INTENSIVE SUMMER PROGRAM
June 24 – July 27, 2024
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s Intensive Summer Program (ISP) welcomes dancers to our studios and our city for five weeks each summer.
We strive to provide the highest caliber of dance education balanced with an unforgettable social and cultural experience.
ISP focuses on three core aspects: training, wellness and connection.
PBT School’s mission centers dance in all of its programming and resources. ISP students have unparalleled opportunities to learn across a broad curriculum under the tutelage of expert instructors.
With an emphasis on developing the technique and artistry of each dancer, PBT School provides a diverse curriculum to foster the joy, expression and discipline of ballet at every level:
- Ballet: technique, pointe, variations, men’s technique, classical repertoire
- Specialty concentration classes: pirouettes, grand allegro, coda, walking and running
- Partnering: classical pas de deux, contemporary pas de deux
- Additional disciplines: modern, jazz, contemporary
- Cross training: pilates, TRX, yoga, conditioning
“This summer was my first American 5-week summer intensive and I was intrigued to experience a summer with PBT, full of exploration and growth. The faculty and other students created an incredibly supportive and positive environment throughout the program, which made the experience so joyful. I found that I easily improved in a place where everyone around me strived to succeed and see others succeed.”– Siri Vedel, 2022 ISP Student and Current Graduate Program Dancer
Hear more about Siri’s journey through our Summer program by visiting her entry on our blog, click below to find out more.
ISP dancers who are interested in choreography may submit an application to choreograph on their peers while dancing in our 5-week intensive. The choreographic application is reviewed by Artistic staff prior to arrival for approval to participate. Choreographers rehearse on Saturdays with a final in-studio presentation of their work on Friday, July 26. This performance is open to families.
Men are split into two levels during the ISP Program. Male technique classes are exclusively taught by male faculty. In addition to male-only technique classes Variation classes and allegro technique classes are offered. Conditioning and TRX are offered every week and Pas de Deux is an integral part of the programming.
Classes are held six days per week, Monday- Saturday. On the first day of the program, students will be assessed in a placement class and assigned to a level for the remainder of the program. This will determine their schedule for the following weeks. Each Level will have 4 – 5 classes daily with approximately 30 hours of instruction per week.
Our incomparable faculty consists of artists with national and international professional experience, many of whom are former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancers.
Our faculty’s professional artistry is matched by their warmth and care for our dancers. While maintaining the rigor of our programming, they cultivate an environment of support in each class, creating a camaraderie that elevates PBT from a school to a community.
For a full list of PBT year-round faculty, click here.
I would 100% recommend it to a friend. All of the teachers are so kind and you can really tell that they want to help you improve. – ISP 2022 Dancer
In addition to providing a comprehensive classical ballet education, PBT School structures programming and resources to support the health of the whole dancer.
An approach to wellness is woven into all aspects of the school, from faculty corrections in class to dancer seminars to staff professional development. We recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the individual dancer and strive to cultivate confidence in navigating both.
Working closely with members of the University of Pittsburgh Sports Medicine and other experts in the Pittsburgh area, PBT School wellness programs emphasize injury prevention, mental health, nutrition, conditioning and more.
Our priority is to ensure that each dancer entering our studios not only trains but thrives.
I was amazed by the structure of the school the studios, the lounges and the physical therapy support. How supportive and understanding the teachers are, and how I felt I was always growing through the experience. – ISP 2022 Dancer
At PBT School, our dancers’ experience extends beyond classes: a balance between life in and out of the studio is crucial for ISP students. From our location in the vibrant Strip District in the heart of Pittsburgh, we support our students in fostering relationships with their peers and making the city their home by exploring all it has to offer, from its biggest draws to its hidden gems.
ISP students come to us from all over the country and the world. They range in age from 12 to 23, allowing dancers to learn not only from their teachers but from each other.
PBT School offers residential housing on the beautiful wooded campus of Chatham University, located only 3.5 miles from the studios.
Highlights of our res life program include:
- Low student-to-staff ratio (one RA for approximately every 10 students)
- Close walking distance to the Shadyside and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods, including diverse shopping and restaurant options
- Proximity to public transportation via Pittsburgh Regional Transit
- Chartered bus service between Chatham and PBT Studios
- Breakfasts and dinners onsite at Chatham’s newly renovated dining facility
- Lunches catered by Chatham University
- Wide array of dietary needs in all meals, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options
- Evening and weekend activities
Our excursion programming offers weekly optional outings to all dancers, commuter and resident alike. These outings provide the chance to connect with fellow ISP dancers and to get to know the city.
These excursions typically include:
- Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game
- Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium
- Kennywood amusement park
- A performance at The Benedum Center for Performing Arts
- An evening sail on Pittsburgh’s famed rivers on the Gateway Clipper
You do obviously want to work on dance because that is the main reason you’re there, but there is also so much fun involved so don’t forget to have fun! – ISP 2022 Dancer
ISP students are given the chance to further their dance training while living in the heart of one of the best-kept secrets in the country. Pittsburgh regularly features on lists of Most Livable cities in the United States and the world. Rising strong from its steel town roots, the city has become a twenty-first-century hub for education, medicine, and the arts. It combines the accessibility and affordability of a small town with the dynamism of a growing global leader.
PBT is a proud pillar of the Pittsburgh arts community, which includes not only dance but theater, music, fine art, comedy, and more. PBT’s organizational programming brings its mission to the city and the region, an ethos of relationship building that informs our approach to school training.
Our studios are located in close proximity to Downtown, as well as to the popular neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Lawrenceville and Friendship. We encourage our dancers to embrace Pittsburgh as their home for the summer.
For full details about our audition tour, please see our audition page.
Audition registration: Registration closes at 9 a.m. the Friday of each audition weekend for all sites of that weekend.
ISP registration: Students accepted to the ISP program will have three weeks from the date of their acceptance to register for the program. That deadline will be clearly indicated in the acceptance letter.
Financial aid: Accepted dancers applying for need-based financial aid will not need to register for the ISP program by the three-week deadline; instead, they will need to submit their financial aid application by that deadline. A link to the application will be provided in the acceptance letter.
Program dates: Monday, June 24 through Saturday, July 27, 2024
Move in/out: More information will be provided closer to the start of the program
Performances: The student choreography showcase will be on Friday, July 26; the program-end demonstration will be on Saturday, July 27.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Eligibility: Merit-based scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of our auditioning faculty and will be communicated to students in their acceptance letters. There is no application process for merit-based scholarships–any auditioning student will be considered for merit-based scholarships.
Need-based financial aid is available via application for dancers whose household income is less than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines for their household size. Dancers who do not meet this requirement are not eligible for financial aid and will not be considered.
Process: Dancers interested in need-based financial aid should apply upon acceptance to the ISP program. A link to the application form will be included in all acceptance letters. This short form will require a few pieces of information about the dancer’s household, as well as the inclusion of verifying documentation (W2 forms).
Deadlines: Dancers applying for financial aid should not register for the ISP program by the deadline given in their acceptance letter. Instead, they should consider that date as their deadline to apply for financial aid.
All financial aid applications will be considered together after the conclusion of the audition tour. Financial aid decisions will be communicated no later than March 10. Dancers will have two weeks from the time of their financial aid determination to register for the program.
For additional questions, please visit our Summer FAQ page.