Preparatory Dance

Preparatory Dance

Updated Information: Face-to-face community programs are suspended until further notice. Remote learning options are available in many cases; enrolled students/parents should contact their program directors for details. UNCSA leadership is evaluating community classes and activities along with the academic and arts classes of the university, and we will provide updated information as soon as it is available.

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.

Prep Dance Classes 

Remote learning schedule

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 Monday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Ballet  Friday 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Creative Dance  Friday 5:30 – 6:30 pm


Prep 2

Students at this level take two ballet classes a week, conditioning, character, prep for pointe and boys class. Creative Dance is an elective class. Students are expected to 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 Tuesday & Friday 12:00 - 1:15 pm or 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Boys Wednesday 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Character Wednesday 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Conditioning Tuesday 5:30 – 6:15 pm
Girls Ballet/Pre-Pointe Wednesday 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Elective: Creative Dance Friday 5:30 – 6:30 pm 


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.

Ballet & Pre-Pointe
(Boys and Girls)
Tuesday 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Ballet & Pre-Pointe
(Boys and Girls)
Wednesday 5:45 - 7:15 pm
Ballet Thursday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Ballet Friday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Character Thursday 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Elective: Contemporary Friday 5:45 – 6:45 pm


Prep 4

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

Elective: Ballet Monday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Ballet Tuesday & Friday 5:15 – 6:45 pm
Ballet Wednesday & Thursday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Pointe Wednesday 7:00 – 7:45 pm
Pointe Friday 6:45 – 7:45 pm
Character  Tuesday 6:45 – 7:45 pm
PBT Wednesday 5:45 – 6:45 pm
Contemporary  Thursday 5:30 – 6:30 pm


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 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Character Monday 5:45 - 6:45 pm
Pointe  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5:30 – 6:30 pm 
Contemporary Friday 6:45 – 7:45 pm



2019-2020 Prep Dance Studio Schedule

Performance Opportunities & Additional Courses

UNCSA’s ‘The Nutcracker’ (Prep levels 1 – 5)

Preparatory Dance Program students can audition for children’s roles in UNCSA’s annual performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ giving them the chance to experience the inner workings of a major professional performance and the opportunity to work alongside remarkable dancers.

Nutcracker Tea Party Performance Ensemble (Prep levels 1 – 5)

Students who are not participating in the UNCSA production of The Nutcracker have the opportunity to dance in The Nutcracker Tea Party. This Preparatory Dance Program production gives students the chance to expand their performance experience in an intimate setting in the Arts Based School’s black box theatre on December 7 & 8, 2019. As Drosselmeyer recounts the story of the Nutcracker from his book of memories the Prep students mime and dance the story to a young audience, many of whom are experiencing the joy of The Nutcracker for the first time.  Students will be cast according to Prep class level and their ability to pick up the choreography in rehearsal. All Prep students who attend rehearsals will perform.

Nutcracker Tea Party Performance Ensemble
Saturdays, 11:15am – 3:45pm                      September 28 - November 16

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. Classes will be held on Saturday in the Spring and choreography studied will be performed in the Spring Festival and other performance opportunities.

Junior Performance Ensemble: Prep 2 - 3
Saturday 9:30 – 11:30 am 

Senior Performance Ensemble: Prep 4 - 5
Saturday 11:30 – 1:30

8th & 9th Grade Coaching Class

This is a coaching class 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. The course will be run by Prep Director Susan Brooker in the Fall, with guest faculty from the UNCSA High School Program during the Spring session.

8th & 9th Grade Coaching Class
Saturday 9:30 - 11:00 am

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 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Senior Jazz: Prep 4 & 5                   
Saturday 1:30 – 3:00pm



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.

For students who have auditioned into one of the Prep Dance levels:

Register here