bergenPAC's Performing Arts School offers an electrifying dance program under the direction of roberta mathes. Our professional teaching artists have a rich history of training children and young adults in a positive setting, whether their goal is to develop into a skilled performer or simply dance for fun! Everyone has an opportunity to dance on bergenPAC's Taub Stage in student showcases.

We offer a variety of classes for all ages and abilities, including Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Modern Jazz, Horton, Afro Modern, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Acrobatics. More serious-minded students can enroll in the Pre-Professional program, which offers college guidance and includes more performance opportunities. 


Earn College Credit! 

Learn more about the Dual Enrollment Program at Bergen Community College. There are currently six classes where high school juniors and seniors can receive college credit from Bergen Community College: The Performing Arts School Show Chorus, Advanced Jazz Dance, Teen Acting Technique, Summer Musical, Private Voice Lessons, and Private Piano Lessons. These college credits are transferable to many colleges in the state of New Jersey! 

Class Schedule 2024-2025

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Acro is a performance art form that combines balance, strength, agility, motor coordination and tumbling exercises with the artistry of dance and the athleticism of gymnastics. In this class dancers will work on backbends, somersaults, and fundamental balancing needed in walkovers, handstands, and cartwheels. As students master these pre-requisite skills, they safely progress to more advanced work such as scorpions, aerials, handsprings, and layouts. Then they seamlessly integrate it into choreography. Throughout the class, students are challenged on an individual basis and learn to work together creating group tricks and variations. 

*Ballet required for Acro



  • Pre-Ballet

This one-hour class introduces students to the absolute fundamentals. They do floor stretching, barre work, rhythmical exercises and learn dance ettiquette, ballet positions, coordination and spacial awareness. 

  • Child Ballet

These classes are progressive in structure, introducing the discipline of classical dance. Students learn basic positions, the use of turnout, and the importance of proper posture. Children develop coordination and footwork skills through barre work and center exercises. They continue to learn ballet terminology and begin to put steps together.  

  • Pre-Teen/Teen Ballet

Teachers build from the child ballet syllabus and strengthen the exercises at the barre to increase students’ physical strength and ability. At this level instructors attempt to improve flexibility in crucial muscle groups, strengthen dancers’ lines, and work on expression and basic performing skills. 

  • Intermediate/Advanced Ballet

As students continue their education in classical dance, the focus is on technique, perfecting lines, refining their movement, and gaining more control and mobility at the barre and in the center. Exercises are more demanding, and footwork is more complicated. Performing skills are also emphasized. 

  • Pointe 

Students learn the fundamentals of pointe work. Dancers must have at least three years of proper ballet training and take a minimum of three classes a week. Pointe is demanding on the body and especially on the feet; sore feet and blisters often occur. At the beginning level, we make sure pointe shoe fits properly and show students the correct way to tie them. Correct ballet technique, alignment, and balance along with proper turnout and strength in the legs are required in order to avoid injury. The mastering of basic pointe gives the dancer proper use of the floor and allows for freedom in complicated steps. “En pointe” students will learn short excerpts of classical repertory. 


This class emphasizes urban and street movement, popping and locking, along with jazz isolations, new style reggae, body waving and break dancing techniques all done to the beats of popular and Hip-Hop music.  


All jazz warm-ups embody a strong ballet and modern foundation, based on the “mathes technique” with an emphasis on correct posture, torso exercises, footwork, leg extensions, floor stretching, sit-ups, and pushups. Dancers repeat progressions across the floor (grand battements, turns, leaps) and learn to put the steps together in different sequences all done to popular and contemporary music. At the end of each class, students will learn a combination varying in style from week to week. 

In more advanced classes, Roberta continues the “mathes technique” training system. Abdominal (core) strength and endurance are emphasized through body alignment including a series of contractions and releases, isolations, and floor work. At this level students gain more muscular control while increasing flexibility, improving extensions, learning how to sustain movement with more ease, linking one step with another and forming artistic expression. Progressions are more challenging, and choreography is more diversified including Latin, lyrical, soulful, upbeat, or theatrical jazz, working on one style for several weeks. 

All Pre-Professional classes: it is mandatory to take two ballet classes per week. 

Modern & Contemporary (Including Horton and Afro Modern)

These classes are done barefoot and emphasize balance and control, weight shifting and use of gravity. Our contemporary class draws on a more aggressive way of moving and builds strong, athletic dancers. 

Modern will explore numerous contemporary techniques, including Graham, a modern dance method devised by the esteemed Martha Graham, Cunningham, and other modern styles. 

Horton, the training system of the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, is a grounded and structured modern dance technique allowing dancers to strengthen their lateral muscle groups.  

Afro Modern will focus on combining traditional African dance stylings and modern strength and movement techniques.  

*All Pre-Professional classes: it is mandatory to take two ballet classes per week. 


There are different techniques and a range of styles that cover the basics of tap dancing: soft shoe, hoofing, and Broadway tap. We cover the fundamental use of musical patterns with footwork (heal toe) and the shifting of weight. These classes are progressive in difficulty, beginning with simple relaxed footwork, across the floor exercises and then in more advanced classes students develop separation of sound, use of swing rhythms and more challenging rhythmical patterns done a capella or to music. 

Pre-Professional Program 

Our Pre-Professional classes offers the dancer (between 13-18 years)  an individualized curriculum. Student take a minimum required number of classes in classical ballet, Horton, modern jazz (mathes technique),  enriched by other dance electives – tap, hip-hop, voice or musical theater. Proper technique and dance training are emphasized to develop strong, well-rounded dancers. Annual evaluations are done. Masterclasses and workshops are offered. 

Our pre-professional dancers will be a part of the Dance Ensemble and have opportunities to perform in NYC and throughout the community. 

Attendance and Lateness

Consistent attendance is crucial. Make-up classes are encouraged and should be taken during the session enrolled. Please inform us of anticipated absences. Call the school to schedule make-ups. Students who arrive more than fifteen minutes late will be asked to observe class. 


No refunds. Credit may be given due to prolonged illness with a medical note.