Classical Ballet Academy

About CBA

Our mission is to educate, inspire and transform dancers of all ages through the study of classical ballet. Reshaping the mind and body takes discipline and strength. CBA is dedicated to helping each individual achieve this goal.


$10 audition fee - please arrive at least 20 minutes early

Pre-Professional Dance Program Auditions and Casting for: “The Nutcracker” (Traditional Show) and
“Cracked” (A Contemporary take on the traditional Nutcracker)
Tuesday August 25th

  • 4:00-5:30 p.m. - dancer was in level 4 or 5 (or ages 9-13)
  • 6:00-7:30 p.m. - dancer was in level 6 (or ages 10-15)
  • 8:00-9:30 p.m. - dancer was in level 7 or 8 (or ages 11-25)

The Children's Nutcracker audition: August 27th

  • 4:00-5:00 p.m. - dancers joining boys ballet, ballet 1, ballet 2 (or ages 6-10)
  • 5:30-7:00 p.m. - dancers joining ballet 3 or ballet 4 (or ages 8-14)

Why choose Classical Ballet Academy
for your dance education?

1. We offer the highest quality instruction with the most affordable tuition rates in the Portland Metro area.

  • Compare us to other comparable ballet schools and you will find we keep our tuition rates low so that all can experience the joy and artistry in dance.
  • Expert teachers for all age groups and levels.

2. Serious training ground for aspiring Professional dancers

  • Pre-Professional students that train at Classical Ballet Academy are consistently recoginzed for their superior technical abilities, artistry and musicality. CBA dancers have been accepted to the top companies and schools across the nation. CBA prepares dancers for elite summer programs, college dance programs, as well as entrance into the professional world of ballet. CBA dancers have accepted to, offered scholarships and have studied at American Ballet Theater, Alonso King Lines Ballet, Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet School, Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, Kansas City Ballet School, The Kirov Ballet School, Nutmeg Conservatory and The Rock, to name a few.

  • CBA trained dancers have also accepted apprenticeships and trainee positions with local and national companies.

    CBA trains dancers, selected by the Director, to compete in the most esteemed ballet competition Youth America Grand Prix.

3. Small studio feel with individualized corrections

4. Professional quality performing opportunities in our full length Nutcrackers & Spring story ballets.

  • CBA produces professional level productions such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and Coppelia, using full scale props, sets and costumes. This is a rare opportunity for all students to dance in professional level story ballets. CBA is unique in that the training at CBA prepares dancers to perform the lead roles in all of our ballets. CBA productions have captured the attention of the media and have consistently been esteemed by sold out audiences.
  • Sarah Rigles, Director

  • Director, Sarah Rigles
    Sarah Rigles has taught all levels of ballet in the Portland Metropolitan area for over fifteen years. Sarah originally received her technical training at a small ballet school in Coeur' d' Alene, Idaho, directed by the renowned Ceci Klein, she then went onto train in the Vaganova method, accepted full scholarships to study at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and went on to accept a full scholarship trainee position with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where she performed and assistant-taught for three years. Her attention to detail and love for classical ballet has allowed her to stage and direct full-length ballets, such as the Nutcracker, as well as prepare students for ballet companies, colleges and acceptances/scholarships to prestigious summer programs such as: American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kirov Academy, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School. She also works to prepare dancers for the most acclaimed classical ballet competition Youth America Grand Prix. Her vast experience in the field, her passion for ballet and her dedication to the art form make Miss Sarah the ideal ballet school director. It has been a dream come true for her to open a school entirely dedicated to classical ballet.
  • CBA Staff
  • Candalee Wrede
    Assistant Director
  • Candalee began her dance training at age four with Marcelle Renoux, founder of the oldest dance studio in Portland. Her training included both RAD and Cechetti methods plus many techniques Miss Renoux learned from studying the Balanchine technique in New York. Candalee's dance studies were primarily in ballet and extensively in pointe and pas de deux. She also studied jazz, modern, folk and theatrical dance. At age fourteen, Candalee was honored by becoming the youngest lead soloist for Renoux's performing company which allowed her to learn and perform many classical roles as well as to learn of the art of developing complete original story ballets. She was a dance major at the University of Oregon and she continues an ongoing pursuit of the study of dance with all its different forms, methods, theories and all the aspects of physical training as well as participating in various kinds of classes.

    Candalee began teaching in 1972 as the Ballet Mistress for the National Academy of Gymnastics, training both former and future Olympians. She owned and operated her own dance studio housed in Cascade Athletic Club from 1981 to 1992. She established a Junior Ballet Company as part of the studio and the members performed original ballets such as "Pippi Longstockings" and "The Last Unicorn". She was granted an honorary teaching certificate from the State of Oregon when she designed and implemented a full dance and dance history program for Sam Barlow High School.

    Presently, Candalee pursues teaching for studios like CBA to promote a long legacy of dance training for the younger and very talented generation of dancers and studio owners in the Portland area.

  • Sissy Dawson
    Contemporary Faculty
  • Since the age of three, Sissy Dawson has studied dance in Portland, Oregon. While maintaining a primary focus on ballet she has also trained extensively in jazz, modern, West African, and contemporary dance. She graduated from the Pre-Professional Program at Classical Ballet Academy at age seventeen and went on to perform, choreograph, and be mentored by Anna Rigles in Legacy Dance Company for two years. She was asked to join staff at CBA in 2010 where she has grown to be an integral part of the school.

    Recently, she choreographed and performed as a soloist with Agneiszka Laska Dancers from 2011-2014. Career highlights include being invited by Joffrey Ballet’s resident orchestra the Chicago Philharmonic to perform ALD’s original Rite of Spring in Chicago and performing ALD’s provoking work Broken Flowers internationally in Mexico and Poland.

    Her strong foundation in ballet, quality of movement, and skill to observe and adapt to any style of dance make her an ideal contemporary dancer and teacher. Her personal style has been described as “powerful and technical”.

  • Lauren Richmond
  • Lauren Richmond received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Dance Minor from Portland State University in the spring of 2007. Lauren has performed in ballets such as: Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Coppilia, La Sylphide, La Boutique Fantasque, The Nutcracker, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Secret Garden, and A Midsummers Night Dream. Lauren auditioned for Polaris Dance Theatre in January of 2008 and participated as an understudy learning along side the company within the "Polaris 2" group. Lauren performed as a member of PSU's Ballroom Performance Team. Lauren performed with the multi-form Legacy Dance Company. Under the Direction of Sarah Rigles Lauren graduated from Classical Ballet Academys pre-professional ballet school in June of 2009. In addition to Classical Ballet Academy, Lauren has received dance instruction from Beverly Byrd, Daniel Black, Gavin Larson, Amanda Simnitt, Joan Scott, Judy Patton, Nancy Davis, Heather Jackson, Eric Skinner, Zack Carroll, Robert Guitron, Kimm Mahoney-Watson, Anna Smith, John Magnus, Lavinia Magliocco, Anita Mitchell, Les Watanabe, Melissa St. Clair, Rayne J. Tafoya, Sarah Slipper, Mary Hunt, Kim Smiley, Liuba Kozireva, Elaine Bauer, Artur Sultanov, Rachel Lidskog, Anya Klimova-Preston, Donna Oefinger, Rafaela Gillette, Russell Bruner, and Brenda Russell. Lauren's personal movement vocabulary has expanded into multi dance forms including: Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Post-Modern Dance, Contemporary Ballet, Ballroom, Latin Dance, Afro-Cuban, Flamenco, Tango, Blues, West Coast Swing, Balboa Swing, Lindy Hop, and Charleston Swing.
    Lauren fulfilled her dream of becoming a professional dance artist by joining Kinetic Images Dance Company in March of 2008. Lauren was formally accepted as a ballet instructor at Classical Ballet Academy in the spring of 2009. Lauren is currently a professional dancer with Agnieszka Laska Company. Lauren firmly believes in the hope that; nothing in life is impossible if you work hard toward your goal. Her dance career history is a testament to all adult and beginner dance students that it is never too late to start dancing and to find success in it.

  • Lori Corrigan
  • Mrs. Corrigan's passion for dancing started at a very young age when she studied both classical ballet and tap. Through her teenage years she became entirely dedicated to ballet. Mrs. Corrigan trained through the Royal Academy of Dancing in Salem and in Lake Oswego. She additionally danced with the Salem Theater of Performing Arts, and performed as a dancer in the Portland Broadway Production of "Hello Dolly."

    Mrs. Corrigan received her B.S. degree in Social Sciences at Portland State University white continuing her passion and joy for dancing through college ballet courses. She then went to work full-time in a Public Relations career before starting a family and becoming a stay-at-home mom. Mrs. Corrigan recently taught a ballet Enrichment Class at Willamette Primary School in West Linn and is now excited to join the teaching staff of Classical Ballet Academy.

  • Michelle Kirkpatrick Johnson
  • Michelle is from Portland, Oregon and found her desire to dance during childhood encouraged by Nancy Yeamans of Portland Metro Performing Arts, Metro Dancers, and summer workshops with Jeremy Ives. At Jefferson High School Michelle studied under Mary Price Boday and received an Outstanding Dancer award. Michelle graduated from Willamette University with a degree in Biology. She and her husband have two children. Michelle returned to ballet in earnest and is a dancer, instructor, choreographer, performer and rehearsal assistant. "What drives me is the artistry, creativity and physical fitness, and an understanding that in ballet one's efforts go toward one of the beautiful things about life," says Michelle. She is thrilled to be working with the accomplished Miss Sarah Rigles, staff and students of Classical Ballet Academy.

  • Susan Fischer
  • Susan Fischer fell in love with ballet after seeing Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev perform. She first studied in her home town of Pittsburgh, then Atlanta where she studied and danced with the Atlanta Ballet. She was able to study with some of the greats in New York City, including the School of American Ballet Theater before leaving dance to pursue other interests. She attended Oberlin College and Parsons School of Design and went on to become the VP of Design for GapKids In NYC. She moved to Portland in 1991 for a life style change, and began to teach fiber arts to underserved and at risk children with both Friends of the Children, and Caldera.
  • Kelsey Adams
  • Kelsey Adams, a native of Portland, began dancing at the age of 4. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop, and has since taught dance for over 8 years. In addition to dancing with Pure Dance Company and Nonsense Dance Company, Kelsey has also danced with Agnieszka Laska Dancers, performing throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as internationally and with the Chicago Philharmonic. In 2013, she received a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Portland State University, and worked with a group researching the physics of ballet. She is currently co-directing Wild Rumpus Dance Company with the mission to of revive jazz dance in Portland.

Find a Class

  • Programs

    Children's Dance Program

    Creative Movement: 45 minutes, Ages 2 ½ - 3 ½
    Pre-Ballet 1: 45 minutes, Ages 4-5
    Pre-Ballet 2: 45 minutes, Ages 5-6
    Beginning Ballet: 45 minutes, Ages 6-7
    Boys Ballet: 1 hour, Ages 6-13
    Advanced Beginning Ballet: 1 hour, Ages 8-13
    Intermediate Ballet 1 hour class 2x week, Ages 8-16
    Ballet 1: 1 hour/week, Ages 7-9
    Ballet 2: 1 hour 2x/week, Ages 7-9
    Ballet 3: 1 ½ hours 2x/week plus 1 hour pre-pointe, Ages 8-12
    Ballet 4: 1 ½ hours 2x/week plus 1 hour pointe, Ages 9-13
    Fusion Class (Introduction to Contemporary, Jazz, Modern) 1 hour/week, Ballet levels 3 and 4

    The teaching staff at CBA begins working with children as young as 2 ½ . Their patience and experience with children allow them to elicit dramatic improvements in student's technique, physical awareness and discipline. This training impacts all aspects of their lives and will prove to be invaluable in years to come. Creative Movement classes begin the process of body awareness, rhythm and classroom etiquette. Pre-Ballet I and II classes continue the introduction to ballet in a nurturing and fun way. Dancers in Beginning Ballet learn alignment fundamentals and ballet basics. After Beginning Ballet dancers are join our Ballet program (Levels 1-4); after level four they are tracked into our Pre-Professional Ballet Program or our Teen/Adult Open Ballet Program.

  • Open Teen/Adult Classes

    Teen/Adult Absolute Beginner Series 1: designed for individuals with little to no experience. Class is consecutive and will progress each week. Recommended for ages 15+.
    Teen/Adult Absolute Beginner Series 2: designed for dancers who have completed Absolute Beginner Series 1 and/or have previous dance experience. Recommended for ages 15+.
    Open Adult Ballet: designed for Intermediate/Advanced Students. Recommended for ages 15+.
    Open Adult Pointe class: Instructor Permission only. Recommended for ages 15+.
    Open Adult American Contemporary Ballet: designed for Advanced and ex-professional dancers. Recommended for ages 15+.

    Designed for absolute beginning Teen/Adults through Former Professional Dancers. Open/Drop In Classes and performing opportunities if desired. For Ages 14+. Ballet is more than a dream for young dancers. It offers grace, flexibility, discipline, and valuable exercise for students of all ages. Adult Students at CBA have enjoyed the benefits of classical ballet training such as: renewed confidence, physical and mental stamina, muscular rejuvenation, and a support network of peers working towards goals and encouraging one another. All classes are "Drop In" (you do not need to pre-register or commit to monthly classes *with the exception of Absolute Beginning Series classes); class cards are available through the office. There is no dress code for Open/Drop In classes (please wear dance attire). We have classes designed for different ability levels as well as master level teachers ready to take adult dancers seriously and push all dancers to achieve their individual goals.

  • Pre-Professional Dance Program

    *All classes require an audition and acceptance to the program by the Director of the school.

    Pre-Professional Ballet 5: 1.5 hours 3x/week plus 1 hour pointe, Ages 10-15
    Pre-Profesional Ballet 6: 1.5 hours 4x/week plus 1 hour pointe, Ages 11-16
    Pre-Professional Ballet 7: 2 hours 4x/week plus 1 hour pointe/variations, Ages 12-21
    Pre-Professional Ballet 8: 2 hours 5x/week plus 1 hour pointe/variations, Ages 13-21
    Pre-Professional Contemporary 1,2,3,4, 5
    Pre-Professional Jazz 1,2, 3
    Pre-Professional Modern 1,2

    CBA will provide a serious training ground for aspiring ballet dancers. A positive and nurturing environment focused on individual attention will allow each dancer to develop their specific strengths and sense of artistry. Dancers can now audition to be a part of the Pre-Professional Dance Program that will include Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Modern. The professional world of ballet is requiring dancers to be extremely well rounded in multiple forms of dance. CBA wants to prepare dancers for the professional ballet world, professional dance world and college dance programs. Placement in the Pre-Professional Program is by audition only. Because of the intense physical and mental requirements for classical ballet training some dancers will not be admitted into the Pre-Professional Program. Admission to the program is at the sole discretion of the Director. Class sizes are limited. Please call 503-890-6101 or email to schedule an audition.

    (Participation in all pre-professional Nutcracker performances and spring performances expected.)

Annual Shows

  • CBA produces professional level productions such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and Coppelia, using full scale props, sets and costumes. This is a rare opportunity for all students to dance in professional level story ballets. CBA is unique in that the training at CBA prepares dancers to perform the lead roles in all of our ballets. CBA productions have captured the attention of the media and have consistently been esteemed by sold out audiences.

    All dancers will be given the opportunity to perform in our annual Nutcracker shows as well as our Spring Story ballets. Shows are separated according to level. This year there will be four different shows to highlight all of the dancers at CBA.

    1. A Showcase for all Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet Classes

    2. A full length show for all of our Beginning Ballet, Boys Ballet, Ballet 1, Ballet 2, Ballet 3, Ballet 4, Advanced Beginning Ballet and Intermediate Ballet dancers.

    3. An alternative show for all of our Pre-Professional Contemporary, Jazz and Modern dancers.

    4. A traditional full length story ballet for all of our Pre-Professional Ballet levels 5,6,7 and 8.
  • OUR 2015 - 2016 PRODUCTIONS

    Nutcracker 2015
    Lincoln Hall, Portland State University
    December 17th-20th 2015

    Spring Story Ballets

    May 19th-22nd 2016

    Dance Collaborations, our annual charity* event
    Our annual fundraiser performance
         *All proceeds will be donated to a TBD charity


  • Register now >>

    Creative Movement
    (45 minutes, $65)
    (Ages 2.5 - 3.5)

    (45 minutes, $65)
    (Pre-I: Ages 4-5,
    Pre-II: Ages 5-6)
    Pre-Ballet IA
    Pre-Ballet IB
    Pre-Ballet IC
    Pre-Ballet ID
    Pre-Ballet IIA
    Pre-Ballet IIB
    Pre-Ballet IIC
    Pre-Ballet IID

  • Beginning
    (45 minutes, $65)
    (Ages 6-7)
    Beginning A
    Beginning B
    Beginning C
    Beginning D

    (1 hour, $75)
    (Ages 8-13)

    Intermediate Ballet
    (1 hour 2 times per week, $105)
    (Ages 8-16)
  • Children's Ballet Program
    Ballet 1A, 1B, 1C (1 hour once per week, $75) (ages 7-9)
    Ballet 2 (1 hour 2 times per week, $105) (ages 7-9)
    Ballet 3 (1.5 hours 2 times per week plus 1 hour pre-pointe, $190) (ages 8-12)
    Ballet 4 (1.5 hours 2 times per week plus 1 hour pointe, $190) (ages 9-13)
    Intermediate Ballet (1 hour 2 times per week $105) (ages 8-16)

    Open Teen/Adult Dance Classes
    $17 per drop in class or purchase a class card for $150 for 10 classes (ages 15+)
    Open Adult (for Intermediate/Advanced Adults; recommended for ages 15+)
    Open Adult Pointe class: (Instructor Permission only) $30 a month
    Adult Absolute Beginning Series ** (8 week sessions) Monday days or Thursday nights (full session 8 classes = $100)
    Beginning Adult Series will progress to Beginning Adult II Series.

    *Once 5 (or more) dancers have Pre-signed up the class will begin and continue for 8 consecutive weeks
    **Contact for more information and to register for Absolute Beginning Ballet Sessions.

          Session 1: 9/14-11/5
          Session 2: 1/4  2/25
          Session 3: 2/29-4/28 (spring break week off 9 week session)
          Session 4: 5/2 - 6/23

    Pre-Professional Program
    (All classes in this program require an audition and/or instructor permission to attend.)

    Ballet 5 (5 hours per week $245) (ages 10-15)
    Ballet 6 (5.5 hours per week $255) (ages 11-16)
    Ballet 7 (7 hours per week $300) (ages 12-21)
    Ballet 8A (7 hours per week $300) (ages 12-21)
    Ballet 8B (8 hours per week $325) (ages 13-21)

    Pre-Professional Supplemental Dance Program
    Jazz A (1 hours per week) $60
    Jazz B (1.5 hours per week) $70
    Modern 1 (1 hour per week) $60
    Modern 2 and 3 (1.5 hours per week) $70
    Contemporary 1, 2 (1 hour per week) $60
    Contemporary 3, 4 (1.5 hours per week) $70
    Contemporary 5 (3 hours per week) $120
    *UNLIMITED Supplemental Classes (3 or more classes) $200 a month

    Advanced Competition Classes/Elite Competition Groups (YAGP/NYCDA)
    *These classes/rehearsals are by instructor invitation only and cannot be requested by dancers/parents. Tuition fees are based on variations/number of pieces that will be performed. Please see Office for specifics on monthly tuition for this.

    Schedule subject to change at any time.

Studio Schedules for Fall 2016 - Spring 2017


September 6th: Classes Begin
October 31st: CLOSED after 5:00pm for Halloween
November 23rd - November 27th: CLOSED Thanksgiving
December 19th - 24th: STUDIO CLOSED, Nutcracker/Winter Show Week
December 25th - January 6th: Winter Break

March 27th - April 2nd - CLOSED Spring Break
Annual Charity Show - Dance Collaborations - TBA
May 16th - May 21nd - STUDIO CLOSED, CBA Spring Show Week
May 29th: CLOSED Memorial Day
June 24th: Last day of Classes - Summer Schedule starts