Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

Community Engagement and Youth Programs

Since 1996, Pennsylvania Ballet's Community Engagement programs have provided a variety of in-school, after-school, and theater-based programs for Philadelphia-area school children, free of charge. These programs open up new worlds and contribute to the cultural development of Philadelphia-area school children through introduction to the art of ballet through a professional ballet company.
Programs and services include:

  • Dress Rehearsals

    Approximately 5,000 students attend dress rehearsal performances each year from city and suburban school districts in Philadelphia, Camden, NJ, and surrounding communities. This one-of-a-kind experience provides student with an up-close look at how Pennsylvania Ballet prepares to perform in a theater atmosphere.

    Registration for the Community Engagement Dress Rehearsal Program is now closed.

  • Pennsylvania Ballet II

    Pennsylvania Ballet II is a company of pre-professional dancers who perform at Philadelphia-area schools and other small venues, as part of Pennsylvania Ballet's Community Engagement programs. These dancers are also regularly performing alongside the main company of Pennsylvania Ballet. They are Pennsylvania Ballet’s local ambassadors to Philadelphia, in the schools and on the stage of the Academy of Music.

    In school, PBII inspires students with an interactive performance. This experience offers the opportunity for students to get an up close and personal experience of the world of professional dancers. Students observe a PBII company class, rehearsal, and 45 minute performance. The performance includes audience participation, a demonstration of ballet exercises, excerpts from the Company's repertoire, and a Q&A session. This exciting program brings together the world of classical ballet and the American traditions of Jazz and Hip Hop. Much of the work is choreographed by young, Philadelphia-based chorographers. Students are sure to be inspired, excited, and have a personal connection with the movement and dancers.

    If you are interested in having Pennsylvania Ballet II visit your school, contact Sarah Cooper, Director of Community Engagement at

    Check out this video to see PBII in action! 

  • Studio Visits

    Guided Pennsylvania Ballet studio tours are offered to selected school groups. Tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day operations of a professional performing arts organization, a presentation by a member of the artistic or administrative staff, a ballet class, and an opportunity to observe the Company in rehearsal.

    If you are interested in a Studio Visit contact Sarah Cooper, Director, Community Engagement at

  • Ticket Giveaways

    Through special drawings at each dress rehearsal, students from participating schools receive premium seating tickets to a regular performance. Additionally, approximately 1,000 ticket vouchers are distributed each year through a variety of educational, cultural and social service agencies.

  • Dance Chance

    This unique three-step program is designed to provide in-school ballet classes, with the mission and goal of identifying promising ballet students who are invited to attend regular classes at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. We want to have a sustained impact on these potential professional dancers.


    Step 1: Dance Chance provides in-school weekly classes for first grade students with an emphasis on creative movement and the vocabulary of classical ballet. Supplementing the ballet classes, students attend Pennsylvania Ballet performances. The students gain increased focus and concentration, discipline and dedication, and the love and joy of dance and movement. Participating schools currently include Folk Arts Charter School and Dr. Ethel Allen Promise Academy. 


    Step 2: Students who show particular promise and dedicatiom are selected to attend class with their peers at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Classes are tuition-free, including all costs associated with required dancewear. 


    Step 3: Students who have successfully completed the Step 2 year and have been evaluated to have the criteria needed to attend The School of Pennsylvania Ballet are accepted as full-time, permanent students. Dance Chance students receive free tuition and dancewear for the life of their training. 

  • Delphi Project

    For more than 17 years, this unique program provides a special after-school experience, funded by the Delphi Project Foundation of the Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company. Philadelphia middle school students (grades 5-8) participate in an arts program designed to provide a meaningful cultural experience that positively affects a variety of school behaviors and community interactions. The program includes after-school dance classes, student performances, and attendance at Pennsylvania Ballet dress rehearsals and performances.

    The Delphi Project currently serves four Philadelphia middle schools: Folk Arts Charter School, Conwell Middle Magnet School, Chester Arthur Elementary School, and Juniata Park Academy. Each school participates in dance classes in three different forms of dance: classical ballet, contemporary, and Latin dance. There is also a literacy program where students delve into the exploration of writing inspired by dance. At the end of the after school classes, all four schools participate in an exciting combined performance where their school peers and families are invited to share the moment. Many students have enjoyed returning to this program during all of their middle school years. 


    Click here to learn more.