The Studio, School of Classical Ballet is the official academy of Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre.  The academy has provided pre-professional classical ballet training to Santa Cruz County since 1976.  Founding director, Jean Dunphy, formed the non-profit Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre to provide performance experience to her students.  Directed by Diane Cypher since 1998, the school has trained hundreds of dancers over the years and has successfully prepared many for the field.  

Our director leads a team of fully professional instructors who teach the professional aspirant and recreational student alike.  Our academy offers distinct programs: Professional Training Program, Preparatory Ballet Program, and Adult Program, ensuring that no matter what your desires are, the academy will meet your needs.  See our Programs page for more information.

Our official syllabus is based on the time-honored Vaganova teaching method, with influences from the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet syllabus, as well as our own extensive teaching experience.  We pride ourselves in upholding the rigorous standards of training set forth by The Ballet Alliance, an organization of pre-professional ballet companies that Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre is a proud member of.

The Studio and SCBT do not discriminate on the base of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.  Our studios foster a healthy and supportive learning environment for our students and families.  Theft, bullying, or otherwise non-supportive actions and behavior are not tolerated and are grounds for dismissal from the premises.

We strive to instill a love of dance in each student, while preparing serious students with the rigorous training required for a career in classical ballet, should they possess the talent and work ethic necessary.  Students are approached with respect, knowledge, professionalism, experience and are guided to their full potential.  Our faculty has a vast knowledge of the physical, mental and artistic requirements of classical ballet, and it is our joy to instill that knowledge in each of our students.  See the Alumni page for examples of our success.

Ballet training has been proven to develop cognitive thinking as well as physical fitness.  Many of our students have overcome dyslexia, and some autism spectrum disorders have been minimized through our programs.  Our programs develop self confidence, emotional maturity, spatial awareness, cooperation with others, self-awareness, organizational skills, determination, capacity for memorization, as well as the physical attributes of flexibility, strength, coordination, endurance, grace, agility, artistry.  Students learn to understand the gratification of reaching long-term goals.  Under the guidance of our expert faculty, a student with almost any type of body can be trained to become a lovely dancer, through commitment, determination and hard work.  Whether our students wish to pursue a career in the professional field or not, they will take with them many important skills which will last a lifetime. 

Our office staff works both remotely and on the premises.  Please email our Registrar for a quicker response than leaving a voice mail.

Registrar: Sandy Nelson
Assistant Registrar: Wendy Butler
(831) 479-1600

Summer office hours:
The office is open during class times

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION - includes brochures and forms




Facilities/Studio Rental


Leslie Swaha Award


Academy Director 
Diane Cypher 

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