Ballet Arts Studio
There is always a moment in childhood when
the door opens to let the future in.
-Graham GreeneFor 53 years we have been opening that door for children of all ages every day. At Ballet Arts Studio, and The Dutchess Dance Company, our pre-professional dance company, we know that there is nothing that compares to conservatory-based dance training for teaching children and young adults the meaning, joy and fulfillment that comes from commitment and hard work--all in the context of the beautiful art form that is dance. The value of our programs is measured each and every day, when the students see the physical results of that discipline, commitment and hard work in their own bodies and in their developing artistry.
Founded originally as "Ballets Arts Foundation, Inc.", Ballet Arts Studio utilizes a progressive approach to the Vaganova system. Over the years our programs have grown to include The Dutchess Dance Company, The Young People's Performance Company, Inc. ("YPPC"), and Dance Beacon, focusing on professional-level performance experiences as a means to artistic growth and development.
Ballet Arts Studio, The Dutchess Dance Company and YPPC programs center around a complete approach to learning, individual growth, and technical and artistic development. The faculty at Ballet Arts Studio and The Dutchess Dance Company nurture positive attitudes and attributes in students so that each may fully develop their personal and creative potential. Welcome to Ballet Arts Studio, and The Dutchess Dance Company, where children of all ages experience personal and artistic transformation.
Photo by Rachel Hutami-Goodhill
Studios and Facility
Our school facility includes a performance-size main studio, a lower level studio and classroom, offices, waiting areas, and dressing rooms. Both studios have sprung floors, greatly reducing injuries in dancers.
Ballet Arts Studio and The Dutchess Dance Company are located in the thriving and developing arts community of Beacon, New York. In addition to shops, art galleries and an antiques district, Beacon is the home of Dia: Beacon Reggio galleries, featuring one of the largest contemporary art collections outside of New York City.
Our professional faculty shares a common technical and professional background, as well as educational philosophy. Our teachers and guest artists received their training and performance experiences in internationally recognized conservatories and dance companies, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Washington Ballet, The School of American Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre Scholarship Program, the Pearl Primus Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance School, and the Rockettes. Together, they provide the highest quality dance training in a supportive environment that emphasizes communication and creativity between students and teachers.
Laura Martel teaching Lower School I ballet in Studio One.
Photo by Rachel Hutami-Goodhill
Ballet Arts Studio offers both pre-professional day classes and evening and Saturday classes including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, African, Tap, Hip Hop and Musical Theater as well as “Dance with Me Baby” (classes for parents/caregivers with their babies) as well as adult ballet, Tap and Hip Hop. Ballet training is emphasized not only as its own discipline, but as a foundation for many other forms of dance instruction at the studio. Private coaching and performance and audition preparation are also available. The studio is proud to welcome guest artists and diversity and fresh approach that they bring.
Contemporary and Modern Dance: Alex Bloomstein, Nathalie Jonas
& Guest Artists
African Dance: Belle Golden
Jazz: Deanna Ford
Tap: Katie Bissinger
Musical Theater: Katie Bissinger
Dance With Me Baby; a class for toddlers
This class is designed for children approximately 18 months to three years old, and their caregivers. It is an interactive dance/movement class for children and caregivers with themes such as seasons, ''things that go", weather, and more, all set to music. The class starts with story time and transitions into movement, dance and musical instruments, developing a child's sensory and fine motor skills in the process. The class often ends with "freestyle" dancing.
Classical Ballet Curriculum
Lower School Ballet, Levels I through IV is generally designed for children ages five through 12. In these classes, large and small motor skills and coordination are developed using conservatory-level standards. Students are introduced to the French vocabulary associated with ballet, and are also introduced to specific ballet steps utilizing proper ballet technique. Creative and expressive movement, teamwork, music appreciation, and encouraging a love of movement are emphasized. Depending on the class level, students study two or more times per week.
Middle School Ballet, Levels I & II focuses on dancers aged nine through 12 to 13. The primary goals remain developing coordination and encouraging a love and appreciation of proper technique and of movement and music. Class work continues to include the development of large and small motor skills and the French language vocabulary of ballet. Students begin to learn more and more complex ballet steps using proper technique. Students are introduced to specific expressive concepts of movement, and how to communicate through movement. Multiple classes are offered, and students are strongly encouraged to take more than two or three classes each week.
Upper School Ballet focuses on 13/14 year old dancers through to pre-professional. The training continues to meet conservatory standards. Progress is guided and measured by individual evaluations and appropriate placements. Students may work on more than one level within the Upper School simultaneously, or stay in one level for more than one academic year. Multiple classes are offered, and students are encouraged to take class every day, and to take more than one class each day.
Pointe placement is made following an individual assessment by the Director, in consultation with faculty members. Dancers wishing to go on pointe and/or remain on pointe must take a minimum of three ballet classes per week.
Pre-Professional Program offers a day program for serious dancers who wish to take their training to a higher level. Placement in the program is by audition.
Private Coaching and Audition Preparation addresses individual development with specific corrections and coaching. Whether regular or occasional, private classes are an excellent tool for enhancing progress. Students who require audition choreography should speak with Ballet Arts' staff and faculty at least eight weeks in advance of an audition date.
All students are placed in classes according to age, maturity, physical development, technical proficiency and experience. Each year, the faculty carefully assess and place each student in the class level best for that student's growth and progress.
The Annual Showing of the Curriculum takes place in each class during the final week of December before the holiday break. Parents, family and friends are invited to take photographs and to videotape.
The Spring Concert offers a grand performance of the culmination of our dancers training. For many years we have been performing at Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, which provides high production value and the dancers the thrill of performing at a professional venue with all the glamour of a beautiful historic theater.
Photo by Rachel Hutami-Goodhill
Students’ Artistic & Academic Achievements
Ballet Arts Studio and The Dutchess Dance Company have provided educational guidance for students and emerging artists who have been accepted to the following nationally recognized schools, colleges, universities and dance companies.
·The School of American Ballet (Official School of the New York City Ballet)
·University of North Carolina School of the Arts
·The American Ballet Theater School
·The Ailey School, the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (On scholarship)
·Houston Ballet School
·The Miami City Ballet Summer Program
·The San Francisco Ballet Summer Program
·The Boston Ballet School and Apprentice Program
·The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company
·The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Company
·The Berlin State Opera Ballet School (
·Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Summer Programs
·The New York State Summer Schools of the Arts, Ballet and Modern Divisions
·Walnut Hill School for the Arts
·The State Street Ballet Colleges
·Barnard College (High School Valedictorian)
·College of Saint Rose
·Duke University (High School Valedictorian)
·Ithaca College (Doctoral program in Physical Therapy)
·Mary Mount Manhattan College (High School Valedictorian with full artistic merit scholarship)
·University of Maryland (Full artistic merit scholarship)
·University of Michigan
·The Juilliard School
·Pennsylvania State University (High School Valedictorian)
·Point Park College (Presidential scholarship)
·New York University -- Tisch School for the Performing Arts
·Sarah Lawrence College
·SUNY New Paltz, Purchase, Binghamton, Geneseo, Buffalo (with various artistic scholarships)
·University of the Arts (Presidential Scholarship)
·Vanderbilt University (High School Valedictorian)
·Vassar College (High School Valedictorian)
·Wake Forest College
Professional Dance Companies