"Training the entire person by training the entire artist."
Path to UNCSA
Preparatory Dance Program Faculty and Musicians
Tuition and Fees
2015 Summer Programs
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A note from director, Matthew C. Donnell:
Welcome to the UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program! We are now celebrating our 40th year of training talented young dancers, and are continually growing by adding more classes, performance opportunities, and community outreach to better serve North Carolina.
I received my start in the Preparatory Dance Program, and I am honored to serve and continue the legacy. In the few short months since becoming Director, I have seen the Preparatory Dance Program make incredible advances. We have achieved national recognition in Dance Teacher Magazine, beefed up our schedule to include a wider aray of classes, and have added three new productions for our students. Recently we received excellent coverage by the Winston-Salem Journal, further cementing our place as the Piedmont's most established ballet conservatory for elementary and middle school students.
Up until now, the Preparatory Dance Program has been for rising 3rd - 8th graders. New for the 2015/16 school year, we are expanding to include the 9th grade. This will allow advanced students to continue training with us for a year longer, and further help us prepare them for whatever their next step may be.
To honor my predecessor, mentor, and friend, I am pleased to announce the creation of the Dayna Fox Scholarship Fund. Ms. Fox expertly lead the Preparatory Dance Program for 25 years, and continues to be a source of inspiration to students and educators of UNCSA and across the country.
Our program is in huge momentum. We are "leaping toward the future" with an unstoppable drive. Our faculty is committed and determined to helping our students discover and achieve their highest potential not only as artists, but as strong members of our community. By instilling confidence through discipline, artistry, and the high technical level that the school is known for, we are creating model students who are able to achieve anything.
I invite you to take a close look at what the new Preparatory Dance Program of UNCSA has to offer. Please join us in this exciting time by becoming a part of our future!
If you would like to make a tax free donation to the Dayna Fox Scholarship Fund, or would like to otherwise financially support the fostering of young talent, you can do so by clicking here: UNCSA Foundation Please specify "Dayna Fox Scholarship Fund," "En Pointe for Dance Education," or "UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program" or mail checks to:
UNCSA Foundation, Inc. 1533 S. Main St. Winston-Salem, NC 27127
Click below for an short video about our history featuring our talented students:
PREPARATORY DANCE PROGRAM PROMO VIDEO
Preparatory Dance Program
Matthew C. Donnell, Director
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
1533 South Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27127
Telephone (336) 734-2939
The Preparatory Dance Program at University of North Carolina School of the Arts is an after-school pre-professional training program whose mission is to prepare students for entry into the UNCSA School of Dance high school division. Students in the Program receive classes in ballet technique, pointe and pre-pointe, men's technique, contemporary dance, jazz technique, character, creative movement, music appreciation, acting, clowning, and dance history. The Preparatory Program and its faculty are dedicated to nurturing young dancers, providing world-class instruction and helping students reach their full potential.
Special Opportunities for Preparatory Program Students
- Attend classes in a state-of-the-art facility with live accompaniment
- Observe classes and rehearsals by UNCSA faculty
- Participate in special master classes and workshops given by visiting artists and choreographers
- Audition for children’s roles in UNCSA's annual production of "The Nutcracker"
- Perform in "Drosselmeyer's Nutcracker Tea" and "Letters to Santa"
- Perform in the newly added Preparatory Dance Program "Winter Festival"
- Perform in the Preparatory Dance Program's end of year Workshop Performance
- Participate in other School of Dance concerts presented throughout the year
Created in 1975, the Preparatory Dance Program was the brainchild of founding Dean of Dance Robert Lindgren and his wife, Sonja Tyven. Working in conjunction with the WS/Forsyth County public schools, the Program was designed to seek out gifted children in the community and offer them professional dance classes on the UNCSA campus. In doing this, it served as a community outreach program while recruiting and training potential students for the School of Dance’s high school division. Many students who began their training in the Program have gone on to perform with major dance companies across the country and around the world.
Selected UNCSA alumni who began their training in the Preparatory Dance Program
| Rebecca Massey
| American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
ABT II / Boston Ballet / American Ballet Theatre
ABT II / Houston Ballet
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet
Kansas City Ballet
Eliot Feld / Ballet Aspen / Ballet Hispanico
San Francisco Ballet / Boston Ballet / Pennsylvania Ballet
North Carolina Dance Theatre / Alonzo King's "Lines"
National Ballet of Canada
Houston Ballet / The Joffrey Ballet / Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada
Royal New Zealand Ballet
The Preparatory Dance Program is an accelerated training program and consistent attendance is crucial to each student’s success. Parents must be committed partners with the School of Dance, dedicated to bringing their child to every class. Students are evaluated throughout the year and must be invited to return the following year. Parents receive bi-annual reports on each student to keep them informed of their child's class performance and progress. Students who complete the Preparatory Dance Program are uniquely well positioned to audition for entry into the School of Dance’s full-time high school program. UNCSA offers a complete academic program leading to the North Carolina high school diploma, and at the same time provides a conservatory atmosphere that fully develops each child’s potential as a dancer. This includes intensive classes and a large range of performing opportunities.
The Preparatory Dance Program at UNCSA is committed to the equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
Matthew C. Donnell, Director
Matthew Donnell, a native of Mt. Airy, NC first attended UNCSA in 1991 as a student of the Preparatory Program where he trained for three years before entering the high school department. (class of '99) He went on to train at the Rock School, and while there, he performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and placed second regionally in the innagural season of Youth America Grand Prix. From there, he enjoyed a ten-year career with the Kansas City Ballet where he performed soloist and principal roles to critical acclaim and was named "30 under 30 artists to watch" by the Kansas City Star. Following his time in Kansas City, he moved to New York City to focus on acting. His theater credits include Kansas City Starlight Theatre, numerous productions with Kansas City New Theatre (where he also served as Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer), Houston Theatre Under the Stars, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). In 2014, together with partner Alana Niehoff, he wrote, produced, and performed in his first one-man clown show The Chapeau Show in NYC benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. His silent short film series, The Adventures of Jim has been screened in film festivals based out of Winston-Salem and Los Angeles. He is a contributing writer for the online publication DIY Dancer, and currently sits on the board of governors for the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the union that represents ballet and opera performers. As an instructor he has taught for and rehearsed professional ballet companies and schools across the country including UNCSA, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, The University of Alabama, Kansas City Ballet, Montgomery Ballet,and Alabama Dance Theatre. He is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. His passion for teaching has brought him full circle, and he is thrilled to begin his second year as Director of the UNCSA Preparatory Program. <www.matthewdonnell.com>
Alana Niehoff is a native of Aurora, Colorado. As a child she trained and tested in the Royal Academy of Dance, Cecchetti, and Vaganova Ballet Techniques. In 1998, at the age of 15, she was one of four American's chosen to compete at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. Upon arrival home, she was invited by Wes Chapman to join the Alabama Ballet where she performed soloist and principal roles. Following her time in Alabama, she was selected by John Meehan to join the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in New York City. While there, she also performed with the main company during their Metropolitan Opera Season. After ABT, she became one of the World Famous Radio City Rockettes and performed with the company for eleven years. As a Rockette she appeared on various national television shows and was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine. Additionally, Alana has performed with Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet in Colorado and alongside stars such as Liza Minnelli, Richard Simmons, Tim Gunn, Jane Lynch, and the Cast of Ugly Betty. She received her acting training at T. Schreiber, and William Esper Studios in NYC, and appeared in the world premier of Maury Yeston's Hans Christian Andersen with Maine State Music Theatre. She has taught and choreographed across the United States for almost two decades. Since joining the faculty of the UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program as Primary teacher for Levels 2, 3, and 4, Ms. Niehoff has also co-directed, written, and choreographed new works Drosselmeyer's Nutcracker Tea, Letters to Santa, and Winter Festival - UNCSA Prep's first ever mixed-rep performance. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Alana is excited to begin her second year with the UNCSA Prepartory Dance Program. For more information, visit: <www.alananiehoff.com>
Ms. Adams studied ballet at the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and was a member of the North Carolina Dance Theater. She served as dance captain for the national touring company of “A Chorus Line”, and as Ballet Mistress for the Ballet Theater of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, USVI. Ms. Adams has been teaching in the WS/Forsyth public school system for over 20 years and recently renewed her National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She is also an A+ Fellow with the nationally acclaimed A+ Schools Program, working with teachers to develop comprehensive arts-based educational programming. She currently teaches at the Arts Based Elementary School in Winston-Salem and serves as the primary instructor for the Preparatory Program’s entry-level class.
Dayna Fox, guest faculty
Ms. Fox is a member of the ballet faculty of the UNCSA School of Dance and was the Director of its Preparatory Dance Program 1989-2014. She began her training at Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio and has studied under such illustrious teachers as the late Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, and David Howard. For 10 years, Ms. Fox was a featured dancer with the North Carolina Dance Theater and performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including appearances at the Kennedy Center; Brooklyn Academy of Music; the American Dance Festival; the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. During her tenure with NCDT, Ms. Fox performed soloist and principal roles in an eclectic repertoire including such works as Salvatore Aiello’s Piano Concerto #1; George Balanchine’s Pas de Dix, Allegro Brilliant, and Scotch Symphony; August Bournonville’s Napoli; Senta Driver’s Resettings; and Vicente Nebrada’s Di Pentemento. She has been guest instructor at Wake Forest University, Ballet Met, and UNC Greensboro, and was a founding faculty member at the Virginia School of the Arts. Ms. Fox holds a B.F.A. in Dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).
UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program students have the opportunity to dance to live accompaniment for many of their classes. We are fortunate to have expert musicians.
UNCSA FACULTY DANCE MUSICIANS
Mr. Schwartz relocated from New York City in 2011 to become Music Director for the UNCSA Dance Department.
Ms. Messick, of Winston-Salem began as a dance musician with UNCSA in 1970, and retired as Faculty Music Director in 2011.
Mr. Partridge moved from New Jersey to Winston-Salem in 1975 and has been a UNCSA faculty dance musician since 1980.
Ms. Kimel, originally of Fayetteville, NC has been a UNCSA faculty dance musician since 1985.
Mr. Dalby began his career at Texas Christian University, and came has been a UNCSA faculty dance musician since 1992. Check out his website balletclassmusicforfree.com
Ms. Gabitov hails from Kazan, Russia, and has been a UNCSA faculty dance musician since 1993.
John C.B. Wilson
Mr. Wilson, a Winston-Salem Native has been a UNCSA faculty dance musician since 1998.
Auditions for the Preparatory Dance Program are held in May and August in studio A on the UNCSA campus (see map). Children must be rising 3rd thru 9th graders to be eligible. No previous training is required for 3rd and 4th grade students, as acceptance is based on the child’s potential and natural facility for classical dance. Older students must demonstrate rudimentary knowledge of classical ballet in order to be placed into our more advanced levels.
If accepted, students are placed into one of four class levels based on age and ability. Class level will determine the number of days per week students attend classes and tuition. All classes are held weekdays in studios on the UNCSA campus between the hours of 4:00 and 7:45pm.
NEW THIS YEAR!!!
Our audition for 6th-9th graders will double as a complete Master Class!
We are thrilled to announce that Isaac Stappas, former American Ballet Theatre Dancer and UNCSA Preparatory Program/School of Dance alum as our Guest Master Teacher!
This will be the second in our UNCSA Prep Master Class Series.
Fee: $15. Questions, contact Director, Matthew Donnell at email@example.com
AUDITIONS FOR 2015-2016 ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR
Saturday, August 8, 2015
9:30am -10:00am - Open registration for all students*
10:00am – 11:00am – Audition for rising 3rd – 5th grade student - led by Jan Adams
11:00am – 12:30pm – Audition/Master Class for rising 6th – 9th grade students $15 fee
Students who have had no previous training may wear a T-shirt and shorts with bare feet at the audition. Older students should be dressed in dance attire for ballet class.
*You may pre-register for the audition date of your choice by downloading the form below. There is no fee to register. Please mail completed pre-registration forms to Program Suzanna Watkins, Educational Outreach and Summer Programs UNCSA , 1533 South Main Street, WS, NC, 27127-2188
Pre-registration form (PDF)
Class Schedule 2015-2016 (PDF)
For questions concerning the schedule, contact Matthew C. Donnell
Preparatory Dance Tuition (PDF)
The Preparatory Dance Program offers a 3-week Summer Intensive for Young Dancers, which is designed specifically for children ages 9 thru 14. No audition is required, however students must have had some level of previous training in classical ballet (NO beginners). Students are placed in the appropriate class level based on their ability. Classes meet Monday thru Friday from 9:00am – 2:00pm in the dance studios on the UNCSA campus. Students who attend the Intensive receive a minimum of 4 classes a day, which may include ballet technique, pointe/pre-pointe, modern, creative movement, jazz, character dance, body conditioning, repertoire, music appreciation, and other dance related subjects. Students may choose to attend one, two, or all three weeks of the Intensive. An informal performance is presented at the end of each week's session.
Questions, please contact Director, Matthew C. Donnell firstname.lastname@example.org
DATES FOR UNCSA SUMMER INTENSIVE FOR YOUNG DANCERS 2015
First Session: July 20 - 24
Second Session: July 27 – July 31
Third Session: August 3 - 7
1 week - $250.00
2 weeks - $425.00
3 weeks - $575.00
Siblings will receive a 10% discount on their tuition
Space is limited!
REGISTRATION LINK! NEW FOR 2015
If you have any difficulty or questions, please contact Sharon Fogarty at 336.734.2848
Saturday, September 26, UNCSA Community Day
Saturday, December 5, Drosselmeyer's Nutcracker Tea Stevens Center
Thursday, December 10 Nutcracker Campus night
Saturday, December 12 Letters to Santa
Sunday, February 21, Winter Festival Performance
Sunday, May 1, Preparatory Dance Program Workshop Performance
*Detailed schedule for the year including breaks, holiday, rehearsals, etc. will be distributed to students and parents who are enrolled in the 2015-16 Preparatory Dance Program at orientation
2015/16 first day will be September 8 - mandatory meeting 5:15-7:15
Classes will begin Wednesday, September 9