Pre-Professional Artists Program

The Pre-Professional Artists Program is designed to allow TLD to connect with the students, giving them firsthand experience with a professional company and allows the company to give back to the community. Growing our dance students supports their love for dance and helps them express individual artistry. TLD provides the students with perseverance and determination to help guide the future of the dance world. The program is good for students serious about a career in dance, choreography, or teaching.

The students in the program during past seasons attended regular rehearsals with the professional company, performed their own piece at the 2+Compliment benefit in January 2016, and danced alongside the company in March 2016 for the premier of Primary.

This season, we had the pleasure of expanding our program to include a visual artist and musician. Our Pre-Professional Dancing Artist, Maren McChesney, who has been with TLD since season 2, was the title character in our original superhero ballet, MELODY. Maren is only 14 years old and will be spending her summer (for the second year in a row) at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy's 2017 Summer Ballet Intensive in New York City.

Our Pre-Professional Visual Artist is Maren's twin sister, Phoebe McChesney. Phoebe not only created the comic book inspired artwork for MELODY, but she also danced as Melody's evil twin, Dissonance, in the superhero ballet. 

Alex Schildgen rounds out our Pre-Professional Artist Program participants. Alex came to us by way of one of our dancers, Molly Jo Mathe. Molly Jo choreographed for TLD this season and had her 16 year old cousin, Alex, compose the music for her piece. If you attended our HARMONY festival this past March, then you may have had the privilege of hearing his beautiful composition; and perhaps you even met him, as he made the trip from Lancaster, WI to witness his creation live on stage.