2012 Summer Intensive Auditions!

Boston Ballet School studentsThe 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/

Audition Tour: http://www.pnb.org/PNBSchool/Classes/SummerCourse/#AuditionTour

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

Harid Conservatory

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

Ellison Ballet

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

The Rock School for Dance Education

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

Audition Tour: http://www.miamicityballet.org/school/admissions_auditions.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

Audition Tour: http://joffreyballetschool.com/audition-dates-and-locations.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:

Alvin Ailey http://www.theaileyschool.edu/ailey-school/professional-division/programs/summer-intensive-program

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

Ballet West http://www.balletwest.org/Academy/SummerIntensive

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

Goh Ballet http://www.gohballet.com/prg_summer_intensive.html

Julliard http://www.juilliard.edu/youth-adult/summer/summer-dance.php

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

Louisville Ballet http://louisvilleballet.org/DanceSchool/classes/summer-programs/summer-intensive/

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

Milwaukee Ballet http://www.milwaukeeballetschool.org/students/summer-intensive-programs

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

Walnut Hill http://why.walnuthillarts.org/ballet/summer-programs/summer-dance/about/

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!

163 thoughts on “2012 Summer Intensive Auditions!

  1. FreedLover says:

    Hi! Thanks for the wonderful guide– I had been using your 2011 guide until you posted today! I have one question: What are the best programs as far as one-on-one attention that are either less expensive or have many scholarship opportunities? My family is not poor, but I have a sister and my parents and I think she deserves as much attention as me, as well as college funds for both of us. I would like a program that isn’t exceedingly exclusive, too, as I am rather short and my expression is miles ahead of my technique 🙂

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hey FreedLover. So your best bet for getting a handle on the different features of the summer programs available to you is to open an account at BalletTalk and read through the Summer Intensives form. There are individual threads for every program. It’s a lot to read through, but it will be worth your time. I think the most appropriate situation for you will probably end up being a smaller program with small class sizes and high-quality teachers. Off the top of my head, check out John Magnus’s intensive, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, Next Generation Ballet and Walnut Hill. You’ll have to look through BalletTalk and check out their fee schedules to see if any of these will work for you, but they make a good starting point. Judging from your features of interest, I’d avoid large programs in expensive cities like NYC and San Francisco. Good luck!

      • FreedLover says:

        Thank you!!! I will definitely look into those- haven’t heard of most of them, so thats a good sign, as I’ve been Googling for months! Thanks again!

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks for this resource! I’m sure it took you quite some time to put together! I have a question re the NC Dance Theatre. Do you have any opinions on the Summer AND the year-round program? Is there another pre-pro school that you’d rec in Charlotte, NC over them?

    Full disclosure, I’m not a teen, but I am raising a dancing pre-teen who goes to a very strong pre-pro school (Orlando Ballet) and we’d like her to continue training if my husband is relocated. If this isn’t the right spot, pls feel free to answer me via email. Thank you!

    • Joy says:

      My Daughter is close to your daughters age who attends North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT). She absoloutly loves it. The teachers are wonderful and the school has many kids now dancing with top companies. It is the best pre-pro school in the area. The only other school that is really good with top training is Piedmont School of Music and Dance. I have heard good things about this school so It may also be worth looking into. I would assume you will probably want to go with NCDT if you are coming from OB.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Thanks for reading Andrea. Within Charlotte, I do not know of any schools that exceed the quality of NCDT. It is a very good program with a wide variety of relevant classes. The year-round offers opportunities to trainee or apprentice with the company and summer students have a performance in full costume (a real rarity for summer programs). You can get a taste of that summer program through their promo video here if you haven’t already seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3rV-pXRGhw

      You may also want to look into North Carolina School of the Arts for year-round or summer, which is located in Winston-Salem about 1.5 hours away from Charlotte. NCSA offers a high school level program in addition to college degrees in dance. For summer, do note that many students choose to go outside of their state for training in order to get a taste of something different, make connections they otherwise could not or gain access to teaching styles they don’t have in their local school. Best of luck!

      • Andrea says:

        Thank you so much for the input! Should we move (we’ll know very soon!), my daughter will audition for placement at NCDT. I really appreciate the response!

    • Maggie says:

      My daughter attended NCDT last summer. The social experience was great for her, however the dance was not challenging at all. She left there feeling as if she had wasted her summer. She was placed in a level too low and was not challenged at all. Perhaps the year round program is better. Good luck!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Oh I think you’ve stumped me on this one. As I understand it, European summer intensives are not as plentiful as North American ones because the European summer breaks are shorter. I believe what is available in Europe is quite a bit shorter than a summer you would fine here, maybe just 1 or 2 weeks. I was invited to a 6 week SI in Italy when I was a teenager, but I don’t think it exists anymore. If you are in Europe now, your best bet is to talk to your local teachers and connections.

  3. Lucia says:

    Thanks for this guide! This is quite helpful but I would like to know: Are there any summer intensives in France? Or do any of the summer intensives above do auditions in France?

    Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Ballerinababy says:

    I am 15 and I was looking to find a summer program that is not so high on the price but that will still be challenging and productive. Any suggestions??

  5. Melissa says:

    Magnus MIdwest Dance Intensive has been one of my son’s favorite programs. It is also the favorite of many of his ballerina friends. Very intensive. No outside activities. One of the best end of intensive shows I have ever seen.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      It’s a good program, especially if you’re interested in the college. However with ballet and pointe only once each per day (if that, since they replace pas de deux class with pointe sometimes it seems – not a fan of that), the program is seems geared to dancers who want a wide variety of dance versus an intensive focus on ballet.

  6. HTH says:

    I am 14 and don’t have a traditional ballet body. I have been on pointe for 3 years and take about 10 (more when preparing for shows) hours of ballet a week. What programs aren’t selective due to body type?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Well, SAB is a bit tougher than others body type, but the number one thing that all SIs are looking for are great dance ability. Make that your focus, try out for the programs that interest you and just see where the chips fall. I will rarely recommend that a dancer NOT audition for a certain school just because they might not get in. The audition itself is part of your training – as is learning how to deal with potential and actual rejection.

  7. giselle says:

    I have a very talented 9 year old (she is turning 10 in August) and she is begging me to go to a dance intensive. She dances here in Miami and has done the shorter Miami City Ballet Program open to kids her age and had fun with it. She was featured in the end of the session performance as the lead and got very excited about that. She plans to attend again but wanted to do something in another city. All the sleepaway camps look very amateurish. Most of the company programs want teens. Do you happen to know any that will take an almost 10-year-old? Maybe just for a week or two? What a great blog! Thanks so much!!

    • Melissa RUST says:


      9yo is when we had our first experience. I went with, as they turned 9 a week before the SI, and we stayed at a nearby hotel and commuted. They went to the Bolshoi Academy SI and LOVED it! Knowing dancers there who had been on scholarship at ABT, SAB, Kirov, etc., they *all* said Bolshoi was the best experience. I’m sure each year is different, and each child has a different perspective, but the biggest comments were: challenging, lots of serious work/not a lot of fluff, smaller classes/better attention, teachers seemed to be able to make things “click”, great food, felt like family, etc. Andrei and Yana, the Directors, were amazing. I felt so comfortable with them and the way they ran the dorm area that I would absolutely trust them to care for my “babies” 😉 Good luck to you!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Thanks for reading Giselle! The Rock School accepts kids as young as 8 years old at their auditions. Also, many schools have separate but parallel programs for younger students, like Boston Ballet’s summer dance workshop, which accepts students 8-12, and SAB’s Los Angeles young dancer workshop for students 10-14 (she probably won’t make this age cutoff though). If I think of or come across others, I’ll update you.

  8. The Dancing Cat says:

    Thank you for the information provided. I have a question related to the audition for the Ailey summer program. My studio and company is based in classical ballet, and modern teachers/dancers are brought in for master classes, but we do not have an official modern program. A male dancer from my studio auditioned for the summer program last year and was not accepted because he did not have experience in Horton on his application (he was placed with the lower level dancers before the modern potion; he did well on the ballet section). I have tried contacting places around southeast Michigan (I live near the Univ. of Michigan area) about Horton and/or Graham specific technique classes, but I have only been able to find general modern classes (which is what the dancer was taking for a year), or a blend of multiple techniques.

    When I attended the Joffrey NY intensive in last year, I extremely disliked it. I ended up attending a day at Ailey instead with the summer intensive students, and it was great fit and enviornment for me. So, I would find it odd that I wouldn’t be accepted for lack of Horton technique, but still have the ability to attend class with other accepted students. Should I write a side note about my previous attendance at the audition?

    Auditions are held in Detroit every year for the summer program, but I can’t find Horton classes in the Detroit area either. I don’t think I could simply write on my application “no Horton classes available in my location,” because people must be getting accepted if Detroit is an annual stop on the tour. Sorry for such a long question! What would you recommend?

    Thank you

    • Monica H says:

      I agree with you that it is difficult to find a pure style of contemporary or modern technique in certain areas. My friend had a similar problem when auditioning for a collegiate program that was more modern based than her training was. She did well, but I think it also depends on what a school is looking for, and what they value in a dancer. Sometimes auditions are just odd too.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi there and thanks for reading. I would be astounded if Ailey rejected a single dancer for not having Horton training. I can assure you that the vast majority of students who audition for and attend Ailey for the first time (including one of my own students) have had zero Horton classes. My guess is that there was some sort of miscommunication with regard to your fellow student. (As a side note, I’ve known not one single SI that will communicate to rejected students why they were not accepted, so I would be interested to hear exactly how this information was acquired.)

      In any event, I would definitely mention your experience at Ailey IF there is an appropriate place for it on the application. (For example, if they ask how you heard about the program or if you have been to the school before.) I wouldn’t worry about mentioning that you have no Horton experience UNLESS they actually ask that as a question on the form. Your best strategy going into this audition is to harness your enthusiasm for the school to really perform at your pique in the audition. Translate your excitement for Ailey into vivid movement and powerful performance. Also, if you are as passionate as you believe, invest time to research the company’s history and legacy so that you know something about them walking in the door. Good luck!

  9. moogeeq_2 says:

    I have a 17 year old son, who would like to be a professional ballet dancer. Of all the summer intensives which have the best men’s programs?

  10. Madeleine says:

    Hi. My mum just forwarded me the link to this website. I went to the Bolshoi ballet the year before last, when I was twelve. Last year I went to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington. This year I am 13 turning 14. I am auditioning for ABT, BBS, Kirov again, I sent pictures to the Royal Ballet School in England, and I might be auditioning for the Bolshoi again. I live in the Connecticut/New York city area. Any ideas for more programs to audition for? Thanks

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Sounds like you’ve been doing very well! Where you go next depends on what you want to study and what your goals are. If it’s important to you to stick to a particular ballet style you’ve had in the past, look for programs that specialize in it. Maybe you want to increase your versatility by expanding the styles your are trained in, or even by expanding into other techniques of dance. Perhaps you are low on performing experience and looking for a program that will offer performance opportunities. See what I mean? It’s up to you to evaluate what you need and put in the time to research the programs that offer those features. Good luck!

  11. LPP says:

    A note on Boston’s summer program – those students who are 10 – 14 do NOT train at a small private college. They train at the largest of BB’s schools – in the Newton studio – 15 minutes from downtown. Students who board live in the dorms at a local private college and are bused into the Newton Studio daily – as well as have the option for weekend excursions.

  12. Fiona says:

    Hi, I’m 14 and I have never gone away for a summer dance course, only done local programs, so I am a bit nervous, as you can imagine. I live in New Mexico which is unfortunate because not many programs have auditions here. I am looking at Ballet Chicago, Boston Ballet, Lines Ballet, Long Beach Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. I was just wondering if you might have an idea which of these might be the best for the first time going away for a dance course; or, if you know of any other programs that have auditions in New Mexico, that would be great. At the moment, I am strongly leaning towards Ballet Chicago as one of my dance teachers is on the staff and many of my friends have gone and said it was wonderful. Also, I have very little idea if body type has any sort of influence on whether these programs will accept me, but if you know they do I am very tall with blond hair and I am very thin.

    I am basically just looking for recommendations and other options if you know of any. Also, if you know of programs that are a little less in tuition, that would be great. I am just a little overwhelmed because this is my first year trying for out of state programs, and also since I started this year as a dance major at a performing arts high school, I am becoming much more serious (though I always have been) about dance. Anyway, thanks in advance if you can help! Sorry for such a long comment 😛

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      I’d take Joffrey off your list because its not the easiest place to go for a first time – It’s in the big city, offer few housing options and even less meal options, etc. (Still audition if you can though, it’s good experience.) Boston Ballet is a better choice for a well known program in a large city that takes close care of the dancers. Possibly better training that Joffrey at present as well, though I can’t state that with authority. Lines Ballet I’ve heard is great, Long Beach is smaller. However, Ballet Chicago, with its connection to you through you own dance teacher, could be the ideal choice for your first summer away. Also, you might check out Magnus Midwest and Nutmeg Conservatory, great first time programs and very high quality. Merde!

  13. abba says:

    Well, Joffrey is a good program, but maybe not for a first timer-as it is very crowded and somewhat disorganized. In the end, the program looks very good though.

      • dancer mom says:

        I would not recommend this program at all. It is very unorganized, not to mention their staff was unprofessional and rude. On a number of days, teachers would call out and a last minute sub would be called in. There is no schedule for the “off time”. Students basically have to fend for themselves when not in class and on weekends. (Not the scenario you want for your child in “the big city”). Unfortunately this was my 13 year olds first experience in a summer intensive.

  14. Andrea says:

    My daughter will be old enough (9) to audition for The Rock, Bolshoi, and Gelsey Kirkland. She dances under the ABT curriculum at our home school, but I can’t find an intensive for kids her age with the same curriculum. My question is, will we be confusing her if she auditions/attends 1-2 weeks at a school with a different curriculum? (she’ll be video auditioning for ABTs YSD program as well, but we can’t get to in-person auditions this yr). Thank you!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi Andrea! I wouldn’t worry too much about a new program unless its something equally particular, such as Balanchine. GKA might be a great choice since they focus on healthy technique style and expression/performance. Rock is heavily influenced by Balanchine and Bolshoi is obviously a pretty strict adherence to Vaganova and Russian.

      I’m curious why you/she are seriously looking to send her away at such a young age? Auditions are great to start early for exposure and audition training, but I don’t usually recommend students that young look for training outside of their home studio unless quality there is an issue.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Andrea says:

        My husband travels quite a bit, so we have tons of miles and hotel points, so I figured since all she wants to do is dance, why not go somewhere she could do that while being in a different part of the country for 1-2 weeks?

         Looking at the programs in more detail, I now know what’s a better fit with her training and for what I want for her for the Summer. Thank you for your help! 🙂

        • esmeralds says:

          If you want to do SI somewhere than your own town it’s Great, Otherwise, G.Kirkland is OK, not great, my daughter did it last year and she was 9. Bolshoi has good teachers, but it’s very crowded. Both of this program require audition, but at the end they take everyone.

  15. Taylor Braunstein says:

    Hi! I was wondering if there were any other programs (besides the rock, kaatsbaan and nutmeg) that start after july 8th (i have to go on a family vacation) and that accept people who don’t have the traditional “ballerina body”. thanks so much in advance!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      There are a few August workshops that might work for you, but these are always shorter and are usually designed to bridge the gap between a six- or four-week intensive and the new school year. You will also like to check out programs like Rock where you can choose which weeks you attend. So my suggestions are: Manhattan Youth Ballet, Ellison Ballet (pas de deux intensive), Ballet Academy East, ABT, CPYB, City Ballet of San Diego, Julliard and Kirov (session II).


  16. Linda says:

    My daughter is 17. She danced ballet from ages 4 to 8 and has just gotten back into it this past year. She is doing well but obviously is behind others her age due to the long break. I think she would really benefit from a summer intensive program but am not sure what programs would consider taking on a 17 year old who isn’t on pointe yet (but just about ready). Any advice?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      It’s great that your daughter is returning to what she loves. For SIs, I would try CPYB similar programs that don’t require an audition. You’ll find a few on this list if you click through what’s here. Good luck!

  17. Melissa says:

    My daughter is 12 (turning 13 in April). She has been dancing since she was 3 and has been on pointe almost 2 years. Last year she did a week long SI with Joffrey South (their program in Georgia) and some mini intensives with the Orlando Ballet. This year, we are looking for longer programs that are focused primarily on technique and the foundations of classical ballet (as recommended by her dance teacher). Her teacher recommended auditioning for Boston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Nutmeg, and the Sarasota Ballet. Are there any other schools in the Midwest / East Coast that you would suggest?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi and thanks for reading. I can’t hear midwest without thinking of Magnus Midwest in Michigan, a solid program for technique. Also in the midwest are Kansas City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Oklahoma City Ballet (http://www.okcballet.com/2012-summer-program.html). On the eastcoast, consider Carolina Ballet, Cary Ballet, CPYB and Walnut Hill.

      If NYC is available to you, there are obviously myriad choices there as well. If Pennsylvania is not too far, you also have Rock, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and John White’s program at Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet (thought I’m not sure how intensive that program is in terms of hours per day).

      Obviously, of these not all provide six week options, which are ideal. However do not discount the option of doing a four week program and adding on a separate August intensive at another school, as those programs are more common every year.

  18. Cristin says:

    Do you have any opinions or reviews from Saratoga Springs Dance Intensive? Their faculty list seems impressive.

  19. Nene says:

    Last summer my twelve year old daughter attended American Academy of Ballet at SUNY Purchase for five weeks. She liked the program. She only auditioned for two SI’s as we did not realize that the auditions started in January and it was already February. We had no idea how competative and what a big deal this was.

    This year she is auditioning for Nutmeg and Bolshoi. Both are in ct. I am wondering how they compare. Is one more prestigious or harder to get into than another does one offer better training etc? She is also going to audition for Kirov and Washington Ballet since they are both in DC I am wondering how they compare.

    Lastly she is auditioning for Miami City Ballet and Jofferey Chicago. I am a bit concerned that these are far away as last year as much as she loved the program, she did get a little homesick, fortunately we lived close enough that we could go to all the demonstrations and observation days and this helped her through it. Now she is talking about going even farther (Miami or Chicago) but she says if she gets in she will deal with it if she gets in because she thinks they are great SI’s because they are affiliated (in her mind I really don’t know) with excellent companies. She says that she was only homesick at night, she was very happy when she was engaged in dance and activity. Do you know anything about Joffery Chicago’s five week program (other than what’s on their website)? Is it really that prestigious I don’t even see this on your blog. She will be 13 in May.

    Oh one more thing…she is also auditioned for Boston but now is not sure about it because she saw the scedule and thinks it looks like a lot of down time and they do not seem to have a performance.
    What are your thoughts?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Bolshoi is a bit more competitive and prestigious because of its connection to the famed historical Bolshoi Ballet in Russia. Those students are considered for a trip to that facility if they attend the SI. Kirov and Washington are excellent schools. I might give Kirov the edge for the majority of students, but it truly comes down to the individual dancer’s needs. Washington is usually considered more nurturing. Joffrey Chicago is improving every year as I understand it, but they don’t quite have the prestige of some others if that’s what you’re after. The best way I’ve found to choose an SI is described in this post I did a while back: https://classicalballetteacher.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/you-be-the-judge-choosing-your-si/

      • Nene says:

        Thsank you. I will pass this info along to my daughter. Since we don’t have a really good school near our home we need to rely a lot on summer training.

  20. mom says:

    My 12 year old went to CPYB last summer for her first intensive and had a great experience and improved dramatically. She is auditioning for the first time this winter. My gut tells me that she should go back to CPYB but I am wondering if any of the programs hold it against you if you turn them down if you audition again in subsequent years? Also, I am wondering whether subsequent auditioners are impressed if they see a summer at SAB or PNB on an application or whether they simply look at technique? does it matter at all?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      I can’t predict how a given school will behave, but I have not come across vindictive or manipulative practices that would suggest a school of the level of CPYB would hold a grudge against a student or family for not attending. Good schools know that a) there are plenty of students to go around and b) there are many excellent programs around the country that students would do well to take advantage of, if only for networking. That said, be as considerate and prompt as possible with notification so you do not hold a spot closed for another student.

      With regard to “big-name” schools, please check out this post I did a while back: https://classicalballetteacher.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/whats-in-a-ballet-school-name/

  21. Penny says:

    Wow, you have done a fantastic job with this web site. My question is directed more specifically at the Magnus Midwest Intensive. It looks like a very challenging program. I have read one comment that is complementary of the mens classes. Is this a SI that would be strong for both men and women?
    Thank you!

    • Melissa says:

      We have had a number of our dancers – men and women- go to MMW. All have raved about the program. The only down side is that they are not associated with a company, so as our dancers became “employable” they have chosen to move on to SI’s associated with companies. That being said, a number of the men at MMW are actually college students and young professional dancers who return to MMW because of the excellent training and emphasis on partnering. I believe it is one of the more challenging and best run SI’s out there.

      • Teri says:

        My 13 year old daughter trains with Mr. Magnus here in Portland, OR all year. She went to the 2011 Magnus Midwest intensive and it was an incredible experience for her. She will return this year. It is important to note that Mr. Magnus was a faculty member and director of the Joffrey midwest intensive for years and also hand picked by Robert Joffrey to be a faculty member of the Joffrey ballet school in New York where he was a ballet master for 20 years and artistic director for 4 years. Mr. Magnus is now on his own by choice and has his own summer intensive and ballet school in Portland, OR, as well as his summer intensive in Michigan. I highly recommend the MMW intensive. The performance at the end is outstanding and the boys/men’s program is one of the best. I can’t say enough about my daughter’s progression as a dancer under his instruction. He is one of the best in the country.

  22. Molly says:

    I have three daughters, 14, 11 and 9. My older two have been to Joffrey Ballet in NYC and last summer to CPYB. They loved CPYB and definitely improved. My younger daughter was also able to take classes. My older two have had two auditions so far this season and one has gotten into Magnus Midwest and the other one just got into Walnut Hill with a merit scholarship. We still have some more auditions, but because of the positive experience we had at CPYB in the end we might return there. Do you think that it is ok to attend a program more than one year in a row?

  23. Kris Ludwinski says:

    Thank you for your information here. This summer will be the 3rd summer that my daughter will attend a SI. She turned 15 last October, and we live in the North Dallas area of Texas. I still feel like I’m new to this arena, so forgive me a couple of novice questions. About ABT, she has tried out for ABT the past three years and has gotten acceptance to their program but has not yet attended (she attended the Jillanna School in New Mexico in 2010, and Ballet Austin in 2011). We were thinking of going to ABT this year but are not sure, as she is considering other programs as well. I am not familiar with the JKO that you’ve referenced above in connection with ABT. Could you explain that connection? Also, what do you think of the ABT summer program, particularly the program in Austin? She received an acceptance there, and we listed Austin as our 1st preference as we live in Texas, but since the audition, my daughter has heard that the NYC and Orange County locations of the ABT program have better programs. You said in your description that ABT has tried in the past to form a successful school but now may have with JKO, and I don’t understand what you mean. Could you explain, please? Also, do you have an opinion about Joffrey San Antonio? Thanks!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      I apologize I missed this the first time around. I don’t know much about the Austin ABT program, but I usually recommend students go elsewhere if they don’t get into NYC. JKO is the official school of ABT. So they often choose ABT II company members (second company members) from the school. The company also shares some of its staff and resources with the school. ABT had a school years back, in the 80s most recently I think. I wasn’t a dancer then myself and I do not have historical information, but my understanding from fellow industry professionals is that various iterations of the school were not handled well financially and were unable to make a strong enough name through training, etc. With this background, my thought on their ABT Curriculum has been that its creation is their attempt to prevent making another school that will develop into another training failure. I could be off the mark with that, but the fact remains that they have tried and failed more than once to create a successful, official ABT school.

      • Kris Ludwinski says:

        Thanks so much for your info. on ABT. My daughter decided against ABT Austin, and we let the early deadline go past. Would you be able to give us a bit of further advice? She has also been accepted into Joffrey San Antonio, with a partial scholarship, into Orlando, and Boston Ballet (Newton, though she has just turned 15), and her last audition (a long shot, granted), was for Bolshoi NYC yesterday. However, her studio would like for her to attend NYCDA Nationals in NYC this summer with her dance team. We can’t afford to send her to both a SI and NYCDA Nationals, and feel that an SI would probably be a better bet for her, unless she possibly gets awarded Outstanding Dancer (in the teen division) at the Dallas NYCDA in April. (In that case, she would get to participate to a much greater extent at Nationals.) Waiting until this competition in April would cause us to miss SI deadlines though. She attended Ballet Austin last summer, and The Jillana School in New Mexico the summer before. She is just a bit of a late bloomer at her dance (though she’s been dancing since she was 4), but has been doing very well the past year-and-a-half or so, and is very serious about her dance, both ballet and lyrical, modern, etc. Do you have advice for her with respect to Joffrey SA or OBS, and with respect to an SI vs. NYCDA Nationals? Thanks so much!

  24. Kathy says:

    Would you have any recommendations for my 14 year old daughter for an August program? We live in Wisconsin and she will be attending the Milwaukee Ballet’s program for six weeks first. I came across a two week intensive called the Russian Ballet Festival – Intensive Training program located in Novi, Michigan. Would you have any information or recommendations on this program?

    Thank you!

  25. Nene says:

    Kirov or the Rock which intensive is better for a 13 year old? Who puts on a better ending performance? Who gives more dance hours?

  26. Lee Kootzman says:

    My daughter (12) is thinking about auditioning for the summer intensive at Gelsey Kirkland Academy. Has anyone heard anything about their program? How does it compare to the other SI programs? If she gets admitted how strongly should she consider attending?

  27. Emily Franklin says:

    My daughter went to Gelsey Kirkland last summer and loved it! She is going to train year round this coming school year there as well! The end of the intensive performance was mind boggling! So impressive. They learned so much 🙂 She is so advanced now that she was accepted into ABT NYC for this summer 🙂

  28. Emily Franklin says:

    p.s. she spent last summer at Boston Ballet on scholarship before attending Gelsey Kirkland. She got good training at Boston, but was not happy there at all. It was big and impersonal. The contrast when she got to GKA was incredible!

  29. schoggi says:

    Do you have any recommendations for a taller dancer (16 years old) who has attended summer ballet intensives for the last three years and loves modern/ contemporary dance?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      I know little about contemporary and modern programs, so not enough to know in particular which are better for taller dancers, but modern and contemporary in generally are pretty flexible on body type, especially compared to ballet. But check out Ballet Noveau, Lemon Sponge Cake Ballet, Julliard, :pushingprogress, North Carolina School of the Arts, Bill Parsons, Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King Lines, Peridance, Joffrey NYC, Hubbard Street, University of Oklahoma, Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, and Debbie Allen. Broadway Dance Center also runs something in L.A. I believe. Good luck!

  30. Kathia says:

    You didn’t even mention Dance Theater of Harlem. As woman raising a young ballerina of color we audition for them and heard from several mom’s that their daughter confidence rose and felt more nutured in an enviroment where they were the odd man out and they were told they couldn’t do it and that their bodies and wrong as such. Just a thought for those of us looking more divercity.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      I am going to assume that you meant no offense by your first sentence, but as someone attempting to encourage sensitivity in others, I would ask that you express yourself more carefully next time. You are correct that I have not as of yet listed DTH. When I originally began this list, I intended to list only those programs which I felt I had some intimate knowledge of, which incidentally included schools founded and predominantly attended by minority ethnicities. As readers and schools have asked that additional listings be added, I have always done so provided the institution was reputable. However I would caution you that any good program will encourage dancers of all ethnicities, genders, creeds and backgrounds to strive within reason for quality classical technique in the way that best suits their individual body. To imply that DTH is the only school capable of this is an insult to countless fine programs who are just as qualified in that arena, if not more.

      • Eagles20 says:

        First I apologize if I offended you that was not my intent. I simply am baffled that I am still finding the same closemindedness in some programs that I encountered 20 years ago and when my mother was younger. I come from a family of dancers and I always have raised my daughter to believe with hard work she can be anything regardless of gender or race. She also happeneds to be talented. I am far from a dance mom however I will not have my daughter sterotyped. We have had a trying year at her current school which is diverse so much we are switching in the fall to another program. I am brining my daughter to DTH to refute the nonsense that she has been told at her current institution with a visual. We are auditioning for other programs as well however I would like her to be in nuturing enviroment where the focus will be on making her a better dancer. She’s only ten years old and has the rest of her life to worry about nonsense. She’s also very shy and has shed one to many tears this year of sheer madness. I’m just a little frustrated and that may come thru on my previous. I am open to suggestions.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    Hi classical Ballet Teacher
    I was wondering if you knew anything about the LA Ballet School’s intensive program? My daughter is very interested in going and would appreciate any insight you may have.


  32. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for this website- it helps so much. I was wondering what your opinion of Suzanne Farrel’s summer intensive is. I didn’t see it on your list. Thank you so much!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Thanks for reminding me of it. It tends to slip my mind because its more of an short August intensive than a true summer program. (Also, it used to be a stand alone versus now being connected to a company.) I’ve heard many very good things about it actually, and it can be a really great opportunity for a dancer to meet Ms. Farrell and have a chance to be seen for her company. Check out http://www.dancers.invizione.com for the forum on summer intensives and you should be able to find student evaluations of the program.

  33. Dustin says:

    Hello, I’m 18 and started ballet classes at a local studio not even a year ago. I’ve been in two performances so far (sleeping beauty and the nutcracker). I’m still very much a beginner and was wondering what summer intensive programs are my best chance at getting accepted, also I do not come from a wealthy family and was wondering what are my chances at a scholarship/financial aid. I really love dance and Im doing everything I can to catch up for lost time. What would be your advice?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi there. I hope you are enjoying your training. As far as summer intensives, a school with a wide net of acceptance will provide you the best odds, but the classes will probably be larger which could mean less individual attention if you attend, so there is a trade off there. Financial aid is usually based on talent, though there are a few need based programs out there. You’ll just have to invest time to research the individual schools you are going to audition for. Based off your name, which is usually male, you may qualify for a men’s scholarship if you are in fact a guy.

      Separately, my best advice for catching up is to take as many good quality classes as you can, leaving one day a week for rest of course. Check out this article for my personal opinions on training. If you are male, this may vary a bit – https://classicalballetteacher.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/is-my-class-schedule-pre-professional/

      And don’t forget to read the men’s and boy’s ballet blogs listed on the blogroll above right.

      • Dustin says:

        I’m currently at a small local school for ballet and taking as many classes as I can. Never late, and never miss a class. Except for this Saturday! There’s a audition for the Carolina Ballet Summer intensive I plan on auditioning for along with many others in the days to come. Wish me luck!

  34. Kris Ludwinski says:

    Hi! You’ve given a great amount of good info here — thanks! Can you please look over my Jan. 15th query? I think you may have overlooked it. Thanks so much!

  35. Fliss says:

    Can anybody tell me about the Orlando Ballet Summer Intensive? My daughter has been accepted there and also Ballet Austin and is unsure which would be the best option. She is at a ballet studio that is very strong on Balanchine technique and has attended Austin where she had a wonderful experience. Would it make sense for her to return to Austin, or try something new?

    • Melissa says:

      My daughter was there when Peter Stark was the AD of Orlando Ballet. The program was very good. There were quite a few levels and each one seemed to be both appropriate and challenging. They were housed at Rollins College then…not sure where they are currently housed. They were transported to their classes in tour buses that had Disney DVDs playing….and each Sunday was a different theme park 🙂 Many of the friends my daughter made at this SI are still friends seven years later. Not sure if that was due to the program, or just my daughter’s age at the time (15), but this is the SI she remembers most fondly. I’m sorry I cannot compare this to Austin…

  36. Mary says:

    How do you write a polite “no thanks” letter to a summer intensive program, especially when you have been offered a scholarship? Do you specify which program you will actually be attending, or do you simply thank them and say you have decided on another program?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Don’t bother explaining where the student is going. For the sake of expediency, send by email instead of snail mail. Simply thank them for the award and consideration and say you’ve decided another program would best meet the student’s current needs.

  37. kerrie says:


    My daughter (14) has been accepted/is debating between Kaatsbaan’s intermediate SI and Harid Conservatory’s SI. Her goal is to improve technique as much as possible this summer. Would you recommend one over the other? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  38. mniko says:

    My ten year old daughter was accepted at Bolshoi Summer Intensive in Middlebury. We are still waiting for an answer from ABT. Do you have an opinion as to what we should pick between the two? Do you think 10 is too young for a summer intensive?

  39. VaganovaGirl says:

    What are good summer intensives for first-timers? I’m almost twelve years old and I’m planning to do a summer intensive next summer.

  40. Janet says:

    Hi, this is an awesome site. My daughter has been accepted to both Bolshoi and PNB.
    She has been in total awe of the Bolshoi for a while now and feels there is no comparison.
    She wants to do the six week in Connecticut rather than the less expensive 5 week in Seattle
    Washington. She will only be 13 and this will be her second intensive. Which in your opinion
    would benefit her the most????


  41. Madeleine says:

    Hello everyone!!
    I am from Germany and I´m 17 years old. I´ve been doing Ballett since 3 years now, (I know, not very long 🙂 For 2 years I´ve been going 5-6 times a week, classical, modern, and pointe classes. I train about 2 hours a day and totally enjoy it. My Dad is american, so i have american citizenship. Summer 2013 I will start studying in New Mexico ABQ. I will be done with High School in June and I really really want to go to a summer intensive program this year! Recently I´ve been accepted at a well known ballett school here in Germany, they wanted to take me in this advanced class, where I have intensive training every day. I will join them this may. So my question is; I´m not a very good dancer, my teachers tell me my body is talented, I guess I´m just lucky because I´m naturally very skinny, but I´m not “supergood” or professional. My teacher told me it´s probably too late to become a professional CLASSICAL dancer, which I understand (and sadly accepted…), but I might be able to become a contemporary dancer. Is there a Summer intensive for students, that are 18 years old and just LOVE to dance? I´m not very good on pointe, my barre work is okay i think…. I´m just scared they won´t accept me anywhere, because I´m so bad….that would suck 🙂 Another Problem is, that I only have holidays from August 1st- September 12th. After that my studio opens again, and I have to attend my normal ballett training. I saw a few Schools, that have programs in August, I might be able to start around the 25th of July, too! Do you have an idea which one would be best? It should be fun and exciting, the people should be nice and the housing too. And is it true, that you may get a scholarship if you attend this program? That would be awesome, even though that sounds very weird 🙂 Thank you very much for taking your time and reading this! Greetings from Germany,

  42. Mom of young dancer says:

    My 11 year old daughter has been accepted at Kirov and Gelsey Kirkland for the summer intensives. She loved the Kirkland audition, but found the Kirov to be intimidating. I had thought Kirov would provide greater depth for the summer, but she is now leaning towards Gelsey. Thoughts?

  43. NEMom says:

    Does anyone know anything about the Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Workshop (2 week program for ages 8 to 12)? Its not an audition program – but its staffed with Boston Ballet faculty. Is it a good option?

  44. pmcolorado says:

    Thank you so much for doing this blog post – it has been really helpful!

    My daughter does not want to be a professional ballet dancer but may want to major in dance in college recognizes the importance of ballet training and takes about 8 hours of ballet a week (including pointe) in addition to modern, jazz, tap, etc… She also does not have a traditional ballet physique – at age 15 she is only 5’0″ tall and is quite lean but has a natural “booty” (think Jennifer Lopez … ha ha!). She would like to do a summer dance intensive to really improve her ballet.

    We have looked at many that you have mentioned, and she has already been accepted by ABT and Nutmeg already. We are also looking at a couple of university programs, namely Syracuse University and George Mason. Do you know anything about those programs, and are there any others you would recommend for her?

    Thank you!

    • Melissa says:

      I am 15 and went to the Nutmeg Conservatory last summer for the first two week program but decided to come back to the last two week program after because I loved it so much. I would highly recommend it!

  45. Donna DeNisco says:

    My daughter has been accepted to the Joffrey Chicago Summer Intensive and I am having difficulty finding reviews and information. Most of the posts are about the New York Joffrey and as I understand it, they are no longer related. My questions are many: Do you recommend this intensive for a 15 year old? Are the classes too large for individual attention? Is it a difficult intensive to get into overall? Is there a site that has testimonials for the Chicago Intensive? Etc., Etc. Thank you in advance for any information you can supply!

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Joffrey Chicago is not a bad program, but despite its connection to the professional company it does lack the prestige of the NYC version. I cannot make recommendations for a dancer based soley on and without meeting or seeing her, but I wouldn’t Not recommend Joffrey Chicago. It is not among the most selective of programs, but it is not considered poor quality. Please read my post Choosing Your SI for additional information. Good luck!

  46. Snow says:

    What are your thoughts on attending an intensive with two full technique class per day, one morning and one after lunch? Our daughter will be fourteen at the time of the intensive. Current home schedule is six days, 16-18 hrs. per week.

    Intensive: M-F 2 technique class + pointe or pas + jazz or modern
    Sat: 1 technique class

    Thank you for your insight!

  47. mixemos says:

    Is there a reason that the Joffrey Ballet School NYC is listed this year and the Joffrey Academy in Chicago is not?(It was on 2011’s list) It was on last years list and I was wondering if that was oversight or a statement of quality? My DD has been accepted to both….we are trying to figure out which is a better match for her

  48. Melissa says:

    Hi I’m 15 and I have gotten into all Kaatsbaan programs 1, 2 and 3, ellison ballet summer program, bolshoi in nyc, boston ballet sdp, walnut hill, san francisco, nutmeg, and abt north carolina and bermuda, any suggestions from anyone? thanks!

  49. jennifer N. says:

    Does anyone know a great place to stay in Santa Monica? My daughter will be attending the SAB workshop in Santa Monica……need to find a place soon!

  50. MOM of a dancer says:

    Does anybody have any comments at all about the Bolshoi Connecticut 6 week program
    for a 13 year who would be in the oldest group of that intensive???? She only auditioned for
    the fun of it not thinking it was a possiblity!! Now she can’t imagine choosing anything else.
    Is 6 weeks far away from home a bad idea for a thirteen year old? (her first time away). She
    believes she needs to stay the 6 instead of the 3 to get the full benefits. She is madly in love
    with this company and Natalia Osipova. Any comments AT ALL on this 6-week intensive at the
    Westover School?? Thanks

    • esmeralds says:

      Natalia Osipova did not go to Bolshoi for 6 weeks with 30 kids in class, she went to Bolshoi for 8 years intensive training with 10 kids in class, huge difference!!!

      • MOM of a dancer says:

        Actually we weren’t questioning Natalia. Thanks anyway. We know that ths intensive and the teachers are absolutely amazing. We also know for a fact that not all that audition get accepted. This intensive seems to pack the younger ones in because they are one of the few that take them more seriously. The Russians in general have a lot more respect for the arts ithan countries like the U.S.. They are also known for much more “intense” classes than most. This intesive unlike alot of others attracts extreemely talented students worldwide. This place wins hands down over most!

  51. Nene says:

    I think it is a good choice because it is all on the same campus. No bus rides to studios and I have heard it is a safe area. My daughter will be going for 6 weeks. She will be thirteen in May. It is a 50 minute drive from my home so she will reside there on campus. I read on ballet talk that they keep you very busy so there is little time to get home sick. That sounded good to me. We avoided SI’s where I read there was down time because I think kids get homesick if they are not busy. My daughter is excited as well. I think it goes up to age 14 so they probubly won’t be the oldest.

    • MOM of a dancer says:

      Oh thanks sooo much, My husband as well seemed to like the
      set up, not to mention the culural experience at the same time.
      I do wish we were a 50 minute drive away! I would feel more comfortable
      with that. We will as well need to send her on a plane from California!
      But your right, looks like they do have a very organized plan. She just turned
      13. I like that the oldest kids there will only be 14 so hopefully not too too
      crazy in a teen age sort of way. Won’t be easy being so far away from her,
      I would think they’d have internet access though, and hopefully we can skype
      or call often if either her or I feel the need.

  52. Kim says:

    I got accepted in the the rock school in penn and gelsey kirkland academy in nyc, im leanibg toward gelsey but i know its new and i dont know much about it. Any suggestions? Or has anybody heard anything good about it?

  53. Emily Franklin says:

    GKA is awesome! My daughter went last summer and is returning for year round training this year. The facility is very average. The training is as good as it gets!!!!! It is a great environment sosially, emotionally, professionally and artistically. The final performance by her studio company was some of the best ballet I have seen in years. Gelsey and Mischa are sweet, know their dancers, are supportive and committed to giving the best intensive training and experience possible. Love this school!!! And no they did not pay me to say this! lol

  54. Emily Franklin says:

    Now, a question! My daughter has been accepted to ABT NYC, Bolshoi, Kirov, Boston, and Gelsey Kirkland. She was rejected by SAB, PNB, and SF. Does this mean she does not have a Balanchine Body? She is 5’4″ 104 with long limbs, short torso, and good feet~~ but not amazing feet. I am wondering how this will affect her future job opportunities? Her teachers say she will have a long and wonderful career. But, the rejections from the Balanchine based schools worries me.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Good question, but it’s probably too early to tell. If she’s older, they might be worried about height, but there could be many other reasons for her results from this season’s audition. Also – not having a Balanchine future should not worry, if that is the case which it may not be – there is room for dancers of more varying shapes, sizes and shades than ever in ballet history! And Balanchine schools and companies should not be considered the ba-all end-all of ballet. That would be an awfully narrow and boring ballet world if so 🙂

  55. balletmomcubed says:

    What a wonderful post! My 16 year old daughter is trying to decide between Joffrey NYC, Joffrey Georgia (advanced trainee), Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary (all programs), Nashville Ballet and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She enjoys ballet but is developing a love of contemporary. There seems to be a lot of negative reviews of Joffrey NYC, but has anyone attended the Georgia programs and/or the Jazz and Contemporary intensives? Nashville Ballet seems to be a nice mix of ballet and contemporary and we would love to hear from someone who attended that program. She is on the wait list for the NC School of the Arts for the fall academic program, and is trying to decide if attending the summer intensive would help her gain acceptance. However, if she does go there in the fall, she would really like to spend the summer somewhere else. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Vic says:

      “There seems to be a lot of negative reviews of Joffrey NYC, but has anyone attended the Georgia programs and/or the Jazz and ….”

      I scanned posts and only saw one mom mention her daughter did not like but gave no reason. I am planning to send my two girls to summer intensive at NYC Joffrey. They have been very disorganized in responding to my queries but other than that what should I expect? New York friends with kids there confirm it is disorganized but otherwise solid program. Something I am missing? Thanks so much!

      • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

        Years back I almost went to Joffrey for the summer myself. That was a long time ago, but I had the same problem… I think it may be a cultural thing with that school. Even by the website you can tell how behind the times they are organizationally. There’s not really a good reason for them to be running the school in that way – they should have enough experience to run circles around others. But the training is still pretty solid.

      • balletmomcubed says:

        I’ve read some other reviews on different sites that have said that the classes are very crowded which leads to less individual attention and less appropriate corrections. I also read that they do not have many opportunities for extra-curricular activities outside of ballet class. However, these are just things I have read and I do not have any personal experience. She is looking to go away for 5 weeks. If she were only going for a week or two I don’t think I would be concerned.

        • Nene says:

          This is only heresay but at two seperate auditions I met people who had experience at Joffery NYC SI. The first was a girl about 16 or 17 she said she liked it but they were on their own a lot. She had to take the subway from housing. Food was not provided some girls bought take out. If you brought your own pans you could cook. At a seperate audition I met a mother who said her daughter attended. She liked it. She said the first couple of days the chaparones took the subway with the girls to and from the studios, after that they were on their own. This did not pose a problem for her. She said her daughter handled it well. I don’t remember how old ahe was but I am guessing she said 15. My daughter is just turning 13 and for me that was not an option. Maybe because we live in the burbs.

  56. Crystal says:

    What is your opinion of the Joffrey NYC SI?
    I am 16 and I only auditioned to joffrey as i did not intend to actually join a program this summer, however i am considering joining as I had been accepted into many of joffreys programs including the year round trainee program.
    But because of all the negative feedback, i’m a little reluctant to go now?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      It’s not a bad school by any stretch and many dancers have enjoyed their experience at the school. You have learned the hard way though – it’s far better to audition for more schools and get valuable audition experience plus wider options than it is to limit yourself to one or two schools. If you are able to attend, I would go for it.

  57. Eskafu says:

    My daughter was accepted to Jofrey NY, Washington Ballet, Kirov and ABT Texas, we tried asking her ballet Master but he’s not in favor of her doing her intensive elsewhere, he want’s his students staying the summer at he’s school. I believe change is good for everyone. Can someone guide me on the best direction. She doesn’t have a perfect ballerina body and I’m not concerned about a future as a ballerina but I would like her to get the best out of her summer experience ( she’s 14)

  58. emily says:

    I’m considering auditioning for the rockettes summer intensive program. I am 14 and have never been to an audition before. I have 10 years of ballet training, 8 years of jazz, but only 2 and 1/2 years of tap. Will this hurt me? Should I consider auditioning?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Emily, I have never met you or seen you dance before, but if your training has been of good quality there is no reason not to audition! At the very least, you will have an opportunity to meet some great instructors, see other dancers and have an exciting experience that will only help to bolster your training. Good luck!

  59. Lily says:

    Hi! I’m thirteen and I got accepted into the American Academy of Ballet. Do you know anything about it? Thank you! 🙂

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi dear. I know a little about AAB. It’s not on the same level as JKO, SAB or PNB, but its much better than most local schools can provide. If your only other choice is a local school, I would go. Also I think the community experience there is really great for most students. Congratulations!

    • Nene says:

      My daughter attended that program last year. It was her first SI. She really enjoyed the classes. The food is pretty good. Stew leonards (If you know the store) caters it. Her biggest complaint was no sweets so stock up on candies or cookies if you have a sweet tooth. The end performances were very well done. I had the opportunity of observing tecnique classes on more than one occasion and I thought that the instructors were very good. My daughter really liked Ms. Lindup, Mr. Loftus, and Ms. Sepel. She wasn’t too fond of the character classes and the jazz that was taught to her level was very elementary. One nice thing is that each room had its own bathroom. I’m afraid she is not going to be happy with the bathroom situation this year because its down the hall and she is now spoiled. Have fun if you go, and Congratulations!

  60. Ally says:

    Is the Washington Ballet intensive supposed to be good? I auditioned and got into the program this year, but just want to confirm that this was the right choice.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hey Ally. I’ve mentioned on this site many times that it is indeed a very strong program. Do a search here for that. Also, please go to Ballet Talk for Dancers for detailed information and first-hand reviews. Congratulations!

  61. Ellena says:

    Hello Ally,
    I have a 7 yr old who loves Ballet. She has been in company for 2 years now. We live in Dallas, TX and are looking at the Texas Ballet Theater School for it’s Jr. Summer Intensive Program. Have you heard good things about them? This is the first time we are doing an Intensive. I would love to hear what you think?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Yes definitely. The school and company are pretty well respected. I think it’s a wonderful place to start. I hope you’ll comment on your/her experience at Ballet Talk for Dancers. Thanks for reading.

    • Ellena Prokopeas says:

      Hello Ally, 7-22-12
      We did not do the Texas Ballet Theater School in Dallas because the studio is old, dirty and it just was not worth the money. They also have a school in Fort Worth but the program they have for young girls is weak. So we ended up taking classes at Ballet Academy of Texas in Coppell. They put my daughter in a Level 1 class that met 3 times a week. It was OK but we wanted more. Now I’m looking for a strong Ballet Studio that my daughter can take 2-4 hrs Ballet per day 6 days a week. All the teachers are telling me it’s too much but it’s not… look at Lada Sartakova from Russia, her studio is grooming world class dancers. Do you know of any strong Ballet schools in the Dallas or USA area that have that type of a schedule? Is my only choice private lessons? I could go broke very fast… Help! One of my daughters Russian teachers told me we need to move to Europe! My daughter is only 7 now, how do I guide her in ballet?

  62. sky says:

    I have the perfect model ballet body but i wouldn’t say I am the best of the best. I have been on pointe for about 3 years. I am pretty good at it but definetly not the strongest in my level. I have also been taking ballet for 10 years, jazz for eight, tap for 2.5, modern for 2, and broadway jazz for 3. Again I would not say I am the best dancer though. Any suggestions for a good intensive for me?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi dear. I can’t say from only this info what intensives would be best for you. It’s very tough to do by correspondence. However, you can read up on all the available intensives at Ballet Talk for Dancers. Also, I have plenty of articles here on choosing your SI and related issues. Finally, when in doubt you can always benefit by auditioning for as many as you can reasonably schedule, and then narrowing it down once you know your options. Also CPYB is a solid school that stresses technique and does not require audition.

  63. Mrs. P says:

    Do you know of any good intesnives including ballet, jazz, and tap. Ballet would be great but if there was only tap and jazz, that would be fine too. My daughter has been asking around but hasn’t found much yet.

  64. pmcolorado says:

    The New York City Dance Alliance Summer Dance Intensive is a good all-around intensive. The ballet is very good, but it is not the main focus. The tap, jazz and contemporary are terrific and dancers will also get a little voice training, yoga and pilates. My daughter attended last summer and had a good experience. Best of luck!

  65. dancer mom says:

    I notice that the Joffrey program you include is the one in New York, which, as you note, is not affiliated with the Chicago company. The Chicago Joffrey also runs a summer intensive, but it is not on your list. Any reason?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Hi, thanks for reading. I included Joffrey Chicago last time, but you are correct that I removed it for the spring 2012 list. It’s an OK program; there are many programs that are better, but also many that are not as good.

  66. luv2dance86 says:

    Hi. I am 13 years old and will turn 14 in march. last year I went to a summer intensive (ballet lexington) at a small school that you did not have to audition for. I liked it but they used alot of terms that I did not know. I really love ballet and would love to be professional but am not the best and living in Iowa there are not many prestigious ballet programs. I am also not flexible and do not have archy feet or hyperextended knees. I want to audition for a summer intensive this year, but will probably do video audition. I also do not have a great dancers body (I amd 5’4 and weigh 115).I am a pretty good turner, but have never done partnering and go to a small ballet school not very hard. Any ideas of a place that is hard but not to hard?

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