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


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

The goal of acting is to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in professional theater. In Pre-Teen Acting, students learn the fundamentals of analyzing text and creating character. Focus includes identifying beats and intentions, what motivates the character, and establishing time and place. Students will then apply these techniques to monologue and scene study.

Acting - Beginner
Ages 12-18: Monday • 5:30-6:30pm
Ages 12-18: Tuesday • 5:00-6:00pm
Prerequisite:Pre-Teen Acting or comparable experience

This class will further equip students with the tools they need to perfrom with confidence in a professional arena.  Students will work on skills such as how to play objectives, work from center, build a world of the imagination, and create a character.  Students will advance to applying their skills to more challenging roles.  Content includes scene study, monologues, and improvisation.

Acting - Intermediate
Ages 12-18: Monday • 8:00-9:00pm
Ages 14-18: Thursday • 7:00-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Acting - Beginner

Acting 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 an exercises, students will be guided through the basics of performing in front of an audience.

Acting - Advanced
Ages 14-18
Wednesday • 5:00-6:30pm
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 - Production
Ages 14-18
Thursday • 6:30-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Pre-Teen Acting

Learn the skills required to prepare a role for performance and be challenged to delve deeper into your acting studies. Students will develop skills to create genuine characters, expand their range, and play objectives. This class culminates in a live on stage performance for family and friends. 

Acting for TV & Film
Ages 12-18
Monday • 6:30-7:30pm
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 • 4:00-5:30pm

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.

Improvisation and Sketch Comedy
Ages 10-18: Saturday • 2:00-3:00pm

"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.


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

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.

Pop/Rock Vocals
Ages 10-18
Wednesday • 8:00-9:00pm
Saturday • 2:00-3:00pm

NEW! Learn the latest vocal technique to hit Broadway by studying age-appropriate classic rock & pop material. Master phrasing, rhythm, and the many different styles of popular music in a fun and supportive environment.  A great class for music enthusiasts ages 10-18!

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 - Beginner
Ages 10-18
Mondays and Wednesdays • 5:00-6:30pm

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 - Intermediate
Ages 10-18
Mondays and Wednesdays • 6:30-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Ballet - Beginner

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 - Advanced
Ages 10-18
Tuesdays and Thursdays • 5:00-6:30pm
Prerequisite: Ballet - Intermediate

Students will incorporate their mastery of Beginner and Intermediate Ballet as the tempo at barre speeds up and the use of complex rhythm is introduced.  Students should exhibit a strong sense of complex rhythm and musicality. 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.  
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 13-18
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 - Beginner
Ages 10-18
Mondays and Wednesdays • 6:30-8:00pm

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 - Intermediate
Ages 10-18
Mondays and Wednesdays • 5:00-6:30pm

Prerequisite: Jazz - Beginner

This level will reinforce the importance of proper body alignment, flexibility, and fluidity of movement.  Students will 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 - Advanced
Ages 10-18
Tuesdays and Thursdays • 6:30-8:00pm
Prerequisite: Jazz - Intermediate

Jazz - Advanced incorporates elements of both classic and modern jazz technique to develop confident, polished dancers. 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.
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

Beginner/Intermediate Levels:
Wedensday • 8:00-9:00pm

Advanced Levels:
Thursday • 8:00-9:00pm

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

Tap - Beginner
Ages 10-18
Thursday • 6:00-7:00pm
Saturday • 1:00-2:00pm

Prerequisite: Pre-Teen Tap 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 - Intermediate
Ages 10-18
Thursday • 5:00-6:00pm

Prerequisite: Tap - Beginner

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 - Advanced
Ages 10-18
Wednesday • 4:00-5:00pm
Prerequisite: Tap - Intermediate

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.