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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Community College Of Allegheny County And The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation Enter Into Partnership


a??As Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) begins to celebrate its 50th anniversary, a??Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Schoola?? a??(PBT School) has entered into a partnership with the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation (Redefining Education Achieving Associate Degrees for Youth) to offer PBT School Pre-professional students the opportunity to earn their Associate of Arts Degree in tandem with their high school diploma.

Under the chairmanship of Kenneth Nickel, The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation's mission is to help all Performing Arts students continue in developing their talent, education, and self-esteem to their fullest potential. Nickel along with Dr. John Gall created the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Program to achieve this mission. Nickel, a native of Pittsburgh, began his professional dance career at PBT and rose through the ranks to become a Principal dancer at age 21. "I am truly grateful for the education and support I've had through the years," he said, "and even more grateful to give back to PBT and its students."

Through the inventive early college in high school academy, CCAC has been able to reach more students at a younger age to assist in furthering the students' education. With the direction of Dr. Quintin Bullock, CCAC President, and Jeffrey Thomas, Dean of Academic Affairs - North Campus, the partnership formed with the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation to offer the R.E.A.A.D.Y. program to PBT School Pa??re-professional students a??to earn their associate degree while continuing their professional training at PBT. "CCAC stands ready and willing to provide educational opportunities to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's students and performers," states Thomas, "I am very grateful to our friends at PBT and the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation for making CCAC a partner in higher education."

"It's important that all students, whether they choose to pursue careers in dance or not, possess sound academic education that will benefit them in the future," says Aaron Rinsema, director of operations at PBT School. "This partnership with CCAC and R.E.A.A.D.Y. will help create a pathway for continued education and help our students position themselves for future success in and out of the studio."

PBT School commenced their school year classes on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 as PBT kicks off their 50a??tha?? Anniversary Season. This educational program, made possible by PBT School's

Director of School Operations Aaron Rinsema and PBT's Executive Director Harris N. Ferris, will help to diversify dancers' skills and prepare them for careers beyond performing.

PBT School, CCAC, and the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation will be scheduling a town hall meeting in the coming weeks to review the program, benefits, and options with the a??Pre-professional studentsa?? and company dancers. About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBT School) Under the direction of PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Co-directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, PBT School provides a diverse dance curriculum to more than 1,500 students annually across its Children's, Student, Pre-Professional and Community divisions. Ranging from pre-ballet to pre-professional, PBT School fosters the expression, discipline and joy of ballet at every level and cultivates the next generation of professional dancers. As an integral part of their training experience, students enjoy daily exposure to the professional company and a range of performance opportunities in student and company productions in downtown Pittsburgh. a??PBT School's bright, state-of-the-art facility is located in Pittsburgh's Strip District. For class schedules and package pricing, visit a??www.pbt.orga??.

Pre-professional Division (Ages 13 years and up) The Pre-professional Division trains the next generation of professional dancers with career-track curriculum inspired by the realities of a professional ballet company. PBT School welcomes an average of 200 out-of-state, local and international students into our intensive training program each year. Students train six days a week in a classically based curriculum. Dancers have regular exposure to the PBT company and artistic staff and have several main-stage performance opportunities with them throughout the year, including their own Pre-professional Showcase at the end of the school year.

About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Since its founding in 1966, CCAC has flourished, becoming the educational powerhouse it is today-a nationally renowned two-year college dedicated to serving all members of the community. From groundbreaking student success initiatives to top-ranked academic and career-based programs, CCAC continues to be the college of choice for nearly one out of every three adults in the Greater Pittsburgh metropolitan region.

Every year, more than 25,000 students enroll at CCAC, taking advantage of nearly 160 degree, certificate, diploma and transfer programs while thousands more access noncredit and workforce development courses. Comprising four campuses and five neighborhood centers, as well as other off-site locations, CCAC is honored to have one of the largest veteran student populations in the state and takes pride in ranking among the nation's top community colleges for the number of individuals graduating in nursing and other health-related professions.

CCAC graduates have transferred to the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities, have obtained the most academically challenging and competitive degrees and can be found at

leading companies, organizations and institutions throughout the country. CCAC alumni are actively engaged in every sector of society, providing leadership to scores of economic, scientific, civic and philanthropic entities both in the Pittsburgh region and around the world. Visit to learn more.

About the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to help performing arts students with a Dream, Face the Challenge to Achieve Success. For more information, please visit a??reaadyfoundation.orga??.

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