About DanceChance

Pacific Northwest Ballet offers students in Seattle Public School partner schools the opportunity to study classical ballet free of charge, dependent only on the students’ potential and interest in the program. 

PNB’s DanceChance program works with partner schools to identify students with talent for classical ballet.  Through DanceChance, PNB seeks to build a School and Company that reflects the diversity of our community by providing access and opportunity to talented students.

DanceChance aims to:
  • Enrich each student’s life with the opportunity to study classical ballet.
  • Cultivate a diverse Company and School
  • Train the next generation of ballet dancers.

DanceChance began in 1994 and was designed by Francia Russell, Co-Artistic Director and Director of PNB School. In Russell's words: "It is our hope that exposing these talented kids to classical ballet and other forms of dance will open up new worlds for them. Few, if any, of them would ever have known about their talent without the DanceChance program and some might never have found a productive passion in life. We feel confident that they will repay us through the fresh and diverse influence they will have on the future of our art form."


The DanceChance Screening team visits partner schools in the fall and identifies third-grade students with the unique physical aptitude and focus required to pursue a career in dance.  Selected students participate in a 9-week introductory fall session.  Students are invited to continue on to the subsequent spring session and the fourth grade class based on their progress, potential and interest.  Upon graduation from the two year program, some students are invited to integrate into PNBS Level III classes.


  • Full scholarships for classical ballet training twice a week
  • Dancewear and shoes
  • Transportation to and from PNB from their elementary school
  • Tickets to Pacific Northwest Ballet performances

In addition students receive a well-rounded dance education, including: fieldtrips to PNB’s Costume Shop, a chance to meet professional dances, and guest teachers in Modern, Hip Hop, Afro-Brazilian and Jazz.

All classes are taught by Pacific Northwest Ballet Schools’ renowned faculty of educators with live musical accompaniment.


DanceChance aims to enrich the lives of students through classical ballet training, developing beneficial skills regardless of their future career paths.  Research shows that arts education teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception, articulating a vision, learning to solve problems and make decisions, building self-confidence, and self-discipline (Americans for the Arts, 2002).


Students have the opportunity to perform in the Annual PNB School performance in the spring and often perform with the Company in PNB productions such as Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Graduates have also danced professionally with such distinguished companies as San Francisco Ballet, Singapore Dance Theater and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Are you a former DanceChance student?

We'd love to hear your story and find out where you have gone in life! E-mail dancechance@pnb.org

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