Pre-Professional Dance Program


Since 2003, the School of Ballet has been training young people in Northern Michigan and beyond for careers as professional ballet dancers and artists. In addition to providing our students professional training in the technical elements of classical ballet, we also instill in them discipline, creativity, and perseverance. These are skills that will serve them well throughout life in any endeavor.

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.

CTAC School of Ballet by the numbers:

Students who have attended the program: Over 3,800

Full-length ballets performed: 23

Student directed/choreographed performances: 15 

Unique concert selection performances: 15

Collaborations with other professional choreographers, orchestras: 8

Here is a small sampling of what our students have achieved after leaving the School of Ballet:

Professional Dance Companies:

Miami City Ballet

Suzanne Farrell Ballet

Oregon Ballet Theater

Charlotte Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet

Virginia National Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre

Ninja Ballet, New York

Rachel Thorne Germond Performance Collage

Grand Rapids Ballet

Company SBB


Professional Dance Training/Apprentice Programs:

School of American Ballet pre-professional program

Gelsey Kirkland Academy training program

Pacific Northwest Ballet trainee program

Los Angeles Ballet apprenticeship

Alonzo King Lines training program

Miami City Ballet pre-professional program

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre training program

Boston Ballet training program


Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) education and degrees from:

University of Michigan

New York University

State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase

University of Illinois

Texas Christian University

Mercyhurst University

Dominican University (California)

Western Michigan University


Dance-Related Careers:

Choreographer, Youth America Grand Prix

Guest Instructor, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Instructor, CTAC School of Ballet

Choreographer, CTAC School of Ballet

Guest Instructor, CTAC School of Ballet

Development/Grantmaking Manager, Dance/NYC

Production Associate & Educator, The Yard

Dance Instructor, North Seattle College

Director, Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center

Light Design Artist, Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Certified Instructor, American Ballet Theatre

Artistic Director/Founder, Croft Residency

Tech Intern, Bates Dance Festival

Tech, Midwest Alternative Dance Festival

Assistant to Artistic Director, Grand Rapids Ballet

Assistant Stage Manager, Karsai Theatre Project (NYC)

Assistant Producer, Blanca Li

Artistic Director, The Croft Residency

Dance Studio Owner, Beautiful Feet Dance Studio


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

The Ailey School

American Ballet Theatre

American Dance Festival

Ballet Hispanico

Ballet Met

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Bolshoi Ballet School

Boston Ballet School

Boys Ballet Intensive

Burklyn Ballet School

Carolina Ballet School

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet

Charlotte Ballet School

Chautauqua School of Dance

Cincinnati Ballet School

Colorado Ballet School

Complexions Contemporary Ballet School

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell

Forrest Academy of Ballet

Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet

Grand Rapids Ballet School

Houston Ballet Academy

Indiana University SI


Joffrey Midwest, NY summer programs & Collegiate program

Juilliard SI

Kaatsbaan – Extreme Ballet

Kansas City Ballet School

Kennedy Center Ballet Master Class Series

Kirov Academy of Ballet

LINES Ballet School

Los Angeles Ballet School

MELT North Carolina Dance Theatre

Miami City Ballet School

North Carolina School of the Arts

Northwest Professional Dance Project

Oklahoma City Ballet

Oregon Ballet Theatre

Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Philadelphia Ballet School

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

Royal Winnipeg Ballet School

Sacramento 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