Schools Get "In Step" with PBT

PBT dancer Corey Bourbonniere thinks he would have converted from tap to ballet training long before age 14 if he’d experienced a program like PBT’s “In Step” education series as a child.

While enrolled in the PBT School Graduate Program, Corey served as a dancer demonstrator for the program, which introduces students of all ages to the art of ballet through a series of performance-based instructional programs.

“You’re able to learn what your interests are when you’re exposed to things at such a young age,” he said. “I just think it’s great for kids to learn dancing at such an early age, just like they learn art and music.”

With PBT’s 2012-2013 Season premiering in October, the start of a new school year also kicks off a new season of opportunities for PBT and local schools and educators to bring classroom curriculum “In Step” with PBT.

Although each level of the series incorporates a costumed dancer, on-your-feet instruction and ballet basics, the programs can be adapted to a range of ages, classroom needs and curriculum connections.

While participating in an “In Step” program at Stanwood Elementary, for example, Corey demonstrated barre and centre work to a classroom of students and worked with small groups to combine ballet movements in a creative exercise.

“It was really fun to be able to work with them. You could just see their faces lighting up to be working with dancers,” Corey said. “Just like any other art form, you have to share it. The kids are the next generation. It keeps the art going and it keeps it alive.”

For educators, the “In Step” program taps into students’ energy and curiosity to blend learning about pointe shoes, choreography and training with on-your-feet activities. From ballet-related stories to creative movement and basic ballet positions, the “In Step” series offers programs for Pre-K through Grade 12.

“Students were attentive, because the information and dancing were in perfect balance with each other. Observing the various poses and movement that were demonstrated by the dancers helped students to be more confident when it was their turn to try the movements. This program was informative, interactive, and most importantly, fun!” said Kathy Vollrath of Hempfield Area School District.


The “In Step” series includes Ballet FUNdamentals (PreK-2), In Step (Grades 3-12), Preschool Discover Dance (Ages 3-5) and Discover Dance (all ages), a partnership with Gateway to the Arts. For more information, or to reserve a program for your classroom, contact PBT Director of Education Alyssa Herzog Melby at amelby@pittsburghballet.org.