IBA|IBT CLOSURE UPDATE (4/25/20)

Dear IBA Students and Parents, 

 

We hope that everyone is staying healthy and enjoying the online ballet classes! With the abrupt interruption to the education of our dancers, our goal was to provide a temporary solution to a temporary problem. It brings us such joy that our students can continue dancing in the safety of their own homes. 

 

Unfortunately, the future of our community and the world at large is still uncertain. While the Governor of Washington has stated that the quarantine will lift on May 4th, 2020, it is still not clear if that date will stand, or how easily we will all be able to return to our original schedule. 

 

Because of this, we have made the following decisions regarding reopening our doors and our online classes. 

  • Even if the quarantine is lifted on May 4th and we are allowed to reopen our doors, we do not want to put the health and safety of our dancers and teachers at risk by immediately returning to the studio. 

  • Because of this, we will continue to remain closed and hold our online classes until the end of May 2020, even if we are allowed to open after May 4th.

  • The additional three weeks will give us an insight into the best and safest way of beginning classes in our studio. If we find this solution sooner, we may begin classes in-studio at an earlier date. 

  • As the Governor issues updates, our Academy will adjust and adapt so please look out for updates via our social media and email. 

  • We want everyone to know that our goal is to make sure our dancers and teachers continue exploring their artistry in a safe and healthy environment. 

We thank you all for the support you have given us during this difficult time. It is so heartwarming to see our community come together and support one another. We wish everyone a wonderful week!

IBA|IBT CLOSURE UPDATE (4/6/20)

Dear IBA Families:

First of all, we want to extend our gratitude to each of you being a part of the IBA.  Your presence at our Academy not only upholds the arts within our community, but it supports the artistic dreams of young boys and girls everywhere. We hope that this letter finds you all well through these very difficult and uncertain times. Our entire Academy would like to give a special thank you to each and every essential employee in our area.  You are the strength that binds our community and we appreciate you more than you can possibly know.   

 

We have some updates & announcements that we wish to share with you.

 

1.  Due to the Governor's new directive extending the "Shelter In Place" order to May 4, 2020, International Ballet Academy will continue to hold online classes at least until that time.  Further extensions of our online program will be directly related to the state requirements for non-essential businesses.

 

2.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we officially must cancel the 2020 Wizard of Oz production.  There will be no performance in May.  Participating families will receive a separate email from the IBT Board.  In order to help with the extensive cost of expenses that our non-profit organization already incurred in preparation for this event, we appreciate it if you are able to donate the cost of your tickets to IBT.  If you cannot do that, please contact Brown Paper tickets right away to seek a refund.  There is a limited amount of time in which you are able to do this.  

 

3.  We have launched our online academic program via the Zoom platform, as many other educational organizations are doing at this time.  We want to thank our faculty for all of their hard work in preparing thoughtful lessons for our dancers so they can keep training under these circumstances.  We are happy to hear that their efforts, dedication, and care are providing comfort during this difficult time. 

 

4.  It is so exciting to see so many dancers taking advantage of the online opportunities to maintain and keep developing their strength.  If you have not yet joined us for the online program, please be sure to email us as soon as possible.  Include your phone number and we will call you and help you get started.  Email the front office at info@intballetacademy.org.

 

5.  During this online program, our Teen/Adult Open Class Program and our Children's Program are available to anyone who wishes to participate.  Dancers or Families just need to contact our front office staff to sign up.  Please let your friends and family know that they can join these classes even if they have not been registered in our program this season.  Tuition costs will still apply; however, registration can be handled easily by phone.  Referrals may be directed to the IBA front desk:      Email (info@intballetacademy.org)       Phone (425-822-7694).

 

6.  Announcements with regard to any other upcoming programs and productions with IBA and IBT will come to you in early May, once we know more about the status of the pandemic and the Washington State guidelines.  Please stay tuned for that information.

 

Again, we thank you all for all of the expressions of love and support you have shown to the IBA staff and organization.  We truly have a very special community here at IBA.  Because of this, we ask one more thing from you.  Please see the list below and help us with a few tasks.  We love our families and are so touched by the display of kindness and consideration that we have been seeing.  We would like to celebrate our students and families, so we appreciate your participation in these items below.

 

A.  FOR THOSE OF YOU attending the online classes, please send us a quote about this.  This can be a quote to say why you are participating in this online program with IBA and/or your feedback about your online lessons and what it means to you and your family.  

 

B.  Send a cute photo or video of you or your family members participating in the online classes with your quote or just a brief description if you prefer.

 

C.  IF YOU ARE WORKING OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME as an essential employee anywhere in our state, please send us a photo of yourself and a brief explanation of what you do.

 

D.  Finally, PLEASE, send us a photo of your family (even if this is just a picture of you and your cat!) and share something special about how you are spending your time during this "Shelter in Place" order.  

 

F.  We would love to share all of your submission on our social media platforms to showcase not only our city but the world at large that we are a strong community powered by love and the beauty of art. 

 

RESPOND TO THESE REQUESTS FOR STORIES, QUOTES, AND PHOTOS BY EMAILING THEM DIRECTLY TO CARLENA at  info@intballetacademy.org.   We thank you!!

IBA|IBT CLOSURE UPDATE (3/25/20)

Dear IBA Students and Parents:

 

I hope that everyone is finding time to rest and stay healthy during this difficult time.  With the sudden closure of our Academy in addition to a necessary mid-season relocation, our faculty and staff have been hard at work maintaining the IBA.  Like so many other businesses with forced closures, we are seeking resources and financial support to help us maintain our faculty and our facility until the quarantine is lifted.  As we wait to see what support will be provided to arts organizations such as ours, we can start to focus on the most important thing of all, our students!

 

As of March 23, 2020, the International Ballet Academy will keep our studio closed until April 27, 2020. This is the length of the quarantine for public schools.  Much also depends upon the state government orders for businesses such as ours.  We hope that this will end swiftly so that we all can get back to our regular routines, and our dancers may return to their dance studies.

 

Until that time, we are implementing an online class system for our students for the month of April. These classes will be a continuation of our many different programs and will be offered on a weekly basis.  We hope that this will provide some consistency for our dancers and their studies, as well as give them a chance to continue developing their physical technique and artistic presence.  Our goal is that many of our regular classes will be offered, along with stretching regimens and story-oriented ballet experiences for our younger dancers.  Please watch closely for more announcements.

 

Some of you may have received an email from IBT or Brown Paper Tickets regarding our production of Don Quixote and The Wizard of Oz.  We apologize that Brown Paper Tickets sent this email in error.  We hope that we can clarify some of what was said:

 

  • The production of Don Quixote in May 2020 is canceled. 

  • The April 2020 production of The Wizard of Oz has also canceled.

  • Due to BPT policy, tickets from this show are non-transferable to any other production, but may be refunded.  If you are able, you may also consider donating the cost of your ticket to IBT to help our non-profit theatre company absorb the losses that occurred after the cancelation of our productions. 

  • We still maintain hope that we can use the dates vacated by the loss of our Don Quixote production to stage this season’s Wizard of Oz.  

  • We will continue to make announcements as we get closer to those dates.  New tickets will have to be purchased for this production. 

  • All dates are considered tentative.  We hope that the global health crisis will soon end, allowing us to provide this artistic expression to our dancers and social relief to our patrons. 

 

As we work hard to continue to provide the arts to our community, you can help us by joining our online classes through April, which will help IBA maintain our staff and faculty.  Also, please share our fundraiser found on our IBA website (www.intballetacademy.org).  These funds will help us cover immediate costs related to our faculty and studio.

 

I wish everyone a wonderful week, good health, and peace.  I also want to thank you for being a part of our IBA community and to know that, with your support, we can continue to provide incredible artistic opportunities for our students.  After 19 years of engaging the Eastside with the beauty of art, we plan to be with you for 19 more.  Stay healthy, safe and creative!

 

Sincerely,

Vera Altunina

Artistic Director

IBA|IBT CLOSURE UPDATE (3/15/20)

Dear Patrons, Friends & Families of IBA & IBT:

The faculty and administration of the International Ballet Academy & Theatre have been watching closely the rapidly changing situation with the novel coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping across our community, state and nation. We have been in communication with experts around the world, working hard to be as informed as we possibly can be about infection control. Our priority has been and will continue to be the well-being of our students, and families, as well as acting in a socially responsible way in a community that is greatly impacted by this pandemic. As most of you know, we closed our operations much earlier than most. We have concluded that we must make the hard decision to close all activities and business associated with our Academy and non-profit Ballet Company through Saturday, March 28. At that time, we will make a determination and then announce if it is possible to reopen on Monday, March 30, 2020. 

 

We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this may cause many of our dancers who wish to continue their classes and rehearsals with us. However, we genuinely believe that this is in the best interest of our entire community.  

 

We hope you can appreciate and support our efforts to be a part of the solution in this challenging time. We also hope you can understand the significant losses we have endured already due to this situation. Please consider making a donation to our organization at this time to help sustain us until we can all see improvement and get back to our regular routine. Also, for those working for companies less impacted by the closures, please appeal to your employers, especially in the Kirkland & Bellevue areas, to offer us assistance so that the arts will not be decimated by these events.  

 

Many of you have studied with us for many years. You understand the value of a program such as ours on Seattle's Eastside. We need your support to help us get through this very difficult time. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed directly to International Ballet Theatre at 507 6th Street South, Kirkland, WA 98033.  Please note “COVID-19 Relief" in the memo section of your check. 

 

We thank you all for supporting education in the arts in our great community.  

 

 

Vera Altunina, Artistic Director

Anatoli M Kucher, General Manager

IBA|IBT CLOSURE UPDATE (3/13/20)

Dear Patrons, Friends & Families of IBA & IBT:

 

We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy in these uncertain times.  Unfortunately, with the escalating health issues, we have had to make some difficult decisions about the next few months regarding both our Academy and our professional non-profit, International Ballet Theatre.  

 

Due to the government mandate and guidelines for all public schools, International Ballet Academy will be closed until March 28, 2020. However, the Pre-Professional and Professional Division classes will resume this Monday, March 16, excluding Pas de deux lessons, which will remain canceled through March 28, 2020.  Dancers who are registered for these classes are invited back to class to participate if they are interested and comfortable to do so.  Please understand that this is completely voluntary.  International Ballet Academy expects all interested dancers to strictly follow the Washington Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control guidelines with regard to Covid-19 infection control.  If anyone has had potential exposure to Covid-19, we expect they will follow all of the quarantine requirements outlined by our governmental agencies.  We are offering these lessons in an effort to continue encouraging and supporting our families, dancers, faculty, and all associated businesses in our community during this very difficult time.  

 

As a result of these unexpected cancellations, our current academic season will be extended.  The last day of classes will be June 27, 2020.  The final full two weeks of classes after the Stars of Tomorrow performances will be solely dedicated to make-up classes.  This was necessary in order to help us find more ways to compensate dancers for lesson time they may have missed.  As things continue to develop, we will re-evaluate our adjustments as well as the academy closure, communicating with each of you how we need to manage going forward at that time.

 

It is also with a heavy heart that we must cancel our upcoming production of Don Quixote from May 15-17, 2020.  We have tentatively moved our production of The Wizard of Oz to those dates. Our dancers and staff have already invested so much time and hard work to prepare, so we still hope that we will have the opportunity to perform this on the stage.  We will continue to stay closely connected to the information coming from our state officials, the Department of Health, and the CDC to determine if this will be possible.

 

We are sure that each of you can appreciate the impact that these cancellations will have on both of our organizations and our entire faculty.  We have already invested so much time and resources into the planned series of productions this season, and we do not have excess funds with which to absorb the losses we are experiencing.  As you all know, these current events are also taking place at a time when we have already been stretched thin by being required to relocate mid-season.  We need your support more now than ever before.  We ask all of our patrons, friends, and families to stand by the International Ballet Academy & Theatre, as well as our world renown, dedicated faculty so that we can continue to provide the high-quality education you have come to expect from our program.  There are several things you can do to help:

 

  1. Please, be patient as we navigate this very new territory for us all.  

  2. Please, consider foregoing a refund and donating the cost of your Wizard of Oz show tickets to help us at this time.  

  3. Consider making a donation to help us remain stable through a time when many, many businesses are finding the current financial climate to be rather devastating.  Donations can be made to by check to International Ballet Theatre, adding “Covid-19 Relief” to the memo section of your check.

  4. Please advocate on behalf of our company.  There are companies offering assistance to some programs such as ours.  You may have an employer who is providing assistance such as this.  We need our patrons, friends & family to help us find these programs and perhaps even advocate for our organization to receive some of this financial assistance at this time.

 

Please continue to watch for updates and announcements.  Thank you so much for being a part of this great program.  We hope that we will face this difficult time together and will come out stronger, offering greater opportunities in the arts for years to come.  

 

We have attached some important links below for you to review.  

 

King County Public Health

Centers for Disease Control 

Washington State Department of Health

 

Kind regards,

Vera Altunina

Artistic Director

© 2019 by INTERNATIONAL BALLET ACADEMY

Photography by Rex Tranter