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What dance schools are the best for ballerinas?

I’m a junior in high school and I want to be a professional ballerina, I’ve done dance since I was 8 and love it, but I’m confused where to go after high school. I know about schools and academy’s but I don’t want to go to NYC or California if possible. What are the best schools? How do I get into them? How do I apply to them?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Katrina’s Answer

Hi Carolyn,

After high school if you'd like to pursue a career in dance you will likely need to choose one of 2 routes:

1. Attend a college with a wonderful dance program. There are several great dance programs in colleges across the country, some are performance focused schools (like Juilliard) and others are normal universities that happen to have a respected dance program as well.

2. Join a pre-professional or studio company or a company as an apprentice. A ballet dancer's career often starts right after high school, many companies hold auditions for apprentice positions within the company or for positions in a "studio company" which is developed for pre-professional students to gain experience in a professional setting with the hopes of joining a company as a full company member. Auditions may be held once or twice a year and can be either in person or virtual. If virtual you will need to prepare an audition tape, each company will have different guidelines for what needs to be included.

To find great dance programs or audition opportunities I highly suggest becoming a part of a ballet community, a great resource for this is Dance and also Pointe Magazines. They often list many resources for students from audition dates, what to expect, and information about college dance programs.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Carolyn !

What a graceful and delightful talent and career pursuit you have and I would be happy to give you some advice !

The best ballet training would be in New York City, Los Angeles or in Europe. Since you've mentioned that you do not want to relocate to Los Angles or New York City, you might want to consider training in a city that has noted ballet troupes so that you can work. Seattle and San Francisco are two of these cities.

One of the things that you will need to consider is that no matter where you study, once you are chosen for a performance, you may have to travel, and that may mean New York City or Los Angeles. You will have to go wherever your troupe is performing. So, as far as studying, I would suggest reviewing some schools in places that you do not mind studying in, but realize that after your study ends and you are ready for performance, you may be chosen to actually go to any place in the world. The American Ballet Theatre is considered one of the best but it is located in New York City.

So what would I suggest ? I would suggest that you keep training wherever you feel is a good fit for you. Not only ballet, but other dance forms, too. Specialize in ballet, but you will want to be familiar with other choregraphed forms so you can increase your chances of work and get work in between ballet jobs. At one time or another, a performer has to live in either New York City or Los Angeles. As a person in Acting, I have lived in both cities. Please know that in both cities, you do not have to live right in the heart of them, you can live in the suburbs close by. Many performers who work in New York City live in nearby suburban counties and many performers in Los Angeles live in the Valley or other counties. Commuting is more challenging in Los Angeles, however.

In your state of Colorado, there is the Colorado West Performing Arts Company in Grand Junction. If you don't want to relocate now, I would advise that you get in contact with them, hopefully visit them in person and they can give you the most updated information about how to apply or get involved. I will leave a link to their website for you below.

Part of your experience is the foundational and advanced training, but you will also need to know the ins and outs of how actual ballet jobs work. I am sure with researching training and different locations, you will come up with a perfect plan for your career.

I hope that this has been helpful and has shed a little light on what you can expect as a professional ballet dancer. I wish you all the best every step of the way !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

https://www.coloradowestpac.org/ COLORADO WEST PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY
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JOHN’s Answer

Hello:

Can research those schools that filter out the NYC and California realms:
https://www.madeira.org/admissions/about-us - McLean, Virginia
https://www.westoverschool.org/admission/request-information - Middlebury, Connecticut
https://www.lindenhall.org/admissions/application-information -Lititz, PA
etc.

Bonus info if not known:
"American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland teaches you how to build your technique, embrace your story, and own your movement.":
https://www.masterclass.com/classes/misty-copeland-teaches-ballet-technique-and-artistry

Thank you towards the love you unwrap.

God Bless,

John German
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Carolyn
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