Octorara Ballet School is committed to teaching honor, perseverance and creativity: skills that will enable our children to live with excellence and to bless their neighbor.


Gwen Potter, Director 

Gwen began her dance training when she was eight years old. Her first memory of performing as a Page in Sleeping Beauty: her entire part was to walk around the stage holding the end of the Queen's robe. 

She studied ballet at the School of the San Francisco Ballet, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Hope College, University of Michigan, Nantes School of Ballet (France), Studio 1 School of Dance, and Sylvia School of Dance. 

She especially enjoys choosing beautiful classical ballet music for Story Ballets, designing costumes, and working with the delightful Octorara Ballet Staff Team.

Gwen and Mark have been married since 1986: without Mark's support, Octorara Ballet never would have happened! They love spending time with their four grown children and four grandchildren.

Our Philosophy

Octorara Ballet School exists to bring beauty, hope and excellence to our community through the art of ballet. We are not your typical dance school. No inappropriate costumes, competitions or sassy attitudes. We offer high-quality dance instruction in a kind and loving environment. Beautiful performances, good manners and lots of joy! 

Our clean, cheerful studios invite dancers and their parents to enjoy an hour of joy in their week. Parents are always welcome to observe classes. Students are inspired to stand tall and dance well in our beautiful studio environment. 


STUDIO 1 in Gap

Our large dance studio features mirrors, barres and a professional sprung dance floor plus plenty of soft mats for our little tumblers! This has been our main location since  2006. Rehearsals for big productions, such as The Nutcracker, are held here.



Parents are always welcome to observe classes through the observation windows at Studio 1 or the archways at Beale Manor. Both locations feature a comfortable waiting area for parents and siblings and convenient parking.



The elegant Beale Manor is the perfect place to practice the elegant art of ballet! Known as "The Castle" in Parkesburg, dancers will love practicing in this historic building! Two classes run simultaneously in two separate rooms--very convenient for parents to bring two dancers at one time!