Young, gifted, and ready for more
The dancers in the rising professional training company The Portland Ballet show off their considerable skills
–MAY 25, 2015 // OREGON ARTSWATCH // Martha Ullman West

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesOverview

The 2021-22 season will be held Tuesday, September 14, 2021 through Saturday, June 11, 2022.

Contact our Registrar for audition and placement information.

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, we ask that Curriculum students commit to the entire nine-month program.

Pre-Ballet and Elementary Ballet

The goal of our Pre-Ballet 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.

At the Elementary level (ages 7-9), students continue their preparation for formal dance training. In addition to the ballet etiquette and fun movement of Pre-Ballet, 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.

Primary Division (Levels 1-3)

The Primary Division provides the foundation of ballet technique. In Levels 1 through 3, 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 3, at the discretion of the Artistic Director, when a girl’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, she or he 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 primary 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.

Advanced Division (Levels 4-6)

Levels 4-6 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.

Men's Program

The Men’s Program syllabus focuses on the needs and skills specific to young male dancers. Beginning in Pre-Ballet, boys learn the fundamental exercises that allow them to develop strength, poise and discipline. TPB senior faculty member, Jason Davis, along with TPB faculty Zachary Carroll and Michael McGonegal, teaches partnering and technique passed down from Jorge Esquivel, Mikko Nissinen and Mr. Roudolf Kharatian. The Men’s Program, part of the general Curriculum Ballet syllabus, is tailored specifically to the male dancer.

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesRegistration and Audition

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.

The Portland Ballet School,Classes2021-22 Annual Tuition

Pre-Ballet: $1,020
Elementary: $1,860
Level/Men 1: $1,925
Level/Men 2: $2,080
Level/Men 3: $2,835
Level 3P: $3,770
Level/Men 4: $4,150
Level/Men 5: $4,625
Level/Men 6: $4,625

Curriculum Ballet and Career Track Programs are purchased for the entire 37-week year. (Curriculum Ballet includes eight levels of study: Pre-ballet, Elementary, and Levels 1 through 6.) 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 37-week year.  There are no tuition refunds. Month-to-month participation is not accepted.

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesScholarship 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 financial aid information click here, 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.

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesPayment

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. We accept VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Tuition payments are not tax-deductible as a charitable donation and we do not provide refunds.

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesClass Attire

TPB ballet training includes a dress code. All students Elementary through Level 6 wear a colored, camisole leotard specific to their level. Pre-Ballet students wear a pink leotard. All students must attend every class in dress code. In addition, girls wear pink tights and pink ballet slippers (full-sole for Pre-Ballet thru Level 4) and boys wear black tights and black ballet slippers. Boys’ t-shirts must be white and form fitting.

The Portland Ballet School,ClassesPerforming Opportunities*


We invite full-time students with excellent attendance to participate in two annual performances: the Holiday Production in November (ages 12+) and the Academy Showcase in May (all levels).

In addition, advanced students ages 14-19 may audition for the Youth Company to participate in the Spring Concert held each May. Career Track program dancers (ages 14-22) perform in both the Spring Concert as well as Studio Theatre Performances in June.

Please mark the box on the Registration Form indicating which performances your child would like to join.

*Performance opportunities subject to change based on CDC and OHA guidelines

Click to access the Parent Portal

*Subject to change according to OHA and CDC guidance

All dancers must follow these protocols in order to attend in-person classes:

  • We ask all dancers to self-screen prior to coming into the studio for an in-person class:
    • Have you had a new or worsening cough?
    • Have you had a fever?
    • Have you had shortness of breath?
    • Have you had a new loss of smell or taste?
    • Have you been in close contact with anyone with these symptoms or anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and have traveled out of state, please contact registration for more information before returning to class.
    • If you are fully vaccinated and have traveled out of state you do not need to quarantine before attending an in-person class.
  • All Dancers ages 12+ (5+ beginning January 2022) are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and submit proof to registration before attending in-studio classes. Dancers who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief will be reasonably accommodated, please contact registration for details. Click HERE for our full vaccination statement.
  • All Dancers are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times while inside The Portland Ballet.
    • This includes in restrooms and to drink water. We ask dancers to please step outside the front or back door before removing their mask to drink water.
  • Dancers will be allowed to enter the building no more than 15 minutes before the scheduled class time; dancers will not be admitted into the building once class has started.
  • TPB staff will let dancers in through the back door.
  • Dancers must immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the building; dancers may not enter the dance studio until they have washed their hands or used hand sanitizer.
  • Dancers must enter TPB dressed for their class- the dressing room will not be available for use, please only bring items you need for class in a small bag.
  • No parents or family are allowed in the building during lessons, though they may wait in the parking lot.
The message will be closed after 20 s
Ajax Loading