Establishment of the School

Over 20 years ago, recognizing the need to create a program that expertly trained young dancers to become serious performing artists, the founders, Award-winning choreographer and director, Joseph Malone, and professional dancer Nanci Hammond established The Performing Arts Center. In September of 1992, with the indispensable help of their benefactors, Howard and Barbara Hammond, this important idea became a reality.

One of the greatest strengths of this or of any school is its teachers. Unlike many other programs, The Performing Arts Center delights in the fact that their teaching staff consists entirely of working professionals.  Each teacher on our staff, is either currently working professionally in their particular discipline or in the case of company work, were actually successful in their chosen fields before deciding to teach.  This gives each dancer studying at this school a direct connection to an actual working ideology.

In an environment that is both professional and compassionate, each dancer, training at The Performing Arts Center, whether 2 or 90 years old, it is our fundamental belief that each artist in our care has a unique gift that it is our privilege to help nurture.

In addition to its regular schedule, The Performing Arts Center has extensive summer programs specifically designed for dancers visiting from around the country and the world.  These include the Master Class Series, a one of a kind
workshop designed to allow dancers to work with and experience the creative process of many of the most talented choreographers in Hollywood.

As living in the world at this particular time proves to be a constant challenge, The Performing Arts Center congratulates and commends you on your decision and ongoing commitment to help raise and develop yourself and your children through art.

Classes are divided into four different programs

The Lower Division Program is designed for dancers from the ages of 2 years old to 8 years old.  This program is directed by Tamara Gray and it offers classes in creative dance, ballet, tap, jazz and piano. 

Upper Division Program is designed for dancers from the ages of 8 years old to 18 years old.  Classes in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop, and singing are included in this curriculum.  In each discipline of ballet, jazz and tap, seven levels of instruction are offered ranging from the most basic to company level work.  Many of the dancers trained in this program have gone on to work professionally or are studying in the dance programs in many prestigious universities. 

Any dancer 16 years or older may join the
Adult Program. Again, any performer has the opportunity to seriously train in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop, singing and acting. Classes ranging from beginning levels to professional are available in this program.

Twice nominated Emmy and American Choreography Award Winner choreographer, Joseph Malone, Artistic Director Nanci Hammond and nationally renowned dance educator and choreographer, Jackie Sleight established the Professional Training Program (formerly the Apprentice Program) in 1998.

This scholarship program is designed to train young professionals. It focuses on the individual and specific artistic and developmental needs for each young artist to manifest and polish the skills required to have a successful career in a dance company, the theatre, film, television, on tour and in commercials or music videos.

To date, the success of this program speaks for itself with graduates of the "Professional Training Program" dancing in ballet companies, modern companies, dancing in New York City and on Broadway, on tour with major performing artists, teaching around the country and internationally while others have made the difficult transition and are now working actors, or professional singers. Some have also transitioned into choreographing professionally for television, the stage and film while others who have trained in this program decided to stay here in Los Angeles and have found success in theater, film, television, commercials and videos.