The Ballet Theatre of Maryland Conservatory of Dance, founded in 1978, is the only school in Maryland that offers a fully comprehensive ballet training program for the beginner student up to the professional dancer.
A focus on the healthy body aesthetic-healthy body types and healthy mentoring-is a hallmark of Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s company and school. In our goals to train fine professional dancers and share this vital art form with our community, great responsibility accompanies this prominence. In accomplishing these aims, it is central to the mission and vision of the school to expect of each student, whether or not a professional dance career is planned, the very best effort of which he or she is capable. We provide professional faculty and the best possible instruction to serve the dance needs of all students in return, and give the care and attention the student deserves, always believing in each as an individual, growing young artist. The faculty and staff of BTM are dedicated to this purpose, and provide additional resources to help meet our students’ needs.
Like other qualified professional company schools, BTM offers a complete curriculum for a future career as professional dancer as well as for the health and knowledge of the recreational dancer. It is designed to provide anatomically sound training while providing and increasing variety of special classes and performance opportunities that make greater demands on the student with each level of study mastered. The syllabus is based on the Christensen aesthetic which enhances the classical technique, Italian and Russian tradition with cross-training in contemporary dance forms and ideas, as well as holistic and scientific research to prepare graduates for the eclectic demands of dance companies now and in the future, and for granting the recreational student with the tools necessary to sustain a healthy body-throughout their lives.
According to both George Balanchine and William Christensen, “there has never been a great ballet company, without a great school, and the best ballet schools are those attached to a professional ballet company.” The opportunity to watch the professional dancers in their daily classes, rehearsals and performances, to perform alongside them in professional choreographies, to train with professionals still working in the field give students the inspiration needed to follow their passions and strive for excellence at school, at work or play, and to sustain the few who choose to dedicate themselves to years of arduous training leading to a professional career. And, of course, every student is the future of the company; many as discriminating enthusiastic members of the ballet audience, and the fortunate, dedicated few as the dancers of BTM and other nationally recognized ballet companies.