The Philadelphia Youth Ballet

The Philadelphia Youth Ballet

The Philadelphia Youth Ballet (PYB) was founded in the fall of 2011 to inspire dedicated young dancers by providing them with a professional training environment and additional performance opportunities. PYB rehearsals and performances present an opportunity for young dancers to develop their artistry and build confidence, enhancing the technical precision demanded in their daily technique classes.

PYB members perform in the Nutcracker, their own Spring Concert, and the Annual Spring Showcase. PYB members perform at a variety of events throughout the community. Details on each of these performance opportunities as well as some FAQs are below.

Community Engagement

PYB members perform in the Nutcracker, their own Spring Concert, the Annual Spring Showcase, and a variety of community and collaborative events.  Details on each of these performance opportunities as well as some FAQs are below.

Below is one of our most recent projects.  The Philadelphia Youth Ballet performed in collaboration with the Museum for Art in Wood, a celebratory closing performance for FLOE: A Climate of Risk | The Fictional Archaeology of Stephen TalasnikEver-Changing is an immersive dance installation that honors the fictional work of Stephen Talsanik’s exhibition FLOE: A Climate of Risk. Through movement and playful connections, the PYB dancers discover the world Stephen created. The piece is constructed by PDA Staff, Blake Krapels, in 4 movements. Discovery, Exploration, Admiration, and Celebration. The Philadelphia Youth Ballet as they takes you on a journey through the “ever-changing” landscape.

Nutcracker

All Philadelphia Dance Academy ballet students age 5 and older have the opportunity to audition for our annual production of the Nutcracker. Philadelphia Youth Ballet members must participate in the Nutcracker. Most Nutcracker rehearsals are held on Saturday afternoons (typically 1:30pm – 6:30pm) from early September through mid-December (we are off Thanksgiving weekend). We have an occasional Sunday afternoon rehearsal for some dances. Students may not miss more than 1 rehearsal. 

Annual Spring Concert

The Philadelphia Youth Ballet's 13th Annual Spring Concert featured classical repertoire and original works by Amy Aldridge, Heidi Cruz-Austin, Sabrina Faith, Fallon Gannon, Jennifer Lameo, Lori Lahnemann, Miro Maglorie, Blake Krapels, Drexel University and PYB student choreographers.  Performances were held at FRINGEARTS on Sunday, March 10.

  • The MANDATORY first Spring Concert rehearsals will be on January 4 - 5, 2025.
  • The Spring Concert is planned for Sunday, March 9, 2025 at Fringe Arts.
  • The Mandatory In-Studio Dress Rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, February 22. 
  • There will be a Mandatory Run-Through on Saturday, March 1.
  • The Mandatory Dress/Technical Rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, 2025 at Fringe Arts
  • With the exception of the first rehearsal in January, rehearsals will start no earlier than 1:00p and will finish no later than 6:30/7:00p.
  • Most rehearsals will be on Saturday afternoon but there will be several Sunday rehearsals due to the short rehearsal period.
  • Rehearsals will be held in-studio at the Old City location.  
  • Students may have one rehearsal absence.
  • The PYB participation fee is $400.  The PYB participation fee is in addition to the Nutcracker fee and will be automatically charged on Saturday, January 4, 2025.  This fee includes a digital download of the Spring Concert.  It does not include digital photographs.

Annual Spring Showcase

At the end of each school year, PYB presents excerpts from classical story ballets as part of The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Spring Showcase.

Past Community Events and Festivals

PYB performs regularly in Philadelphia and the surrounding community.  Each time we book a community performance, an email is sent with the rehearsal and performance details.  Please complete the participation confirmation form by the deadline so we can plan the casting and performance program. The ensemble also holds periodic community events and seminars. PYB members have performed at:

  • Ballet X Festival at the Mann Center
  • Franklin Square Holiday Lights
  • St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
  • Cherry Street Pier
  • Fifty Shades of Purple Arts Against Bullying
  • Telemundo62 & The Franklin Institute’s Día del Niño
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C
  • South Street Festival
  • Welcome America 4th of July Celebration
  • Old City Fest
  • Fitler Square Festival
  • Taney Park Festival
  • Liberty Place Tree Lighting
  • RiverRink Tree Lighting
  • Headhouse Square Winter Wonderland
  • LOVE Park’s Christmas Village
Swipe to view more photos.

Past Collaborative Projects

Museum for Art in Wood:  February 2023 Choreographer Blake Krapels choreographed a site-specific work on PYB dancers.  Ever-Changing is an immersive dance installation that honors the fictional work of Stephen Talsanik’s exhibition FLOE: A Climate of Risk. Through movement and playful connections, the dancers will discover the world in which Stephen created. The piece is constructed in 4 movements. Discovery, Exploration, Admiration, and Celebration. Come join the Philadelphia Youth Ballet as they take you on a journey through the “ever-changing” landscape.

Drexel University: ongoing collaboration – PYB members audition to be part of works choreographed by guest choreographers from Drexel University. Works are presented in the Annual Spring Concert.

PYB Student Choreography Collaboration: ongoing – The 4th Annual Spring Concert in 2015 was the first one to feature work by PYB members. Those who expressed interest in choreographing were placed into groups of 3 and worked for weeks on setting work on fellow PYB members.  

Spoke the Hub Modern Dance Ensemble, Brooklyn, NY: April 2013 – Dancers from the Brooklyn-based studio visited Philadelphia and participated in our spring concert. PYB then traveled to Brooklyn to perform in Spoke the Hub’s Young Artists’ Workshop.

Play On, Philly! and Live Connections: May 2013 – PYB members partnered with young musicians from Play On, Philly! and Live Connections to present a student-produced original work at World Café Live as part of their Classic Alive! Series.

ArteProyecto, Guatemala: April 2014 – In the spring of 2014 we hosted Guatemalan youth dance ensemble ArteProyecto for a week of classes that culminated in a showing of work by both companies.

Downtown Performing Arts Center, Lambertville, NJ: June 2014 – 2014 featured another performance exchange, with DPAC students joining our spring concert and PYB members performing with DPAC at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre.

Intergenerational Project: March 2016 – Judith Sachs of Anyone Can Dance facilitated a movement exploration that crossed generations.

FAQs

Students age 8 and older enrolled in level Ballet 3/3X and up are welcome to audition.  

Prospective and current ensemble members are required to take a minimum of two ballet technique classes weekly, up to six technique classes weekly for older students.

Prospective and current PYB members are required to enroll in Theater Dance and/or Contemporary dance in addition to their required ballet classes. 

NOTE: For the 24-25 school year this policy will change to require concurrent enrollment in Contemporary AND Theater Dance.

Prospective and current ensemble members are also required to train over the summer, although that training does not need to be here at PDA. 

Ballet 3/3X and 4/4X must complete a minimum of two weeks of intensive summer training.  Four to six weeks are highly recommended. 

Ballet 5/5X and higher are required to complete 4-8 weeks of intensive training (100+ hours) to maintain the pre-professional standards of the program

Annual auditions occur each summer on the same day as our annual Nutcracker audition. Dates are posted at least one year in advance.  Auditions are typically the last weekend in August at the Old City studios.  Please be sure to fill out both the Nutcracker and PYB audition forms.

 The 2024 audition dates are August 24 and 25.

Serious dancers in Ballet 3/3X and higher who love to perform and are willing to commit to the PYB Saturday rehearsal schedule in addition to taking required technique classes per week. IMPORTANT: Membership in PYB is a year-long commitment. Students may not miss more than one Nutcracker rehearsal or one rehearsal in the spring (after Winter Break, PYB returns to Saturday afternoon rehearsals to prepare for their Spring Concert). Members are expected to act as role models for younger students here at PDA. A mature, respectful attitude is expected at all times.

Company members learn a varied repertoire of classical ballet, contemporary, and other styles, which allow them to develop the versatility that is required for a career in the performing arts. They have regular performance opportunities in a wide variety of venues, from small informal festivals to large professional theaters. The diversity of these experiences fosters confidence and improves performance skills. As company members, students learn the intrinsic reward of working together towards a common goal and seeing the results of their hard work and discipline in each successful performance.

PYB annual membership fee is $700 ($400 plus the $300 Nutcracker fee). The performance/membership fee covers: the cost of costumes, backdrop and prop rentals and purchases, theater rental, theater technical staff, professional guest artists, program printing, faculty for weekly rehearsals, and the digital download of the Spring Concert.  A photo fee is not included in the PYB fee.