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Overview

The 2023-24 season will be held Tuesday, September 5, 2023 through Saturday, June 1, 2024.

For Audition information, please visit our Auditions Page.

The Curriculum Ballet program provides dancers ages 6-18 with a strong technical foundation and prepares them for a career in dance. Because building these skills takes time and consistency of practice, TPB asks that Curriculum students commit to the entire nine month program.

The goal of the Level 1 classes (ages 6-8) is to help all children feel welcome and encouraged to dance. In this introductory level, students learn basic ballet etiquette while enjoying structured, fun movement. Teachers focus on how to act in a studio environment, with an emphasis on dress code, punctuality, working together and listening.

In Level 2 (ages 7-9), students continue their preparation for formal dance training. In addition to the ballet etiquette and fun movement of Level 1, they learn critical thinking, self-evaluation and rhythm. Classes emphasize teamwork, asking questions and taking responsibility for one’s behavior and appearance. High expectations within a nurturing environment create a habit of self-discipline that students can carry forward in their training and their lives.

The Intermediate Division provides the foundation of ballet technique. In Levels 3 through 5, students learn basic ballet positions and vocabulary, as well as the structure of a standard ballet class, starting at the barre and moving into introductory center work. Beginning pointe is introduced in Level 5, at the discretion of the Artistic Director, when a dancer’s legs, feet and core are sufficiently strong.

Advancement is based on ability, not age. Some students spend more than two years in one level as their minds and bodies develop and adapt to working in harmony, while others progress more quickly. Once a student has mastered the ballet technique appropriate for a level and is strong enough to accomplish particular movements, they will be moved up at the Artistic Director’s discretion. In this way, each student fully assimilates the necessary layers of knowledge that form the foundation of ballet.

The intermediate levels are critical in ballet, as they progressively prepare the student for the rigors of performance. For this reason, students must maintain good attendance to advance.

In Level 5, the final level of the Intermediate Division, dancers dive into one of the quintessential elements of classical ballet – pointe work. In partnership with Dr. of Physical Therapy, Amy Benton, TPB has created an innovative conditioning program to complement pre-pointe work done in the classroom. Each dancer preparing to transition to pointe shoes participates in private sessions with Dr. Benton and the Associate Artistic Director, assessing their strength, alignment, and pointe-readiness. Dancers are then provided with personalized tools and guidance to ensure their success en pointe. After completing these sessions, the AAD then accompanies dancers as they are fit for their first pair of pointe shoes and holds a sewing lesson to guide dancers through the art of preparing their new shoes for classwork. As this is a pivotal moment in a young dancer’s training, the AAD and AD co-teach Level 5 to carefully monitor each dancer’s progress in their first weeks and months en pointe.

Levels 6-8 provide committed dancers with advanced technique. To these dancers, TPB regularly offers opportunities to train with guest professional teachers and choreographers. Those who demonstrate proper form may also qualify to learn Pas de Deux and variations in addition to their regular classwork. Students in the Advanced Division earn their placement through hard work, determination and discipline. The amount of time spent in a level depends solely on the individual student’s improvement as determined by the Artistic Director. Advanced Division students who are at least 14 years of age may also audition for The Portland Ballet’s Youth Company. To dance with the company, female dancers must be strong en pointe.

The Men’s Program syllabus focuses on the needs and skills specific to young male dancers. Beginning in Level 1, boys learn the fundamental exercises that allow them to develop strength, poise and discipline. Nick Le-Jurica, Jason Davis, and Zachary Carroll teach partnering and men’s technique passed down from John Clifford, Jorge Esquivel, Mikko Nissinen and Roudolf Kharatian. The Men’s Program, part of the general Curriculum Ballet syllabus, is tailored specifically to the male dancer.

Registration and Audition


The 2023-24 Audition will be held Sunday, July 30th.
Click here for more information.

All students interested in joining The Portland Ballet Curriculum program must audition. The placement audition determines a student’s level for the upcoming year. There is NO registration fee. TPB then notifies participants by email of the student’s placement and provides important information regarding performances, parent volunteering and other engagement opportunities. For more information about auditions, click here.

To audition outside the annual audition/placement date, please contact TPB here.

2023-24 Annual Tuition

Level 1 (Pre-Ballet): $1,175
Level 2 (Elementary): $2,150
Level 3: $2,225
Level 4: $2,410
Men 5: $3,275
Girls 5 (Pointe): $4,360
Level 6: $4,940
Level 7: $5,350
Level 8: $5,350
Career Track: $7,700

Curriculum Ballet and Career Track Programs are purchased for the entire 38-week year. Excellent attendance is required of every student to maintain the quality and pace of learning inherent in the teaching syllabus. Before enrolling, students and parents should carefully consider this commitment in light of academic and other activities. Students who withdraw from the program mid-semester are responsible for tuition and fees for the entire 38-week year.  There are no tuition refunds. Month-to-month participation is not accepted.

Scholarship Information

The Portland Ballet is committed to making the history and artistry of ballet available to every interested dancer. Through the ongoing generosity of our many private, corporate and foundation sponsors, we have created a generous scholarship program. Approximately 15% of our students receive financial assistance.

For questions not addressed in the information sheet, call 503.452.8448 or contact us by email. A small number of dancers may receive a merit scholarship at the discretion of the Artistic Director; dancers may not apply for merit scholarships.

Payment

The Curriculum Ballet Program offers three payment options:

  • 1 annual payment by authorized credit card, debit card, or check
  • 2 semester payments by authorized credit card, debit card, or automatic bank transfer
  • 10 monthly payments by authorized credit card, debit card, or automatic bank transfer

NOTE: The monthly payment program must be authorized for the entire 10 months, and tuition is non-refundable. Please be sure that your child will complete the program before registering. TPB accepts VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Tuition payments are not tax-deductible as a charitable donation and TPB does not provide refunds.

Class Attire

TPB ballet training includes a dress code. All students Level 1-8 wear a colored, camisole leotard (or a t-shirt for boys) specific to their level. All students must attend every class in dress code. In addition, girls wear pink tights and pink ballet slippers* (full-sole for Level 1-5) and boys Level 1+2 wear black shorts, black socks, and black ballet slippers and boys Levels 3-8 wear black tights and black ballet slippers.

*dancers may choose to wear a flesh tone tight and shoe that matches their skin tone, however tights and shoes must either be both pink or both flesh tone.

TPB strives to be a gender-affirming academy with an inclusive dress code. Please contact our Associate Artistic Director with any questions.

Performing Opportunities

TPB believes live performance is a critical element in a student’s ballet education. Full time students in Levels 3 and up with excellent attendance are invited to participate in 3 annual performances:

The Thanksgiving production in November accompanied by the Portland State University Orchestra
A Spring concert in May
And the Academy Showcase in May (all Levels)

In addition, advanced students (ages 14-18) may audition for the Youth Company that provides them with a more robust performance schedule in the Thanksgiving and Spring productions.

Career Track program dancers (ages 14-22) perform in the productions mentioned above, a Studio Theatre performance in June, and various outreach performances throughout the year.

Click to access the Parent Portal