Decatur School of Ballet is the official school of Decatur City Dance (DCD). Under the artistic direction of Leslie Palmer Gourley, DCD is the oldest performing dance company in DeKalb County and is currently in its 66th season. Six performing groups are under the company umbrella. AboutFace presents contemporary, modern and jazz; The Apprentice Ensemble and The Junior Ensemble present ballet, jazz, and modern dance; BareGrounds present modern; and The Rhythm Keepers and The Junior Rhythm Keepers present tap.
Dancers become members of DCD by audition. They are talented dancers who are either professional performers or want to make a commitment to dance as one of their special extracurricular activities. Many company dancers started their dance training at our school at an early age and progressed into the performing company. Many teachers in the school have worked with the company as performers and/or choreographers.
To be eligible for Junior Ensemble, they must be at least 13 years old and have had classical ballet training through the beginning pointe level. Dancers can advance into the Apprentice Ensemble, and later into AboutFace, the professional performing ensemble. To be eligible for JRK, they must have studied tap through the Advanced Tap for Teens level. To be eligible for BareGrounds, they must have studied through the Intermediate Modern 4 level.
Decatur City Dance is the oldest performing dance group in DeKalb County. Now in its 66th season, it was established as a Junior Company of Atlanta Civic Ballet in 1952 and became an independent artistic entity in 1962. Now headquartered at both our Church Street and Sams Street locations in downtown Decatur, the company is a nonprofit corporation financially supported by contributions, grant funds, membership dues and ticket sales. As a community arts organization, the company provides quality dance performances for metro Atlanta audiences. Outreach programs are presented for retirement homes, schools and community groups. Concerts feature works in varying dance styles including classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern and contemporary dance, and tap. Leslie Palmer Gourley is Artistic Director of DCD. Associate Directors are Kyme Hersi-Sallid, Jessica Reese, Daphanie Scandrick and Toya Willingham.