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Pre-Professional Program 

Our goal in the Pre-Professional Program is to provide dancers with the education necessary to pursue a dance-related career. Not all Company Dancers will choose to pursue a dance career, yet our mission is to give students the skill set to help them succeed in any career they choose to pursue. Strong attendance, accountability, and team cooperation will help students work toward creating the habits that help them be reliable, prepared, determined, supportive, and confident. Practicing these skills in class and rehearsal sets students up for confidence and success on stage and in life.

Pre-Pro Track 

Technique classes Monday-Thursday with class and/or rehearsals on Saturdays. Dancers will have classes in Ballet, Pointe, Variations, Contemporary, Jazz, and Conditioning. 

Pre-Professional Program Info


Dancers will have the opportunity to participate in a competition group dance and a solo ballet variation at Universal Ballet Competition and a local competition. 


Dancers perform in The Nutcracker, Winter Concert, Spring Ballet, and June Recital

Pre-Professional Program Faculty

Peter Merz: 

Peter LeBrenton Merz is known as a master teacher of ballet for his enthusiastic and encouraging approach to ballet training. He is the director of Regional Tours for the American Dance Competition. Former students of his are currently dancing in companies across the world, including Ballet West, LINES Ballet, The Bayerische Staatsballet, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. 

He has choreographed over 40 original ballets across the USA and internationally. His award-winning choreography relies heavily on his background in classical ballet, but is informed by his passion for contemporary dance forms. 

As a performer he worked with the Dayton Ballet, the Louisville Ballet, and the Cincinnati Ballet. In 2002, he served as the administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. In 2004, he joined the faculty of Point Park, where he was an associate professor of dance and Head of Ballet. He was the director of Ballet West Academy from 2015-2020, overseeing that Academy's growth to four campuses and over 800 students. 

He has served as a judge and Master Teacher for Youth America Grand Prix, the American Dance Competiton, the American Ballet Competition, and many other organizations. He has been twice named Outstanding Choreographer by the Youth America Grand Prix, and was also honored to be named Outstanding Teacher by that organization in 2014. 
He holds a BFA in Theatre Design and Production from the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, and and MBA in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management from Point Park University.

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