High School Program


Admission to the program is by audition and invitation only. 

Part-time students attend classes weekday afternoons plus Saturdays. Full-time students attend classes weekday mornings and afternoons plus Saturdays.

The High School Program curriculum may include: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Men’s Class, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Jazz, and Pilates Mat classes.

Performance Opportunities

At the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, performance opportunities are part of the school philosophy. High School and Graduate Level students perform in the school’s annual Pre-Professional Showcases and Spring Performance. Spring Performance is designed to reflect the student’s journey from Level I to Pre-Professional training. Throughout the year, some students in the High School and Graduate Levels may also have the opportunity to perform in the PBT Company repertoire at the Benedum Center.

Conditioning Programs

As part of the PBT School Pre-Professional curriculum, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Center for Sports Medicine staff may offer student seminars on topics such as stress management, sports psychology, nutrition, and injury prevention.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre enjoys a close relationship with UPMC and offers students the opportunity to use the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine facilities.

PBT School works with UPMC to offer Musculoskeletal Screenings, when possible, for the purpose of evaluating any muscle weakness or loss of motion that may contribute to the dancer sustaining injury. The musculoskeletal evaluation includes assessment of upper and lower extremity, flexibility and strength and is performed by a Certified Athletic Trainer and/or Licensed Physical Therapist. This is often coupled with a physical evaluation focusing on previous injuries and concerns of the dancer. If a potential problem is recognized, the dancer is instructed on ways to work toward correction. The UPMC Center for Sports Medicine is known for its Musculoskeletal Research Center and is the preferred healthcare provider for PBT, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Housing for Out-of-Town High School Students


Byham House offers a safe and nurturing “home away from home”. Students will enjoy the camaraderie of living in this community environment and parents will be assured that their child is being well cared for in our safe and supportive community. Byham House amenities and services include:

  • Live-in supervision (staff member available 24hrs/day)
  • Dinner daily; with food provision for other meals
  • Bedroom with bed, bureau, desk, and chair
  • Wireless internet access
  • All utilities paid
  • Age appropriate programs and activities*
  • Assistance with medical appointments
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • On-going communication with parents

*some trips may be at additional cost

Byham House occupies three floors in a historic 7,000 square foot property located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, just six blocks from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre studios. It originated as the rectory for what was once St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, immediately adjacent to the property.  Byham House is a co-ed housing opportunity with accommodations for up to 20 students.


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School does not currently hold a status of an accredited academic school. High School Students enrolling full-time with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School may enroll in the “PPS Program” (Formerly, the Schenley Program)–a partnership between the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This program enables the serious dance student to train intensively at the PBTS studios six days per week while attending a local Pittsburgh Public school for academic subjects. The schedule for the PPS Program student includes ballet instruction in the early morning at PBT, attending a Pittsburgh Public School for late-morning and early-afternoon academic instruction, then returning to the PBT School for additional dance instruction. Students acquire 2.75 graded credits per year in Dance, Health, and Physical Education from PBTS toward academic grades. The remaining high school academic credits come from the Pittsburgh Public School system.

Some High School students make their own arrangements to continue their high school education through such means as correspondence courses (through your ‘resident’ high school) or cyber school programs as an alternative course of academic study, enabling them to take the Full-time morning and afternoon weekday classes.

Residents of Pennsylvania may opt to enroll in The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber www.pacyber.org) - an accredited high school degree granting program designed to provide a compelling alternative to traditional public and private schools.  Residents of Colorado, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin may be able to enroll in a PA Cyber affiliate program. 

Although support services are available to Byham House residents, each student needs to be an independent learner and dependable in completing assignments in order to be successful in this kind of program. There will be less group structure and more creative and independent learning based around a demanding training schedule required of PBT School’s Pre-Professional program.

Upon Graduation, PBT School High School students often continue on to study in the PBT School Graduate Program.  For information on the Graduate Program click here.