Profile

Since 1955, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) has grown from a small, local dance studio into a sprawling facility with 14 studios in Carlisle at the CPYB Warehouse Studios, and only blocks away, at the historic Barn Studios. CPYB also holds classes in Camp Hill at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center. More than 21,000 students have passed through the esteemed institution. Currently more than 80 alumni occupy positions in highly regarded ballet companies such as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and San Francisco, to name only a few.

Under the guidance of Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, CPYB provides exceptional dance training for beginning to pre-professional dancers and enhances the cultural climate of the Central Pennsylvania region through ballet performances.

CPYB's academic year program includes Primary and Pre-Professional divisions, the Children's Division, which offers Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet and Tap for children ages 3 to 6, and the Men's Program, where male dancers acquire the skills and knowledge needed to launch their career!

Ms. Weary began producing full-length ballets in the 1960s at the local Carlisle high school auditorium with a handful of loyal dance enthusiasts. Today more than 13,100 patrons annually enjoy the beauty of classical ballet. As the Resident Ballet Company of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, CPYB's season includes both classical and contemporary performances in the fall, winter, spring, and in June. CPYB is honored as the only pre-professional school in the world licensed to perform George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®. This holiday classic is performed both at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra at the historic Hershey Theatre.

CPYB commissions new works by nationally recognized choreographers, including the CPYB Director of Artistic Programming, Alan Hineline, who has created more than 24 new works for the performing company. Many of these works have gone on to be included in the repertories of professional companies in both the U.S. and abroad. For a full listing of CPYB's repertoire, including works by George Balanchine, Price Suddarth, and Jean Williams, click here.

In 1998 CPYB initiated ChoreoPlan, a program developed by Hineline to encourage the creation of new works in the classical genre by emerging choreographers from across the nation. In 2012, CPYB developed FirstSteps, a student choreographic workshop to further enrich the training of CPYB dancers by providing the unique opportunity to learn elements of classical composition by choreographing on their peers.  

Unrivaled among ballet schools not affiliated with a major professional company, CPYB continually produces dancers for the top companies in the world. Others have continued on in various fields such as arts administration, banking, teaching, law, etc. CPYB alumni, no matter what their vocation, are enthusiastic audience members, arts advocates, and contributing members of society.

Joseph Carman, dance critic for The New York Times, wrote, “London, Paris, St. Petersburg, and New York are well known for their first-rate ballet academies, training many of the best dancers in the classical form. Add to that list Carlisle, PA, a town with fewer than 20,000 people and a modest economy driven by state government jobs and the defense industry … Marcia Dale Weary and her Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet have produced dancers well known in the ballet world.”

CPYB was featured on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine. In the article titled, Marcia’s Magic, Kristin Lewis wrote, “She produces students who have the whole package—attention to detail, early technical development and a broad socialization into the arts. It seems a given that companies nationwide will continue to be stocked with her dancers for many years to come.”

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