Pittsburgh CLO Academy

The Cast of CLO Academy's Anything Goes

The Pre-Professional School

The Pre-Professional School at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy is designed for students 10-18 planning to pursue a higher level of education and future career in theater arts. Here, students will be able to hone their craft alongside working professionals while growing into their own artistry.

Course Descriptions

Acting & Musical Theater

Acting 1
Ages 13-18: Tuesday • 5:00-6:00pm
Ages 12-18: Monday • 6:00-7:00pm

The goal of acting is to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in professional theater.  Students will work on skills such as how to play objectives, work from center, build a world of the imagination, and create a character.    Acting 1 will challenge students to delve deeper into their study with more complex material and exercises, and will introduce basic audition etiquette and preparation through mock auditions.

Acting 2
Ages 14-18
Monday • 6:00-7:00pm
Prerequisite: Acting 1

Acting 2 will encourage students to build upon the fundamentals of acting technique, including an understanding of theatrical beats, character objectives and motivations, text and theatrical concept analysis, creating characterization, and being present in the work.  By using acting games and exercises, students will be guided through the basics of performing in front of an audience.

Advanced Acting
Ages 14-18
Thursday • 7:00-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Acting 2

Advanced Acting will challenge students to create complex characters and bold choices through dramatic and comedic monolgue and scene study.  Students will compare and contrast both classic and contemporary theater pieces as they work to refine their acting techinque. 

Acting for TV & Film
Ages 12-18
Monday • 5:00-6:00pm
Saturday • 9:00-10:00am

Commercial, television and film acting requires a vastly different skill set from performing on a stage. Learn to love the camera and formulate those fundamental skills while strengthening your acting technique. Guest instructors from local casting agencies offer their expertise so you jump into auditions for Pittsburgh's growing film scene with confidence and ease.

Audition Techniques
Ages 11-14
Saturday • 10:00-11:00am

This course is essential for any actor looking to pursue a career in theater.  Develop the skills needed to successfully represent yourself during an audition, including cutting and selecting songs, arcing a character, and developing contrast in your audition package.  In addition to invaluable critique, this course will also focus on the business of being an artist.  By the end of this course, each student will have learned how to confidently present themselves and their material in a professional setting and how to choose material appropriate to the type and style of the audition.

College/Audition Techniques
Ages 14-18
Monday • 4:00-5:00pm

Saturday • 9:00-10:00am

In addition to the skills listed in our Audition Technique course, this class will focus on developing and refining a college audition package that includes both in-depth monologue study and song execution.

Ages 14-18
Thursday • 6:00-7:00pm

What do directors look for in auditions and productions?  Become the best actor you can be from all perspectives, and learn what it takes to sit in the Director's Chair!

Improvisation and Sketch Comedy
Ages 10-18: Saturday • 1:00-2:00pm

"Yes, AND!" Learn the basics of improv through improvisational excercises, technique study, and sketch comedy.  This course will foster a thorough understanding of comic timing and comedic collaboration, while teaching students how to be active, successful scene partners.

Pre-Teen Acting
Ages 10-13
Tuesday • 6:00-7:00pm

In Pre-Teen Acting, students learn the fundamentals of breaking down a piece, including identifying beats and intentions, determining who they are talking to, what motivates the character, and how to establish time and place. They will then apply these techniques to monologue and scene study.


Students are encouraged to explore and develop vocally as both a soloist and ensemble member.  Students will work on solo, small group, and ensemble literature to build self-confidence and improve their vocal skill. 

A Capella
Ages 10-18
Tuesday • 7:00-8:00pm

Saturday • 2:00-3:00pm

Learn how to perform modern pop music using your voice as your only instrument! Discover the vocal performance techniques behind the music of the hit movie Pitch Perfect and popular groups like Pentatonix.

Pre-Teen Voice
Ages 10-13
Tuesday • 5:00-6:00pm

Pre-Teen Voice will focus on basic elements of breathing, tonal support, diction, tone quality, harmony, and vocal health.  Fundamental elements of musicianship, including the basics of music reading and notation as well as harmonic balance will also be addressed, through the use of the Dalcroze Methodology and Solfege. Students will be given the opportunity to choose their own solo literature, with recommendations from the instructor as to repertoire that would be beneficial to their vocal development.

Teen Voice
Ages 13-18
Saturday • 11:00am-12:00pm

In Teen Voice, students to continue their mastery of basic vocal technique with more complex and contrasting material.  In addition to group material, students will be encouraged to create new exercises and present solo work in class, and will study age-appropriate songs from the musical theater genre in a fun and supportive environment.


To participate in Pre-Professional Dance, students must have completed Pre-Teen levels 1 & 2 or comparable dance experience, and complete a placement with school Principal, Patty Maloney.  For questions or to schedule your placement, please call 412-281-2234.

Ballet 1
Ages 10-18
Tuesday and Thursday • 5:00-6:00pm

Ballet is the foundation of all dance styles. Learn this essential technique in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.  Objectives in this class are to learn and understand the purpose of the 5 positions of the feet.  Students must demonstrate an understanding of arm positions, with an emphasis on 2nd position at barre.  Proper placement of the legs devant. A la seconde and derrier must be shown.  Students should be able to achieve relieve in sous sous and working toward stability balancing on one leg.  Students must be able to execute combinations for plie, tendu, jete, fondu, rond de jambe and grand battement at barre without confusion.  Students must also show respect for the class and the art form by exhibiting exceptional class etiquette, including following the dress code and having consistent attendance.

Ballet 2
Ages 10-18
Tuesday and Thursday • 6:00-7:00pm
Prerequisite: Ballet 1

This level builds on the same objectives of Ballet 1 with the focus on more clearly executing footwork at barre, including brushing through the foot when moving through positions.  Positions coupe and passé are achieved by pointing the foot off the floor.  There is a strong emphasis on symmetry and maintaining stability in the standing leg.  Students will work to maintain proper shape of the arm for an entire combination and focus on lengthening the working leg and consistently pointing the foot.  Additions to barre work include pas de cheval/develope and envelope in croix, adagio and frappe.  Temps lie and chasse will be introduced.  Students will also begin center work and static balances with ¼, ½, and full pirouettes, small jumps, glissade, and glissade with assemble.  Students will continue developing their technique, as the complexity of the exercises increases. 

Ballet 3
Ages 10-18
Monday and Wednesday • 5:00-6:15pm
Prerequisite: Ballet 1 & 2

Students will incorporate their mastery of levels 1 and 2 as the tempo at barre speeds up and the use of complex rhythm is introduced.  Additions to the barre include inside leg work, balance in extension and rond du jambe en l’air.  Students should have an understanding of weight transfer and center of gravity while working through and pointing the feet.  Center work emphasizes waltz/balance, pas de bourre (for pirouette, allegro ending sous sous and in plie).  Students will execute large and small jumps from two legs to two legs, two legs to one leg and one leg to two.  

Ballet 4
Ages 10-18
Monday and Wednesday • 6:15-7:30pm
Prerequisite: Ballet 1, 2 & 3

In our fourth level, students should exhibit a strong sense of complex rhythm and musicality.  They should be able to coordinate wrists and ankles moving and arriving together, and will finish lines and work musically while maintaining proper placement and alignment.   Dancers should have the ability to understand the use of space and maintain distance in relation to other dancers.  They should seek and maintain rotation at every opportunity, on two legs, on one and while jumping. Center work will incorporate adagio and grand allegro.

Hip Hop
Ages 12-18
Saturday • 12:00-1:00pm

This upbeat class will introduce dancers to the foundation and technique of hip hop dance Immerse yourself in high-energy combinations and dynamic exercises that will teach you the fundamentals of popping, locking, breaking and social dancing.  Students will focus on developing the control, style, and technical precision that defines hip hop technique, all while executing choreography with confidence and personality. As a result, students will be able to develop musicality, rhythm, and overall body awareness. Great for all skill levels!

Jazz 1
Ages 10-18
Tuesday and Thursday • 6:00-7:00pm

This level of jazz focuses on strength and flexibility, proper body alignment, self-expression and the use of rhythm. Students of this level will follow the instructor through a warm-up, execute across the floor exercises with a partner, and learn choreography.  An understanding of proper classroom behavior is taught as well.

Jazz 2
Ages 10-18
Tuesday and Thursday • 5:00-6:00pm

Prerequisite: Jazz 1

In this introduction to jazz technique, students will learn the importance of proper body alignment, flexibility, and fluidity of movement.  This level build upon a fundamental understanding of body awareness, style and jazz terminology, as well as the ability to learn choreography.  Students should have enough flexibility for splits, enough musicality to count music, and enough discipline to conduct themselves respectfully in a classroom.  Plies and pirouettes will be introduced.

Jazz 3
Ages 10-18
Monday and Wednesday • 6:15-7:30pm
Prerequisite: Jazz 1 & 2

This level requires a proficiency in jazz terminology, mastery of style and well-developed sense of rhythm. Choreography will be taught at a faster pace and with greater complexity, and will focus on developing clean lines and fluidity between movements.  Students will be led through a series of exercises meant to challenge and improve their technique that include stretching, plies, pirouettes, and across-the-floor exercises.

Jazz 4
Ages 10-18
Monday and Wednesday • 5:00-6:15pm

Prerequisite: Jazz 1, 2 & 3

Jazz 4 incorporates elements of both classic and modern jazz technique to develop confident, polished dancers.  Students will execute combinations with advanced musicality, performance quality and technical precision.  Across the floor patterns, turns, and jumps will become increasingly complex as the class progresses through the curriculum.

MT Dance Styles
Ages 10-18
Monday • 7:30-8:30pm
Prerequisite: Dance Levels 3 or 4
Offered First Semester Only

Thursday • 7:00-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Dance Levels 1 or 2

Learn the history, terminology, and technique of the classic Broadway choreography, including Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, and many more. Pre-professional dance experience required.

Pre-Professional Dance
Ages 10-18
Saturday • 1:30-3:30pm
Prerequisite: Ballet 1, Jazz 1 or comparable dance experience

Offered Fall Semester only.

Students will build on the objectives in Ballet 1 and Jazz 1 as they continue to build their technical skill, strength and flexibility. Focus of this class will be on proper body alignment and foot positions, self-expression, musicality, and advanced rhythmic understanding in boht ballet and jazz technique. Across the floor patterns, turns, and jumps will become increasingly complex as the class progresses through the curriculum.

Tap 1
Ages 10-18
Wednesday • 5:00-6:00pm

Prerequisite: Pre-Teen Tap 1 & 2 or comparable dance training

One of the most sought-after dance styles, this course will give you a thorough introduction to the world of Tap. Focus at this level will be on mastering the fundamental steps, understanding the correct terminology, demonstrating a well-developed sense of rhythm, and learning basic choreography.  Students will be able to identify each step and execute them with a sense of musicality. 

Tap 2
Ages 10-18
Wednesday • 4:00-5:00pm

Prerequisite: Tap 1

Building off of the first course, students will master more advanced rhythms and patterns through focused exercises and more complex tap choreography.  Students will also be able to identify specific steps by sound only. 

Tap 3
Ages 10-18
Thursday • 4:00-5:00pm
Prerequisite: Tap 1 & 2

For our more advanced tappers, students will be challenged with syncopated patterns and choreography, and will execute complex tap combinations with a proficient rhythm and coordination.

Tap 4
Ages 10-18
Thursday • 5:00-6:00pm
Prerequisite: Tap 1, 2 & 3

For our most advanced students, this course will focus on contrasting styles of tap dance, including both classic and modern tap progressions. Students in this level will exhibit excellent coordination, advanced mastery of rhythm/syncopation and the will learn complex patterns and tap choreography with confidence and ease.