PBT Dancers to Instruct Immersive Training Program for Students to Experience Life as a Professional Dancer

Under the direction of PBT company dancers and Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr, 36 students will learn what it takes to lead a professional dance career June 9-20, in PBT School’s new “Company Experience” workshop.  


Representing 16 states and two countries, a group of 36 students, ages 16 to 23, will take part in this immersive two-week training program held at PBT’s Strip District studios. Following the example of their professional role models –and instructors – the students will begin each day with a 1.5-hour ballet technique class before moving into a six-hour rehearsal day. Throughout the experience, they’ll be taking instruction from eight PBT dancers, who will be setting classical, contemporary and original new works on the student dancers. Students will also receive one-on-one instruction from Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and have the opportunity to take ballet class instructed by PBT Ballet Mistress Marianna Tcherkassky, Ballet Master Steven Annegarn and PBT School Co-directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. PBT Principal Julia Erickson, retiring dancer Stephen Hadala and Corps de Ballet members William Moore and Cooper Verona will be choreographing new works on the students, and Principal Alexandra Kochis, Soloist Alejandro Diaz and Corps de Ballet members Hannah Carter and Caitlin Peabody will be setting classical and contemporary repertoire. 


In addition to creating original new works, choreography will include recent PBT company repertoire, such as classics “Swan Lake” and “Don Quixote” and contemporary works by choreographer Dwight Rhoden. The experience will culminate with a studio performance on June 20, featuring the works that the students have learned during the program.


Following the program, 22 of the students will be staying on for PBT School’s 2014 Intensive Summer Program from June 23, through July 26. The PBT School ISP is a five-week program of diverse dance curriculum, including ballet technique, partnering, pointe and repertoire as well as jazz, modern and character dance. Under the direction of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Co-directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, ISP includes instruction by PBT School faculty, PBT company artists and prominent guest instructors. ISP students, who range in age from 12 to 22, attend classes six days a week, including seminars and workshops focused on nutrition, choreography, injury prevention and the psychology of dance. PBT School’s ISP is designed to provide an immersive training ground for diverse techniques that adapt well to the standards of professional ballet companies.

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

As the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, PBT School provides a diverse dance curriculum to more than 900 students across its Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Adult Open Divisions under the direction of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Co-Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall.  Ranging from pre-ballet to Pre-Professional, PBT School fosters the expression, discipline and joy of ballet at every level and cultivates the next generation of professional dancers. Strengthened by daily exposure to PBT’s professional company of dancers, PBT School students experience training that extends from the studio to main-stage performance opportunities in annual student productions and select PBT productions at the Benedum Center.

PBT School Offers “Company Experience” Workshop June 9-20