Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Classes & Programs

The Student Division consists of Levels 1 through 7, for ages 8 through 18.  Classes in this division are graded by age, physical strength and development. Students are introduced to progressive levels of ballet technique following the school syllabus for each age-appropriate level. Advancement from level to level is based on annual faculty evaluations of the individual student’s technical ability, physical aptitude, strength, classroom effort and attendance. Entrance to the Student Division is by audition. 

Each student’s development, work habits and progress through the curriculum will be evaluated each year to assure appropriate level placement for the subsequent year of study. Student progress is also evaluated on an ongoing basis and level adjustments will be made throughout the year when warranted. Students wishing to take on additional hours of study in lower level classes may do so, space permitting and with approval of the School Director, for an additional fee.


Days Per Week

Hours Per Week






























Pointe Work and Curriculum Content
In general, mindful of the fact that each student develops at her own pace, pointe classes will begin in Level 3. (Students would be allowed on pointe when it is safe, without risk of injury and only at the discretion of the faculty) Partnering classes will begin in Level 5.  All upper division students will study modern dance, partnering, variations and take Pilates classes. Students in studio work are supplemented with lectures on such topics as dancer health, nutrition, injury prevention, music theory and other related topics.

In addition to their regular hours, Level 6 students may take Pennsylvania Ballet II classes by invitation of the Director.  Level 7 students take daily company class with Pennsylvania Ballet II.

*In addition to their regular hours Level 6 students may take Pennsylvania Ballet II classes by invitation of the Director.

Boys’ and Men’s Classes
Ballet needs boys and men.  One of the reasons that Russian ballet is famous is that so many of the best male athletes chose ballet as their sport.  At the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, we understand that ballet is in competition with football, basketball, hockey, baseball and other sports for the best male athletes.  Accordingly, we assure the boys that start with us that they will be challenged athletically at the same time they are enriched artistically.  Boys in Level 1-4 have separate class at least once a week. Upper Division men, in Levels 5-7 have separate men’s classes as well as Partnering classes.

Performance Opportunities
As performance is an important aspect of the training of a professional dancer, all students of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet will be afforded the opportunity to audition for appropriate roles in Pennsylvania Ballet’s annual production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and any other production in the Company’s repertoire with roles consistent with their level of training and development.

Although students may choose to pursue competition opportunities on their own, preparation for competitions will NOT be a part of the curriculum of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Participation in competitions should not interfere with a student’s class schedule or their training at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet.


 Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.

Professional dancers are highly-trained, superbly-conditioned athletes as well as artists.  But they do not start that way.  They start as young boys and girls who, perhaps, attend a performance of The Nutcracker and come away mesmerized by the story, the music, and above all, the movement.  Many careers begin with a question, “Mom, I want to do that, too!”

At the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, we not only understand this emotional response on the part of children who are six or seven years old – we celebrate it.  This is where it all begins, and we take as much care with the small children as we do with the established professionals.  Not everyone will have a career in dance, but any child can benefit from the joy, discipline and exuberance of learning at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet.  And, in addition to the life-long skills they will develop, certain ones will, slowly and carefully, mature into professional dancers.

 It is easy to begin.  No audition is required.  The time commitment is limited.  Our goal is to encourage creative movement, self-expression and group interaction while introducing basic ballet vocabulary and music concepts. These classes are a prelude to formal ballet instruction and introduce children to music and movement through a progression of lessons and activities. At the end of Pre-Ballet both boys and girls will have been introduced to ballet steps and terminology, and to the basics of dance.

We offer a one-hour class on Tuesday afternoon and another one-hour class on Saturday morning to our students in Pre-Ballet.  In addition, after the Saturday class, we offer an hour-long music class.  Beginners can register for one, two or all three of these classes.  Registration for all three classes is recommended for maximum progress and eventual movement to Level 1.  All classes are held at the new home of Pennsylvania Ballet, the Louise Reed Center for Dance, at 323 North Broad Street, where an added benefit is the opportunity to peek in at classes of the older students.

For more information, to arrange for a no-obligation visit or to register your child, please call 215.587.6942  Your six- or seven-year old child is welcome to join Pre-Ballet at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet at any time during the year, including the summer. 

The Pre-Ballet Weekly Schedule

  • Tuesday, 4:15 to 5:15 PM – Pre-Ballet
  • Saturday, 9:00 to 10:00 AM – Pre-Ballet
  • Saturday, 10:00 to 11:00 AM – Music for Pre-Ballet


  • Tuition is based on a 35-week calendar. 
  • Tuesday Pre-Ballet plus Saturday Music (2 classes per week) - $1,200
  • Saturday Pre-Ballet plus Saturday Music (2 classes per week) - $1,200
  • Tuesday and Saturday Pre-Ballet plus Saturday Music (3 classes per week) - $1,700

The Pre-Ballet Summer program

There is still places available in our Pre-Ballet Summer program that start on Monday July 6th .

Classes are Monday through Friday 4:45 to 5:45


Summer Session is based on a 5-week calendar (5 classes per week) - $420

Download Pre-ballet Registration Form

 To learn more and to sign up for classes call, 215-587-6942


 Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.

Announcing New Open Classes For Adults!

Get inspired and Challenge yourself with open classes for Adults at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet

Open to teens age 16 and up and adults of all ages, whether you are new to ballet or an experienced dancer looking to stay in shape, these classes are a great way to experience a wonderful dance training while having fun. Featuring a professional faculty Adult Open Ballet classes are ideal for developing your skills in a positive environment,


Special Introductory offer: $16.00 single class (Ballet or Jazz)
Professional Dancers: $15.00* single class (Ballet or Jazz)

*Redeemable only with valid ID

$2 fee assessed for credit card purchases for a single class
Please note, classes may be cancelled due to low enrollment.

Summer Schedule July 6th to August 8th

Ballet : Monday -Tuesday and Thursday: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Jazz: Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 -7:30pm

Open Program Dress Code

For Ballet:  Ballet technique shoes are required.  We recommend close-fitting clothing that allows the dancer to feel comfortable and allows for proper instruction. Some prefer to wear a leotard and dance tights, dance shorts or a dance skirt, however this is not required.

For Jazz: Jazz shoes are recommended but not required. Students wear clothing that allows for fluid movement and makes them feel most at ease.