The Artistic Process

YAA offers various classes and workshops for high school students to help develop their individual skills in various disciplines, including Acting, Dance, Voice and Musicianship. 

While our students’ interests, aspirations and talents vary, the YAA student knows he or she will receive challenging, appropriate, and relevant training in a supportive environment through our classes.

Take a look below to see which classes best meets your needs. YAA classes are open to all, whether or not they are participating in one of our Performance Ensembles. While our new YAAStudio does requires an audition, other classes do no require an audition for participation.

All classes take place at our YAA@HolyCross Campus in Montgomery County. Click here for Tuition information for these classes.



YAAStudio  (New!)

Grades 9-12
Admission by audition only.

Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30pm


  • $750 per 6-week session

  • Receive a discount of $100/session when you sign up for all three.


Session 1:  N. Thomas Pedersen (Recent Head, Musical Theatre, Catholic University)


Session 2:  Chris Youstra (Associate Artistic Director of Musical Theatre, Olney Theatre Center)


Session 3:  Tracy Lynn Olivera (Signature Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Broadway)


Acting, History: Kristina Friedgen 
(all sessions)


Choreography: Robert Mintz
(Session 1)

Emma Cooley.jpg

Choreography: Emma Cooley
(Sessions 2 & 3)

A new holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to musical theatre training!

Designed for the serious high school performing arts student, the YAAStudio offers a comprehensive curriculum of classes in dance, acting, singing, and musical theatre history.

During each 6-week session, students will study scenes, vocal styles, repertoire, and choreography from a specific genre/era of musical theatre. Students will learn how to differentiate between performance practice styles, as well as build their audition book for any occasion. Musical theatre dance techniques from each era will also be taught.

  • Session 1: The Golden Age: Rodgers, Kern, & Hammerstein

    • Classes will include scene work and musical repertoire from such shows as Showboat, Oklahoma!, Carousel, Cinderella, and The Sound of Music.

    • Students will also study the dance styles of Agnes DeMille & Jerome Robbins.

    • Classes will meet the following Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm

      • September 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 (makeup on 11/7 if needed)

      • Tuition: $750

  • Session 2: The Concept Musical: Schwartz, Sondheim, and Kander & Ebb

    • Classes will include scene work and musical repertoire from such shows as Godspell, Pippin, Children of Eden, Chicago, Cabaret, and Company.

    • Students will also study the dance styles of Bob Fosse & Michael Bennett.

    • Classes will meet the following Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm

      • January 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb 6, 13 (makeup on 2/20 if needed)

      • Tuition: $750

  • Session 3: Contemporary to Modern: Lloyd Webber, Rice, Menken, & Miranda

    • Classes will include scene work and musical repertoire from such shows as Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunset Boulevard, Evita, Little Shop of Horrors, Aida, In the Heights, Hamilton.

    • Students will also study the dance styles of Gillian Lynne (Cats) & Andy Blankenbuhler (Hamilton)

    • Classes will meet the following Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm

      • March 20, April 3, 10, 24, May 1, 8 (makeup on 5/15 if needed)

      • Tuition: $750

Sign up for sessions individually, or for the entire year for a discount of $100 per session! 

Acceptance into the YAAStudio is by audition only. Auditions can be scheduled at the same time as YAACompany auditions in September and November, but they require separate registration.

For your audition, come prepared to sing a musical theatre or art song selection of your choosing that best shows off your voice (ballad or uptempo are fine.)  It's best to bring a song that you know well and can perform from memory, not one that was just learned a few days prior.

Minimum enrollment: 5 students per session.
Location: YAA@HolyCross

Scroll to bottom of this page to see Class Calendar.



All ages
Beginner/Intermediate Levels

Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm

12 sessions per semester
Tuition: $300


Grades 8-12
Intermediate/Advanced Levels

Prerequisite: Broadway Dance I or permission of instructor.

Mondays, 8:00-9:00pm

12 sessions per semester
Tuition: $300

Instructor: Emma Cooley

Learn specialized technique and exercises that will provide a firm foundation for dancing specific to Musical Theater. Class curriculum will draw on jazz, ballet and various contemporary movement styles that are frequently used in musical theatre choreography. Classes will include warm-ups, exercises across the floor, and musical theater dance combinations.

YAAStudio students are also encouraged to consider taking this class to provide additional fundamental technique to support the curriculum and choreography taught in that program.

All levels welcome. No audition required, but student will be placed in the appropriate class level based on experience.
Minimum enrollment per class: 5 students

12 Sessions: $300  or  24 Sessions: $550
Location: YAA@HolyCross

Scroll to bottom of this page to see Class Calendar.


College Audition WORKSHOP SERIES

Grades 10-12
All levels welcome

6 semi-private sessions
Tuition: $750

Class Instructors: 


Acting: Kristina Friedgen


Voice: Maureen Codelka

Emma Cooley.jpg

Dance: Emma Cooley

Masterclass Instructors:


Victoria Bussert
Director, Music Theatre Program, Baldwin Wallace University


John Simpkins
Head, Musical Theatre, Penn State University


N. Thomas Pedersen
Recent Head, Music Theatre Division, The Catholic University of America

High school students considering auditioning for performing arts programs at universities or conservatories (Musical Theatre, Voice and Acting) will train over the course of several sessions, culminating in a final Masterclass, where they will receive feedback on their auditions from college auditors and theatre professionals from institutions like Penn State and Baldwin Wallace.  

Students will receive guidance and coaching for every step in the college audition process. From help selecting audition pieces (including vocal repertoire, monologues, and dance combinations) to filming prescreens, the YAA Education staff will train students for their big upcoming auditions.

While this series is essential for the high school junior and senior, many underclassmen, find it useful to begin preparing and receiving audition feedback early.

Parents will also be invited to a talkback session with our university panelists to be able to ask questions, like what is the difference between a BFA, BA, or BM program in musical theatre.

Confirmed university panelists will include:

  • Victoria Bussert (Baldwin Wallace University)

  • John Simpkins (Head of Musical Theatre, Penn State University)

  • TBA (Boston Conservatory at Berklee)

Classes will meet the following dates:

  • Student Evaluation Class

    • Tuesday, September 11 from 7:00-9:30pm

  • Class Sessions will meet the following Saturdays from 2:00-5:00pm

    • September 15, 29, October 6, 13

  • Final Masterclass with University Panelists

    • Sunday, October 14 from 9:00am-1:30pm

  • Optional video prescreen video shoots:

    • Sunday, October 14, in the afternoon

Tuition: $750
(Optional prescreening video shoot: $250 additional)
Location: YAA@HolyCross & Mansion at Strathmore (10/14)

Scroll to bottom of this page to see Class Calendar.


Class Calendar