Performing Arts Conservatory

A Summer Conservatory for Youth with a Strong Desire to Experience Performing Arts

A group of young girls dancing during the Performing Arts Conservatory's final performance in 2019.
A group of young girls dancing ballet during the Performing Arts Conservatory's final performance in 2018.
A group of girls with their arms extended towards a young woman with her hands to her face in a shock gesture. During the Performing Arts Conservatory's final performance in 2019.
A group of girls on stage during the Performing Arts Conservatory's final performance in 2019.

With great appreciation for what we accomplished together over the past 8 years, we regret to inform you that Goddard Riverside is unable to continue operating the Performing Arts Conservatory program as an arts-extension of Beacon Summer Rising for Summer 2024.

However, Goddard Riverside’s Beacon Summer Rising camp which offers age-appropriate activities and enrichment for K-8 is continuing as usual. As in the past, enrollment is handled via the city’s lottery system and standardized application. Updated details for summer 2024 will be available in March or April and posted to Beacon program’s webpage.

Our Performing Arts Conservatory

Offered by Goddard Riverside’s Community Arts and Beacon programs in partnership with Ballet and Beyond NYC, Performing Arts Conservatory (PAC) is proud to be 100% tuition-free. 

PAC introduces and cultivates a love of performing arts in students aged 8 to 14 by emphasizing dedication, discipline, and enjoyment. Students receive quality instruction in dance (ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern and contemporary), stage presence, vocal technique, ensemble work, and musical theater. Over the course of seven weeks each summer, students of all skill levels are exposed to a multidisciplinary arts education while building our three core values of confidence, character, and community in a safe, nurturing, and fun-filled environment. Students also have opportunities to experience the rich artistic vibrancy of their city on local field trips. 

The Conservatory’s curriculum is led by long-time professional New York City-based artists and arts educators. Students receive additional support from a talented team of program alumni as youth counselors who combine a love of theater and dance with a desire to help young people achieve their highest potential. The Conservatory concludes with a showcase performance and celebration where family, friends, and community members gather to watch students share the fruits of their hard work in a professional theater.  

PAC is dedicated to creating an inclusive community. We welcome students of any skill level with a desire to explore the performing arts. We are committed to supporting the uniqueness of each student and encouraging them to be their best selves. Our goal is to offer artistic exploration and personal growth to every young person in our community, regardless of experience or circumstance.

About Us

Michelle Cave – Co-Artistic Director, Dance

Michelle Cave is the founder of Ballet and Beyond NYC and a teacher in both the Pre-Professional Program and the Conservatory Program at Steps on Broadway in New York. Born in California, Michelle received her early ballet training at the Sacramento Ballet School, was awarded summer scholarships to the San Francisco Ballet School and attended the Royal Ballet Upper School in London. As a professional, she performed with Sacramento Ballet, Western Ballet, Ballet Internationale, New Jersey Ballet, and Classics Dance Theatre, among other companies, and performed as a guest artist in Seattle, Washington. Her academic work culminated in a BA in International Relations, an MA in International Policy, and an MBA, all from Stanford University, and she worked for more than ten years as a fixed income research analyst on Wall Street. Michelle has taught ballet to children and adults for more than 30 years. In 2016, Michelle founded Ballet and Beyond NYC with the goal of providing high-quality ballet training for any child in NYC who has a passion for dance. She is certified in the ABT National Curriculum Training from Primary through Level 3.

Carlton Terrence Taylor – Co-Artistic Director, Musical Theatre

Carlton Terrence Taylor has been performing for 20 years and directing for the past eleven. Carlton was recognized as one of Broadway’s Rising Stars at Town Hall and performed with Janelle Monáe on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Dedicated to “artivism,” or art for social change, Carlton is also the Artistic Director of Impact Repertoire Theater, a Harlem-based youth organization nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy.

Our Kids 

“I think the fact this program is serious, that it tests and pushes the students, and that they can see all of their hard work culminate in a production is invaluable to all the kids that participate.” -PAC Parent

“Professional commitment and engagement in the arts, diversity, location. Having it be free and close to home was also wonderful!” – PAC Parent

“I loved how all his teachers made it so easy and comfortable for him to enjoy this amazing program. He spoke highly of all his teachers and how inspired he was. He can’t wait to turn 16 so that he is able to be a summer counselor himself and help out the other children.” -PAC Parent

“My daughter grows artistically ever summer with this program. Her acting abilities get stronger each year and she learns more and more what to expect on stage in front of a live audience.” – PAC Parent

“I had no idea my daughter loved ballet. She comes home every night and puts on her leotards and tights to practice what she’s learned”. -Parent of a 13-year-old girl

“I registered my 8-year-old son for a neighborhood camp and he was put on a waitlist. So I enrolled him in the Performing Arts Camp. He grudgingly went and was not happy. And then he cried when the conservatory was over because he didn’t want it to end”. – Parent of an 8-year-old boy

“He has always been shy but this year he came out of his shell. He is so much more confident. – Mother of a 9-year-old boy who had a solo in the summer performance

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