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. We welcome an average of 200 out-of-state and international students into our intensive training program each year.
  • 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 PBT Artistic Director 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.

Level 6

In Level 6, 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.

Admission is by invitation only, following a scheduled audition. To arrange an audition, please contact the PBT School office at 412-281-6727 or

Curriculum: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Repertoire, Character Dance, Modern Dance, Jazz and Pilates mat classes

Levels 7 & 8

In Levels 7 and 8, training becomes more immersive and students begin learning more advanced repertoire. Admission is by audition and invitation only.

Level 7 students attend classes on weekday afternoons and on Saturdays. Level 7 also offers a morning option that includes two additional ballet technique classes per week from 8:00-9:30 a.m.   Level 8 students attend classes on all weekday mornings and afternoons in addition to Saturdays.

Curriculum: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Men’s Class, Repertoire, Character Dance, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Jazz, Pilates mat classes


PBT 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.
  • Study Space at PBT Studios: PBT School provides students with Wi-Fi access and dedicated spaces to pursue independent study between ballet classes.

Although support services are available to Byham House residents, students must be comfortable with an independent learning and time-management style to be successful in this type of intensive training 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.

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 PBT in performance and promotional appearances throughout the city. Graduate students perform in PBT’s production of the The Nutcracker and may be offered extra 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.

Curriculum: Ballet technique, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Men’s Class, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Pilates Mat classes and Repertoire rehearsals. Graduate students also receive resume-building seminars, assistance with audition photos, cover letters and letters of recommendation, and conferences with PBT’s Artistic Director and PBT School Co-directors.

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.

Tuition & Schedule

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.

Class/Level Tuition 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



Class/Level Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday
Level 6 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 5:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4:15 – 6:45 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Level 7 4 – 6 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Level 7, with morning 4 – 6 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 4 – 6:30 p.m. 4 – 6:30 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Level 8 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 3 – 6 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 3 – 6 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 3 – 5:30 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 3 – 6 p.m. 8 – 9:30 a.m. + 3 – 6 p.m. 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduate Program 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Possible rehearsals with Company, 3 – 6 p.m. on Monday- Friday


Admission into the Pre-professional program is by invitation only. PBT School is hosting the Pre-professional Division Audition Week from March 2–6, 2020. For more information on the audition week and to register please click here. We are also currently accepting video auditions. Please contact the PBT School office at for more information and program availability.

Audition by Video

Performance Opportunities

Performance opportunities play an important role in the PBT 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.



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 PBT, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.