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The Professional Training Program

The Performing Arts Center’s Professional Training Program is celebrating it’s 11th year and is designed to provide young performers with the opportunity to intensify and focus their efforts, allowing them to lay a solid foundation from which to pursue a professional dance career. It is our contention that this goal is best accomplished in an environment where one has access to working professionals and is given the kind of instruction that allows them to earnestly train and develop themselves. Along with expert training, this program’s intent is to teach you everything you’ll be required to know when dancing professionally, regardless of the medium. Rather than akin to a student choosing a college major, please be aware that this program is designed for each artist to develop themselves into a working professional. Therefore, studying in the Professional Training Program is, by its nature, very strict!

Here is a basic overview:

If accepted, you will be taking classes six days a week, including classes in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop, strength and conditioning, singing, and acting; approximately 25 classes a week taught, with almost no exceptions, by artists currently working professionally in their chosen fields.

The initial commitment for this program is one year; although we have found that the average time a dancer spends training is two years. The time necessary to develop into the kind of performer who is competitive in our field depends on each dancer’s work ethic as well as the amount and quality of previous training.

The program costs a modest stipend of $250 per month. We charge this fee only to help pay for the teachers whose classes you are taking. If you paid full class price, the total cost of the classes taken in this program along with the studio space you will need to practice your art, would be at least $1,250.00 each month. The cost would be higher still if these same classes were taken individually. While we as a school can always use more money, we feel that every dancer choosing this career must learn that there is no amount of money that can buy this dream. Everyone must earn it with their own sweat and hard work. Therefore, to support that idea, every dancer chosen to join the Professional Training Program is also automatically awarded a scholarship from The Performing Arts Center. Please note that our first concern and priority is to help train consummate performers. If paying this money creates an extreme financial burden to you or your family, preventing any dancer from joining this program, we are always ready to discuss other options.

Finally, it is important to us that you know that our commitment to the Professional Training Program is borne from a debt of gratitude and a responsibility we have to try and repay our own teachers. If not for the countless hours they spent training us, neither this program nor our careers would have been possible.

If you are interested in finding out more about this program, please call 818.779.0428 and leave a message for the Artistic Director, Nanci Hammond.