The Rock School for Dance Education

The Rock School for Dance Education mission focuses on excellence in dance training and in nurturing children and young people. At The Rock School they learn patience, persistence, attention to detail, discipline, teamwork and self-motivation. The School is primary, The R Company is secondary.

The Rock School for Dance Education has developed a reputation as one of the nation’s top pre-professional training programs. The School’s primary goal is to produce classically trained and versatile dancers, which The School has done for nearly 50 years.

The School’s exceptional faculty, individual attention, unique in-house academic program, supervised residence program, nurturing environment, personal attention, and the success of its alumni attract dancers from around the globe. Approximately 1,500 dancers audition each year.

In 1963, at the urging of her mentor, George Balanchine, Barbara Weisberger established the School of Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1986 Bojan Spassoff became director of the School. After six years of steady growth, in 1992, The Rock School became an independent institution focusing intensely on its mission, Excellence in Dance Education. Over the past 21 years, building on a strong artistic foundation with co-director Stephanie Wolf Spassoff, Bo Spassoff and the Trustees of The School have succeeded in growing the reputation and programs of a small regional ballet school into the internationally acclaimed Rock School for Dance Education.

During its nearly 50 year history, The School has developed dancers for the premier companies of the United States as well as a host of other internationally known ballet companies in Europe and Asia. It offers a full range of programs for all ages. The Rock School experience instills in students self-discipline and an eagerness to learn, enriching their lives regardless of the careers they ultimately pursue.

The Rock School owns the Ballet Center at the southern end of the Avenue of the Arts, providing a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility on Philadelphia’s cultural corridor. The Rock School’s faculty includes distinguished instructors and choreographers, as well as current and former dancers from major companies 

The Rock School welcomes talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The School does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, gender or religion in its admissions procedures, employment policies, or the administration of its programs and activities. The Rock School has the approval of the United States Justice Department for the enrollment of non-immigrant foreign students, and is recognized as a superior institution by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Rock School was selected Outstanding School at the Regional Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Philadelphia YAGP regional competition encompasses a region south of New York City and through the Washington, D.C. area. The Rock School was also selected Outstanding School at the 2007 New York City YAGP finals.

The Rock School’s multifaceted community outreach program aims to make dance more accessible to underserved urban youth in the greater Philadelphia area. Designed to make a significant, long lasting impact on a child’s social, artistic, and academic life, RockReach serves students in parochial, charter, public, and Title I schools in Philadelphia.

Our three-pronged initiative enhances the lives of economically disadvantaged youths and offers them a safe space to explore, grow, and express themselves through creative outlets. Established in 2000, RockReach now serves over 10,000 Philadelphia children.

In-School Residencies engage students during 36 weeks of high-quality dance instruction that is integrated in each participating school’s curriculum. Currently serving 14 schools, local students participate in one or two dance classes a week and are granted free access to select Rock School performances.

Dynamics of Dance provides participants with free, interactive, energetic performances by Rock School students. Designed to inspire children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see classical ballet, children are invited to share the stage with Rock students and learn basic ballet terminology and positions.

Through City Dance Scholarships, RockReach integrates 30 students into The Rock School after-school training program, offering free tuition and dance supplies through high school for economically disadvantaged students who maintain a required GPA. RockReach not only shares dance with local communities, but also helps to shape the children who are Philadelphia’s future.

ROCK CENTER is the School’s main facility, located on the Avenue of the Arts at 1101 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Rock Center houses five floors fully equipped with six state of the art sprung-floor studios, in-house costume shop, a delicious & nutritious 2nd floor Café and a Boutique for dancewear and Rock School merchandise. Rock Center also offers Residence for students training far from home as well as an Academics program for grades 7-12.

Rock Center is primarily geared for those seeking training in classical ballet, but Rock Center also offers instruction in Hip Hop/Urban Dance. Students range from as young as three years old all the way up to 20+ years for students training for Company placement.

ROCK WEST is the School’s suburban campus, located in the Goshen Village Shopping Center at 1510 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. Rock West houses five state of the art sprung-floor studios and offers dancer wear and Rock Merchandise. The Rock School West is a not for profit dance school that offers instruction in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, theatre, and contemporary dance styles for all age groups.

The School trains students from suburban Philadelphia, preparing talented young artists for careers as professional dancers, as well as providing an exceptional experience for those who simply enjoy dance as an activity. The School instills creativity, discipline and confidence and has seen firsthand how the study of dance can inspire productive work habits in students’ other activities and careers.

We invite you to take a look at the extensive list of notable alumni that have passed through the doors of The Rock School for Dance Education. Click here to view the list now.

Learn more about The Rock School for Dance Education by visiting them online.

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