Pre-Professional Program

Boston Ballet School provides an unparalleled ballet training experience with customized residential and academic support for aspiring professionals.

Pre-Professional Program Overview

Boston Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Program is a rigorous dance education and training program designed to prepare students for a professional career with Boston Ballet or in the ballet industry. The program attracts elite students from around the globe who compete for a small number of open spots each year.

Students benefit from the collective wisdom and experience of the School’s renowned faculty, led by Boston Ballet Artistic Director, Mikko Nissinen, School Director, Margaret Tracey and Head of Men’s Training, Peter Stark. Graduates have gone on to dance with Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Pennsylvania Ballet and New York City Ballet among many others.

Performance Opportunities

Classroom training is enhanced by various opportunities for students. Students may be selected to participate in annual performances of The Nutcracker and other Boston Ballet productions, and each school year ends with the annual Next Generation graduation performance featuring Pre-Professional students with Boston Ballet II at the Company’s home stage, the Boston Opera House. Next Generation features a live orchestra and major works of choreography.

Partnerships and Exchanges

Students may be selected to participate in one of Boston Ballet School’s exchange programs in Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, Germany, Canada’s National Ballet School, the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, or the Paris Opera Ballet School.

BBS Residential Program

Supervised housing for Pre-Professional Program students is offered at International Guest House in Boston's Back Bay. The Residential Supervisor lives in the building with students, creating a safe, nurturing environment. Space in the residential program is limited and fills up quickly. Interested students are encouraged to audition and register in the spring in order to secure housing for the following school year. Alternatives to supervised housing are also available. Students often find apartments together and BBS can assist in matching students who are looking for other students to live with.

Student Expectations

As students advance through the Pre-Professional Program, the daily training schedules change and the required time commitment increases. Students may need to adjust their academics in order to participate and progress through the program. Boston Ballet School believes that an academic education is vital to a successful student and will help identify resources to assist students in balancing academic and ballet schedules.

Students are expected to attend all classes, rehearsals, and performances throughout the school year. The school calendar should be taken into consideration when planning family vacations, school trips, or other activities that may conflict with the ballet schedule.

Each year, students will be evaluated by the faculty to determine both placement and progression within the program. Placement is not guaranteed from year to year.

To keep up with the demands of the Pre-Professional training track, all students are expected to participate in a summer ballet program, either with Boston Ballet School's Summer Dance Program, or a similar intensive with another school.


Get answers to all of your Pre-Professional Program questions on our FAQs page.

Photo credit: Igor Burlak Photography

We celebrate diversity while fostering a team spirit.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director