Sensory-friendly Performances and Workshops

Experience the joy of dance in a supportive setting.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is proud to offer sensory-friendly performances and workshops for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities or other individualized needs. We have produced sensory-friendly performances since 2013; PBT was the first professional ballet company in the country to present a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker. Other ballets in our sensory-friendly repertoire are Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan and Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast.

Fireside Nutcracker

Adaptive Dance the Story 

Ballet fans of all ages are invited to a holiday exploration of dance and movement. Join PBT’s Adaptive Dance team to learn basic ballet steps and movement concepts through the storyline and characters of Nutcracker.
Each class is $5 and 30 minutes in length.

Friday, November 20, 2020 at 4:30pm

Friday, December 18, 2020 at 5pm

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Afternoon of Enchantment

Kick off your holiday season with a virtual version of PBT’s sensory-friendly Afternoon of Enchantment! The program will feature a mini Adaptive Dance class, as well as visits from our friends at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. All are welcome.  This workshop is $5 and 1 hour and 30 minutes in length.  

Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 1pm

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Plan Your Experience

Tips to make your experience “sensory-friendly”

These performances feature a friendly, supportive environment for families with a loved one with special needs. Adaptations you can make at home are slight, including:

  • Lower sound levels
  • Adjust the brightness of the computer screen
  • Take breaks during recorded videos and come back at any time
  • Turn your camera off if you need a break during class
  • Have fidget objects available or nearby

It takes a village to produce a sensory-friendly production! PBT is deeply grateful for the support of our partners: Autism Connection of PA, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and our wonderful volunteers.


Stay tuned for more information about closed captioned recordings and audio description for performances!

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Questions about content or accommodations:

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Other Programs You Might Like…
PBT also is proud to offer adaptive dance classes designed for students with special needs. Themed around classic story ballets, our adaptive dance classes emphasize creative movement principles and modified ballet technique within a welcoming and structured studio environment. Learn more here.

Watch a video about our sensory-friendly performances: