Attending A Performance

Ballet 101—Ballet for Beginners

Whether new to Ballet Memphis or longtime patron, here are a few tips to ensure an exceptional experience with us. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to email us at We want your trip to the ballet to be an enjoyable one.

When should I arrive?

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before a performance begins, so you’ll have ample time to find your seat and get comfortable. More venues allow the purchase of beverages which may be brought into the theatre. Occasionally a short video explaining the production will run before a performance as well.

What is the different between a Mixed Rep performance and a Full-Length Ballet?

Lasting about an hour and a half to two hours, mixed rep (repertory) performances involve three or four shorter ballets, usually 10-25 minutes in length each. These ballets can all be from one choreographer, showcasing his or her works, or may be from different choreographers but all surrounding a singular theme. On the other hand, full-scale classical ballets, like Cinderella or Nutcracker, last about two hours, and tell one complete "story" with a clear beginning, middle and end.  

What should I wear?

Business casual to dressy casual are the most appropriate options, but we usually have a little bit of everything.

I'm nervous I won't know what's going on during the performance. How can I prepare?

Visit the show's page on our website to learn about the choreographer or the history or storyline of the piece. Remember, though, the experience you take away from one of our performances is all about what you want to get out of it. We post lots of background here online, and on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Is my child welcome at a performance?

Most full-length ballets are "storybook" ballets, such as Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Wizard of Oz, that are usually completely fine for children of all ages. Most mixed-rep performances, unless noted, are also fine for children for their mere beauty and execution, even if they don't understand the storyline. Children under three years of age are not generally permitted in the theatre. At designated shows, children of all ages are permitted. However, everyone regardless of age must have a ticket.