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Classes & Camps

Children's Ballet Theater and Memphis Youth Musical Theater in East Memphis offers summer dance camps and year round classes to students ages 2.5 to 18 years and adults the unique beautiful traditions of Russian and French classical ballet with uplifting instructors. The school also offers classes in pointe, pas de deux, modern, jazz, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical, tap, and vocal training and performance. Director Mary Van Dyke is a former professional ballerina, and it is her greatest joy to offer children, teens and adults the very best training with instructors that are kind, uplifting and always speak encouragingly to children and teens. Memphis Youth Musical Theater and Tennessee Ballet Theater are the resident companies.  The highly acclaimed Clara & Nutcracker is presented by our Tennessee Ballet Theater annually at the Cannon Center, and features children and teens in most of the corps and lead roles, including the role of Clara and Party Girls, and even Snow Queen, Spanish Dance, Sugar Plum and more!

Eloise McDonald
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Tap Classes 

Tap classes at Children’s Ballet Theater in East Memphis are super fun! We offer preballet/tap class and tap dance/ jazz dance class. In the preballet/tap the emphasis is on ballet with ¼ of the class focus on beginning tap dance that kids love! The tap and jazz dance class has emphasis mostly on tap dance with a bit of musical theater style jazz thrown in to hone your performance and confidence on stage!  Both classes have performance opportunity in the year end recital.

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Contemporary, Jazz, & Modern Classes

Young kids as well as teens really enjoy learning this style of dance which is mostly set to modern day pop, rock and alternative music. Contemporary dance became popular in recent years with the advent of top-rated shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance”. Students also love jazz dance and modern dance which could include any vein of music including today’s coolest music. This style of dance can include lyrical, modern or jazz.

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Pre -Ballet Classes 

We offer classes that will spark your child’s imagination and creativity. Former ballerina Mary Van Dyke has created a special syllabus designed specifically for each age group. Each class includes ballet, creative movement, and fun with ballet props. Students will also learn dances set to classical ballet music including favorites such as the "Sugar Plum Fairy Dance". Each year the syllabus is changed to insure that students returning to their same age group have new material.

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The school offers teens, pre-teens, and college students pre-professional style ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern dance, tap, and musical theater with exceptional and caring dance teachers. Students are trained in syllabus technique based in the French classical training and the beautiful Russian Vaganova style. This style develops graceful port de bras arms and posture, and strength for high jumps and multiple turns. Students will learn choreography for our annual Clara & the Nutcracker at the Cannon Center and the year-end spring production. Parents cannot believe the improvement at year's end in posture, poise, and graceful athleticism. Teens also have performing opportunities with our professional Tennessee Ballet Theater company. Visit our Nutcracker page to see footage from past shows.

Ballet & Pointe Classes

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