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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre?

ESBT is a non-profit pre-professional ballet company that was founded in 1991 by a local dance teacher, Betty Webster, and a group of culturally minded people from the community. ESBT produces the Nutcracker and a spring ballet every year, with a cast consisting of local dance students and visiting guest professionals. 


What does ESBT do?  ESBT brings full length contemporary and classical ballets to our lower Eastern Shore community. We provide a venue for local dance students to gain pre-professional experience, to raise awareness and inspire our community with the art of classical dance. 


I like ballet but I don’t necessarily want to be a professional someday. Is ESBT for me? Yes! While many dancers who have danced with ESBT have gone on to successful professional careers in dance, many more have not, but have had the joy of performing in our ballet productions. 


Do I need to take ballet to be a part of ESBT?  Yes.  Students aged 10 and over should take a minimum of two ballet classes a week. Students aged 7 to 9 should take ballet once a week. The ballet classes can be taken at any dance studio on Delmarva.


How do I become a member of ESBT? Membership is open to all dancers age 7 and up who study ballet at any dance studio on Delmarva. Auditions are held every year in September and January. Dancers who audition and become members at the beginning of the season in September are eligible to perform in both the Nutcracker and the Spring Production, and do not have to audition again in January.


Is there a cost to audition? Yes there is a $30 audition fee due on Audition Day.


What do I need to wear to the audition?

Girls: Black leotard, pink tights, ballet slippers, with hair secured in a neat bun.

Boys: Black shorts or dance tights, white T-shirt, and black ballet shoes.


Can parents watch the auditions? No. After all of the dancers arrive, the studio doors are closed. Parents are welcome to wait in the lobby.


Are there additional fees to participate? Yes* ESBT is committed to keeping fees low and making membership affordable. The one-time Membership Fee and Maintenance Fee (that assists with maintaining and purchasing costumes) are scaled according to the dancer’s age.

Petites: Ages 8 and Under, $30 Membership Fee only

Juniors: Ages 9-13 $50 Membership Fee and $50 Maintenance Fee

Seniors: Ages 14 and Up, $70 Membership Fee and $50 Maintenance Fee

*Members who join in January for ½ season will have prorated Membership and Maintenance Fees.


When are rehearsals? Rehearsals begin the first weekend in October and continue through to performance week (November 30 through December 4, 2022.) Rehearsals are held on Saturday and Sunday. Dancers who dance pointe parts typically start the 45 minute warm up session between 12:30 and 1:00, and this is followed directly by rehearsals. Rehearsals typically run between 1:30 and  5:30 pm: this is approximate and these times will vary depending on the dancer’s roles. In the spring, rehearsals follow a similar schedule. Rehearsals begin the weekend of February 11, 2023 for Alice In Wonderland and continue through performance week April 27 through 29 April 2023. There will be no rehearsals on Easter Weekend.


What is the absence policy? Attendance at rehearsals is mandatory, though we do allow a limited number of excused absences.


Where are rehearsals held? Rehearsals take place at the Salisbury Dance Academy in Fruitland, Maryland unless otherwise noted. During the week of the performances, blocking and dress rehearsal are held at WIHI.


In addition to the Nutcracker and the Spring Production, does ESBT participate in other events or performances? Yes. ESBT brings small excerpts of ballets to the local library, local elementary schools, the Horizons showcase and other venues. These are generally extra volunteer opportunities for the dancers, and are not mandatory.


Do dancers get credit for community volunteer hours for their time with ESBT? Yes, ESBT provides a letter for students to bring to their school to get community service credits.

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