons are sewn on, we will trim the ribbons to correct length in class. To keep the ribbon ends from unraveling, parents can seal them on the edges with either clear nail polish or burn the edges.

Additional information:

Contra Costa Dancewear:
675 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Suite B104, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, Phone (925) 932-9660
If you purchase shoes at this dancewear store they will sew the ribbons on for you. But first have them checked by a teacher for correct fit. Once ribbons are sewn on they cannot be returned.

Purchasing Demi-Pointe Shoes Online:
Here are some on line links to purchase demi-pointe shoes. If you purchase items on line, you will need to sew on ribbons and yourself.
(search for “demi-pointe” for Bloch Demi-Pointe shoes)

If you have any questions regarding demi-pointe shoes, please feel free to let us know.

-Miss Leigh Ann, Miss Bambi, and Miss Jeanie

Vocational Levels

Demi-Pointe Shoes

Vocational students intermediate and up will use demi-pointe shoes for class work to continue strengthening and refining their footwork for pointe. Please read the information about Demi-Pointe shoes in the button above.

Pointe Shoes

Pointe Shoes are for students deemed ready to go on pointe. Vocational students should own two (2) pairs of pointe shoes: one pair for use now and one pair that they are breaking in. Allow pointe shoes to air dry after dancing to prolong their usage. Shoes can be purchased at the following stores:

  1. San Francisco Dancewear: http://www.sfdanceweacom

659 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105, Phone (415) 882-7087

Join their Pointe Shoe Club, every 6th pair is free, must purchase all shoes at the same store location to qualify.

  1. San Francisco Dancewear: http://www.sfdanceweacom

5900 College Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94618, Phone (510) 655-3608

Join their Pointe Shoe Club, every 6th pair is free, must purchase all shoes at the same store location to qualify.

  1. Encore Theatrical Supply Company:

7182 Regional St.  Dublin, CA 94568  Phone: 925-463-2140

  1. Freed of London:

Call Customer Service at 1-866-MY-FREED (1-866-693-7333) ext. 232

Email for USA at