Press Releases

FirstSteps 2018 Participants Begin Work January 8
CPYB and New York City’s Ballet Academy East partner to develop young choreographers

Carlisle, Pa. (January 11, 2018) – In its biannual student choreographic workshop, FirstSteps, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) is deepening its commitment to developing young choreographers through a unique choreographic exchange program with Ballet Academy East (BAE) in New York City.

This first collaborative exchange program brings to fruition the vision of CPYB Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, BAE Founder and Director Julia Dubno, and BAE Artistic Director Darla Hoover to create a nurturing environment to develop young choreographers.

FirstSteps 2018, CPYB’s Student Choreographic Workshop, began on January 8 and culminates with in-studio performances on Saturday, January 27, at 3 and 5 p.m. at the CPYB Warehouse Studios in Carlisle. The public is invited to attend limited-seating performances. Tickets are $10 per person. RSVPs are encouraged and can be made at

Student Choreographic Workshop

Aspiring student choreographers submit proposals to participate in FirstSteps. This year 13 CPYB students submitted proposals for the 2018 program that included their vision for the music, type of dance, number of dancers involved, and other criteria.

All 13 aspiring choreographers were invited to participate in nine hours of choreographic composition class. Students will benefit from a deeper understanding of the compositional structure and creative process needed to become a successful choreographer.

Following the composition class, four students will be selected to produce their new, original works on fellow CPYB dancers. They will spend 12 days creating and rehearsing their new works, culminating in two in-studio showings to the public.

“Giving students the opportunity to choreograph their own works allows them to explore another facet of the art form,” explains Alan Hineline, director of artistic programming at CPYB and director of the choreographic workshop. “Bringing their creative visions to life provides an experience that enriches their dancing and matures them as artists.”

Student Exchange Program

NEW this year: A selected CPYB FirstSteps 2018 student choreographer will travel to New York City to restage their original, newly created work on BAE students. In the same manner, a student selected from BAE’s student choreographic initiative, which took place in November, will travel to Carlisle to restage their new work on CPYB students.

This new exchange program will expose the young choreographers to different groups of dancers, expanding their understanding of choreography, enriching their dancing, and furthering their personal development.

“Working with fellow dance students in a leadership role puts students in different shoes,” explains CPYB Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary. “This year, giving our aspiring students the experience of working with dancers from another school in a new environment will provide the students an even greater sense of what it’s like to have a career as a choreographer.”

“BAE and CPYB both place a high importance on developing young choreographers and creating new choreography as part of our curriculums. Working together to give students this heightened, real-world experience is exciting!” says BAE Artistic Director Darla Hoover.

Selected student works will also be performed on the Whitaker Center stage in Harrisburg, Pa., as part of CPYB’s annual June Series production.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers, choreographers and artistic staff about the workshop. For more information, please contact Shannon Cochran at 717.245.1790 or Coverage opportunities of in-studios performances are also available and must be set up through Shannon Cochran.


About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a celebrated leader in the world of dance education. Embracing an attitude of lifelong learning more than 60 years ago, founding artistic director Marcia Dale Weary envisioned a school where children would have the opportunity to receive exceptional ballet training. Today CPYB is the nationally recognized school of classical ballet with an international reputation for training young men and women. The school’s renowned teaching methodology couples performance opportunities with innovative educational initiatives, an esteemed faculty, and a proven syllabus — all in an environment that promotes the acquisition of the life skills crucial to a child’s development. As a nonprofit arts education organization, CPYB provides access to world-class ballet training through the support of generous donors.

Thousands of young people have passed through Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s acclaimed studios. CPYB alumni continually occupy top positions in the leading ballet companies from San Francisco and Miami to New York, London and beyond. Through the organization’s threefold mission – to inspire, educate and enrich – the legacy of Marcia Dale Weary and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redefines the art form, preserves its history and shapes its future.

About Ballet Academy East
With a vision of inspiring dancers of all ages and levels to achieve their greatest potential, Ballet Academy East (BAE) was founded in 1979 by director Julia Dubno. Today BAE is New York City’s leading center for complete ballet education, internationally recognized for its exceptional training. The school’s Young Dancer, Pre-Professional and Adult Divisions nurture students’ physical and emotional well-being, build technical skills, and develop artistry.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Darla Hoover, BAE’s Pre-Professional Division offers comprehensive ballet training with professional-caliber performance opportunities to prepare students for success in the dance world. BAE’s proven syllabus creates technically strong, artistically expressive dancers who adapt easily to the broad range of styles required of today’s professionals.

Ballet Academy East alumni grace the stages throughout the world in companies such as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and Miami City Ballet among others.