Our Student Division is for dancers ages 7 years and up who wish to continue their ballet training. Beginning with the Preparatory level and culminating in Level 5, Student Division classes focus on technique, repertoire and varied dance disciplines.
We place students in the Student Division based on the class that will best suit their continued development as a dancer. Dancers who wish to join this division must take a placement class in order for our faculty to assess the best option for them.
“Our dancers’ time in the Student Division is crucial for their development as they look towards entering the Pre-Professional Division. As the head of this division, I oversee the curriculum of each level to ensure that students work on their alignment, strength and execution of movement. I love getting to know each student and guiding them on the best path for success.”
-Eun Young Ahn, Head of Student Division and Curriculum Design
Weekly classes occur during our school year, which runs from September through May. School year programming includes family observation weeks, seminars, music theory classes, workshops and performances.
Preparatory A & B: Stepping into a New Division
Exercises help develop flexibility, strength, alignment and turnout. Curriculum includes an additional day of training to prepare for the Student Division. Requires prior ballet training. Dancers attend class two days a week.
Level 1 A & B: Beginning the Nutcracker Journey
Curriculum concentrates on correct placement of the body, head, arms and feet in the five positions and requires that students have already developed good concentration skills. Students in Level 1 will be eligible to audition for PBT’s production of The Nutcracker. Dancers attend class two days a week.
Level 2: Adding Jazz Training
Students are introduced to new vocabulary and exercises. Classes are longer. In Level 2, Jazz is introduced to their curriculum. Dancers attend class two days a week.
Level 3: Starting En Pointe
Instructors introduce more complex steps, combinations and vocabulary. Classes become longer and a day is added to the weekly schedule. Pointe classes are introduced into the curriculum. Dancers attend class 3 days a week.
Level 4: Introducing Variations Class
Students are introduced to more intricate patterns and sequences of steps with emphasis on port de bras (carriage of the arms) and epaulment (placement of the shoulders) in all movements. Dancers attend class 4 days a week and variations are added as part of the curriculum.
Level 5: Leading the Student Division
Students expand their classical ballet vocabulary. Combinations are longer and more stylistic. In some sessions, students will be expected to complete the class’s full barre and center work en pointe as appropriate for their training. Classical variations may be introduced. A day is added to the weekly schedule and dancers attend class 5 days a week.
Class Schedule and Tuition
Please view our PBT School Family Resources page for the 2023-2024 Student Division school year calendar and dress code information.
Tuition: $1,610| Registration Fee: $45
Option 1 (Prep A):
Tuesday 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Thursday 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Option 2 (Prep B):
Wednesday 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Friday 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Tuition: $1,670 | Registration Fee: $45
Option 1 (Level 1A):
Monday 5-6 p.m.
Thursday 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Option 2 (Level 1B):
Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuition: $2,110 | Registration Fee: $45
Tuesday 5:30-6:45 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuesday 6:45-7:45 p.m. (Jazz)
Thursday 6:30-8 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuition: $2,800 | Registration Fee: $45
Monday 6-8 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuesday 5:45-6:45 p.m. (Jazz)
Tuesday 6:45-8:15 p.m. (Ballet)
Friday 5-6:45 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuition: $3,250 | Registration Fee: $45
Monday 6-8 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuesday 6-7:30 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuesday 7:45-8:45 p.m. (Jazz)
Wednesday 6-7:30 (Ballet)
Thursday 5:30-8 p.m. (Ballet/Pointe/Variations)
Tuition: $3,910 | Registration Fee: $45
Monday 6-8 p.m. (Ballet)
Tuesday 5:30-8 p.m. (Ballet/Pointe/Variations)
Wednesday 6-7:30 p.m. (Ballet)
Wednesday 7:30-8:30 p.m. (Jazz)
Thursday 6-7:45 p.m. (Ballet)
Friday 4:15-5:45 p.m. (Ballet)
One of the most unique and rewarding experiences for students of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School is the opportunity to audition for the professional company production of The Nutcracker. With The Nutcracker, the young student’s experience expands to include auditioning, rehearsals, backstage exposure, costuming and performing on a professional stage before a live audience. Performing in The Nutcracker is an experience that will last a lifetime. Please note that enrollment in PBT School does not guarantee casting or participation in The Nutcracker.
PBT School presents Spring Performances in May for dancers in our Student and Pre-Professional Divisions. These performances are an exciting opportunity to showcase the hard work of our students in the Preparatory through Graduate levels.
Families are invited to attend class for observation. This occurs two times throughout the school year.
Jazz/Modern/Variations In-Studio Demonstrations
Families are invited to attend in-studio demonstrations of their students’ jazz, modern and variations classes. This begins when students are in Level 2.
Seminars and Workshops
PBT School is dedicated to providing opportunities that enrich each student’s experience, both inside and outside of the studio. Rooted in this approach to whole-dancer health, PBT School invites guest speakers for seminars in key areas including diversity in dance, gender identity and inclusivity, mental health, stress management, physical wellness, healthy relationships, audition preparation and more.
PBT School is committed to the PBT Company’s vision of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This commitment is woven into the curriculum throughout the year via a series of workshops with guest artists in varying dance genres, allowing students to broaden their training and knowledge with experience in African dance, hip-hop, modern, improvisational techniques and more.
Created by faculty member Jamie Erin Murphy in 2021, the Pittsburgh Connection Class Series facilitates classes with Pittsburgh-based artists, providing students with opportunities to further expand their dance training while deepening their professional connections with the regional arts community.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Financial aid and scholarships are not available in the Student Division, but families are encouraged to apply for PBT’s Community Youth Scholarship Program.
What happens after the Student Division?
After the Student Division, dancers advance to the Pre-Professional Division where they continue to nurture a deep appreciation for and understanding of dance, music and the fine arts as a whole.