Lower & Upper Division

Ages 10-19

The Scripps Performing Arts Academy is a quality professional training facility for dance, theatre and music. We promote the understanding that ballet is the foundation for all the performing arts and most sports. Gymnasts, ice skaters, even professional football players, utilize ballet to obtain 
personal excellence.

We provide a creative and nurturing environment that instills; core-strength, mental focus and emotional intelligence by developing confidence, and practiced teamwork without sacrificing the core values of dance as an art form. Our Academy offers a full dance curriculum including Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Jazz and Tap for beginning students through pre-professionals. Our Musical Theatre department offers workshops and productions for the young, aspiring thespian through advanced film and stage actors. The Music Department too, offers a wide variety of both vocal and instrumental instruction and we will continue to develop our academic conservatory for Jr. Kindergarten through High-School students.

For the recreational and serious dance student, we offer professional ballet training featuring additional dance disciplines necessary for success in the field. The Ballet program at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy accommodates every type of student from 3 to 93 years old. For students looking to pursue a professional collegiate dancing career, whether it be ballet or jazz, or for children, teens, and adults who want to give ballet a try, we have a class that can accommodate your needs.

Performance opportunities are optional. We do not use class time to rehearse for “annual recitals”. We offer three major ballet productions each year, one tap and jazz production and a variety of musical theatre workshops, theatre productions and musical concerts for students who choose to develop their performance skills. We do not participate in competitions for students under 16-years of age.

We have trained students that have been accepted to programs with New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, The American Ballet Theater, The Ailey School, Boston Ballet, the Kirov Academy, and The Rock School, Harid Conservatory, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet School, Chicago and New York and several other prestigious and well-respected programs across the country.

We have also had students go on to successful academic careers at Yale University, Boston Conservatory, Vassar College, New York University, Boston University, Northwestern University, Fordham University, Stanford University, Claremont McKenna, Scripps College, Elon University, UCLA, UCSD, University of California at Irvine and more!

Vivian Z., Pre-Professional Graduate 2013

At the Scripps Performing Arts Academy we know that it takes commitment, discipline, imagination, and hard work to reach your full potential. Our goal is to instill in our students respect for both themselves and the performing arts they practice. We know that ballet is the essential foundation for success in all aspects of life and the performing arts. Students pursing careers in any style of dance or theatre will benefit from cross training in a variety of styles to broaden their movement vocabulary and equip them with multiple vehicles of self expression.

Each level may have two to three sub levels within it (C, B, A). Unlike academic school, students may spend two or more years in the same level prior to reaching the technical mastery necessary for promotion.

Below is a list of the classes offered for our Lower Division students. Please scroll further down the page to find the descriptions for our Upper Division.

Please contact us to schedule your complimentary placement class.
All Lower and Upper Division Classes are * by invitation or placement only.

Lower Division

Please scroll down further to see the Upper Division class descriptions.

Classical Ballet

Ballet III (10-13 years)
Advanced-Beginning Ballet Class that continues to work on perfecting the basics of Ballet, while introducing new terminology and steps. Children will be introduced to more complex barre work and must show a strong understanding of proper alignment and core strength prior to promotion.

Ballet IV (12 years and up)
Beginning-Intermediate Ballet Class that focus on developing classical technique, understanding ballet terminology, correct execution of basic steps as well as a basic understanding and application of placement and alignment. More challenging barre and center work is introduced. Preparation for Pointework begins in the second or third year of Ballet III and continues into the first year of Ballet IV.

Contemporary Styles

Jazz 2/3 & 3 (11 years and up)
Intermediate level jazz. Students use strength developed in previous classes to learn more advanced turns, leaps, floor work and choreography. Dancers in Jazz 4 are required to take ballet and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre productions. Dancers are invited to participate in our annual Jazz and Tap show.

Teen Jazz (13 and up)
Teen Jazz. This is a beginning level class geared toward Teen aged students. Students learn basic jazz skills that will prepare them to move into upper level classes, and are also invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show. It is recommended that these students also enroll in Teen Ballet.

Tap 2/3 (10 years and up)
Beginning- Intermediate level tap. Emphasis on clarity of sounds, speed, strength and performance quality. Dancers are strongly encouraged to take ballet, invited to participate in annual Jazz and Tap Show and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre Productions.

Tap 3/4 (11 years and up)
Advanced-Intermediate to Advanced levels of Tap. Students at this level begin to work on rhythm tap, acapella, and improvisation. Choreography is taught at a fast pace, and performed at an equally fast pace. Students work on developing the strength for advanced footwork. Students begin to study the history of tap dance in America. Dancers in this level are invited to participate in the annual Tap Show, often with lead roles.

Teen Tap (13 years and up)
Teen Tap. This is a beginning level tap class geared toward Pre-Teen to Teen aged students. Students learn basic tap skills that will prepare them to move into upper level classes, and are also invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show. It is recommended that these students also enroll in Teen Ballet.

Teen Modern (13 years and up)
In this class students will learn the basics of modern dance utilizing the techniques of Horton, Cunningham and Limon techniques. Modern is a style of theatrical dance that favors the natural movement of the body derived from the expression of inner feeling. It’s technique is based on principles of fall and recovery, contraction and release and also includes elements of chance and improvisation. Modern is most beneficial when taken with or as a supplement to a ballet class. All foundational dance movements, body alignment, balance, and coordination are built upon in a ballet class.

Musical Theater

Ages 9-12
Workshops for the middle age focus on developing the performer as a whole through activities which builds skills in singing on key, understanding tempos, acting with full expression and projection, proper breathing and polishing movement as a group. Students have the opportunity to perform in a mini performance and build improv skills through games.

Ages 13-18
Workshops for tweens/teens gives them a safe space to explore and grow as well as building their performance skills in singing, acting, movement, improv, and professionalism. This is ideal for students who want to grow in the arts but do not have the open schedule to commit to a full musical theatre production. It is also ideal for those beginning musical theatre to build skills in a smaller performance before journeying on to our Productions.

Upper Division

Classical Ballet

Ballet IVA (12 years and up)
Intermediate Ballet Class that focus on developing classical technique, understanding ballet terminology, correct execution of basic steps as well as a basic understanding and application of placement and alignment. More challenging barre and center work is introduced. Preparation for pointework begins. Pointework usually is introduced at this level.

Ballet V (13 years and up)
Advanced-Intermediate Ballet Classes that focus on building strength, increasing flexibility, coordination, and musicality. New steps are introduced in the center.

Ballet VI (14 years and up)
Advanced-Intermediate to Advanced Ballet Classes that focus on expression, musicality, building strength, and coordination, while introducing more advanced steps and combinations.

Ballet VII (16 years and up)
Advanced Ballet Classes that focus on artistry and musicality, strength and coordination, as well as exactness and power while dancing. Students focus on continuing to build strength, while correctly executing more challenging steps and increasing flexibility.

Contemporary Styles

Jazz 4 (12 years and up)
Advanced Intermediate level jazz. Students in this level are already very strong in their technique. Focus is on improving strength, control and flexibility, as well as performance quality and style of movement. Students learn complex choreography at a fast pace. Dancers in this level are required to take ballet and maybe invited to dance in our Musical Theater Productions, as well as other performance opportunities.

Jazz 5 (13 years and up)
Advanced level class. Advanced dancers are challenged to learn complex choreography while performing advanced technique with a higher level of “finesse”. Dancers in this level are required to take ballet, are invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap show and maybe invited to dance in our Musical Theater Productions, as well as other performance opportunities.

Lyrical 3/4 & 5
Advanced-Intermediate to Advanced level class. Lyrical dance is a dance style that combines elements of ballet, modern and jazz dance techniques. It’s name is derived from the word “lyrics” because the lyrics of a song or instrumental music is used to inspire the movements or show expression. Lyrical develops the use of gesture, facial expression, and controlled movements to communicate the movements and emotions fully. Lyrical dance typically encourages use of articulation, line, weight, and movement qualities. Dancers must be enrolled in Ballet V or higher or invited by instructor to participate.

Tap 4/5 (13 years and up)
Advanced Tap. Students at this level already have strong technical skills, therefore the focus is on quick pick up of choreography, clarity, speed, rhythm, style, improvisation, and strength. A wide variety of styles are covered including Broadway, rhythm tap, acapella, improvisation and “Hoofin”. Choreography is taught at a fast pace and performed at an equally fast pace. Students develop a greater understanding of the history of tap dance in America. Dancers are invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show and may be invited to participate in Musical Theatre productions.

Modern for Ballet V-VII (13 years and up)
In this class students will learn the basics of modern dance utilizing the techniques of Horton, Cunningham and Limon techniques. Modern is a style of theatrical dance that favors the natural movement of the body derived from the expression of inner feeling. It’s technique is based on principles of fall and recovery, contraction and release and also includes elements of chance and improvisation. Modern  for ballet dancers must be enrolled in Ballet V or higher.

Acting for Dancers

Ages 12 and Up
Classes build skills in singing on key, understanding tempos, acting with full expression & projection, proper breathing & polishing movement as a group. Students have the opportunity to build improv skills through games and develop acting and character development skills that can be applied to their dancing.

What People Are Saying

Testimonials

"I danced at Scripps Performing Arts Academy my entire life, and they helped me grow as a dancer and as a person. It's nice to be able to go into a dance class knowing that everyone there is on your side trying to help you become the best you can be. At Scripps Performing Arts everything is very professional, but in a very nurturing environment which is pretty rare to find at a ballet studio. The teachers here are not only great dance teachers, but also great mentors who are more than willing to help any student with any problems they have. I highly recommend Scripps Performing Arts Academy to any dancer that is looking for a fulfilling dance training experience."
Rachel Irelan
SPAA '09 graduate, Graduated from the Boston Conservatory '13 with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance,
Newest Academy Faculty Member

"I am so impressed with the improvements I see each year. You are doing a wonderful service with the young people not only teaching them to dance, but teaching them how to discipline their lives. These are things they will benefit from throughout their lives. These young people are so blessed to have the opportunity to work in a disciplined environment with such talented instructors."
Sylvia Danner
Grandmother of a former Pre-Professional Student