Preparatory Dance Program

About Preparatory arts Dance

The Loyola University Preparatory Arts Dance Program offers classes in a variety of levels and styles for a wide range of age levels. Our students come from a wide array of backgrounds and experience levels.

Our classes provide quality instruction in a supportive environment with experienced instructors, with emphasis placed on correct alignment, terminology, and skill execution. Our classes provide our community with opportunities to experience and develop skills in various dance styles within a supportive environment. We are also proud to offer a dance class for children with special needs for ages 5-13.

We take pride in the quality of our faculty. Every teacher is an experienced instructor, has years of professional performance and choreography experience, as well as advanced degrees in dance, education, or social work. We are also active members of the New Orleans dance community, currently working with local companies including Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble, D’Project Inc., Ballet Hysell, and others.

Dance for Children with Special Needs: Ages 5-13. Instructor: Lisa Richardson.  Saturday, 1:00-2:00 p.m., October 6 - December 15.  Room 106. Tution: $175.  Class size is limited, so register early!

This class welcomes children with special needs to experience the mental, physical, and social rewards of dance class! Our instructor has over 15 years of experience as a special education teacher, as well as 20 years of dance teaching experience. Students will develop motor skills,  creative expression, gain confidence, and have fun!

Adult Workshops

Saturday Series Workshops: NEW!  ages 13+.  A monthly two hour workshop on a different topic, with alternating instructors. $20, cash, check, or credit card.

Workshop #1: Saturday, September 22nd, 1:00-3:00, Room 106 - Yoga/Contemporary Fusion with Renee Gaubert

Class will begin with an invigorating vinyasa yoga flow, introducing various shapes and exploring the mind-body connection while ensuring proper alignment. Students will then learn a contemporary dance phrase incorporating the same shapes, and deepening the exploration of how movement promotes healing and self-expression.

Adult Classes: Open to ages 13+. All levels of experience welcome. Drop in rates available.

Adult Ballet: Instructor: Alyssa Stover. Thursdays 6:30-8:00 pm. October 4th-December 13th. $150 for the full workshop, or $17 drop in rate. 

This class is open to the community and all levels of experience. In this class, we focus, we focus on fundamentals of proper alignments, efficiency of movement, and developing familiarity with ballet vocabulary and combinations. Class begins at the barre, where students learn alignment and build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Class then progresses to center combinations, as well as movement across the floor. Center work can include jumps, turns, adagio, and leaps. In order to provide a welcoming environment for students of various experience levels, the instructor often provides options or modifications to combinations, along with individual attention, in order to ensure that each student is challenged, while working at an appropriate level.

Adult Tap: Instructor: Renee Gaubert. Mondays 7:30-8:30 p.m. October 1st-December 10th. $100 for the full workshop, or $12 drop in rate. 

This class is open to the community and all levels of experience. Students learn basic tap steps to build coordination, rhythm, musicality, and individual expression. As class progresses, combinations of steps develop in complexity and length, as dancers develop familiarity with the steps and build confidence.

Yoga:  Instructor: Alyssa Stover. Tuesdays 5:00-6:00. October 2nd-December 11th. $100 for the full workshop, or $12 drop in rate. 

This class focuses on alignment along with flowing movement sequences linked with invigorating breath. Whether it’s an invigorating physical practice you’re looking for, or some time to tune into your body and press “pause” on your daily mental to-do list, come create some space for yourself to experience the discipline and joy of a yoga practice! Students will explore movement, breath, and increased awareness in a safe, supportive environment free of judgement from others or themselves. Any level of experience is welcome, from the beginner to the longtime practitioner!

Ballet Boot Camp with Pointe option: Instructor: Alyssa Stover. Wednesdays 6:00-7:00 p.m.October 3rd-December 12th. $100 for the full workshop, or $12 drop in rate. 

This class is open to any dancer who wants to build up their ballet skills, whether on pointe or not! We will focus on strengthening the feet, ankles, legs, and core muscles that are essential for pointe work. Students will have the option to wear pointe shoes, if they so choose, but this is not required! This class will differ slightly from a traditional ballet class in that the focus will be on strengthening work, making it ideal for either a pointe student or a ballet student wanting to build their fundamentals. This class will be a great way for ballet students of any level to build their fundamental skills, whether their goal is pointe work or not.


Preparatory Dance Program Links

Dance Instructor: Alyssa Stover

Alyssa Stover holds an M.A. in Dance Theories and Practices from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she studied under Dr. Jill Green, B.J Sullivan, Cynthia Ling Lee, and Dr. Ana Paula Hofling. She served as a department TA, teaching courses in ballet and dance appreciation, as well as the President of the Association for Graduate Students in Dance. She received her B.F.A. in Dance and History from Tulane University, where she was a member of the Newcomb Dance Company and performed faculty works by Alice Pascal Escher, Barbara Hayley, Beverly Trask, John Allen, and Michaela Cannon.

Alyssa is an active member of the New Orleans dance community. She has performed with Ballet Hysell and D’Project since 2010, with Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble since 2017, and as an independent artist around the city. Her choreography for D’Project has been performed in Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud, Whispers and Voices, The Death Monologues, Let’s Dance: A Modern Dance Tribute to David Bowie, and Et Tu? A Show of Life, Death, and Rebirth. She teaches for the Loyola Preparatory Arts Dance Program, ballet and jazz at Loyola University, offers adult ballet and contemporary classes around the city, and recently became a certified yoga teacher through the Wild Lotus 200 hour yoga teacher training program. 

More Dance at Loyola University

Meet our Company in residence: Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble! 

Free ethnic and character dance classes are available Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm in the first floor dance studio of the Communications/Music Complex at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street.

Komenka was established in 1979 as a non-profit New Orleans arts organization with the purpose of portraying international folk cultures through dance and music.  Since its inception, Komenka has been informally and continually affiliated with Loyola University, particularly through its dance program. The ensemble includes professional and semi-professional artists from throughout the greater New Orleans community.

Costumes are replicas or carefully designed adaptations of authenticated regional folk dress.

Awards and Recognition: Komenka was the recipient of the first ever Big Easy Classical Arts Award for Ethnic Dance Presentation in 1993, and has received that prestigious award on numerous occasions since that time. In 2010, Komenka was extremely proud to have been selected as a “Community Arts Award” honoree by the Arts Council of New Orleans in recognition for Komenka’s continual and outstanding record of artistic achievement since 1979. For more information, please contact John Rodi, Executive Director, at 504-529-4676, or via email at