All Arts for All Ages

The Dallas Conservatory offers world-class training in music, theater, dance, film, art, writing, and more.

The Dallas Conservatory is a private performing arts school, presenting elite instruction and classes taught in immersive environments with skilled faculty. We sat down with Executive Artistic Director Jacqueline Porter to learn more.

PCL: Describe TDC’s mission.

JP: Dance, theater, and voice training for all ages of students. We also present professional caliber productions at top local venues.

PCL: Is entrance audition-based? 

JP: No. However, when students are ready, they may audition for our Pre-Professional programs. We accept roughly 25 percent.

PCL: How many students are enrolled? 

JP: About 1,500 families on two campuses, with an additional 200 “drop-in” adults. 

PCL: What makes TDC different than other local performing arts schools?

JP: We’re newer, yet already world-renowned. Our top high schoolers study with illustrious choreographers. Graduates go on to dance programs including Juilliard and USC. A rigorous approach to classical ballet is our foundation, classes are smaller, with the flexibility to travel and compete internationally. The curriculum is deeper than any public high school, including everything from ballet, jazz, and contemporary to voice, acting, high-performance mindset coaching, private classes, coaching, and more.

PCL: What’s the difference between your two campuses?

JP: After 11 years in Dallas, we opened Frisco in 2019 where we offer the same breadth of classes for all ages. We’ve added outstanding music instruction, housing, academics, and our new Professional programs in both classical and commercial. 

PCL: If someone walked through your facilities, what might surprise them?

JP: Lots of males! About 50 percent of our faculty is male. We have men studying in nearly every class. With the advent of the TV dance shows, boys and men are more interested than ever. We promote training for strength and athleticism. We want men strong and expressive in equal parts.

PCL: Where are your alumni working?

JP: We have dancers and choreographers working at top companies such as the Washington and Houston Ballets, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Our graduates also work on stage and in film, television, and modeling. 

PCL: What about faculty credentials?

JP: Our ballet staff includes globally renowned ballerinas and two directors who trained in Russia's celebrated schools and danced internationally. We have an instructor who trained at London's Royal Ballet School and danced in The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End. Others are from top American dance companies and Hollywood. I’m classically trained and worked for years on Broadway. We also have a steady stream of Dallas Symphony professionals who instruct music students.

 PCL: What is TDC’s greatest achievement?

JP: Making everyone feels welcome ... discovering talents that may have gone unnoticed before enrollment. Creating a home for all students of all ages, sizes, and ethnicity. We’ve taught thousands of people to dance recreationally since 2008 – we produce more than the high-achieving graduates!

 PCL: And the future of TDC?

JP: We’re planning a private school campus ... the artistic answer to sports, religion, and academics at schools such as Hockaday, ESD, Ursuline, and St. Mark’s – the only residential arts conservatory for all ages anywhere in the world.

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