Preparatory Dance

Preparatory Dance

UNCSA Community programs will be offered this Fall in a variety of formats: in-person, online and hybrid. Classes will be held off-campus. The health and safety of our students, teachers and their families is paramount, so in-person classes will adhere to stringent safety protocols, including hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing.

  • In-person Preparatory Dance classes will take place in two locations. Please carefully consult the class schedule, as many students will have classes in both locations.
    • Stevens Center
      405 4th Street NW
      Winston-Salem, NC 27101
    • Milton Rhodes Center
      251 North Spruce Street
      Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • Parents will complete an online health assessment for their child prior to each class session
  • In order to limit the number of people in the buildings, parents will drop off their students at the main box office door of the Stevens Center or the drop-off circle at the Milton Rhodes Center prior to class time. Staff will be stationed inside the door to check students in and take temperatures. Additional family members will be not allowed into the buildings; exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The pick-up location for Stevens Center classes will be at the stage door ramp on Marshall Street.
  • The pick-up location for Milton Rhodes Center classes will be at the drop-off circle. Instructors will supervise student pick-up.
  • Learn more about the UNCSA Community Health Standards which will guide our safety protocols.

UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Program presents a unique opportunity for young dancers to experience the joy of developing their artistry in a nurturing atmosphere. Focusing on the etiquette and discipline necessary for building a solid foundation in ballet technique, this after-school, pre-professional training program has received national recognition for its excellence. The program runs from third to ninth grade.

The members of the ballet faculty of the Preparatory Program are certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum that combines high quality artistic training, dancer health and child development. Classical ballet vocabulary is developed progressively with an emphasis on sound body alignment, musicality, coordination and attention to dynamic detail to prepare students for entry into the UNCSA High School Program

Students are placed according to age and ability, taking into account the developmental needs of the individual with an emphasis on the health of the whole dancer. Courses are designed to develop versatile dancers with an organic feeling for line, musicality and quality which will allow them to move from one dance technique to another with ease.

Students in our Preparatory Dance program practice in state-of-the-art UNCSA facilities and have access to special master classes and workshops held by visiting choreographers and artists.

2020-21 Calendar and Class Schedules

The well-being and comfort of our students is our first priority. To that end all classes will be provided in a hybrid format, in-person and on Zoom. At the beginning of the semester students may choose how they wish to study.

Classes will be split in two groups so we can observe the recommend health standards for occupancy for each studio space.

Students will alternate between in-person and Zoom classes. Please see the Student Handbook for the safety precautions to be observed by every student.

Fall Semester: September 8 – December 22, 2020

From September 8  – November 24, classes will be held in the Stevens Center and the Milton Rhodes Center (Mountcastle Theatre) -refer to the accordian below for the schedule

From November 30 - December 22, classes will be held in the UNCSA Dance Studios - refer to this pdf for the class schedule

Spring Semester: January 5 – June 6, 2021 (locations TBA)

From January 5 - February 6, classes will be held in the UNCSA Dance Studios - refer to this pdf for the class schedule

Locations February 7 - June 6 TBD

Prep 1

Students at this level take two ballet classes a week, conditioning and creative dance.

Focusing on posture, coordination and musicality, students will begin to control the rotation in their legs, articulate through their feet and feel the alignment of the spine.

Ballet & Conditioning TBA
Ballet  TBA
Creative Dance  TBA

Prep 2

Students at this level take three ballet classes a week, conditioning, character, prep for pointe and boys' technique. Creative Dance is an elective class.

Students are expected to strengthen and sustain their alignment to allow them to strengthen use of rotation in the hip joints. More sophisticated awareness of body directions, feeling for line and development of classical ballet vocabulary is introduced.

Ballet & Pre-pointe Tues 4:00 - 5:30
Creative Dance (elective) Tues 5:45 - 6:45
Ballet Thurs/Fri 4:00 - 5:15
Conditioning Thurs 5:15 - 6:00
Character Fri 5:15 - 6:15


Prep 3

Students at this level take four ballet classes a week, Progressing Ballet Technique conditioning class, character, boys and pre-pointe. Contemporary Dance is an elective class.

Students’ posture and alignment should be sustained throughout all exercises and students are expected to take responsibility for personal corrections through awareness of their unique gifts and challenges.

Prep 3A

Ballet Tues/Weds/Fri 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Pre-Pointe Tues/Fri 5:30 - 6:00
PBT Weds 5:30 - 6:30
Ballet Thurs 5:15 - 6:45
Character Thurs 6:45 - 7:45
Elective: Contemporary Fri 6:00 - 7:00

 Prep 3B

Ballet Mon 4:00 - 5:30
Pre-Pointe/Boys Mon 5:30 - 6:30
Elective: Contemporary Tues 4:15 - 5:15
Ballet Tues 5:30 - 7:00
PBT Weds 4:15 - 5:15
Ballet Weds 5:35 - 7:00
Character Weds 7:00 - 8:00
Boys Thurs 4:00 - 5:00
Ballet Thurs 5:15 - 6:45

Prep 4

Students at this level take four ballet classes a week, Progressing Ballet Technique conditioning class, character, contemporary, boys and pointe. A fifth ballet class is an elective.

Students should be aware of artistic and musical nuance to develop and enrich quality of movement. The strength to sustain directions of the body en l’air with a feeling of line in the port de bras is important at this level together with the ability to coordinate allegro with use of épaulement.

Ballet Mon/Tues 4:00 - 5:30
Pointe Mon/Tues 5:30 - 6:30
Boys Mon 5:30 -6:30
PBT Tues 6:45 - 7:45
Elective: Ballet Weds 4:00 - 5:25
Boys Thurs 4:00 - 5:00
Ballet Thurs 5:15 - 6:45
Contemporary  Thurs 6:45 - 7:45
Ballet Fri 5:30 - 7:00
Character Fri 7:00 - 8:00


Prep 5

Students at this level take five ballet classes a week, Progressing Ballet Technique conditioning class, character, contemporary, boys and pointe.

Students in Prep 5 should be competent in the vocabulary of the previous levels and have the artistry, technique and musicality to develop more complex movement patterns with confidence and performance quality. They should have the maturity to work independently and be self-motivated.

Ballet Mon/Thurs/Fri 4:00 - 5:30
Character Mon 5:30 - 6:30
PBT Tues 4:15 - 5:15
Ballet Tues 5:30 - 7:00
Boys Tues 7:00 - 8:00
Pointe Tues 7:00 - 8:00
Contemporary Weds 4:30 - 5:30
Ballet Weds 5:45 - 7:15
Boys Weds 7:15 - 8:00
Pointe Thurs 5:30 - 6:30
Pointe/Variations Fri 5:30 - 6:30



Performance opportunities & additional courses

Performance Ensemble (Prep levels 2 – 5)

Performance Ensemble classes give students the opportunity to study age-appropriate choreography in different dance styles and to hone their performance skills.

  • In Fall 2020, students will prepare and video "Nutcracker in a Nutshell", a 45-minute condensed version of "The Nutcracker".

Junior Performance Ensemble: Prep 2 - 3
Saturday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Senior Performance Ensemble: Prep 4 - 5
Saturday, 10:45 am - 12:45 pm

8th & 9th Grade Coaching Class

This coaching class is designed to prepare students graduating from the Preparatory Dance Program into the UNCSA High School or other pre-professional dance programs.

The focus will be on strengthening personal details of artistry, technique and vocabulary. Aspects of self-care, injury prevention and history of ballet will be covered together with a look at US and European Ballet Companies, audition technique and counselling. The course is run by Preparatory Dance Director Susan Brooker with guest faculty from the UNCSA High School Program giving class in the Spring session.

8th & 9th Grade Coaching Class
Saturday, 9:00 - 10:30 am

Dance Composition - Fall Course

In this class, students will explore different facets of dance-making through improvisation and solo composition assignments, then apply what they have learned to working in larger groups. There will be opportunities to create and collaborate in the dance-making process by stepping into different roles: dancer, choreographer, movement dramaturg and spectator. In addition to our dance making, students will also view dances that illustrate the concepts we are exploring and discuss what we see.  Students will work towards a showing of their work at the end of the semester.

Junior Composition: Prep 3 - 4
Saturday, 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Senior Composition: Prep 5
Saturday, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Jazz - Spring Course

These dynamic jazz classes allow students to broaden their versatility and range of movement by studying a variety of age-appropriate jazz styles. Choreography studied will be performed in the Spring Festival.

Junior Jazz: Prep 2 & 3                   
Saturday, time TBA

Senior Jazz: Prep 4 & 5                   
Saturday, time TBA



Students in the Preparatory Dance Program are uniquely poised to audition for the high-school dance program at UNCSA. Dancers who began their training in Preparatory Dance now work for the American Ballet Theatre, the Boston Ballet, the Houston Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and many other dance companies.

For more information about the Preparatory Dance Program, visit FacebookInstagram and Twitter.