Preparatory Dance Program

About Preparatory Dance

Loyola University's preparatory dace program offers a variety of classes to interested members of the community. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. The aim of these classes is to provide a basic understanding of the dances in a safe environment while skills are being built. 

Adult ballet: This class is open to the community and all levels of experience. In this class, we focus on fundamentals of proper alignment, efficiency of movement, and developing familiarity with ballet vocabulary and combinations. Class begins at the barre, where students learn proper alignment and build strength, flexibility and endurance. Class then progresses to center combinations, as well as movement across the floor. Center combinations can include jumps, turns, adagio movements, and leaps. In order to provide a welcoming environment for students of various experience levels, the instructor often provides options or modifications to combinations, along with individual attention, in order to ensure that each student is challenged, while working at an appropriate level. 

Adult tap: This class is open to the community and all levels of experience. Students learn basic tap steps to build coordination, rhythm, musicality, and individual expression. As class progresses, combinations of steps develop in complexity and length, as dancers develop familiarity with the steps and build confidence. 

Preparatory Dance Program Links

Dance Instructor: Alyssa Haney

Alyssa Haney holds an M.A. in Dance Theories and Practices from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she studied under Dr. Jill Green, B.J Sullivan, Cynthia Ling Lee, and Dr. Ana Paula Hofling. She served as a department TA, teaching courses in ballet and dance appreciation, as well as the President of the Association for Graduate Students in Dance. Her thesis research focused on gender, race, and class in neo-burlesque performance, and she presented that research at the Congress on Research in Dance conference. She received her B.F.A. in Dance and History from Tulane University, where she was a member of the Newcomb Dance Company and performed faculty works by Alice Pascal Escher, Barbara Hayley, Beverly Trask, John Allen, and Michaela Cannon.

Alyssa is an active member of the New Orleans dance community. She has performed with Ballet Hysell and D’Project since 2010, with Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble since 2017, and as an independent artist around the city. Her choreography for D’Project has been performed in Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud, Whispers and Voices, The Death Monologues, and Let’s Dance: A Modern Dance Tribute to David Bowie. She teaches for the Loyola Preparatory Arts Dance Program, ballet and jazz at Loyola University, offers adult ballet and contemporary classes around the city, and recently became a certified yoga teacher through the Wild Lotus 200 hour yoga teacher training program. 

More Dance at Loyola University

Not looking for Ballet? Meet our Company in residence: Komenka! 

Komenka was established in 1979 as a non-profit New Orleans arts organization with the purpose of portraying international folk cultures through dance and music.  Since its inception, Komenka has been informally and continually affiliated with Loyola University, particularly through its dance program. The ensemble includes professional and semi-professional artists from throughout the greater New Orleans community.

Costumes are replicas or carefully designed adaptations of authenticated regional folk dress.

Awards and Recognition: Komenka was the recipient of the first ever Big Easy Classical Arts Award for Ethnic Dance Presentation in 1993, and has received that prestigious award on numerous occasions since that time. In 2010, Komenka was extremely proud to have been selected as a “Community Arts Award” honoree by the Arts Council of New Orleans in recognition for Komenka’s continual and outstanding record of artistic achievement since 1979.

Interested in Komenka? Free ethnic and character dance classes are available Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm in the first floor dance studio of the Communications/Music Complex at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street.

For more information, please contact John Rodi, Executive Director, at 504-529-4676, or via email at