Ballet Youth

Radford University Ballet Youth

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance


Radford University Ballet Youth, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, provides inspired training to dancers ages 3-adult. The Ballet Youth Program offers students the unique opportunity to perform in University productions of the Nutcracker and Evening of Ballet alongside Radford University dance majors. This partnership enables our students a rare glimpse into the collegiate world of dance, offering them a level of professionalism and preparation for continued learning and the love of dance. 

Radford University Ballet Youth goals & objectives are to:

  • provide inspired training in creative movement, ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap
  • instill a sense of self -confidence and creativity
  • foster a safe and encouraging learning environment
  • facilitate collaboration and camaraderie with Radford University and
    surrounding communities through a joyful celebration of the arts
  • offer performance opportunities alongside dancers from Radford
    University Department of Dance and professional guest artists.

Radford University Ballet Youth program was begun in 2006 by RU ballet faculty Inessa Plekhanova.  Today, the program continues to thrive under the direction of Melissa Gerth. 



Melissa Gerth brings with her a wealth of experience in dance, theatre, and music. As an educator, Melissa served 6 years as adjunct professor of dance at Webster University. Additionally, she taught at Fontbonne University, Missouri Baptist University, Mahidol University in Thailand, and served as Associate Director of Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance in Connecticut for 10 years. Melissa taught vocal master classes for the Patravadi School in Hua Hin, Thailand and directed the choral program for the Ridgefield Academy. Melissa’s private voice students have gone on to perform both regionally and nationally in Broadway National Tours. As a choreographer, Melissa both starred in and choreographed for the world premiere of Bosnian/American: The Dance for Life for Mustard Seed Theatre Company in Saint Louis, MO. She choreographed and performed the role of Kathy in the Sondheim musical Company for Insight Theatre Company, Saint Louis, MO.  Melissa’s solo work, Tisarana, which debuted at the Saint Louis Fringe Festival, won the Critic’s Choice Award and was selected to represent Saint Louis in the Rome Fringe Festival in Italy. Melissa choreographed and starred in L’Histoire Du Soldat with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, String Theory with the Grammy Award nominated Beau Arts Trio, Ridgefield 300th Celebration, and the 5x5 Dance Festival in CT.  Additionally, she choreographed The Wiz for Wilton Children’s Theatre, choreographed and directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the Ridgefield Academy, and Dancing at Lughnasa for Pound Ridge Theatre Company. As a performer, Melissa danced with James Robey Dance Company for 10 years, and was a founding member of Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre. Melissa toured throughout Missouri and Florida with Metro Theatre Company and Imaginary Theatre Company playing a variety of roles in multiple productions.  She starred in Mustard Seed Theatre’s world premiere of Human Terrain, written by Jennifer Blackmer. Additionally, she performed in several productions with Axial Theatre Company in NY, played the role of Silly Girl in Variety Children’s Theatre production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast under the direction of Tony Award-nominated Lara Teeter, and worked with Insight Theatre Company. Critics have called Melissa’s performances “emotionally powerful”, “vital and vibrant”, “compelling”, “nuanced”, and said Melissa is “graceful and athletic”, “one to watch”, “dynamite”, and “a pert young Katherine Hepburn.” She holds a BA in Voice, an MA in Theatre, 500-hour yoga teachers certificate from Kripalu, and is a member of Actor’s Equity. 


For information please contact us via email:


Fall Registration Day: Online Only
Spring Registration Day: Online Only

Fall Calendar

Fall Registration Online Only: All tuition and fees are due the first week of class. Checks and cash only. Credit cards not accepted.
Fall Semester: August 17 – November 20
Holiday Break: November 23 – January 22

Spring Calendar

Spring Registration: Registration Online Only: All tuition and fees are due the first week of class. Checks and cash only. Credit cards not accepted.
Spring Semester: January 19 – April 23, 2021
Spring Break: March 6-14, 2021
RUBY Annual Showcase: Saturday, May 2, 2020  


There will be open enrollment through the academic year unless class enrollment maximums are met. Children must be at least 3 years old to enroll. For more information, please contact us via email:

Note: Enrollment is open year-round.




5:00-6:00 Creative Dance/Pre-ballet II (5-6 years old) with Melissa Gerth
6:10-7:10 Contemporary I/II (7-11 years old) with Melissa Gerth


4:00-5:00 Ballet I (7-8 years old) with Melissa Gerth
5:10-6:10 Ballet II (9-11 years old) with James Robey
6:15-7:30 Ballet III/IV (12 years to adult) with James Robey
7:30-8:00 Pointe/Pre-pointe (12 years to adult) with James Robey


4:00-5:00 Jazz II (9-11 years old) with Melissa Gerth
5:00-6:00 Ballet II (9-11 years old) with Melissa Gerth
6:10-7:10 Tap I/II (7-11 years old) with Melissa Gerth
7:15-8:15 Adult Dance Class (adult) with Melissa Gerth


5:10-6:10 Tap III (12 years to adult) with James Robey
6:10–7:20 Contemporary III/IV (12 years to adult) with Melissa Gerth
7:25-8:45 Ballet/Pointe III/IV with James Robey

Saturday Monthly Master Class Series: 2/20, 3/20, & 4/17

5:00-6:30 Ballet & Pointe III/IV with Inessa Plekhanova
6:30-7:15 Variations with James Robey



Registration Fee: $20/semester
Pre-Ballet I - $90/semester
Pre-Ballet II - $120/semester
Tap I/II - $120/semester
Tap III - $120/semester
Jazz I/II - $120/semester
Jazz III/IV - $150/semester
Contemporary I/II -$120/semester
Contemporary III/IV -$150/semester
Ballet I -$120/semester
Ballet II - $240/semester
Ballet III/IV - $295/semester
Pointe/Pre-pointe $60/semester
Master Class Series - $150/semester


For Ballet and Pre-Ballet classes:

Female students are required to have their hair pulled back in a bun whenever length allows without scrunchies or headbands, and are required to wear pink ballet tights and pink ballet shoes with a solid colored leotard.

Male students are required to wear black tights, black ballet shoes and white T-shirt without design, OR black tights, white crew socks, white ballet shoes and white T-shirt.

For Jazz, Contemporary, and Tap:

Female students hair should be in a pony tail if length allows, and should wear solid colored leotard, black leggings, black, lace-up, split sole jazz shoes (jazz)  barefoot (contemporary) tap shoes (tap). 

Male students should wear black athletic pants and solid colored t-shirt with appropriate footwear.


RUBY classes will be canceled if Radford City Schools are closed. Otherwise all parents will be notified via email by 2 p.m. on that day.