About Us


Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts provides quality instruction in ballet and the performing arts for the Hickory community. Originally founded as a Classical Ballet school in 2011 under Michael and Melissa French, Leanna Bodnar assumed leadership of the school in 2018, adding her Broadway experience and expanding the curriculum to include the performing arts. Currently classes include: Classical Ballet, Pre- Pointe, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Acro, and Voice.  Qualified instructors teach dancers and performers of ages 3 to adult.


HBPA students are given multiple opportunities to perform throughout the year.  In collaboration with the Green Room Theatre, the ballet program performs The Nutcracker annually, and an additional story ballet each spring. Performing Arts students also showcase their skills in the spring, performing in a musical at Hickory Community Theatre.

Promoting the advancement of the arts is one of the greatest missions of our school, and students perform in a variety of outreach opportunities in Hickory and surrounding communities.

Student Support

There are many ways Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts supports its students. We are pleased to house a full costume shop, so dancers pay only a minimal costume rental fee for all performances.

An active Parent Guild fundraises and organizes needed volunteers to ensure student success.

As a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA), HBPA is able to recognize the commitment of our students and help to distinguish them for future career and college opportunities.

One of the missions of HBPA is to make arts education affordable.  Through a blind application/selection process, partial scholarships are made available to a limited number of students.

HBPA offers retail dance items for purchase at the studio including tights, dance bags, ballet and jazz shoes for the convenience of students and parents.   

How can I help?

Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts is committed to providing a nurturing environment in which to teach impeccable technique and inspired artistry to this area’s next generation of dancers. Post pandemic, we are extremely grateful for our sponsors now more than ever!  As a non-profit entity, we gratefully accept donations to continue to make our mission and the dreams of our students a reality.  Please consider partnering with us.