The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre




2015/2016 Annual Session begins September 8th!

Placement Classes: June 13th & August 15, 2015

Fall Placement Classes
Jingzi Photography

SOBT is the official training ground of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Students receive exemplary training from our world-class faculty, emphasizing pure classical technique. This experience is enhanced by invaluable opportunities to perform in fully staged productions at the Keller Auditorium alongside the professional dancers of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Performance opportunities this fall include Napoli and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker!

If your child has a passion for dance, join us Saturday, June 13th, for a free placement class for this fall's annual session, for Class Levels 1 - 6 (ages 8 and up).

2:30 – 3:30 pm
3:30 – 4:30 pm
15 and older
4:30 – 5:30 pm

Placement classes will be held at OBT studios: 818 SE 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97214. Class times are divided by age group as noted below. Registration is on-site and will begin 30 minutes prior to each class time.

If you can't make it on June 13th, we will be holding a second day of placement classes on August 15th!

Please note that placement classes are required for new students. Current SOBT students do not need to attend a placement class, but feel free to share this information with any aspiring dancers that you may know.

SOBT also offers classes for students aged 3 - 7 for which NO placement class is required. Pre-registration for these classes is currently open with registration officially beginning on July 1, 2015. Class sizes are limited and are filled on first come basis.


Level 1 - 6, Pre-Professional Division, Apprentice Program
Prospective students, age 8 and above, are required to attend an audition or take a placement class to determine acceptance and level. Level placement is based on the student’s skill and strength. Auditions are held in Portland, Oregon in early August for the following Annual Session. SOBT Summer Intensive auditions occur simultaneously with OBT auditions, January through March, during our international tour (Chicago, Houston, Japan, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver BC). Please see the website for audition locations, dates, times, and details.

Admission into the Pre-Professional Division Program and the Apprentice Program is by invitation only, at the discretion of the School Director and OBT Artistic Director, Kevin Irving. Preference is given to students enrolled in SOBT for a period of one year or longer. It is recommended that students in both programs have completed high school.

Non-Discrimination Policy
SOBT does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, color, or national/ethnic origin in administration of its admission criteria, education policies, scholarship programs, or any other school-administered programs or activities.


Pre-Ballet offers an introduction to music and dance. Students are taught to connect imagery with movement and begin to develop coordination, listening skills, and musicality. Pre-ballet classes introduce basic ballet vocabulary and class etiquette, beginning the nurturing process for a love of dance. Pre-Ballet students must be age 3 for Annual Session admittance; there are no exceptions.

First Steps
As part of our Pre-Ballet program, First Steps serves as a bridge between Pre-Ballet and Level 1. Students in this level are 7 years old. First Steps students are introduced to the most fundamental elements of ballet. Some students will skip this level and move straight into Level 1. Placement and admission into First Steps are at the School Director's discretion.

Level 1
Level 1 provides the basis and foundation upon which all future classes are built. The curriculum taught at this level is extremely important and cannot be overemphasized. Students learn correct placement of the body and positions of the arms, legs, and head. In addition, students are encouraged to develop their musicality and artistry during class.

Level 2
Material taught in Level 1 is repeated and developed in Level 2. Tempos and numbers of steps increase. Students add strength and speed to their basic technique. This class begins to concentrate on coordination between the upper and lower body.

Level 3
Level 3 students continue to develop the material learned in Level 2, while also learning more complex exercises at the barre. They are introduced to pirouettes, adagio, and allegro in the center. Students begin pointe work.

Level 4
These intermediate-level students focus on the coordination of the whole body to include the arms, legs, head, and torso. More difficult steps are taught at the barre and center, including pirouettes and allegro, as well as beats and an increased amount of pointe work.

Level 5
Students in Level 5 concentrate on the development of strength, stability, balance, aplomb, and elevation. More complicated adagio and allegro combinations are introduced.

Level 6 / Professional Program / Apprentice Program
Advanced students refine, strengthen, and reinforce all aspects of their training in this level. Pointe work is emphasized and the ability to learn and perform repertoire is stressed.

Please Note: Students in Level 2 and higher are encouraged to take lower division classes, tuition free, to help speed their development. Some students will be assigned full lower-level or partial upper-level (i.e., barre only) classes as part of their mandatory curriculum. These additional assignments are not optional.

Placement / Level Advancement

Students progress in their training by developing work ethic, discipline, strength, and technique. Not all students do this at an equal pace. Most importantly, technique milestones must be reached before progression can occur. Placement and progression to the next level is by recommendation of the Faculty only. We do not place or advance students solely based on their age or on their level at a previous ballet school. Parents are asked not to approach teaching staff with questions about their student’s progress nor is it appropriate for parents to question current level placement or recommend graduation to the next level. Students, on the other hand, are encouraged to interact with staff at appropriate times or schedule appointments if they have questions or concerns with regard to level progression, technique, injuries, etc.

“Dedication and hard work are a constant at The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Because of this, not only do we become better dancers, but we develop traits which make us better people. In addition, the support my teachers and fellow students provide helps make my SOBT experience as fabulous as it is.”

–SOBT Student

2015/2016 TUITION
The tuition prices below include an annual $15 registration fee.
Pre-Ballet 3/4
Pre-Ballet 5/6
First Steps
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6
Pre-Professional Program
Full Scholarship

Scholarship Information

Call 503.227.6890 for audition and registration information or email

Photo: George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15. Choreography by George Balanchine© The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Eric Griswold.

The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre