Classes Offered


Ages 5–7

This class introduces students to the musicality, artistry, and technical fundamentals of ballet class before entering Colburn’s sequential levels. Students are guided through safe and proper stretching, introductory barre work, and bigger movements in the center. Coursework will build students’ focus, coordination, strength, and confidence.

Ages 7–9

Ballet I is the first level in Colburn Youth Ballet’s sequential program. Students learn the proper fundamentals of ballet technique with focus on body placement, correct shaping of feet, activating turnout, and developing musicality and a sense of artistry. Class meets twice weekly.

Ages 8–10

Students progress on the basics fundamentals from Ballet I and add more use of the head and arms with exercises at the barre and in the center. Students begin adding steps together into longer combinations and begin executing sustained movements, pirouettes, and more complex jumps. Class meets two times weekly.

Ages 9–12

Pre-pointe and eventually beginner pointe is introduced at this intermediate level next in the progression. This course focuses on increasing strength and artistry. Class meets three times weekly with and extra half hour of pre-pointe.

Ages 11–13

Intermediate-advanced ballet with beginner pointe progressing to intermediate pointe. Students continue to strengthen and gain technical articulation. Class meets four times weekly with two extra half hours of pointe class.

Ages 12–14

At this level, the speed of the class increases and students learn more complex choreography. Technique class is followed by pointe class or variations class. Class meets five days weekly.

Ages 14–18

At this level, students take an advanced daily technique class followed by pointe, variations, pas de deux, modern, or men’s class. Ballet VI is designed for the pre-professional student who is looking to pursue the highest level of ballet training, with performance opportunities and master classes offered throughout the year. Separate men’s classes are also offered. Class meets six times weekly.

Ages 9–13

A class designed specifically for boys ages 9-13 where skills needed for men’s steps are introduced. Class meets twice a week and boys may also attend up to three additional technique classes of the regular ballet level they have been placed in by Ballet Chair, with the approval of the Ballet Chair.


Modern and Creative Dance

The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute’s modern dance classes for students ages 7–18 are built on classical modern techniques, primarily Cunningham and Horton technique. The use of strength, physicality, rhythm, and momentum together with proper body alignment are key components of the class, as well as celebrating the expressivity of dance.

Ages 7–9

This class introduces students to proper body alignment and engaging and strengthening muscles. Articulations through the spine and torso are developed together with work on coordination, balance, rhythm, and a fundamental movement vocabulary.

Ages 9–10

While continuing to work on body alignment and strength, students begin to build the movement vocabulary. Phrases of movement across the space, use of different levels, and jumping are added to help build physicality and spatial awareness.

Ages 10–14

At level III, students add comprehensive movement exercises that continue to develop strength, technique, and alignment. Students progress to more complex movement phrases that incorporate and explore the use of different levels, rhythm, and use of space. To develop artistry, the class emphasizes work on quality and dynamics within the movement. The addition of ballet once a week continues to help students develop strength and technique as well as knowledge of ballet terminology.

Ages 12–16

In this more advanced level, students begin to learn an additional technique, while continuing to work on the Horton based technique. The current second technique is Cunningham, developed by the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Unique in its use of the torso and of space, these classes continue to develop the student dancers’ strength, physicality, and artistry.

Ages 14-18

At the most advanced level offered, students continue to study Cunningham and Horton technique, with the addition of Graham technique class once a week. Ballet is offered twice a week to further development. Unique to level V is Repertory class; students learn the repertory of faculty and guest choreographers such as Merce Cunningham. Students have more performance opportunities and can take master classes. The focus in this level, while continuing to perfect general technique, is being able to move with a multidimensional orientation and developing artistry.

Creative Dance classes combine the mastery of dance skills and vocabulary with creative expression. They can be a transition from Early Childhood movement classes or be a child’s first experience with dance and movement.

In Creative Dance, students learn to invent movement from within their own skills and movement history. They are taught to experiment and try new, unexplored movements that arise from the demands of the moment, enabling them to create, think, and respond to a variety of stimuli and prompts.

Students work alone, with partners, and in small groups to explore key dance concepts as space, time, energy, relationship, and body awareness. Through structured improvisations, skill building, and creative problem solving, students are immersed in the artistic process, empowered to make creative choices in a supportive, joyful environment.

Two levels are offered according to age and experience, each meeting once per week for 55 minutes. Both classes include live musical accompaniment, enhancing the experience and aiding the development of musicality. Auditions are not required, but students between the ages of 4 years, 5 months and 4 years, 11 months are encouraged to take a trial class.

Creative Dance I: Ages 4.5–6
Creative Dance II: Ages 6–8


Tap and Musical Theater

Ages 7–9

In this introductory class, students learn basic tap technique and music skills. Students practice the proper use of legs and loose ankles, and learn shuffles, flaps, cramp rolls, step heel rudiments, and increase skills moving across the room. Students learn how to count quarter notes and eighth notes. No previous experience necessary.

Ages 10–14

Older students are introduced to basic tap technique and music skills, learning to practice the proper use of legs and loose ankles. Students learn shuffles, flaps, cramp rolls, pull backs, step heel rudiments, and time steps, and apply quarter notes, eighth, sixteenth and eighth note triplets to tap. No previous experience is required.

Ages 8–9

This class adds single pull backs, wings, slides, turns, and more challenging choreography, while continuing to improve all basic rudiments and time steps. Improvisation is introduced and continued percussion study helps students to improve technique and time. Class meets twice weekly. Audition is required.

Ages 10–13

Students will continue to build their skill levels from beginning tap. Pull backs and wings are introduced as well as more advanced steps. Continued music study enables students to keep better time and begin to work on improvisation. Class meets weekly on Saturday for 1.5 hours. Audition is required.

Ages 10–12

Students are required to meet higher standards of instruction in this class for serious tap dancers. This class requires young dancers to perfect more accurate tap skills and steps. They also read drum music and hone stronger technique. Class meets twice weekly. Audition is required.

Ages 13–15

This is an intermediate class for the experienced tap student to maintain their skills and continue with their tap study. Teen Tap is ideal for musical theater students and any dancer who would like to expand their range and improve their time. Class meets once weekly. Two years previous tap instruction is required.

Ages 10–14

This class has two instructors to broaden the dancer’s experience. A ballet class is also required. Students are expected to demonstrate strong technique and athletic skills. Improvisation is developed and music skills increased. This ensemble has additional performing opportunities. Class meets three times weekly. Audition is required.

Ages 15–18

In Colburn’s most advanced Tap Ensemble, dancers are encouraged to develop strong voices in their dancing by learning challenging choreography. Additional performance opportunities are offered for this ensemble. Class meets twice weekly. Audition is required.

Ages 10-14

Students who are already studying dance, choir, or voice and acting learn how to combine their skills by working on songs from musicals. They will sing and dance each class and learn how to work with fellow musical theater artists to maintain staging and stage directions. This class offers dance, voice, and acting instruction. Students will present a fully choreographed and staged song for performances. Auditions are required.

Ages 15–19

Triple threat artists will be required to perform more complicated works from musicals under the direction of three instructors: Lea Floden for acting, Mike Stevens for voice and Denise Scheerer for dance. The class emphasizes high-end college and professional-level skill building that helps students compete for BFA and MFA auditions. This group will perform for the Winter and Spring Musical Theater concerts. The class includes a required dance component.