What is RPM


Our Mission

Dance teachers are faced with the immense task of safely and effectively providing thorough education. At the heart of this education is the merging of science and dance. This harmonious partnership creates a healthy, well-trained and safe dancer. There are a variety of teaching modalities and training programs available for today’s dance educator but none that blend the art and science of dance into tangible and useful cues the way that RPM does. The core of our work is based on 14 Principles of Movement – concepts that are drawn from anatomy, kinesiology and physics. Our Master Teachers are devoted to sharing our immense knowledge and experience with fellow educators to ensure the future artists of tomorrow are empowered to safely and effectively reach their goals, whatever they may be.

Past, Present and Future

RPM was created by Jo Anna Kneeland and refined by Ruth Petrinovic to revolutionize and replace outdated thinking in the art of teaching classical ballet. Instead of simply passing on instructions in training that inhibited optimum results, they developed a holistic approach to dance and movement. Having heard of her research, Ruth met with Jo Anna and together they devised a system of training that allowed dancers of all ages, physicalities and aspirations to train in a healthy and productive manner. Their method was on the forefront of dance science and was the first to incorporate a codified methodology based on anatomy, kinesiology and physics. This partnership between two pioneers was the beginning of RPM.

Today, our founding director, Cheryl Ale, a life-long student and devotee of Ruth Petrinovic along with RPM Master Teachers Wes Chapman and Amy Lowe, are committed to sharing this wealth of knowledge with other dance educators. RPM is currently being instructed by certified teachers worldwide in private dance academies, pre-professional and professional companies and university level programs. RPM is designed for every student, every body type and every aspiration. Our Master Teachers are on the cutting edge of current research and teaching practices. We are constantly revising our curriculum to reflect research and both in-person and virtual learning needs. Through virtual courses, ongoing mentoring and support, Cheryl, Amy and Wes are helping teachers and students by Changing Ballet for the Better.

Benefits for Teachers and Professionals

  • Greater understanding of the human body and how it works in relation to movement and dance
  • The ability to see each student as an individual and craft lessons accordingly
  • Knowledge of individual needs based on unique physicality, traits and attributes
  • Increased ability to properly cue movements and combinations
  • Increased ability to apply theory to lessons and class plans
  • Greater communication with students through more specific cueing
  • Ability to recognize the true cause of challenges and technical errors and recommend both physical and artistic corrections
  • Ability to network with like minded professionals in a collaborative environment
  • Access to RPM Master Teachers through mentoring and coaching
  • More enjoyable teaching experience leading to a more fulfilling career
  • Preservation of the body and avoidance of injury 
  • Improved artistic expression
  • Extension of one’s dancing career

Benefits for Students

  • Systematic progressive age-appropriate physical training that shows tangible results
  • Emphasis on dancer health and wellbeing
  • Improved artistic expression
  • Improved technique
  • Reduced injuries
  • Development of love for the arts