Developed in 2015 by professional dancer, founder and director, Kelly Yankle, Ballet Academy North is a pre-professional ballet program with classes for passionate and serious students who wish to be trained properly in ballet technique. Students will learn proper ballet terminology, proper placement and all of the skills that pre-professional ballet training encompasses. The minimum requirement for Academy levels 2-5 is two ballet classes per week, it is not an option to just take one, as the classes build off of each other. If you want to take only one class per week, you must take studio ballet. This will help them improve not only as ballet dancers but in all forms of dance. They will be exposed to repertoire from historic classical ballets, as this is another vital part of dance education. These classes are advanced, faster paced and more serious than that of Studio Ballet Classes. There is a higher expectation concerning focus, technical and artistic ability, as these classes are meant to feed into the Ballet Academy North Company. Ballet Academy North Classes include levels 1-5. Ages 6 and up. Class placement for the Academy is decided by our Ballet Director, Kelly Yankle, after a trial class.
Kelly was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine with a focus on her professional dance career while being a full time college student.
Kelly was born in Canton, Ohio. She has been a professional ballet dancer and teacher for 13 years. She began studying ballet at The School of Canton Ballet on scholarship at the age of ten, where she then received scholarships to prestigious ballet schools such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, The School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Chautauqua Institution. Kelly danced professionally in corps de ballet, soloist, and principal roles for The Cincinnati Ballet and The Sarasota Ballet. She choreographed a world premiere on The Sarasota Ballet Company in 2014, as well as solos and group pieces at multiple dance schools. She taught at the Sarasota Ballet School, and Haven Dance School in Northport, Florida. She has been a regular guest teacher at The School of Canton Ballet, as well as many other schools all around the country. She is a faculty member of the national touring dance programs, Ballet Matters, and TRIBE, directed by Jeff Wolfe and Seth Robinson, as well as a judge for their Fire and Ice Dance Scholarship Competition. Kelly is well versed in teaching all age ranges, ballet class, pointe class, variations, pas de deux, contemporary, choreography, as well as pilates and injury prevention classes. She served as a faculty member at The Cincinnati Ballet School and was heavily involved with outreach programs that focused on bringing ballet to struggling areas. While dancing professionally, Kelly also studied at the University of Cincinnati on a full dance scholarship and was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Pedagogy, as well as a heavy emphasis on the Spanish language (Kelly is a certified tutor) and emphasis on anatomy and physiology. She is well equipped to educate our dancers in Pilates, proper stretch and strength techniques and injury prevention. Some of her favorite roles include William Forsythe’s New Sleep pas de deux, “Russian Girl” in George Balanchine’s Serenade, and “Kitri” in Don Quixote.
This is a true pre-professional ballet company for the serious dancer wishing to focus on proper ballet, pointe and contemporary training. We are a rare, formally accredited program that values and upholds what it means to operate under the term “pre-professional.” The majority of dancers in Ballet Academy North Company have aspirations of dancing in college and/or dancing professionally. It is a rigorous program designed to ensure students are adequately prepared should they desire a future in dance. The students learn and rehearse professional, classical and contemporary repertoire, the same as professional dancers in a company would. They have opportunities to work with world renowned professional dancers and guest choreographers and teachers, as well as perform in the annual Nutcracker Performance, Valentine’s Day Performance Series, Spring Showcase and community outreach performances, staples of true pre-professional concert dance. Select dancers may be invited to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix, “the world’s largest international student ballet competition which awards $250,000 in scholarships each year to dance schools within the United States and internationally.” They are taught to audition for upper level ballet schools and educated on what the life of a dancer is truly like from our Ballet Director, Kelly Yankle(see full bio for details). Due to the academy curriculum and training structure, Ballet Academy North Company dancers have been accepted and received scholarships to the most prestigious ballet schools in the country, such as The Houston Ballet School, Ellison Ballet, The Rock School, Boston Ballet, The Cincinnati Ballet Academy, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre NYC, to name a few. In addition to technical and artistic training; dedication, discipline, strong work ethic and perseverance are expected from all Company Members. Grades in school must be kept up in order to be a member of the company. This program is a commitment.
The Company is broken into three branches; First Company, Apprentices, and Second Company. Please contact director, Kelly Yankle, for details on age, requirements and auditions or any further questions.
- Studio Ballet Level 1 is a beginner level class.
- Studio Ballet Level 2 is an intermediate level class.