ARIZONA YOUTH BALLET MESA

aka Arizona Youth Ballet   |   Mesa, AZ   |  azyb.org

Mission

We are a non profit 501(c)3 program that provides pre-professional performance opportunities through strong technical training and a nurturing environment for dancers of all ages. Through dedicated, highly regarded faculty, outstanding supporters and amazing dancers, we strive to be the premier youth dance company in the Southwest.

Ruling year info

2014

President

Stephanie Kilgore

Secretary

Jane Walls

Main address

8747 E Posada Ave

Mesa, AZ 85212 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-4452132

NTEE code info

Ballet (A63)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our main goal is to grow a company that offers high level technical training, in a nurturing environment, as well as offers professional performance opportunities. The Board of Directors recognizes the high quality of our Artistic Staff, training, and performance opportunities. We aim to increase the community knowledge of our programs, staff and performances. Only by doing this will we reach more dancers who will benefit from our training. Our dancers are trained to continue in the dance world, higher education or to enter the work force with the skills they will learn.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pre-Professional Training

Our Artistic Staff provides high quality, technical training in classical ballet that will prepare dancers for many aspects of life, whether their long-term goals include a career in dance or another path.

Population(s) Served

Three week intensive program focusing on technique. Focus on classical ballet technique, pointe, variations, character as well as additional forms to include jazz, strength, stretch.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AZYB works with a group serving military families and first responders by offering free tickets to our performances. Even though all tickets are reserved, not every ticket is redeemed.

Total number of paid seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average dollar price for performance tickets

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AZYB has been able to maintain ticket costs, while continuing to offer high quality ballet productions.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We are consistent in offering 3 performances of The Nutcracker and 2 performances of our chosen Spring selection.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The organization was born from a desire to form an organization that could take young aspiring dancers from the dance studio to a professional company. A need was identified by this group for a pre-professional opportunity that mirrored a true professional ballet company in order to prepare the next generation of classical ballet dancers. The young dancers that were taking dance classes were unaware of the requirements to take their love of the craft to a professional stage and environment. Arizona Youth Ballet was created to give them a safe place to experience the highs and lows involved in preparing for a stage production, as well as the demands of auditioning and rehearsing for desired roles, as well as the disappointment of not receiving those assignments. Arizona Youth Ballet does this in a safe and nurturing environment. Part of this experience includes regular, scheduled classes and rehearsals that are dictated by technique level and training.

Although other pre-professional companies existed, the founding group saw a need for a company where the focus was less on sheer technical ability, and more on a well-rounded skill set. They also wanted this to be a safer place for dancers to learn, where bullying was prohibited and dancers of a wide variety of personal, physical, and technical variations would be given the keys to success.

Arizona Youth Ballet’s artistic staff is comprised of professional dancers, both retired and active, who bring a level of experience that includes all sides of the industry. Our artistic staff have all been teaching for a minimum of 20 years each, in addition to their professional careers. This lends to insights and contacts from all sides of the profession, from training to a professional career.

Arizona Youth Ballet provides a weekly technique class each Saturday, with our Artistic Staff, who are classically trained in ballet as well as other dance styles and have extensive experience on the stage and in the classroom. Dancers are required to attend multiple weekly technique classes, at the studio of their choice, the number of which is determined by their company placement.

For dancers pursuing a professional career, our staff provides guidance in audition techniques, introductions, industry insight, and career motivation. Those who are Company members for the love of the craft learn discipline, time management, and responsibility in a competitive industry, as well as skills that can be used for success in future, non-dance, endeavors. Providing a diverse artistic staff ensures we provide our dancers with a well-rounded technical education.

AZYB has recently embarked upon an extended education program, as a service to our community, that includes technique classes taught by guest professional teachers in a variety of genres, as well as classes in areas such as nutrition, stage make-up, resume writing, and audition skills.

We hold open auditions for the company every August. Auditions for our production of The Nutcracker are open to the community. Students from around the Valley chose to perform The Nutcracker with us, without the obligations that accompany annual company membership. This gives community dancers an opportunity to participate in a classical ballet, while receiving expert instruction and guidance from our professional Artistic Staff. We hold mid-year company auditions after The Nutcracker season, when many Nutcracker dancers choose to join our company.

Our biannual full-length performances are open to the community, and are advertised across the valley. Additionally, we engage in community outreach programs to foster an appreciation of classical ballet, at local libraries, bookstores, and schools.

Arizona Youth Ballet has two main beliefs that set us apart from other pre-professional companies. Arizona Youth Ballet understands that our dancers may not have all started their dancing careers with our staff. They are coming to us for further training and performance opportunities. Arizona Youth Ballet requires our company dancers take at least one day a week with our Artistic Staff but they are allowed to continue taking classes at their current studios, until such time as additional training is needed. Further, other companies will age out dancers in a pre-professional program at the age of 18. However, Arizona Youth Ballet knows not all dancers start their career when young. Arizona Youth Ballet has two divisions. One is for dancers under the age of 18 and those over 19 (ages determined at the beginning of the season). The dancers in Division II are expected to mentor and assist the younger dancers as well as train. This helps create a bond with dancers and strengthens the dancers and the company.

Arizona Youth Ballet’s artistic staff is comprised of professional dancers, both retired and active, who bring a level of experience that includes all sides of the industry. Our artistic staff have all been teaching for a minimum of 20 years each, in addition to their professional careers. This lends to insights and contacts from all sides of the profession, from training to a professional career.

Our Artistic Director has maintained contacts in the professional world that she uses to the advantage of the students she now mentors through our program. She has used these contacts to facilitate introductions and auditions for dancers. She has also continued to teach, during breaks, at other programs. She is a highly sought after instructor and continues to teach during breaks at other programs, pre-professional and higher education institutions.

Our Ballet Master continues to dance locally, as well as instruct our dancers. He has also recently worked with dancers training for ballet competition. Until the dissolution, he was a well-regarded member of the Artistic Staff for another local highly regarded dance company. He balances these obligations with his involvement with Arizona Youth Ballet and continues to inspire our dancers.

Further, in order to provide a more rounded experience, Arizona Youth Ballet has added a Contemporary/Modern Instructor to the Artistic Staff. The Instructor has a degree in Modern Dance, as well as a Masters in Business with a specialization in Management and Operations, and has formed, and run, modern dance companies. She taught and choreographed a 10 minute piece that was performed by the entire company during the 2018 Spring performance. This brought a greater depth of technique to dancers looking forward to auditioning for professional companies, where ballet experience alone is insufficient. Even though Arizona Youth Ballet has dancers that have performed, and competed with other dance companies and studios, the experience they received with our Contemporary/Modern Instructor gave them a new confidence in their ability to master new dance forms.

The Board of Directors is made up of 7 volunteers, including involved parents as well as professionals who believe in the mission of Arizona Youth Ballet. Board Members are responsible for liaising with the performance venue Facilities Director, as well as other vendors, and maintaining a working relationship with the studio owners where auditions and rehearsals occur. Board Members work with Committee Heads to ensure needed action items are addressed in a timely manner. The Board is also in charge of marketing of performances and the company, website maintenance, and company merchandise. They conduct all business-related matters, including budgeting and financial direction, to maintain company viability and allow Arizona Youth Ballet to continue providing exceptional technical training.

Arizona Youth Ballet has alumni who have gone on to higher educational dance opportunities as well as accepting professional ballet company contracts. These dancers credit Arizona Youth Ballet’s artistic staff as being instrumental in the training needed to secure these university placements and professional contracts. One of these dancers had previous injuries related to a different company. She has stated that the training and rehabilitation received from our Artistic Director allowed her to not only dance again but to gain the professional contract. Our Artistic Director reached out to the Artistic Director of the professional ballet company to facilitate the audition and introduction. This is an example of the benefit of having an Artistic Director who retired at the peak of her career, and who maintained contacts within the professional world, and uses this to the advantage of the students she now mentors through our program.

Further, in order to provide a more rounded experience, Arizona Youth Ballet has added a Contemporary/Modern Instructor to the Artistic Staff. The Instructor has a degree in Modern Dance, as well as a Masters in Business with a specialization in Management and Operations, and has formed, and run, modern dance companies. She taught and choreographed a 10 minute piece that was performed by the entire company during the 2018 Spring performance. This brought a greater depth of technique to dancers looking forward to auditioning for professional companies, where ballet experience alone is insufficient. Even though Arizona Youth Ballet has dancers that have performed, and competed with other dance companies and studios, the experience they received with our Contemporary/Modern Instructor gave them a new confidence in their ability to master new dance forms.

We continue to grow and learn more about our community in the studio and at large. We have begun adding additional life skill master classes for our dancers. The goal is to not only prepare our dancers for their next audition but for their life step. They learn self-discipline, time management and organizational skills, as well as resume writing and self defense. We recognize the dance world is extremely competitive and there are concerns about dancers and nutrition. We have added a Nutritionist to our volunteer list and she speaks to the company and guest artists each Nutcracker about good nutrition and what a dancers active body needs.

Financials

ARIZONA YOUTH BALLET MESA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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ARIZONA YOUTH BALLET MESA

Board of directors
as of 2/13/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Stephanie Kilgore


Board co-chair

Jane Walls

Peggy Felice

Kristi Forbes

Linda Gardner

Holly Newton

Maureen Howe

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No