About the Director
The Staunton Academy of Ballet was founded by director Pamela McCray, R.A.D., in 1990. She danced professionally with the San Francisco Ballet Company, received her early training with the San Francisco Ballet School and San Francisco Conservatory of Ballet and was accepted as an apprentice to the San Francisco Ballet Theater at age 15. She has performed with American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company.In addition to her duties as Owner/Director of Staunton Academy of Ballet, Mrs. McCray has served as an Adjunct instructor of Ballet at Mary Baldwin College and Stuart Hall. Mrs. McCray is the founder and artistic director of the Shenandoah Civic Dance Company, which has annually presented the “Nutcracker” to the area since 1983. In addition to the “Nutcracker”, Mrs. McCray has choreographed and staged many full-length ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, The Wizard of Oz, Peter and the Wolf, La Fille Mal Gardee, Happily Ever After and Cinderella. Mrs. McCray has been a panel member for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Dance Program and is a certified, registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD). Mrs. McCray has also served adjudicator for the American Academy of Ballet’s Performance Awards, under the direction of Mignon Furman. In this position, she travelled throughout the world serving as a judge for the “Performance Awards” for the American Academy. Former dance students of “Miss. Pam” have gone on to study at Virginia School of the Arts, Richmond Ballet, Washington School of Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theater Summer Program, Joffrey Ballet School, Point Park College, Radford University’s Dance Theatre, Butler University’s Ballet and the University of Utah. Several students have performed professionally with the Richmond Ballet, Washington Ballet, Virginia Ballet Theatre and the Atlanta Ballet Companies. Mrs. McCray has been very pleased that many of her students have been given special awards of merit and honor for their achievements in dance, including nomination and acceptance to the Governor’s School of Virginia and West Virginia, scholarships to Royal Academy of Dancing Summer School at Vassar, American Academy of Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, the Richmond Ballet, and North Carolina School of the Arts.
Staunton Academy of Ballet creates a supportive environment of excellence to encourage our students’ progression into accomplished young artists. Each student receives individual and professional ballet training that coincides with the physical and intellectual development of all growing children. Students immediately experience the joy of movement but discipline, responsibility, commitment, and ambition remain forever.Our Curriculum:The Academy classes are divided into five divisions (Introductory, Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Adult) and 16 levels, with offerings in Tap and Jazz, to ensure proper placement for each student based on their physical and mental development. Students will be placed by the director in the appropriate level. Usually, students progress to the next level in the Fall, staying in that level throughout the entire school year.
In any pursuit where refined skills are necessary, there must be teachers capable of imparting the knowledge that students need to achieve their fullest potential. The Staunton Academy of Ballet prides itself on their educated, experienced and professional staff who help budding dancers capture the full essence of their art in a loving and caring environment.