Gustafson Dance, 2285 Las Positas Road, Santa Barbara, California 93105
(805) 563-DANC (3262) ext. 1

Gustafson Dance News

Parent Guide for Our Fall Shows

Parent Guide for Rudolph and Nutcracker, Pt. 2

Two Claras

Karlise and Hannah are the two Claras in The Nutcracker.

Part 2 in a Two-Part Series

In case you missed it, there is a Part 1 of this two-part series which covers other important information. This post concentrates on what happens when you are at the theatre for dress rehearsal and the show itself.  This is important in that we will be working with State Street Ballet (with Nutcracker) and two professional theatres in The Granada and The Lobero.  We’ve tried to make this easy to read and easy to refer to…we look forward to seeing you at the shows!

Nutcracker Backstage Notes:

Nutcracker Spacing and Dress Rehearsals are mandatory, we have listed an arrival time and a pickup time in emails to each class which contain the Production Schedule. The arrival time allows for approximately 30 minutes before on stage time. The Nutcracker tech and dress are run DIFFERENTLY than Rudolph.  The Granada is a professional theatre with a Union crew and the show is being run by State Street Ballet’s (SSB) professional Stage Manager. There is coordination between SSB, The Granada crew, the Orchestra conductor and the high school choir that will be singing.

For Nutcracker, you will be doing drop off and pick up from the stage door for the Granada which is located in the courtyard between the theatre and City Parking Lot 6.  There is no public parking in the courtyard area so please plan on parking in the city lot.  As with Rudolph, parents are not allowed backstage or past the registration area near the stage door where your child is dropped off.

General Backstage Notes:

  1. Students need to come in or bring outside clothes and LEAVE them backstage so they can get dressed after they are done dancing at rehearsals and shows.  Since we provide the costumes, they need to get dressed at the theatre and then leave the costume there and will need clothes to put on.  We suggest loose fitting clothes that are easy to put on or take off over their performance hair and easy for Class Moms who are assisting young children.  The clothes should ideally be left in a bag labeled with the dancer’s name.  Outside shoes are also important to bring.
  2. Costumes are not to be taken home at any time as they belong to Gustafson Dance and State Street Ballet. If you need anything fixed on the costume, please consult with Anaya Cullen or the Union Seamstress at the Granada.
  3. NO PARENTS CAN SIT IN OR BE IN THE AUDIENCE DURING DRESS REHEARSALS FOR EITHER SHOW!  (During Nutcracker spacing, we may allow some dancers to watch in the audience area with the Group Monitors.)
  4. Please put your child’s NAME inside all dance shoes, tights, any personal belongings- water bottles, dance bags, makeup bags, phones, etc. Please remember that no food is allowed in the dressing rooms.
  5. Nutcracker Act 1 dancers can be picked up at Intermission or at the end of the show. Parents will need to select at the time of sign-in at which time they will pick up their dancer.  If the parent is watching the show, it is likely that the student will remain backstage until the end of the show.  Some parents will purchase a ticket for their dancer to watch 2nd Act with them and thus will pick up at Intermission even if they are watching the show, so we just need to know.
  6. Nutcracker Act 2 dancers need to stay backstage for the entire show and be picked up after the show. The ONLY exception to this is Nicole’s Sat Cast Bon Bons. Since they are doing both Sat shows in Act 2, they will have a separate chart which will indicate if they are getting dropped off before the show or at Intermission.

Bun Bar

The Bun Bar is elective as it is a fundraiser but an easy way to donate to SSBYD.  It must be signed up for in advance via the online form and payment method on our website.  There will be some walk-up availability but it cannot be counted on.

Audience Tips and Ballet Etiquette:

Our dancers spend countless hours preparing for a performance. They are expected to follow several rules of etiquette for their audience, both backstage and onstage, to ensure a successful, entertaining show. A few guidelines are worth a reminder whether we have been to dozens of ballets or it is our first as we strive to create a professional environment for everyone.

It is best to arrive a bit early to make sure you are seated on time — especially if your tickets are at will call. Once the ballet has begun, please make sure your cell phone is turned off and be as quiet as possible. Please be aware that even unwrapping a piece of candy can potentially be heard onstage and definitely by those next to you.  Finally, photography and video are not allowed at either theater although we will have a DVD available of the performance available for purchase when our winter session starts in January.

Ticket Sales:

RUDOLPH is at the Lobero Theatre on Saturday, December 3rd at 2pm and 6pm. 1-888-4LOBERO (1-888-456-2376) or at

NUTCRACKER is at the Granada Theatre: Saturday, December. 17th at 2pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, Dec. 18th at 2pm. Order Tickets by Phone at 805.899.2222 or at

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=== Moved below the fold to place more relevant Nutcracker information above (12/12/16) ===

Rudolph Backstage Notes:

For Rudolph dress rehearsals and show times, it is extremely important to note that the call times are for being ON STAGE.  Therefore, it is best to come 30-40 minutes early realizing that use of the bun bar might require even more time so your child is prepared for being on stage.

For Rudolph Shows, bring your dancer to the back patio of The Lobero Theatre near the city parking lot exit.  You can register them there.  Only parents who have already registered to volunteer are allowed backstage.  Your child will be escorted backstage by the designated volunteer and you can pick them up after the show from the patio location.

  • Act 1 dancers (except Level 4-6) should be signed in and backstage no later than 20 minutes to the start of the show.
  • Act 1 dancers will be picked up and signed out at Intermission (not during the show). They can watch Act 2 from the audience in the reserved seats with a monitor or can sit with their family if there is an empty seat nearby.
  • Act 2 dancers WILL also get into costume BEFORE  the show and will sit in the audience during Act 1 in the reserved seats with the Class Mom(s), unless the dancer prefers to sit with their parent on their lap.
  • Act 2 dancers should be dressed and lined up with their class no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of the show so they can be escorted to the audience together. Again, we suggest a 45-60 minute arrival time.
  • Act 2 dancers will be brought backstage as a class at Intermission.
  • Act 2 dancers will be picked up and signed out after the show (not during the show)