Orlando Ballet offers high-quality instruction in Dr. Phillips

Orlando Ballet School’s South Campus allows students of all levels to get dance training from highly trained instructors — right in Dr. Phillips.

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  • | 10:00 a.m. August 3, 2016
The senior summer intensive program is geared toward students who hope to join a company.
The senior summer intensive program is geared toward students who hope to join a company.
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It sits among residential areas — single-family homes, apartments and family-friendly areas.

It’s not exactly where you’d think you’d find a ballet studio, but actually, that’s what makes Dr. Phillips the perfect location for Orlando Ballet School’s South Campus. 

“It’s a residential area for year-round residents,” said Marion Tonner, the principal of the South Campus. “It is full of subdivisions — Windermere and the surrounding areas in Dr. Phillips. Their families choose this area to raise their children. We have lots of very good schools in this area. I’ve noticed a popular explosion in this area just in the short time that I’ve been involved, which is about six years. It’s just an amazing array of cultures.”

The campus draws families from Winter Garden, Windermere and Clermont, and even as far away as Polk County. 

Instructor Amy Seawright, a faculty member for Orlando Ballet School, has taught a wide range of classes — from young children at the South Campus to classes for the professional company. 

Seawright has professional experience herself — she danced in the company at Miami City Ballet and in Suzanne Farrell Ballet, the company at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

“Ballet gave me such a wonderful career and taught me so many lessons — not just in ballet but life lessons,” Seawright said. “I love passing that on.”

Orlando Ballet School is one of few schools certified by American Ballet Theatre, and it strictly follows ABT curriculum. Once students are about 8 years old, they audition to be placed in preprofessional classes, which sets the student on track to progress to the professional level. The school also offers classes for young children and adults.

And even if dancers don’t have professional aspirations, they are learning technique and form from highly accomplished performers and instructors.

It’s not all about ballet. The South Campus offers classes in everything from tap to Pilates. 

Seawright said it’s essential students get the level of training Orlando Ballet School offers, whether they plan on becoming professional dancers or they are dancing for recreation. 

Younger dancers also get the opportunity to perform. In addition to the showcase held at the end of each year, dancers can audition for smaller roles in the company’s performances of shows such as “The Nutcracker.” Orlando Ballet sees the opportunity to perform as essential to student’s learning. 

“It’s so important for the children to understand that it’s not just a class,” Seawright said. “In any sport, baseball and football, you have practice and you have a game — you say, ‘oh, OK, I get it.’” 

To stay certified at ABT, the school undergoes a rigorous examination period. A professional from ABT comes to observe each classroom, scoring the instructor on both how the class is taught as well as the form and technique of the students.

It’s a nerve-wracking experience for teachers, but the result is a connection to an elite school few other dance studios can offer.


Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected]


Men dance in the same program as women, but they sometimes will have separate classes to focus on strength training, while the women work on pointe. The school hopes to give men the opportunity to become professional, because the competition from men sometimes isn’t quite as fierce as it is for women at the professional level.

Orlando Ballet School Preparatory CLASSES

Before joining the company at Orlando Ballet School, there are a few levels of training students can try. While the South Campus does not offer these classes, it offers a preparatory program that students interested in the company — but not ready for the beginning stages — can join. 

Orlando Ballet South Campus

Dellagio Town Center Orlando Dr. Phillips, 7988 Via Dellagio Way No. 204, Orlando

(407) 352-9733

WEBSITE: orlandoballet.org


Children up to age 6 can attend a free trial class at the South Campus to see if they are interested in signing up to dance.

3- to 4- year-olds: 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16

5- to 6-year-olds: 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16


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