About Oregon Ballet Theatre School
Oregon Ballet Theatre School is the official training ground of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Students receive exemplary training from our world-class faculty, emphasizing pure classical technique. This experience is enhanced by invaluable opportunities to perform in fully staged productions at Keller Auditorium, alongside the professional dancers of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Exclusive performance opportunities this season include George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® and The Sleeping Beauty.
OBT School offers two convenient studio locations to provide excellent dance instruction across the Portland metro area. Learn more about our studios by clicking on a location below:
Click here for Adult Workshops and Adult Drop-In classes.
Pre-Ballet offers an introduction to music and dance. Students are taught to connect imagery with movement and begin to develop coordination, listening skills, and musicality. Pre-Ballet classes introduce basic ballet vocabulary and class etiquette, through a nurturing process for a love of dance. Pre-Ballet students must be age 3 for Annual Session admittance; there are no exceptions. Portland Classes | West Linn Classes
As part of our Pre-Ballet program, Primary Ballet serves as a bridge between Pre-Ballet and Level 1. Students in this level are 7 years old. Primary Ballet students are introduced to the most fundamental elements of ballet.
Placement / Level Advancement
Students progress in their training by developing a strong work ethic, discipline, strength, and technique. Not all students do this at an equal pace. Most importantly, technique milestones must be reached before progression can occur. Placement and progression to the next level is by recommendation of the Faculty only. We do not place or advance students solely based on their age or on their level at a previous ballet school. Parents are asked not to approach teaching staff with questions about their student’s progress nor is it appropriate for parents to question current level placement or recommend graduation to the next level. Students, on the other hand, are encouraged to interact with staff at appropriate times or schedule appointments if they have questions or concerns with regard to level progression, technique, injuries, etc.
Level 1 provides the basis and foundation upon which all future classes are built. The curriculum taught at this level is extremely important and cannot be overemphasized. Students learn correct placement of the body and of the arms, legs, and head. In addition, students are encouraged to develop musicality and artistry during class.
Material taught in Level 1 is repeated and developed in Level 2. Speed and ballet vocabulary increases. Students develop strength and range to their basic technique. This class begins to concentrate on coordination and phrasing in music and movement. Pirouettes are introduced at this level.
Level 3 students continue to develop the material learned in Level 2, while also learning more complex exercises at the barre. They expand balletic vocabulary including all five types of jumps, and various forms of pirouettes. Students begin pointe work in this level.
Basic technique is expanded through barre and center, including pirouettes and allegro, adding beats to many basic jumps. Pointe instruction increases to include more complex pointe work in center.
Students in Level 5 concentrate on the development of strength, stability, balance, aplomb, and elevation. More complicated adagio and allegro combinations are introduced. Classical variations may be included at this level.
Advanced students refine, strengthen, and reinforce all aspects of their training in this level. Pointe work is emphasized and the ability to learn and perform repertoire is stressed.
Boys & Young Men
Classes are offered at each level emphasizing gender specific training to develop skills relative to the male dancer.
Please Note: Students in Level 2 and higher are encouraged to take lower division classes, tuition free, to help speed their development. Some students will be assigned full lower-level or partial upper-level (i.e., barre only) classes as part of their mandatory curriculum. These additional assignments are not optional.
This class is a fun, upbeat introduction to Jazz dance for young dancers ages 7-12. Tailored to student dancers, the class is based on traditional jazz movement, and includes a warmup, stretches, isolations, floor work, and phrases of movement incorporating jumps and turns.
Lisa Sundstrom | OBT2 Program Director
OBT2 is a one- to two-year program which provides training and performance experience to facilitate the transition from student to professional dancer in a small, nurturing environment. Click here for more information.
OBT School offers a wide range of workshops and drop-in classes for adults. Click here for more information.
OBT School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, color, or national/ethnic origin in administration of its admission criteria, education policies, scholarship programs, or any other school-administered programs or activities.