Pre-professional Division
(Ages 13+)

We help students from around the world pursue the dream of a career in dance.

Here’s what distinguishes our program:

  • The Pre-professional Division trains the next generation of professional dancers with career-track curriculum inspired by the realities of a professional ballet company.
  • Our diverse student body comes to us from across the country, around the world and from right here in Pittsburgh.
  • Students train six days a week in a classically based curriculum supervised by School Co-directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall.
  • Faculty members bring perspective from a diverse range of professional dance companies and work closely with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Susan Jaffe to instill a style that reflects their vision and adapts well to the demands of a professional ballet company.
  • Pre-professional dancers have the benefit of regular exposure to PBT’s professional company dancers and artistic leadership.*

Given the evolving nature COVID-19 recommended guidance, please understand that we will be constantly responding to continuing developments. Updates will be communicated by email and through our website. We all must commit to the actions and precautions we can take as individuals to protect our Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre community. It will require all of us to show care for their friends, peers, colleagues and neighbors to keep our community healthy. For more information on our latest COVID-19 response and procedures visit the School’s COVID-19 Health Update.

While our intention is to present an in-person Pre-professional Division program for the 2021-2022 school year, PBT School continues to stay informed by COVID-19 guidance from local, state and federal public health authorities, as well as applicable orders and regulations from the governor and relevant federal agencies. Should there be continued or increased risk for a full, in-person school year program, PBT School will evaluate additional options including limited groups in-studio, hybrid and virtual formats, so that we can provide ballet education in an environment we feel is safe for all students, faculty and staff.

Please contact the PBT School office at for more information and program availability.

Levels 6 & 7

In Levels 6 and 7, students refine their technique into an expressive language. Classes aim to accentuate the clarity of classical line, intensity of pointe work and increased speed and accuracy as a natural extension of existing technique. Levels 6 is offered in hybrid (mostly in-studio) or virtual format. Level 7 is offered in hybrid (mostly in-studio) format. Both Levels 6 and 7 will offer virtual classes on Saturdays.

Curriculum: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Repertoire, Modern Dance, Jazz and Pilates mat classes. Seminars will also be available on Saturdays throughout the year!

More information will be coming soon about our Pittsburgh Connection Guest Artist Series! We want to bring new voices and styles to our students while getting them excited to explore the many talented artists that our city has to offer. Seminar schedules will also be coming soon!

Class/Level Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday
Level 6 4–6 p.m. 4-5:30 p.m. 4–6:30 p.m. 4–6:30 p.m. 4:15–6:30 p.m. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Level 7 4-6 p.m. 4-6:30 p.m. 4–6:30 p.m. 4-6:30 p.m. 4:15-6:30 p.m. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

*Level 6 Friday Ballet class to be combined with Level 5
**Level 6 Friday class (6-7 p.m.) to be combined with Level 7 class

Level 8

In Level 8, training becomes more immersive and students begin learning more advanced repertoire. Admission is by audition and invitation only.

Level 8 program will be a combination of in-studio and virtual classes.

  • Morning classes will alternate from virtual to studio with conditioning classes being Virtual. Mon.-Fri. morning classes will have a range in start and end time from 8–9:45 a.m.
  • All afternoon classes Mon.–Wed. will be in studio and will run from 3–5 p.m. Classes on Thurs. and Fri. will run until 6 p.m. *These times are reduced from the regular schedule due to COVID-19 studio safety protocols. Typically students have afternoon classes from 3-6 p.m. throughout the week.
  • More information will be coming soon about our Pittsburgh Connection Guest Artist Series! We want to bring new voices and styles to our students while getting them excited to explore the many talented artists that our city has to offer.

Curriculum: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Men’s Class, Repertoire, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Jazz and Pilates mat classes. Seminars will also be available on Saturdays throughout the year!

Class/Level Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday
Level 8* 8–9 a.m. Pil 8:15–9:45 a.m. Ballet (in-studio)

2:30–4:45 p.m. Ballet (in-studio)

8:15–9:45 p.m. Ballet (in-studio)

3–5:15 p.m. Ballet (in-studio)

8–9 a.m. Yoga (virtual)

2:30–4:45 p.m. Ballet (in-studio)

8:15-9:45 a.m. Modern (in-studio)

3–6 p.m. Ballet/Variations (in-studio)

9–10 a.m. Yoga (virtual)

10–11 a.m. Jazz (virtual)

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Guest Artist Series (virtual)

*Classes are subject to change.


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School does not hold academic accreditation, so the following resources are intended to help full-time high school students strike a balance between their academic and artistic pursuits:

  • Pittsburgh Public Schools Program: Students enrolling from out-of-state have the option of enrolling in the “PPS Program” – a partnership between Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Pittsburgh Public Schools. This program enables students to train at PBT six days a week while receiving academic instruction at a local Pittsburgh Public school.
  • Correspondence or Cyber Courses: Some high school students opt to arrange correspondence courses with their resident or home high school. Others enroll in cyber school programs, which allow them to take full-time classes at PBT School during the week.
  • Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School: Pennsylvania residents can enroll in The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), an accredited high school degree 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.

Housing for Out-of-Town High School Students

Byham House offers a safe and nurturing “home away from home.” PBT’s student residence offers supervised room and board accommodations for out-of-town high school students from ages 14-18. Learn more about Byham House here.

PBT School recognizes that housing availability for the 2021-2022 Pre-professional Division program may change depending on the state of the pandemic in 2021 and what we determine is a safe option for students. PBT School reserves the right to modify housing arrangements based on the needs of the program.

Graduate Program

Graduate students step up their training regimen and bolster their resumes with repertoire ranging from Serenade and Swan Lake to original new choreography. Graduate students represent Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in performance and promotional appearances throughout the city.* Graduate students may be offered opportunities to rehearse and perform with the company.* Each year, many PBT School Graduate students are offered contracts and apprenticeships with prestigious companies around the country, and more than half of PBT’s current company dancers are PBT School alumni. Learn more about our alumni here.

Graduate Student Housing

Graduate students are responsible for finding their own housing. We encourage students to consider convenient public transportation routes to PBT as well as safety, security and cost. Recommended areas for your search include: Bloomfield, Friendship, Lawrenceville, Oakland, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. We recommend that students visit these and other areas of Pittsburgh before committing to a rental.


Pre-professional Tuition

Tuition may be paid in full (with ‘early pay’ discount offered) or in payments according to the schedule outlined below.

Pro-rated tuition will go into effect as of October 1. Please contact the School Office at 412-281-6727 for a proper tuition quote after this date.

The tuition rates below for 2020-21 remain the same for virtual, hybrid, and in-studio options, and adjustments will not be made should PBT School need to transition fully to distance/online learning at any point this year.

Class/Level Registration Deposit Annual Tuition Due Aug 31 Due Dec 1 Due Mar 1
Level 6 $500 $4,338 $1,446 $1,446 $1,446
Level 7 $500 $4,623 $1,541 $1,541 $1,541
Level 7, with morning $500 $5,016 $1,672 $1,672 $1,672
Level 8 $500 $6,198 $2,066 $2,066 $2,066
Graduate Program $500 $5,757 $1,919 $1,919 $1,919




Students enjoy in-studio access to cardio equipment, private Pilates sessions (additional costs may apply) and Pilates mat classes (included).

Sports Conditioning Programs

Pre-professional students enjoy access to medical experts from the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, which staffs a residency at PBT Studios. In addition to sports medicine facilities, students also have the opportunity to attend seminars on stress management, sports psychology, nutrition and injury prevention among other topics.

PBT School works with UPMC physical therapists and athletic trainers to offer musculoskeletal screenings, when possible, to help dancers screen for and correct risk factors for injury. The UPMC Center for Sports Medicine is known for its Musculoskeletal Research Center and is the preferred healthcare provider for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Performance Opportunities

Performance opportunities play an important role in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School philosophy. Student in Levels 6–Graduate perform in the school’s annual Pre-professional Showcase and Spring Performance in downtown Pittsburgh.* Throughout the year, some Level 8 and Graduate program students have the opportunity to perform in PBT company productions.* PBT Graduate students have been featured in recent company productions of The NutcrackerLa Bayadere, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, among others.


“Where Are They Now?” – Conversations with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School Alumni

Get to know some of PBT School’s alumni and learn about the careers they’ve developed after their time with the School. In the “Where Are They Now?” project PBT School aims to stay connected with alumni and share their school and career experiences with the PBT School community.

Subject to change based on COVID-19 developments. 

Connect with us!

For specific questions about PBT School programs, please contact

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