Student on floor tying ballet shoe laces
Youth and Adult Dance

Music naturally inspires people to express themselves through dance, which is why dance classes have been a tradition at the Colburn School since our beginning more than 65 years ago.

I really love Colburn because of the community. It’s like a giant family and everybody is super supportive and we all get to do what we love together. Brooke McDaniel, Dance

At Colburn, our dance students participate in specific and rigorous progressive learning programs in ballet, tap, and modern dance that are designed to develop their artistry and technical skill. All students are required to audition for admission. For those invited for admittance, we ask them to attend at a level appropriate for their abilities and age. If you’re interested in creative dance or musical theater, we have classes in those styles, too.

Our faculty ensure that students understand core technique and movement theory, as well as the history and tradition of each style they study. Creative performance is also highly encouraged with most classes offering opportunities to dance on stage in front of peers and the public.

Academic Year August 28, 2023 to June 2, 2024

Welcome to the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute (TZDI) at the Colburn School. Led by Artistic Director Janie Taylor, TZDI includes both our Youth Dance and Dance Academy programs. Our mission is to honor and extend the great traditions of ballet, modern, and tap dance. This is accomplished by forming students of all ages as collaborative agents who will take the art of dance forward.


The Early Dance, Children’s Dance, Young Adult Dance and Adult Dance Programs at Colburn are all part of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute (TZDI), which also includes the Dance Academy, a rigorous ballet training program for young people ages 14–18. The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute is dedicated to developing the individual gifts, talents and interests of each of its students. 

Please click on a program heading name to see the various class offerings per genre: 

Dance Academy

The Dance Academy is a rigorous pre-professional ballet training program that both honors the great traditions of classical ballet and embraces the new and contemporary. 

Students learn masterworks and deepen their understanding of the great tradition of this art form. They also collaborate with the choreographers of today and develop their own creative voices. Our holistic artistic education shapes dancers as thinkers, artists, and performers as they experience life in the cultural heart of a global city. 

Learn More

Meet Our Faculty

Liviu Marinescu, DMA
Music Theory Faculty

Recognized internationally for his contributions to new music

Sean Pessin
Humanities Faculty

Sean Pessin has lived in Los Angeles his whole life. He earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from California State University, Northridge, and an M.F.A. from Otis College of Art and Design.

Dominic Cheli
Piano Faculty

A native of St. Louis, Dominic has performed with orchestras all the world and is still committed to engaging with his surrounding community.

Vanessa Fadial, DMA
Piano Faculty

Highly regarded teacher, chamber music coach and adjudicator whose students have won numerous competitions