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Ballet Schools in California - Sacramento/Portland


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My DD’s best friend’s dad is being relocated to either Portland Oregon or Sacramento California. She is a 17y/o serious DK. Where they choose to live is dependent on the best classical ballet-training program. Does anyone know of pre-pro programs in these areas? Thanks for your help.

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Guest Watermill

Regarding Portland:

Not sure I'd define Oregon Ballet Theatre's School of Ballet as pre-pro anymore, especially with such a mixed faculty, but it looks like several students from the top level will be apprenticed to the company. Students are given performance experience in a very nice Balanchine Nutcracker. New head of school Damara Bennett may be improving things for next year.OBT.ORG


Pacific Artists Dance Center is really the only other game in town. Run by former NYCB dancer Nancy Davis, it has some very good instructors as well as providing some decent performance opportunities. Balanchine Regissuers set pieces on the upper levels...not bad, huh? PACIFICARTISTSDANCECENTER.COM


Oh, and bring your rain gear. Don't be afraid of the moss...it grows on you...especially between the toes!


A Watery Watermill

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  • Administrators

There is a VERY fine school in Sacremento! It is run by two former Washington Ballet principals, Francois Duveny (POB trained) and her husband Chris Doyle. We have had several of their students in the summers, and they are beautifully trained. :lol: I will find out the name of the school, which I can't seem to come up with at the moment.

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Ms Leigh, I found a Christopher Doyle who is the artistic director of the Fresno Ballet but I have been unsuccessful in finding any information on Francois Duveny. Is she still in Sacramento? Thanks for you help.

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Deane Dance Center is in Sacramento. It was formerlly Crockett Dance Studio and is now run by Allyson Deane and Don Schwennesen both were principals with San Francisco. Allyson is Barbara Crockett's daughter. They are the offical school of Sacramento Ballet. The school is also has a youth company and is an Honor company with Regional Dance America/Pacific. Their phone # is 916-453-0226 When we visit my daughter attends classes and their teaching staff is excellent.


Good luck with the search!

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  • Administrators

Yes, thedriver, Francois is Chris' wife :ermm: But they are both in Fresno. Sorry, I was wrong about the city.

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Guest lurry

Another school in the Sacramento area that has very nice dancers, is Pamela Hayes, of Pamela Hayes school. She trained at the Royal Ballet School. In additon, she has gotten a lot of young ladies/ men into the Royal Ballet School in England. I know her other training, however, I can't think of it off hand. Wait, I think she was a directer at one time, for OBT. I know OBT's previous reputation, although, it was before that era. It is worth looking at.


In oregon, I know that OBT is having a wonderful turn around since Canfield, the previous AD, was released and Stowell's son (the director of PNB) took over.


Good Luck :)

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  • 1 year later...

I am once again looking to this board for assistance. My dd's and I will be in Portland for the week after Christmas. I would like to find at least 2 drop in classes for my oldest, since the SI audition craziness begins the next week. She is very concerned about not having any classes for this time period.

I looked at OBT web page, but they seem to be closed that week, as I expect most studios are :clover: .


If anyone knows of any studios open during that time frame, please let me know.


I would know what to do if we were staying home, but I am out of my element in Portland.


Thanks in advance!

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Yes! Here is Pacific Artists Dance Center, they're the split-off from OBT several years ago.


Note: There will be no evening classes and no classes on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. (These are both Sundays) (Classes are obviously not held on Christmas Eve or New Year's eve becuase there're no classes on Saturday anyways!)


I copied the schedule from their website: (and made some additional notes)

Monday 10:00-11:30am









Tuesday 12:30-2:00pm




Wednesday 10:00-11:30am




Wednesday 6:30-8:00pm NO CLASS DURING WINTER BREAK




Thursday 12:30-2:00pm




Friday 10:00-11:30am




Sunday 10:00-11:30am





$12 Each or 8 Class Card for $85



PADC is located in the Hillsdale Shopping Center

6250 SW Capitol Highway

Portland, Oregon 97239



I will also be taking classes there this entire winter break on: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday, and Fridays. I hope to see you there! I'll be wearing a black leo . . .and my hair in a high bun, no warm-up clothing though. (sorry there's nothing more to describe!)


Also, class level descriptions are not always accurate, a lot of times classes are a level or so higher becuase there are many advanced dancers that also come into the intermediate and even the beginning/intermediate classes. There's basically a mixtures of not-so-experienced dancers and VERY good dancers. I'd be in the not-so expericned category I guess becuase I've only been doing ballet for 2 years.


Sorry, that went on waaay too long.

I hope to see you there!


please PM me if you have any questions at all :thumbsup:

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Even if a school is closed for winter break, they may have unadvertised "maintenance" classes at the advanced level for students auditioning in January. It can be worthwhile to call schools and see if anything is being offered.


In addition to Pacific Artists, which I've never been to (it has a good reputation), you might try calling the following:


Portland Community Ballet (in beaverton) - Cynthia Tosh is an excellent teacher, teaching "old-school" Balanchine (i.e. no weird mannerisms, but lots and lots of tendus!). She is the best teacher for "artistry" I've ever had. The advanced class has some older teens and some advanced adults.




Northwest Conservatory of Dance (in hillsboro) - Anita Mitchell is also excellent. I believe that her background is connected with the Joffrey Ballet, but I'm not sure. She runs an exhausting class - she has done a lot for my strength. The advanced class is middle-to-older teens (plus one old lady if I happen to be there!).




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Thank you les sylphides and jayo,

I will give the information you both supplied to my dd. I will let you know what she decides.

Once again, one only needs to ask for help, and it is supplied!

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I've heard many times that the top two schools in Portland for ballet are Oregon Ballet Theatre and Pacific Artists Dance Center, from several dance teachers and many dancers!


I have not heard much about Portland Community Ballet and nothing about Northwest Conservatory of Dance but I personally would go to a class at each one just for the experience! This way you can form your own opinion. :rolleyes:

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  • 1 year later...

I currently live in the Sacramento area and am considering a school change. Does anyone have any information about Deane Dance Center or the Sacramento Ballet School? I know Deane has been around for a while and the Sac Ballet is much newer. However since the Sac ballet has their own school would it be better to go there?



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