Dancers posing on plaza
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. 

Leah Upchurch
We're all really supportive of each other. We try to build off one another's strengths and weaknesses. And it's really cool to be taught and mentored by dancers I've always admired. Leah Upchurch, Dance Academy student

The rigorous Dance Academy curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers as dancers, focusing on classical ballet while providing instruction in other styles. By exposing students to choreographic masterworks with coaching by faculty who themselves are leaders in the field, the Dance Academy gives its students the tools they need to find a new richness in their dancing and become successful artists.

Such notable names as Wendy Whelan, Peter Boal, Helgi Tomasson, Mikko Nissinen and the Dance Academy’s own Artistic Advisor, Benjamin Millepied, have led Dance Academy master classes providing unique access and exposure to leaders in the field. As a result, graduates of the Dance Academy currently perform with New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and numerous other professional companies, trainee programs, and university dance programs.

Meet Our Faculty

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Zippora Karz
Dance Academy Faculty

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances.

Jenifer Ringer
Visiting Artist, Trudl Zipper Dance Institute

One of the most celebrated dancers of her generation, Ms. Ringer has contributed to the field of dance in many ways.

Silas Farley
Dean, Trudl Zipper Dance Institute

Dancer, educator, and choreographer Silas Farley, a recent New York City Ballet alumnus, is Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute and an Amplify Artist.

Darleen Callaghan
Darleen Callaghan
Associate Dean, Trudl Zipper Dance Institute

Darleen Callaghan, a highly respected dance professional with over 30 years of performance and administrative experience, is nationally recognized for her work as Director of the Miami City Ballet School and the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance.