The 2013 Summer Intensives list is posted!
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The 2012 summer audition dates are in! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Time to start planning your winter audition schedule, and I’m here to help with tips and links for some of the best programs on the continent. Don’t forget to check out every program’s website for supplemental and alternative summer training programs, such as:
- choreography intensives
- mentoring programs for one-on-one coaching
- jazz/contemporary programs
- collegieate programs
- recreational programs
- add-on weeks to boost program length
- satellite locations
Be mindful of any pre-registration requirements for each audition. And be sure to have your calendar handy!
School of American Ballet
Affiliated with world-renowned New York City Ballet, SAB is one of the finest schools in the country. Sometimes criticized for producing students with awkward affectations, the school and company are the creation of the legendary George Balanchine and simply teach the style of ballet he developed. The school is known for its relatively stringent standards for acceptable body types, seeking only those they deem to have “the physical qualifications suitable to the demands of classical dance.”
Summer Course: http://www.sab.org/summercourse/overview.php
Audition Tour: http://www.sab.org/summercourse/national_auditions/
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School
Top international company American Ballet Theatre has tried and failed in the past to create a successful school, but JKO seems to be off to a good start. Students of JKO are ultimately considered for the ABT Studio Company (formerly ABT II). The NYC program is considered the most prestigious of the summer locations to attend and gain acceptance to, but good training is found at all. Beware the super-early registration deadline though, which can make decision-making difficult.
Summer Intensive: http://abt.org/education/summerintensive.asp
Audition Tour: http://abt.org/education/nationalaudition.asp
San Francisco Ballet School
Easily one of the top five schools in the country, SFBS is affiliated with the San Francisco Ballet, one of the top ballet companies in the U.S. Starting this year, SFBS’s summer will also cater to intermediate students by offering a separate program for them. Select invitations for the year round program are extended during the summer.
Summer Session: http://www.sfballet.org/school/summer_session
Audition Tour: http://www.sfballet.org/school/summer_session/auditions
Pacific Northwest Ballet School
Also easily one of the top five schools in the US, PNBS trains students in the Balanchine style under the direction of Peter Boal, former star of NYCB. The school is affiliated with the top-tier Pacific Northwest Ballet company, the subject of the exciting new book by Stephen Manes, Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear. (Look for info from me on this engrossing must-read soon!) PNBS is a great audition for taller students to attend, as the school and company are known for their acceptance of taller dancers.
Summer Course: http://www.pnb.org/PNBSchool/Classes/SummerCourse/
Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet
The young GKACB is based on the principle that story-telling is a fundamental aspect of classical ballet that is also the future of the art. The program takes an intelligent approach by building the curriculum around three pillars of training: ballet, core dynamics and dramatic development. Legendary ballerina Gelsey Kirkland began the school only about two years ago, but feedback has been very positive, no doubt due in great part to the high caliber of instructors recruited to the school. No company affiliation.
Summer Intensive: http://gelseykirklandballet.org/summer.html
Audition Tour: http://gelseykirklandballet.org/academyauditions.html
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
Kaatsbaan has become a summer go-to for dancers seeking one-on-one mentoring and access to some of the biggest names in dance. Enrollment is limited to just 36 students that are believed to be capable of “passing the threshold from advanced student to professional dancer,” making it an excellent audition to attend for self-evaluation. Note that the program does not hold partnering classes. The program has no year round equivalent or company affiliation.
Extreme Ballet: http://www.kaatsbaan.org/extreme.html
Audition Tour: http://www.kaatsbaan.org/extreme.html
Bolshoi Ballet Academy
Established in 1773, the Bolshoi’s school has only recently begun visiting the U.S. in the summers to select and train talented dancers while considering them for opportunities in their main school in Russia. This summer program is affiliated with the world-class school in Russia and its company.
Summer Intensive: http://www.bolshoiballetacademy.com/index.php
Audition Tour: http://www.bolshoiballetacademy.com/auditions.htm
Royal Winnipeg Ballet School
The summer session of the RWBS program is the second-round audition for the year round Ballet Academic Program. Recently featured in the documentary TuTuMuch, this extended audition evaluates dancers while training them in Russian-based technique. The school is affiliated with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Summer Session: http://www.rwb.org/school/pd/audition
Audition Tour: http://www.rwb.org/school/pd/audition/schedule
National Ballet School of Canada
Like Royal Winnipeg, NBS’s summer school is the second part of their two-part audition process. Auditioning is the primary purpose of the program, though instruction and training is a close second. NBS is affiliated with the National Ballet of Canada, an internationally recognized company.
Summer School: http://www.nbs-enb.ca/professional/audition/default.aspx
Audition Tour: http://www.nbs-enb.ca/professional/audition/tourSched.aspx
Kirov Academy of Ballet
Modeled after the Vaganova School in Russia, KAB is adapting to the recent Artistic Director appointment of the optimistic and ambitious Martin Freddman, former Artistic Director of Colorado Ballet. Graduates of the school in years past include stars Michelle Wiles, Sacha Radetsky and the famed Canterna girls, Adrienne and Ashley. The Kirov Academy is not affiliated with the Kirov (Maryinsky) Ballet in Russia or any other company. The school prides itself as the only residential ballet school in the country that hosts the academic classes on site.
Summer Intensive: https://www.kirovacademydc.org/summerintensive.html
Audition Tour: https://www.kirovacademydc.org/auditiontour.html
A highly respected conservatory for high school students where training encompasses a blend of classical ballet styles, the summers are fee-based while the year round program is tuition-free. If you are interested in attending the boarding high school during the year, attendance during the summer is required. Harid has no company affiliation, but prides itself on its ability to assist students in gaining employment after school through the quality of training received and connections to multiple companies.
Summer School: http://www.harid.edu/Summer%20School.htm
Audition Tour: http://www.harid.edu/auditions.htm
Boston Ballet School
Training students in a blend of styles in order to foster versatility, BBS’s summer intensive takes place in the company’s Boston studios for dancers 15-19 and at a small, private college in Newton for students 10-14. In the second week of the program, students may opt to audition for the year round pre-professional program.
Summer Dance Program: http://www.bostonballet.org/sdp.html
Audition Tour: http://www.bostonballet.org/school/summer/SDP-Auditions.html
Led by celebrated ballet master Edward Ellison, Ellison Ballet has one of the best records for training dancers who ultimately enjoy successful professional careers, often with world-class companies. Note that additional partnering classes are available in the August pas de deux intensive for qualified dancers aged 16 and older.
Summer Course: http://www.ellisonballet.com/newsite/getpage.asp?pg=13
Audition Tour: http://www.ellisonballet.com/newsite/getpage.asp?pg=119
Unlike many other programs, Rock accepts students as young as eight while offering customizable program lengths as short as one week or as long as six. The school is known for inviting every student they find acceptable with no enrollment limitation, though this can sometimes result in large class sizes. The school is also known for being more accepting of variant body types than many other schools, making it an ideal alternative for dancers seeking Balanchine training who are unable to gain acceptance to SAB. No company affiliation.
Summer Ballet Intensive: http://therockschool.org/summer/ballet_intensive
Audition Tour: http://therockschool.org/summer/audition
Miami City Ballet School
Affiliated with the powerhouse company Miami City Ballet and directed by the former NYCB star Edward Villella, MCBS has become an excellent academy for students seeking training appropriate to prepare for a professional career. The school and company emphasize Balanchine style, and both feature a richer than average cultural diversity that reflects the geographic location.
Summer Course: http://www.miamicityballet.org/school/summer_program.php
Joffrey Ballet School
Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey, an American dance champion like no other, this program is no longer associated with the Joffrey Ballet company, which is now located in Chicago and has its own school. The NYC program is a conservatory style system with a trainee program. Year round students are eligible for FAFSA, just like college students. The program has had a tough time placing students for pro contracts since the economy took a downturn, but is still recognized as an excellent training facility.
Summer Ballet Intensive: http://www.joffreyballetschool.com/nyc-ballet-intensive-details.html
Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy
BSA is affiliated with Houston Ballet, one of the strongest regional companies in the country. Touting one of the best men’s programs in the nation, the academy produces strong, versatile dancers and has high standards for acceptance. It’s worth nothing that if BSA has not accepted or rejected you by the time you run into a pending deadline with another school (*cough* JKO! *cough*), they may consider conveying your audition results early.
Summer Intensive: http://www.houstonballet.org/Academy/2012_Summer_Intensive_FAQs/
Audition Tour: http://www.houstonballet.org/Academy/Summer_Audition_Tour/
We are fortunate in the U.S. to have a wealth of excellent programs outside of these powerplayers as well. If you are looking for a less expensive option, something closer to home or maybe a strong program that’s not quite as competitive as a place like SAB for example, you’ll surely want to research these worthwhile summer intensives:
Anaheim Ballet http://www.anaheimballet.org/intensive.html
Atlanta Ballet http://www.atlantaballet.com/centre/summer.php
American Academy of Ballet http://www.americanballet.com/
Ballet Academy East http://www.balletacademyeast.com/balletac1965/images/135summerintensive2012.pdf
Ballet Austin Academy http://www.balletaustin.org/academy/intensive.php
Ballet Chicago http://balletchicago.org/summeroverview.asp
Carreno Dance Festival http://carrenodancefestival.com/Carreno-Summer-Intensive.html
Carolina Ballet http://www.carolinaballet.com/residency.html
Cary Ballet http://caryballetconservatory.net/pageSummer.php
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet http://cpyb.org/summer-program/5-week-program/
City Ballet of San Diego http://www.cityballet.org/education/summer_intensive.php
Festival Ballet of Rhode Island http://www.festivalballet.com/v2/school/summerPrgm.php
French Academie of Ballet http://frenchacademieofballet.org/summer_2012
Kansas City Ballet https://www.kcballet.org/school/summerprograms.html
LINES Ballet http://linesballet.org/school/summer/index.php
Long Beach Ballet http://www.longbeachballet.com/summer3wk.html
Magnus Midwest (CANCELLED DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT) http://www.magnusmidwest.com/aboutus/about.html
Manhattan Youth Ballet http://www.manhattanmovement.com/summer/manhattan-youth-ballet-summer-intensive/
Maryland Youth Ballet http://www.marylandyouthballet.org/summer_programs.html
Nashville Ballet http://www.nashvilleballet.com/school/summer_intensive
Next Generation Ballet http://www.patelconservatory.org/Classes/Dance/Patel-Conservatory-Youth-Ballet-(PCYB).aspx
Nutmeg Conservatory http://www.nutmegconservatory.org/school/programs-summer.html
Orlando Ballet http://orlandoballetschool.org/
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre http://www.pbt.org/school/intensive_summer_program/
Saratoga Springs/Vail Valley http://www.ssdiballet.com/SSDI_Program.html
Texas Ballet Theatre http://www.texasballettheater.org/index.php?q=node/100
Tulsa Ballet http://www.tulsaballet.org/general.asp?id=114
Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York http://www.vkdcny.com/the-school/summer-intensive-2012
Washington Ballet http://www.washingtonballet.org/the-school/summer-intensive/
I was originally planning to post all this for you guys next week, but an urgent message from a reader who is getting nervous about planning persuaded me to get it done this weekend. I’ll be sure to update the info periodically if new info comes in or programs need to be added. Enjoy reviewing these fabulous programs and planning your audition season!