One of the Centre’s most successful programs is its ballet department under the direction of master instructor Elisabeth Harris, who has gained a reputation for both her innovative choreography and for her remarkably well-trained students. Dancers from the ballet department have won scholarships to such prestigious institutions as the Pennsylvania Governor’s School Ballet program, the Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Educators of America School of Ballet Arts. Students have gone on to perform with major companies including the New York City Ballet, the Miami Civic Ballet and the Tampa Ballet.

The Joan Harris Centre stresses proper technique and terminology in all of its ballet classes regardless of age or years of study. The school’s approach to ballet is based primarily on the French and Vaganova schools of training; however, to provide a more complete education, students are also introduced to the Cecchetti Method.

Unique to the Joan Harris Centre, each spring the studio produces a full length ballet in the spring which features all the ballet students of the school, from the most advanced to the youngest dancers. The older dancers will perform the actual repertoire that these classic works demand while our gifted choreographers will adapt other elements of the ballet to allow everyone to participate. It has always been an important covenant of the centre that all students who study ballet be given the opportunity to perform in a full length show to help them better understand the concept of telling a story through dance.

Each year the studio alternates the style of ballet to be performed, introducing its students to the various forms from Classic, to Romantic, to Character to Avant-garde works. Past performances include, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, La Fille Mar Gardee, Snow White, Puss In Boots, Boutique Fantasque and the original work, Corciev, The Grieving Wood.