Preparatory Dance Program

About Preparatory arts Dance

The Loyola University Preparatory Arts Dance Program offers classes in a variety of levels and styles for a wide range of age levels. Our students come from a wide array of backgrounds and experience levels.

Our children’s classes provide quality instruction in a supportive environment with experienced instructors, with an emphasis on developing motor skills, creativity, and musicality. Our adult classes provide our community with opportunities to experience and develop skills in various dance styles within a supportive environment. We are also proud to offer a dance class for children with special needs for ages 5-12.

We take pride in the quality of our faculty. Every teacher is an experienced instructor, has years of professional performance and choreography experience, as well as advanced degrees in dance, education, or social work. We are also active members of the New Orleans dance community, currently working with local companies including Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble, D’Project Inc., Ballet Hysell, and others.

Children’s Courses: All children’s courses are taught in a non-competitive, supportive classroom, with careful attention to each child’s development. Emphasis is placed on correct alignment, terminology, and skill execution. Placement of your child in the appropriate level class is subject to instructor approval.

Dance for Children with Special Needs: Ages 5-13. Instructor: Lisa Richardson.  

This class welcomes children with special needs to experience the mental, physical, and social rewards of dance class! Our instructor has over 15 years of experience as a special education teacher, as well as 20 years of dance teaching experience. Students will develop motor skills,  creative expression, gain confidence, and have fun!

Basic Ballet/Tap Combo: ages 4-6. Instructor: Renee Gaubert. 

An introduction to basic ballet and tap fundamentals including positions of the arms and feet, coordination, posture, introductory movement vocabulary, spatial and body awareness, and musicality. Students will discover the joy of movement, and develop social and creative skills in a safe, supportive environment that lays the foundation for further skill development.

Level 2 Ballet/Tap Combo: ages 7-9. Instructor: Renee Gaubert

This class builds on the skills learned in Basic Ballet/Tap. Dancers will learn the structure of a traditional class format, while developing social skills and discipline in a supportive environment that moves at a safe pace and prepares the students for further study.

Jazz: Instructor: Renee Gaubert

This course introduces jazz dance principles to dance students, such as turns, footwork, and isolations, with an emphasis on musicality and personal style. The study of jazz will enhance a student’s range of skills, and improves poise, rhythm, and coordination.

Adult Classes and Workshops. Dates TBA
Adult Ballet: Instructor: Alyssa Stover

This class is open to the community and all levels of experience. In this class, we focus, we focus on fundamentals of proper alignments, efficiency of movement, and developing familiarity with ballet vocabulary and combinations. Class begins at the barre, where students learn alignment and build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Class then progresses to center combinations, as well as movement across the floor. Center work can include jumps, turns, adagio, 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: Instructor: Renee Gaubert

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 Stover

Alyssa Stover 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. 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, Let’s Dance: A Modern Dance Tribute to David Bowie, and Et Tu? A Show of Life, Death, and Rebirth. 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

Meet our Company in residence: Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble! 

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.

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