2014 Summer Intensive Auditions


Well. Such as it is, here is your 2014 Summer Intensives Auditions List (last updated 2/10/14) including 390 high quality programs complete with direct links, dates and age restrictions! It’s actually not as complete as I would like with some of the dates, but more schools than usual are behind in updating their site so I’ll be updating this list as I receive more information. Audition season is already well underway, so merde to all!

And as usual here’s my list of a few SIs, in no particular order, with strong reputations that you may want to put at the top of your list.

School of American Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Ellison Ballet Academy

Bolshoi Ballet Academy

San Francisco Ballet School

Boston Ballet School

Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Chautauqua Institution


Harid Conservatory

Miami City Ballet School

French Academie of Ballet

The Rock School 

Please send me a message if you encounter any broken links. As always, if you have any questions about particular SIs, please refer to Ballet Talk for Dancers, where you can create a free account and peruse first-hand reviews by dancers and parents.

P.S. I will be posting a separate list of Teacher Training programs in the next couple weeks, so teachers who have requested that: I hope to publish that before year end.


21 thoughts on “2014 Summer Intensive Auditions

  1. Irak Corona says:

    My daughter will be 11 in February. She did attend the summer intensive at maple conservatory in Irvine summer 2013 and is interested in attending a summer intensive this 2014 summer. We live in riverside and she’s only going to be 11 so we don’t feel comfortable about her having to travel alone. She has been in ballet, jazz, and lyrical classes for 5 years. Any suggestions for a summer intensive for her?

  2. rhonda says:

    My son is a ballet dancer and this is his first year going to summer intensives. Any recommended schools for BOYS first year?

  3. Butterfly69615 says:

    Hello. To give you some background, my daughter is 16 and is in her 3rd year under contract with a pre-professional ballet company. She has attended a variety of summer intensives, but we are looking for one that is truly “intensive” for her to attend this summer. Her first intensive in 2011 was with Nutmeg Conservatory and they danced from 8am to 8pm four days per week with only 15 minute breaks and 1 hour for lunch and dinner each. She loved the program and the people. The two SI programs she has done since then have not even come close to being that intense. Can you recommend some programs that might be similar in their “intensiveness”?

    Also, I notice that you place Boston Ballet on your list of top intensives and I wanted to offer some feedback about the program. My daughter, who was 15 at the time, auditioned and attended Boston Ballet last summer based on many recommendations from ballet instructors, etc. that it was a top school. We were highly disappointed with the experience. Class sizes were excessively large (30+ girls per class with one instructor) and as such there was no individual instruction and very few individual corrections offered. While the facilities downtown are beautiful and the building housed 7 studios, they could not accommodate all the dancers they had admitted to the program at once, so much time was spent sitting around waiting for her next class to start. Often, she would have a 2 hour wait after her first class of the day until her next class, and while she may be at the studio from 8am to 5:30 or 6:00, she would only dance about 4-5 hours during that 10-hour time frame.

    Before attending, we were told that Boston really individualized instruction, that any “bad habits” a dancer might have would be gone when they came back, and that the dancers would be grouped by what they needed to improve on, regardless of age. Needless to say, none of this happened. All students were divided into groups based on age with very large class sizes.

    From those I have discussed our experience with, it appears that Boston has significantly changed their summer intensive approach in recent years. They have increased the number of dancers they accept into their program and as a result the quality of the dance education has diminished. I would not recommend this program to any dancer looking to further develop a pre-professional career.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Thank you for your comments Butterfly. I really can’t contribute to the conversation on BBS anymore, as it’s changed hands twice since I was there many years ago. However, I would like to strongly encourage you to contribute your review to the Summer Intensives forum at Ballet Talk, a repository for parents and students looking for exactly such valuable first-hand information. http://dancers.invisionzone.com/

      As for schools with the hours you are looking for, it really varies from year to year who is doing what. I don’t know off the top of my head right now which programs are holding what hours, but many will publicize that info on the site, or it can be easily retrieved with a call. Alternatively, many parents and students have reported their experience at Ballet Talk.

      • Butterfly69615 says:

        Just an update, my daughter auditioned and was accepted for 6 weeks at Kaatsbaan. From everything we have read, it should be an experience to match her expectations. Thanks!

        • Hannah says:

          Hi I attended the Boston Ballet SDP and I improved a remarkable amount! So did my friends who attended. My teachers(in Boston) fixed some of my bad habits. My teachers here at my studio were very happy with my improvement. I think it depends on the training a dancer is given. It’s not about the time it’s about the quality for instance at SAB(my sister goes) they don’t dance as many hours as some other places, but the quality in my opinion is the best in the nation, the training those dancers receive is remarkable! Also if you don’t have breaks then you would be tired and not perform your very best. Which the faculty of Boston ballet strives for each student to always be at there best. My class size was about 17 girls when I was in Boston. I had a very rewarding summer! I will be attending Miami City Ballet’s Intensive this summer!

          • Butterfly69615 says:

            Hi Hannah – what you are describing is exactly what we had been told to expect by my daughter’s ballet mistress and everyone else we asked for recommendations. Perhaps that is why it was so disappointing. It would have been wonderful to have had only 17 girls in her class. Unfortunately, my daughter’s class size was around 30 girls. I think that makes a significant difference. And yes, while breaks are necessary, a 2 1/2 hour break between classes is excessive and can present more possibilities for injury with cold muscles.

  4. Margaret says:

    How do you feel about Boston Ballet trainee program? Do they often select students from their summer intensive?

    • Butterfly69615 says:

      I can’t speak for the quality of their trainee program, but I know my daughter auditioned for the trainee and year-round program during the SI. She said there were around 120 girls in the audition, plus another 20-30 guys. It was a 90 minute audition and they only did 4 combinations. She mentioned that a couple of the combinations they did in groups of 30, so you really needed to stand out if you were going to get noticed. My daughter was in the youngest age level, 15, and as far as she knew, only 1 girl was accepted from her age level into the year-round program.

  5. azu says:

    Hello. I wonder why Princeton Dance & Theater Studio (PDT) isn’t mentioned in these SI discussions? They have extremely excellent instructors, individualized attention, and were one of those singled out for discussion in the Dance Magazine SI issue.

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      Because there are more than 400 quality programs out there, and it’s simply not possible to give credit to every standout. i do my best to limit it to those who have held a pretty consistent standing in the dance community for a long period of time, but even that is up for argument as you can see from these comments. I am but a single point of data. 🙂

  6. Willow says:

    My 13-year-old daughter has gotten into LASBI, Ballet Austin, State Street, Joffrey NYC and Joffrey West. She was turned down for PNB, Washington and Houston. Since it is her first time away from home and staying in the dorms, it’s important to me that her experience is positive and supportive. I am leaning toward Austin Ballet as I have heard that it dancers that have attended there come away from it thinking it was a very positive environment. Do you have any advice for me on that? Based upon the choices she has, are there any programs that are obviously better than the others?

    • ClassicalBalletTeacher says:

      When I was young, I had to turn down Joffrey NYC because they didn’t provide housing and it was difficult to secure as a 14 year old. Generally, NYC is not a great choice for a first timer, unless you are thoroughly able to trust your daughter in a city environment while on her own for the first time and are sure it won’t overwhelm her. So I would suggest as a young one that you consider a smaller town program. That said, you should talk to the schools individually to see what kind of off-time programs they offer (field trips, etc) to keep them occupied (ie, out of trouble), as well as how much oversight they have according to your preference. You want to let her spread her wings a little without totally giving up safety and oversight, I would think. 🙂

  7. Ballerina.Jojo says:

    I’m looking at SIs for this upcoming summer (2015). I will be 12 years old for the coming SI season. I live in NYC so I’m not worried about auditions not coming to my town. I am at the intermediate level and doing beginner pointe. I have been doing ballet for 6 years and been en pointe for 1 year. I currently dance 8 classes a week (1 1/2 to 3 hours a day). This is my first time going to an SI. I need programs in June/August. My current list consists of Atlanta Ballet, Bolshoi CT, Bolshoi NYC, JKO Young Dancer, Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Orlando Ballet Jacksonville, School of Ballet Arizona, Ballet Academy East, French Academie of Ballet, Indiana Ballet Conservatory, Joffrey Ballet School NYC, Manhattan Youth Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory (June) Rock School- Philly, Rock School-Westchester, and Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater. Do you know anything about these? Any information is extremely helpful.
    Please Reply,

    • Juliette Dupre says:

      That’s wonderful! I just started research for this year’s list of SI auditions, and most schools have not quite put up their details yet. So I am going to wait a few more weeks to get really started on it. I usually post it in November, so keep your eyes out for it! In the meantime, I strongly advise that you make an account at Ballet Talk for Dancers so you can read through any first-hand reviews that have been posted for these schools.

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