A message from PBT School on COVID-19

Nov. 20, 2020:

  • New COVID-19 guidance and requirements were issued this week by both the PA Department of Health and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) regarding the following:
    • By Order issued Nov. 17, 2020, PA Governor Wolf’s administration requires travelers entering Pennsylvania from other countries and states, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from other countries or states, have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth or quarantine for 14 days upon entry into Pennsylvania. This will take effect on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
    • On Nov. 18, 2020, the Director of the ACHD issued the following COVID-19 advisory: Beginning immediately, Allegheny County residents are asked to stay at home to stop social gatherings to stem the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county. This advisory shall remain in place for 30 days or until such time as the Health Director determines a change to the guidance is appropriate.
  • Given this guidance regarding travel, as well as the current stay-at-home advisory, PBT School has updated our operational status accordingly– the School will be transitioning to 100% virtual operations after the Thanksgiving break.
  • We have also adjusted our return plans after the December winter break as outlined below:
    • All classes will resume virtually on 11/30/2020 through 12/19/2020.
    • There will be no classes held during the winter break, as previously scheduled, from 12/20/2020–1/3/2021.
    • All classes will resume virtually on 1/4/2021 through 1/9/2021.
    • All in-person classes will now resume on 1/11/2021.
  • The School will determine a plan for the safe return of all students, faculty and staff to the studios in January and will share this plan with students and families in December.

Nov. 18, 2020:

  • With PBT School’s continued commitment to COVID-19 protocols, PBT remains confident that continued vigilance will help the School to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • PBT School will be closed for Thanksgiving break, from Nov. 25-29, 2020. Virtual and in-studio classes for all divisions in the School, including the Community Division, will resume on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.
  • New COVID-19 guidance and requirements were issued on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2020 by the PA Department of Health, after which PBT School updated the travel-related protocols accordingly. Anyone traveling to or visiting from any other state [than PA] must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering PA or quarantine for 14 days upon entry into PA.
    • This latest update affects:
      A) Family members who are planning to visit their dancer(s) in Pittsburgh over the Thanksgiving holiday
      B) Students who are staying in Pittsburgh over the Thanksgiving holiday, but have visitors coming into town from out of state
      C) Anyone leaving Pittsburgh and returning after the Thanksgiving holiday
    • Students will plan to provide to PBT School a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to class OR will plan to quarantine for 14 days and take virtual classes.
    • More FAQ’s about the new PA state requirements can be found on the PA Dept. of Health website.
  • Virtual class participation remains an option for all students in all levels. If at any point a student or family decides to transition to virtual, PBT School supports the decision and ask only that the family notify the School with as much advance notice as possible, and be prepared to stay virtual until after the New Year.

Oct. 30, 2020:

  • PBT School’s Community Division will offer a variety of in-person classes at the PBT Studios beginning the week of Nov. 9-14, 2020. Classes will have limited capacity to ensure safe distancing in the studios. As the School continues to transition under COVID-19 guidelines the schedule will reflect a smaller variety of our class offerings. For those looking to participate in the in-studio classes, please make sure to read the Safety Protocols & Procedures and Visual Guidelines provided on the Community Division page.
  • Community Division will continue to offer virtual dance and fitness classes on Mindbodyonline.com.

Aug. 13, 2020:

  • PBT School is preparing to resume activities for the fall 2020 semester with the health and wellness of our community as the top priority. Our planning has been informed by guidance from local, state and federal public health authorities, as well as applicable orders and regulations from the governor and relevant federal agencies. While PBT School has typically deferred to guidance from Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) to determine class cancelations, we will not be following PPS’s decision to host the first nine weeks of the school year remotely. PBT School’s smaller class sizes, lower overall building occupancy and limited time spent by students in the building allows us to operate differently than a public school and provide ballet education in an environment we feel is safe given the precautions PBT is taking.
  • PBT and PBT School continue to track the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust our response. Given the evolving nature of both our understanding of COVID-19 and the recommended guidance from public health and other governmental bodies, our guidance will be constantly updated to respond to continuing developments. Updates will be communicated by email and through our website. 
  • Our 2020-2021 school year will include a mixture of instructional models – fully virtual, hybrid (combination of virtual and in-studio) and fully in-studio – with the hope of eventually returning to fully in-studio for all levels and classes. At the outset of our school year, many (but not all) of our levels will be able to choose from the options outlined above. Once registered, please understand that we will be unable to facilitate transfers from virtual to hybrid or in-studio until all classes and activities resume as in-person.
  • Detailed safety, health, and reopening plans will soon be distributed to families and posted on our website.
  • We all must commit to the actions and precautions we can take as individuals to protect our PBT community. It will require all of us together to keep our community healthy. We expect all community members to show care for their friends, peers, colleagues and neighbors.

July 3, 2020:

  • The safety, health and well-being of our students, families and employees remains a priority for us as we continue our summer programs. Given the increased cases of COVID-19 in our county and around the country, PBT School has decided to transition all remaining Children’s Division and Student Division Summer 2020 programs to a virtual format. This includes our workshops occurring July 27 through August 14.

May 21, 2020:

  • With the health and safety of our students, families, faculty, staff and community in mind, PBT School has made the decision to transition the summer programs – including the “Company Experience” Workshop, Intensive Summer Program and Student and Children’s Division classes – to virtual online learning platforms for the summer of 2020. The virtual programs will allow PBT School students across the country to continue their dance education without the added risk of a studio or dormitory environment.
  • Classes and programs scheduled to start after July 26, 2020 have not yet been made virtual, but are subject to change based on public health and safety guidelines and best practices.
  • When PBT School closed its studios in the Strip District in response to the emerging threat of the coronavirus, it pivoted to a virtual learning model for the remainder of the academic year. Through this new model, students in all divisions were given access to a portal of content created by PBT School faculty and staff to continue their dance education from the safety of home. This education included content curated by PBT School, worksheets, presentations, recorded classes and live classes, during which students are able to interact with PBT School faculty. PBT School will be transitioning its summer programs to similar virtual models. Teachers will be outfitted with upgraded video equipment to enhance the at-home learning experience and make it easier for instructors to see students and deliver individual guidance.

April 13, 2020:

  • At PBT School, the health and safety of our students, families, faculty, staff and community are our highest priorities. In accordance with Governor Wolf’s recent announcement of the closure of K-12 schools across Pennsylvania, PBT School will be extending its current suspension of in-person classes through the end of the academic year, May 24, 2020. While we will greatly miss the activity and learning in our studios, we understand this is the safest option.
  • PBT School remains committed to providing students with a top-caliber dance education through live-stream classes and digital content crafted by faculty, as long as the school is in the position to do so. We are continuing to explore new ways to connect with students and audiences through our artform while we’re unable to be together in person. 
  • We are continuing to monitor Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) guidance, and while we intend to host summer classes, we will not open our building until the stay-at-home orders are lifted and non-life-sustaining businesses are permitted to resume operation. If new guidance is given to extend the order, PBT School will adjust accordingly and will communicate any changes as early as possible. PBT School is committed to ensuring a clean and safe environment for the return of students, families, faculty and staff. Please contact the School at pbtschool@pittsburghballet.org if you have any questions or concerns.

March 30, 2020:

  • While the PBT building will remain closed through May 3, 2020, with the plan to resume classes on Monday, May 4, 2020, the PBT School faculty are dedicated to bringing online educational content and virtual classes to students of every level in the School. New class content – including live Zoom classes, teacher demonstration videos and enhanced learning materials – will be uploaded at the beginning of each week. All families should have received an email from PBT School regarding instructions for accessing the online educational content and classes. Please contact the School at pbtschool@pittsburghballet.org if you have any questions or concerns.

March 20, 2020:

  • The safety, health and well-being of our community members, instructors, students and employees remains the highest priorities for PBT School. Effective today, we have extended the cancellation of all classes in all Divisions through May 3, 2020. In-person classes are currently planned to resume on Monday, May 4, 2020. The PBT campus remains closed until further notice.  PBT School staff continue working remotely and are available via email to address any questions or concerns.

    Any additional changes will be posted with as much advance notice as possible.


March 18, 2020:

  • With the safety and wellbeing of our entire PBT family in mind, PBT School has made the decision to adhere to recommendations for public safety and close PBT’s building until further notice.  Staff and faculty are now working remotely.
  • Additionally, we have extended the cancellation of classes through Sunday, April 12 for Level 8 and Graduate students.  All PBT School classes are now cancelled though this date and until further notice.

March 16, 2020:

  • Following Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s mandate late afternoon Friday, March 13 to close all schools statewide for two weeks, PBT School has cancelled ALL remaining classes for the next two weeks, effective March 16.  During this time, no classes will be held for Level 8 or Grads and students should not report to PBT for any reason. The PBT building will be closed.

There is the potential to hold some Level 8 and Grad classes one week before spring break, though attendance would not be mandatory. PBT School will await further information and guidance before making that decision, which will be communicated with as much advance notice as possible. Please note that PBT School faculty members are currently developing alternative educational content for eventual electronic distribution.

  • PBT’s 50th Anniversary Festival Gala, scheduled to take place on April 4, 2020, has been impacted by the closure of Stage AE.  This event and all rehearsals related to it are currently suspended.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding of PBT’s decisions as we receive information and navigate through this unprecedented situation. 


March 13, 2020: The safety, health and well-being of our community members, instructors, students and employees are the highest priorities for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT). PBT has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, and has been following the Allegheny County Health Department’s recommendations. We have also been monitoring what other organizations and schools are doing around the region and nation. Although there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Allegheny County, we are aware of the probability that that may change soon. PBT is taking proactive precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, especially to those within our PBT family. To that end, PBT has made a very difficult decision to cancel most PBT School and Community Division classes effective Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, April 12

Class Cancellation applies to:
– Levels Grown-Up & Me, Pre-Ballet 2-6, Pre-Ballet Boys and Ballet Foundations
– Levels Preparatory through Level 7
– All Community Division Classes
– Private Instruction

*Classes for students in Levels 8 and the Graduate program will continue on a modified (but not mandatory) schedule beginning Saturday, March 14 until PBT School’s scheduled spring break, which begins after classes on Friday, April 3. (Level 8 classes on Saturday, March 14 will take place as regularly scheduled.) School events including Family Observation Day are canceled. The Choreographic Showcase may be rescheduled for a later date.

At the present time, we anticipate classes will resume on April 13. However, all PBT activities are subject to change based on any new information or guidance we receive. Any further changes will be communicated with as much advance notice as possible.

This decision has been made in an abundance of caution and in an attempt to do our part to halt the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Greater Pittsburgh community. We are so grateful to all of our PBT Community for their support of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and our various programs. We look forward to seeing you back in the studios when classes resume. PBT will continue to monitor the situation closely. As new information becomes available, PBT is committed to communicating any changes on our website and through social media as soon as we are able.

For more information about COVID-19 and recommended precautions, please visit www.cdc.gov/nCov.

Thank you for patience and understanding of PBT’s decisions as we navigate through this unprecedented situation. We look forward to seeing you back in the studios soon!