student in classBelow are frequently asked questions for CLO Academy classes & activities:


Q: Do I have to audition or have experience in the performing arts to get into the CLO Academy?

A: No! Anyone between the ages of 5 – 18 may study at the CLO Academy. The Academy offers classes for beginners, as well as for the more advanced dancer, singer and/or actor.

Q: May I begin my training as a high school student?

A: Absolutely - students may begin their training at any age. Our class schedule allows students with various degrees of skill to find just the right level for challenging and fun classes, no matter their age.

Q: If I take classes at the CLO Academy, will I automatically be on stage at the Benedum Center?

A: No — however, all CLO Academy students have the opportunity to audition for the directors for A Musical Christmas Carol and applicable Summer Season productions. We encourage all of our students who meet the audition requirements to audition as the process itself is an excellent educational experience. Our classes, such as Musical Theater Technique, help students to prepare for these types of auditions.

Q: I have an 8-year-old child — is it safe coming Downtown for classes?

A: The CLO Academy is located in the heart of the Cultural District. We pride ourselves on having the best musical theater education training in the city. The area is safe and, also, we have a private security guard who knows the name of every parent and student.

Q: Does the Academy have a recital?

A: One of the educational objectives of the CLO Academy is to have 32 weeks of education. Performing opportunities are available by participating in our Fall and Spring Semester Musicals or by enrolling in the Summer Performance Camps. We also offer a Parent Observation Week at the end of each semester for family and friends to view their children’s classes.

Q: How do I decide which age level to enroll my child?

A: Age is based on the child's age of the first day of class in September. For example, if your child is 7 years old and has a birthday in October, you should enroll him/her in the 7-year-old classes.

Q: What is the difference between the Student School and Pre-Professional School?

A: Student School offers classes that are held once a week on Saturdays. This is a convenient schedule for students who are busy with sports or other activities during the weeknights but still want to fit the performing arts into their schedules.

Pre-Professional School classes meets once or twice a week on weeknights. The program embraces students interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts who are willing and able to dedicate more time to their training.


Student attendance is mandatory. If your child must be absent from class, please call 412-281-2234 x 100 ASAP. The phone answers 24 hours a day: please leave a message.

Scholarship and Financial Aid students are allotted 4 unexcused absences per semester. More than 4 unexcused absences per semester can result inthe loss of one’s scholarship or financial aid.

Outside Productions/Rehearsals: We are thrilled when CLO Academy students are cast in outside productions, but expect that they balance their rehearsals with their Academy classes. Please give a copy of your rehearsal & performance schedule to Patty Maloney to alert her of your absences. Tuition refunds will not be issued for classes missed due to outside productions..

Dress Code

After you have registered, please read the following information regarding the dress code and what to bring so you are prepared for the first day of class. Students will be excused from class if they are not properly dressed.

Acting, Voice and Piano:

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes
  • Bring a binder and pencil for handouts and notes.


For Girls:

  • Plain colored leotard
  • Plain colored tights (black, skin-tone, ballet pink)
  • Ballet – Shoes should fit snug against foot. Color must be pink. Leather shoes are preferred until upper level classes.
  • Tap – Shoes may be black or tan. They may have a heel, but a wide heel is preferred as opposed to a one or two-inch character shoe.
  • Jazz – Jazz shoes are recommended but not required. Jazz boots are not permitted.

For Boys:

  • Black dance tights or jazz pants
  • Plain white t-shirt (must be tucked in)
  • Ballet – black or white ballet shoes
  • Tap  – black, lace up shoes only
  • Jazz – recommended but not required. Jazz boots are not permitted.

For Promising Preschool & Creative Theater:

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes
  • Wear clean tennis shoes, sneakers or ballet shoes