Pre-Professional Dance Program

Under the direction and tutelage of Heather Raue, CTAC School of Ballet’s pre-professional dancers train 4-6 days per week (12-25+ hours per week) year round. They participate in four large performances every year. Fall for Dance (November) is a student choreographed and directed performance that gives the student dancers an opportunity to explore the many facets of creative expression and performance production. Nutcracker (December) is an opportunity for the pre-professional dancers to demonstrate their classical prowess. The entire School of Ballet comes together onstage every spring (June) for an original full-length story ballet.  After returning from their various summer studies, the dancers are brimming with inspiration for a summer performance in Bay View (August).

Over the past several years, our students have attended (upon audition) the country’s most elite summer and year round programs and University dance programs. Many are now dancing with professional dance companies.

Our dancers and their parents travel to Chicago every weekend from the beginning of January through the end of February for auditions. These pre-professional schools accept anywhere from 10 to 150 students worldwide, with over 1,500 students auditioning in most major cities across the world. The success of our dancers’ achievements is a testament to their diligence and training.

At the beginning of April, Crooked Tree Arts Center awards it’s pre-professional students scholarships to assist them with the tremendous cost of their education away from home. Summer programs average $5,000 for tuition and housing. CTAC School of Ballet dedicates it’s Nutcracker proceeds, as well as June & August performances to the CTAC Dance Scholarship Fund. To make a difference in one of our dancer’s futures, donations can be made, year round, to the CTAC Dance Scholarship Fund.  Please contact Crooked Tree Arts Center: or 231-347-4337.

Our students have attended the following summer & year round programs:

  • The Ailey School
  • American Ballet Theatre
  • American Dance Festival
  • Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
  • Boston Ballet School
  • Burklyn Ballet School
  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
  • Chautauqua School of Dance
  • Complexions Contemporary Ballet School
  • Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
  • Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell
  • Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet
  • Grand Rapids Ballet School
  • Houston Ballet Academy
  • Indiana University Summer Ballet Intensive
  • Interlochen Summer Dance Program
  • Joffrey Midwest, NY summer programs & Collegiate program
  • Kaatsbaan – Extreme Ballet
  • Kennedy Center Ballet Master Class Series
  • Kirov Academy of Ballet
  • LINES Ballet School
  • MELT North Carolina Dance Theatre
  • North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Northwest Professional Dance Project
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet School
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School
  • Royal Winnipeg Ballet School
  • San Francisco Ballet School
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Dance
  • Saratoga Springs Dance Intensive
  • School of American Ballet
  • School of Ballet Austin
  • School of Ballet Chicago
  • Suzanne Farrell’s Cedar Island Program
  • Texas Ballet Theater School

Our alumni currently train with the following programs:

  • Boston Ballet Trainee Program
  • Charlotte Ballet
  • Deeply Rooted Dance Theater II
  • LINES Training Program
  • Mercyhurst University
  • New York University
  • Oregon Ballet Theater Company
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet School
  • School of American Ballet
  • SUNY Purchase
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Michigan
  • Western Michigan University