YOUTH Classes (4-18)

Free, Open Community Classes

Early Childhood Program, Preparatory Program, Pre-Professional Program, Open Community.
Vaccination and testing requirements do not currently apply to children ages 11 and under.

Photo: Millette White Lin

Early Childhood Program

(Ages 4-5)

Tuition-free Early Childhood Ballet/Creative Movement offered at five NORD partner locations. Registration opens the week of August 23, 2021.

Classes are September – December, 2021.

QUESTIONS? Have questions or need assistance with Early Childhood Program classes? E-mail Wanda at, or call 504.522.0996 x201.

Preparatory Program

Ages 6-18 No prior dance experience necessary.

Tuition-Free classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop offered at eight NORD partner locations. Registration opens the week of August 23, 2021.

Classes are September – December, 2021.

QUESTIONS? Have questions or need assistance with Preparatory Program classes? E-mail Wanda at, or call 504.522.0996 x201.

Photo: Millette White Lin
Photo: Millette White Lin

Open Community Classes

In-Person Ballet Technique (Intermediate/Advanced) for ages 14 and up 

With Master Artist-in-Residence Donald Williams

Fridays • 10:30am-12:00pm (CST) September 10 – December 17, 2021

No class November 26, 2021.

In-Person Graham Modern Technique (Intermediate/Advanced) for ages 14 and up 

With Corey Melancon

Wednesdays • 10:30am-12:00pm (CST) September 15 – December 15, 2021

No class November 24, 2021.

Location: Lyons Rec Center Dance Studio

624 Louisiana Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115 MAP

Challenge and strengthen your technique and artistry through these intermediate/advanced level ballet and Graham classes, led by NOBA Master Artist and former Dance Theatre of Harlem principal dancer Donald Williams and NOBA Instructor Corey Melancon. Limited spaces are available for in-person classes.

Thank you for offering these classes…I don’t know what I would have done without the biweekly reminders that I am in fact a dancer!”


Pre-Professional Programs

Ages 8-18 By Audition/Invitation Only. Limited Spaces Remain.

These tuition-free programs provide motivated students ages 8 to 18 with intensive instruction in ballet, pointe, modern, repertoire, and other dance forms, and unprecedented opportunities to study with world-renowned artists through the Master Artist Series.  Academic Year in-person classes will be held weekly between September 2021 – May 2022 at NORD partner locations throughout the New Orleans area. To see a list of program descriptions, schedules, policies and more, CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE HANDBOOK. Virtual classes are not being offered at this time.

Open auditions took place on August 6. Limited spaces remain by evaluation only for academic year Pre-Professional classes and performance opportunities. Teaching faculty includes highly qualified local instructors, and select students will receive training with NOBA Master Artist in Residence and former Dance Theatre of Harlem principal dancer Donald Williams (bio below). 

To register your child (ages 8-18) for Pre-Professional Program evaluation classes the week of August 30 – September 3, complete this ONLINE FORM.

Photo: Jeff Strout

“Access to NOBA’s programs is so important to me and my family because I can be active and do what I love for no cost, which is such a blessing.”


Donald Williams (Master Artist in Residence)

Donald Williams (Master Artist in Residence), a Chicago native, became a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1977 and ended a 27-year career with the company as premier danseur in 2004. Known for his versatility, Williams’ repertoire encompasses ballet, jazz, African and contemporary idioms. As a principal guest artist, Williams has performed with London’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, International Ballet Festival in Cuba, and starred in many other international galas. He has worked with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dances Patrelle, and Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY, creating critically acclaimed, original roles with them. Williams made his film debut in The Cotton Club, starred in numerous award-winning films, and has made television appearances and commercials. In 1998, Williams made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning musical Ragtime. In 2000, he was guest artist in the New York City Ballet/Dance Theatre of Harlem collaboration for the Diamond Project, dancing the principal roles in Robert Garland and Robert LaFosse’s Tributary and Balanchine’s Agon. He was featured in the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera and most recently with Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian Resort and Casino. Williams’ teaching credits include company teacher for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Celine Dion: A New Day, Nevada Ballet Theater, and Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, among others; school instructor for Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Ailey School, Ballet Academy East (NYC), and The Rock Center for Dance (Las Vegas); and guest teacher for Marymount College, Florida State University, Tulane University, among others. He was also personal trainer for Keanu Reeves for the film Devil’s Advocate. Williams began working as a Master Artist-in-Residence with the Center for Dance Pre-Professional Program in 2013.

These classes are by donation (suggested donation amount: $5.00-$10.00 per class). All donation proceeds support NOBA’s tuition-free dance, fitness and wellness programs.


Class capacity is limited, and filled on a first-come, first served drop-in basis at this time. Ages 14 and up only.

Registration steps 1 and 2 must be completed prior to taking a class.

  1. Complete & submit the (below) NOBA Open Community Classes Enrollment Form for ages 14+
  2. NORD COVID-19 Liability Waiver and Release form – Must bring or complete onsite signed copy of form prior to first class. NORD forms may also be submitted in advance by e-mail to

Participants who register for virtual classes agree to all terms and conditions as outlined in the NOBA Virtual Classes Waiver, Release and Indemnity Agreement.


Have questions or need assistance with adult classes?
E-mail Millette at, or call 504.522.0996 x 213


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