Dance Youth

Radford University Dance Youth

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance


Radford University Dance Youth Program, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, provides inspired training to young dancers ages 3-18. The Dance 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 Dance 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 Dance 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 brings with her a wealth of experience and education in dance, theatre, and music. Melissa served 6 years as adjunct professor of dance at Webster University. In addition, 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 ten years, where she directed the Junior Dance Ensemble and taught ballet, jazz, modern, and young children’s movement. She danced with James Robey Dance Company for 10 years, was a founding member of Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre, and performed solo work in both Saint Louis and Rome, Italy Fringe Festivals. Melissa toured with Metro Theatre Company and Imaginary Theatre Company, has acted with Mustard Seed Theatre Company, Axial Theatre Company, Variety Children’s Theatre, and Insight Theatre Company. She holds a degree in music, a master’s degree in Theatre, and is a member of Actor’s Equity.

For information please contact us via email:



Fall Registration Day: Saturday, August 31, 2019

Spring Registration Day: Saturday, January 25, 2020 12:00-1:30 Trinkle Hall Dance Studio

Fall Calendar

Fall Registration: Saturday, August 31, 2019, 12-1 p.m. in the Trinkle Hall Dance Studio

All tuition and fees are due on registration day. NO credit cards, please)                                           

Fall Semester: September 9 - December 5, 2019                                                                 

Thanksgiving Break: November 23 - December 1, 2019

Spring Calendar

Spring Registration: Saturday, January 25, 2020, 12-1 p.m. in Trinkle Hall Dance Studio  

(All tuition and fees are due on registration day. NO credit cards, please)

Spring Semester: February 3 - May 1, 2020

Spring Break: March 7-15, 2020

RUBY Annual Showcase: Saturday, May 2, 2020  

Schedule of Classes


4-5pm Creative Dance/Pre-ballet I with Elizabeth Whitehurst
5-6pm Creative Dance/Pre-ballet II with Elizabeth Whitehurst
6-7pm Adult with Katie Meeks


6-6:15pm Ballet R/U with Kira Knotts
6:15-7:15pm Modern/Contemporary with Melissa Gerth
7:15-8:15pm Ballet B with Beth Hartsock


5-6pm Tap Dance with Katelyn Peters
6-7pm Jazz Dance with Melissa Gerth


6-6:15pm Ballet R/U with Kira Knotts
6:15-7:45pm Ballet B with Beth Hartsock
7:45-8:15pm Pointe/pre-pointe with Beth Hartsock

Program Costs and Fees

Registration Fee: $15/one semester
Pre-Ballet I - $110/one semester
Pre-Ballet II - $110/one semester
Tap I - $110/one semester
Tap II - $110/one semester
Jazz for Children - $110/one semester
Adult Dance Class - $110/one semester
Ballet R - $240/one semester
Ballet U - $280/one semester
Ballet B - $300/one semester

Tuition Discounts will be provided to families:

  • with more than one person enrolled (child or adult)
  • with a child enrolled in more than one class


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.


For Ballet and Pre-Ballet classes:

Female students are required to have their hair pulled back in a bun whenever length allows, 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.

Inclement Weather Policy

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.