How does the school year run?  Must I commit for a full year?

Our school year runs on 8-9 week semesters or terms.  We run 4 semesters from September to June and a 3-week intensive summer program in July.  Our fall term begins September 11, 2017 

1st Semester:  Sep 11 - Nov 11
2nd Semester: Nov 13 - Jan 20
3rd Semester: Jan 22 - Mar 24
4th Semester:  Mar 26 - Jun 2  (final date TBD by recital schedule)

90% of our students pay by term, but if you decide to pay for the full year, you have the option to pre-pay for the full year at a 5% discount or take advantage of our monthly payment plan.  Because our school functions as a continous year long program, with a recital at the end of the year, most students do complete the full year.   The semester system, however, allows for the freedom to attend classes without making a long term financial committment.  Adult, Jazz and Moving Munchkins do not participate in the school's year end recital and are paid by semester only.

Where should I buy my supplies?

Locally, our two dance supply shops are First St. Dancewear in Saugerites and Balletomania in Poughkeepsie.  We recommend going in person to one of these two stores, especially when purchasing for the first time. For Pointe Shoe fittings, please speak to Ms. Bierstock. Discount Dance can also be a helpful online resource.

Should I buy my ballet slippers big enough to grow into?

No. Ballet slippers are made to form fit to the foot, like a sock.  It's very important that a student is not in a shoe that is too big for her foot.  However, the students toes should never be bent or buckled inside the shoe. See this website for some helpful information.

Why aren't parents allowed to watch class?

At the end of each semester, we open our doors and invite families into the studio to view a full class and observe the progress the students have made during the term. We also perform an annual recital.  Before that time, observation by family members can be extremely distracting to the students and can ultimately take away from the learning experience. While understandably difficult for some parents of younger students to want to "leave" their child, our experience has shown that the vast majority of the time, the child recovers quickly from any separation issues and finds it easier to join in and participate in the class once the parent is out of sight. 

Parents Week Dates: November 6 - 11 and January 15 - 20
What do we do if our child is not new to ballet, but new to your school?

Please call us to discuss your student's situation individually. We welcome all students with previous experience.  A placement class may be required to assess and make a recommendation toward the appropriate level, which may or may not differ from your child's previous level at another school.

Why is my child moving to the next level before completing two years? Why is my child not yet moving to the next level?

Advancement in ballet is not always a linear process.  Contrary to the experience found in most academic settings, ballet students do not necessarily progress on equal time lines.  Many factors play into the choice to advance a student: technical requirements must be met, as well as consideration for anatomical structure, emotional maturity, and timing of such unknown factors as the onset of puberty and subsequent hormonal and physical changes.  At the AHSB, years of experience allows us to make the judgement as to when a student is ready to advance with the highest focus on the overall health of the student.  

When will my child go “on pointe”?

Similarly the decision to place on a child on to pointe, requires much consideration.  Each child will be evaluated on their own time line.  While we know this is an exciting time for your child and they are anxious to take this next step in their development as dancers, we ask our students parents to please encourage your child’s understanding of the very important factors that must come together to ensure the optimal health and longevity of a child’s dancing career.   

Our school strictly follows the guidelines of professional ballet schools and companies in regard to a student’s readiness to begin pointe work. Pointe work is not a different area of study, but an extension of the classical technique.

  • Students should be at least 11 years old to ensure the bone endings have solidified.  There may be exceptions, but this is rare.
  • Students must have approximately 5- 6 years of training.
  • Students must be strong in the spine, abdominals and legs, as well as ankles and feet.
  • Sufficient flexibility and turn out in the hip joints is required to allow for the legs (and body) to be aligned properly on the toes.
  • Students must have had sufficient training on demi-pointe (half-toe) and must be attending multiple classes per week, consistently to maintain the level of conditioning to avoid injury.

For further information, please refer to The Pointe Book, by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesinger.

Can my child audition for Nutcracker?

A child can audition for Nutcracker if they are 7 years of age or older and have completed the 1st year of Ballet 1 (or a equivalent program.)  Audition are normally held in the spring and casting is completed by early June.  If you would like more information about the Nutcracker or participating in CBT productions, please click here.

What is the difference between the Anne Hebard School of Ballet and Catskill Ballet Theatre?

The Anne Hebard School of Ballet school and CBT are completely independent entities.  The ballet school is privately owned and operated by Melissa Bierstock and serves to educate and train developing ballet dancers.  Catskill Ballet Theatre is a non-for-profit company founded for the purpose of bringing professional ballets to the area and is directed by Anne Hebard.   The Students of the AHSB are given the opportunity to audition for CBT's productions and enjoy the privilege of sharing the stage with guest artists from around the world.


What is the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)?

Ballet was born in Italy and developed in France.  It traveled throughout Russia and the rest of Europe.  The great ballets, such as Nutcracker, Swan lake, and Sleeping Beauty were choreographed by Marius Petipa, of France, for the Russian Ballet.

Upon ballet's arrival in England via the music halls, the English took the best of the Russian, French, Italian and Danish traditions, and developed their own style and method.  in the early 20th century,The Royal Academy of Dance instituted a system of training and examinations for both the once a week child and the professional student.  This system is taught universally as a method of training dancers correctly, and to develop quality of movement and musicality.

Anne Hebard is a strong believer in the methodology behind the English tradition, and has been enriching young people's lives for over 50 years as a teacher of this system.

The English style has produced many famous dancers and choreographers.  To note but a few:
Margot Fonteyn, Prima Ballerina worldwide
Moira Shearer of "The Red Shoes" fame
Fredric Ashton & Antony Tudor, their ballets are performed in all major companies worldwide today
Ben Stevenson, former artistic director and choreographer for Houston Ballet
Gillian Lynne, choreographer of "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera"
David Howard, internationally one of the greatest & finest teachers of this century
Ninette de Valois, responsible for creating The Royal Ballet



Please arrive 15 minutes prior to class to ensure the dancer is mentally and physically prepared.



All classes that are missed must be made up in the current semester.  Missed classes can not be carried over into new terms.  Cancellations made on the part of the ballet school will be made up at a later date.


AHSB does not always follow Kingston City school districts closing based on the timing of inclement weather.  Please check here for cancellations. Please always make the decision that feels right for you.  If classes are not cancelled but you do not feel it is safe to travel, you will be issued a make up class.


We prefer cash and check payments but can accept Paypal and credit cards as well. Depending on the payment plan that you chose, your payment will be due on the first day of the month, semester, or school year, as the case may be. Please note: A $15 fee will apply to all returned checks.



We are located at the RENT-A-CENTER complex where Albany Ave and Broadway intersect.  We are above A Razor's Edge and The Artists Shop.  We share a large parking lot with these businesses as well as People's Place.  You are welcome to park anywhere in the designated parking lot.

 Dress Code

All long hair must be pulled back away from the face and neck into a ballet bun or secured with a large clip. Barrettes are helpful for keepings bangs out of children's eyes. Short hair must be secured away from the dancers face. Ponytails or braids capable of reaching a student's eyes are not allowed. Suggestions for making a Ballet Bun  (hair spray is not required for class).

Please note that underwear/panties are not normally worn under leotards. 
Please write your student's name on all clothing/shoes.

Ballet skirts, while very pretty, can be very distracting to young students in particular. They also obstruct the teacher's view of the pelvis/hips and make it more difficult to give accurate corrections.  On certain occasions, skirts are allowed by permission in the summer ballet program. At the discretion of the teacher, the Advanced class is often permitted to wear skirts for Pointe and Variations class, however, they are not required.


Uniform Requirements for Pre-Ballet,  Ballet I and Ballet II:

Simple Pale Blue Leotard  (Recommended Capezio TB132C)
Pink Tights (Bloch or Capezio recommended) footed.  No openings on the bottom of the foot.
Pink Soft Leather Ballet Slippers
Recommended:  Matching Ballet Sweater in Pale Blue or Pink

Black shorts
White T-shirt
White Socks
White Soft Leather Ballet Slippers

Uniform Requirements for Ballet III and Ballet IV:

Simple Black Leotard  ( Recommended Capezio TB1420)
Pink Tights, Pink Ballet Slippers - leather or canvas.
Recommended but not required:  Black Ballet Sweater

Uniform Requirements Advanced Ballet

Simple Black Leotard: spaghetti strap, short or long sleeve as appropriate for season.
Pink tights,  Soft Leather or Canvas pink ballet slippers.  Can be spilt sole.
Pointe shoes

Black Tights or Shorts
White T-shirt
Black or White Ballet Slippers with matching colored socks
Dance Belt

If purchasing black shoes, please buy canvas.  White shoes can be either leather or canvas.
The links on this page are recommendations for greater shopping ease.  Many of these products are sold locally at
First Street Dancewear in Saugerties and Balletomania in Poughkeepsie. 

Uniform recommended but not required for Moving Munchkins

Pale Pink leotard with or without pink tights, 
white socks and pink ballet slippers
Matching skirts are permitted.

black shorts or sweatpants
white t- shirt
black or white ballet slippers

Uniform recommendations for Jazz classes

Adults- Jazz shoes or Ballet slippers preferred.  Socks or Barefeet acceptable.

Children-  Jazz shoes or Ballet slippers only.

For all levels:  There is no color requirement for leotards, tops, jazz pants, leggings or tights.  Shorts or short skirts may be worn over leggings and tights.  Plain t-shirts are allowed.  Hair should be secured away from eyes.  No baggie pants.