Bridge Program Policies
Our Policies and procedures are in accordance with the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and are fully explained in our Student Enrolment Contract. They are also listed below for convenience.
Personal Safety Policy
In order to teach and correct dance movement and technique, teachers need to make physical contact with students. VAB ensures that such contact is applied in a professional manner at all times.
Fire Safety Drills are to be expected throughout the year. If you hear the alarm, or if you have been informed to evacuate the building, you should immediately leave the school and proceed to the agreed upon location; halfway up the block on the opposite side of Johnson St. behind the Odeon Theatre.
Under the Personal Information Protection Act students are entitled to access their student file. All personal information provided by dance students and/or parents is strictly confidential and will be shared only with VAB staff as required.
Admission Requirements & Auditions
Applicants should be 19 years of age, or possess a complete Grade 12 Diploma or equivalent. If under 19, applicant must have parent or legal guardian’s consent and signature on the enrolment agreement and be able to demonstrate the maturity and technical ability required for the Bridge Program. All applicants must have a valid passport and, for International Students, an updated study permit. Admission is through a successful audition, interview and print application. All applicants must provide an audition package including;
- Documentation of a student’s dance and training history in resume/CV format
- Confirmation of advanced technical ability and performance level via audition(s) in person, through video, and/or a short‐term trial process (e.g. Professional Summer Intensive Program)
- Must demonstrate the potential to become a professional dancer as well as reaching a high level of ballet technique acceptable to the Program Director.
- 2 Letters of recommendation
- Must keep a valid passport and, for International Students, also an updated study permit.
The audition may be done in person or by the submission of a DVD that follows standard ballet criteria and protocols. Auditions will be conducted by the Director and/or the Bridge Program Director. Applicants submitting a DVD audition should wear proper classical attire (leotard and pink tights). The video should be no longer than 15 minutes in total and include the following; Brief personal introduction Barre work including:
- battements tendus & glisses/degages
- rond‐de‐jambe a terre & battements fondus
- grand battements
Centre work including (women en pointe):
- ports‐de‐bras & adage
- pirouette both en dehors and en dedans
- small allegro
- grande allegro using spatial awareness
- batterie step
A short, variation of either classical or contemporary choreography. Applicants will be notified in writing in a timely manner. VAB does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender or sexual orientation.
1) A student may be entitled to a refund of tuition fees in the event that: (a) The student provides written notice to the institution that he or she is withdrawing from the program; or (b) The institution provides written notice to the student advising that the student has been dismissed from the program. 2) The written notice of withdrawal or dismissal may be delivered in any manner provided that a receipt or other verification is available that indicates the date on which the notice is delivered. 3) The notice of withdrawal or dismissal is deemed to be effective from the date it is delivered. 4) The refund to which a student is entitled is calculated on the total tuition fees due under the contract. Where total tuition fees have not yet been collected, the institution is not responsible for refunding more than has been collected to date and a student may be required to make up for monies due under the contract. 5) If the institution has received fees in excess of the amount it is entitled to under the student contract, the excess amount must be refunded. 6) Refund policy for students: Refunds before the program of study begins: (a) If written notice of withdrawal is received by the institution within 7 days after the contract is made, and before the commencement of the period of instruction specified in the contract, the institution may retain 5% of the total tuition and fees due under the contract to a maximum of $250. (b) If written notice of withdrawal is received by the institution 30 days or more before the commencement of the period of instruction specified in the contract and more than 7 days after the contract was made, the institution may retain 10% of total tuition only due under the contract to a maximum of $1000. (c) Subject to Section 6 (a)(1) above, if written notice of withdrawal is received by the institution less than 30 days before the commencement of the period of instruction specified in the contract, and more than 7 days after the contract was made, the institution may retain 20% of the total tuition only, due under the contract to a maximum of $1300. 7) Refunds after the program of study starts: (a) If written notice of withdrawal is received by the institution or a student is dismissed before 10% of the period of instruction specified in the contract has elapsed, the institution may retain 30% of the tuition due under the contract. (b) If written notice of withdrawal is received by the institution, or a student is dismissed after 10% and before 30% of the period of instruction specified in the contract has elapsed, the institution may retain 50% of the tuition due under the contract. (c) If a student withdraws or is dismissed after 30% of the period of instruction specified in the contract has elapsed, no refund is required. 8) Where a student did not meet the institutional and/or program specific minimum requirements for admission through no misrepresentation or fault of their own, the institution must refund all tuition and fees paid under the contract, less the applicable non‐refundable student application or registration fee. 9) Where a student withdraws or is dismissed from their program, they are entitled to 100% refund of any as‐yet to be received consumables that have been pre‐paid. 10) Where a student withdraws or is dismissed from their program after receiving technical equipment from the institution free of charge: (a) The student must return the equipment unopened or as issued within 14 calendar days; and (b) If the student fails to return the equipment as set out above, the institution may deduct the reasonable cost of the equipment from any amount to be refunded to the student. 11) Refunds owed to students must be paid within 30 days of the institution receiving written notification of withdrawal and all required supporting documentation, or within 30 days of an institution’s written notice of dismissal. 12) Where the delivery of the program of study is through home study or distance education, refunds must be based on the percent of the program of study completed at the rates as set out in Section 7 above.
Dispute Resolution & Grade Appeal Policy
Victoria Academy of Ballet supports a formal process which allows dance students the right to appeal and resolve disputes of a serious nature, or evaluations. VAB students who have concerns about any aspect of program policies, conduct issues or other topics must follow the appeals process: Procedure: In case of a dispute, the student must first arrange to meet with the individual involved If no resolution occurs, then the student must present his/her concerns to the VAB Owner/Director in writing
- the Owner/Director will meet with all parties involved within five school days
- the Owner/Director will seek the advice of outside consultants as required
- the decision of the Owner/Director will be communicated, in writing, to all parties involved
- If it is determined that the student’s concerns are not substantiated VAB will provide a written explanation of the decision and deny the complaint; or
- If it is determined that the student’s concerns are substantiated in whole or in part, VAB will propose a resolution. a copy of the decision and all supporting materials shall be given to the student, a copy will be placed in VAB’s Student Conduct File, and the original will be placed in the student file.
- The decision of the Owner/Director is final
- If the student is not satisfied with the decision, then he/she may file a complaint with PCTIA.
Students who wish to withdraw from the VAB Professional Bridge Program will be asked to provide their withdrawal notice in writing to either Director or Program Director. Depending on the circumstances and the details given in the student’s written notice, the student will be contacted by the Artistic Director, Executive Director or Program Director within five business days to discuss the reasons for withdrawal. Any issues arising from this discussion will be documented and addressed as necessary. VAB will make every effort to accommodate the student with options or alternatives to meet their needs. Any fee adjustments or refunds will be forthcoming as applicable to the individual situation and according to VAB’s Refund Policy.
Any of the following, if substantiated, may result in immediate dismissal without a warning letter or probationary period:
- Sexual assault.
- Physical assault or other violent acts committed on or off campus against any student.
- Verbal abuse or threats.
- Vandalism of school property.
In addition, a student may be requested to withdraw from the program due to serious, chronic health issues which could prevent a dancer from studying or performing to potential. Students who do not meet the expected code of conduct will be subject to the procedures outlined below which may include immediate dismissal from VAB, depending on the severity of the misconduct. Concerns related to a student’s conduct shall be referred to the Owner/Director to process in accordance with this Policy. Procedure: 1) All concerns relating to student misconduct shall be directed to the Owner/Director. Concerns may be brought by staff, students or the public. 2) The Owner/Director will arrange to meet with the student to discuss the concern(s) within 5 school days of receiving the complaint. If the alleged conduct is of such a serious nature that an immediate dismissal may be warranted the Owner/Director will meet with the student as soon as possible. 3) Following the meeting with the student, the Owner/Director will conduct whatever further enquiry or investigation is necessary to determine whether the concerns are substantiated. 4) Any necessary inquiries or investigations shall be completed within 5 school days of the initial meeting with the student. 5) The Owner/Director will meet with the student and do one of the following: (a) Determine that the concern(s) were not substantiated; (b) Determine that the concern(s) were substantiated, in whole or in part, and: (i) Give the student a warning setting out the consequences of further misconduct; or (ii) Set a probationary period with appropriate conditions; or (iii) Dismiss the student from VAB. 6) The Owner/Director will prepare a written summary of the determination. A copy shall be given to the student, a copy will be placed in VAB’s complaint file, and the original will be placed in the student file. 7) If the student is issued a warning or placed on probation, the Owner/Director and the student will both sign the written warning or probationary conditions and the student will be given a copy. The original document will be placed in the student’s file. 8) If the recommendation is to dismiss the student, the Owner/Director of the school will meet with the student to dismiss him/her from study at the school. The Owner/Director of the school will deliver to the student a letter of dismissal. 9) If a refund is due to the student, the Owner/Director will ensure that a cheque is forwarded to the student within 30 days of the dismissal. 10) If the student owes tuition or other fees to the school, the Owner/Director may undertake the collection of the amount owing. 11) The decision of the Owner/Director is final NOTE: Victoria Academy of Ballet reserves the right to request a student withdraw or take a leave of absence from the program if the student develops serious health concerns which, in the opinion of the Owner/Director, need to be addressed at home.
All VAB Bridge Program students shall represent themselves in a professional manner and, in particular, shall adhere to the following duties:
- Attend all classes and rehearsals for roles or dances for which they are cast, perform as directed during rehearsals and performances, and learn all choreography for which they are selected or cast as an understudy.
- Will participate in all scheduled performances except when excused by injury, severe illness, or other legitimate reason beyond the control of the student.
- Will attend all scheduled classes, rehearsals and performances on time. Requests to miss must be made in advance by writing/email and delivered to the Director.
- Will keep him/herself physically able to perform. If injured, the student should be seeking the appropriate health professional in a timely manner, and providing the Director with the appropriate information regarding the student’s ability to dance. Studio dancing hours and performing hours, have a strict attendance policy, which is mandatory for successful completion of the course. A student with a chronic injury or illness may ask to be given academic concession for certain modules, however, a student who is unable to participate in the required studio hours may not be able to be given a passing grade. They may request for a deferral and continue their studies into the following year to complete their courses to be eligible for graduation. Students who miss 30 days or more for the duration of the program will be assessed by the end of the 2nd year (June) to determine if they are of the technical standard required for graduation.
Language Proficiency Assessment Policy
Instruction at VAB is conducted in English. Students whose first language is not English are required to undergo a Language Proficiency Assessment upon arrival. This assessment is conducted by qualified VAB staff. Students not at an intermediate level of English are then advised to undertake formal ESL lessons either through a Languages Canada Accredited school or using a personal tutor. An IEP is created for that student in consultation with the Bridge Program Director and Executive Director. In order to facilitate success for the academic course work in the Bridge Program, students may do research in their native language which will then be translated. They may request oral assessments using an interpreter. Some classes, if required, are conducted using an interpreter. Using a variety of assessment methods which allows students to study and research in their own language, students will achieve the depth of knowledge required to be successful in the academic portion of the VAB Bridge Program.
Prior Learning/Credit Transfer Policy
VAB takes under consideration courses taken at a recognized, accredited or otherwise equivalent post‐secondary institution and compares them to the offerings in the Bridge Program. Transfer credits may be applied to either the first and/or second years of the program provided that they meet and are relevant to the requirements, curriculum and hourly duration of the course. Bridge Program students requesting transfer credits and/or credits from prior learning do so by providing the documentation (transcripts, and/or video, and published description of the institution and course) along with their application to the program as described in our entry requirements and Admissions Policy. Should an opportunity present itself for a student to gain professional experience that would be beneficial to furthering a career and/or could possibly lead to employment, and provided that such an opportunity is approved of by the Director, students will be permitted to participate and given equal hourly credits (1:1) for the work done. It is mandatory for the student to maintain documentation by way of journaling their experience, their hours and outcome.
About the Academy
Victoria Academy of Ballet (formerly Island Dance Studio) was established in 1990 by Christine Richardson F.C.S.C – C.I.C.B., ARAD. Now under the ownership and direction of Bleiddyn Del Villar Bellis, FCSC- CICB, The Victoria Academy of Ballet offers specialized dance instruction for children ages 3 through to Professional level. More Info
In September 2014, The Victoria Academy of Ballet moved into a new facility in downtown Victoria BC. The studios are located in the in the city centre, conveniently located for easy bus transportation, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping. More Info
The Victoria Academy of Ballet welcomes students from around the world to participate in all of the Victoria Academy of Ballet Dance Programs. More Info
The Victoria Academy of Ballet Scholarship Society was incorporated in the summer of 2013 and achieved Charitable Status in July 2014. The goals of the society are to provide deserving Canadian/Permanent Resident dance students with scholarships and bursaries to assist with the cost of their dance education. More Info
The Cecchetti Method
The Cecchetti Method of ballet is a style of classical, theatrical dance based on the teachings of the great Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928). More Info