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Education

Summer Dance Program

Held at the Boston Ballet headquarters in the South End of Boston and at our state-of-the-art Newton Studio, the Summer Dance Program (SDP) offers an unparalleled experience for serious-minded ballet students. Students from around the world are drawn to SDP to immerse themselves in a professional training environment and to develop their passion for dance. The 5-week intensive also provides a broader dance experience through exposure to various choreography and contemporary movement. SDP students will develop and grow under the expertise of internationally-renowned faculty and guests.

Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor


 
SDP is open to students who will be between the ages of 12 and 18 when the program begins. The only exception is for students from outside the United States and Canada, who must be at least age 14 when the program begins.
 
Acceptance into SDP is by audition only. Online pre-registration for auditions is encouraged.

THE PROGRAM

Assigned to one of our two studio campuses in Boston or Newton, students will experience a well-rounded curriculum. Classes are held between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm on weekdays. Each day, students will have between 4 and 6 hours of class. Classes are not held on the weekends.
 
Curriculum:

  • Classical ballet technique

  • Pointe

  • Character

  • Modern

  • Partnering

  • Pilates

  • Variations

  • Men’s conditioning

  • Performance Workshop (Boston campus only)

  • Choreography and Improvisation (Newton campus only)

  • Stretch and Strength (Newton campus only)

 
In addition to the multiple classes students take over the course of the week, they will also hear from lecturers on topics such as careers in dance, nutrition, physical therapy, and other relevant topics for the young professional.
 
At both our Boston and our Newton campuses, in-house physical therapy is available to students. While this physical therapy is free of charge during the program, it is intended to be taken advantage of only for injuries sustained during SDP.

Faculty

Students at SDP will be taught by a combination of full time Boston Ballet School faculty members and prestigious guests from major dance companies and collegiate programs.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director, Boston Ballet
Russell Kaiser, Assistant Artistic Director, Boston Ballet
Margaret Tracey, Director, Boston Ballet School
Tamara King, Principal, Newton Studio
Peter Stark, Associate Director of BBII and Head of Men’s Program
Shannon Parsley, Ballet Master & Artistic Coordinator, Boston Ballet

Christopher Anderson
Jamie Brege
Igor Burlak
Pavel Gurevich
Maureen Kelly
Jessica Kreyer
Kathleen Mitchell
Alla Nikitina
Melissa Reed
Sofie Schreiber
Miranda Weese

Guest Faculty

Karin Averty
Catherine Batcheller
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate
Michele Gifford
Margaret Wright Tesch

Boston Ballet Company Dancers

Paulo Arrais
Dawn Atkins
Lia Cirio
Derek Dunn
Ashely Ellis
Chyrstyn Fentroy
Lauren Herfindahl
John Lam

Important Dates, Costs, and Locations: 

First day of classes: Monday, June 29
Last day of classes:  Friday, July 31
 
Boston Studio: 
19 Clarendon Street
 Boston, MA 02116
 
Newton Studio:                                                  
153 Needham Street
Newton, MA 02464 
 
Move-in day (residential students only): Sunday, June 28
Move-out day (residential students only): Saturday, August 1
 
Boston University (for Boston):                         
575 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
 
Lasell University (for Newton):                         
23 Seminary Avenue
Auburndale, MA 02466
 
Tuition: $3,100 (plus $55 registration fee)
Food/Housing (residential student only): $3,000 (includes housing, food, transportation)
 
A limited amount of financial assistance is available. Interested students should reach out to SDP@bostonballet.org upon being accepted to the program.

RESIDENTIAL EXPERIENCE

 All students who participate in our residential program will experience personal growth while forming lasting friendships with other like-minded students aspiring to dance professionally. Through the residential program, students are given the chance to participate in programs and events at their residence hall as well as several chaperoned off-campus weekend outings.
 
Students training at our Boston campus will reside at Boston University, a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. This urban campus setting provides a vibrant and lively environment for students to hone their dance skills while also offering access to the rich culture and history of Boston.
 
Students training at our Newton campus will reside at Lasell University, a private university in Newton, Massachusetts. This beautiful campus provides a picturesque environment for students to spend their summer and foster their community of aspiring dancers, while offering access via train to the city of Boston.

Residential Staff:

The residential program at SDP is managed by several individuals with years of experience creating and managing living-and-learning residential environments for student-aged populations. There is roughly one Residential Counselor (RC) for every ten SDP students. These RCs – hired and trained directly by Boston Ballet School – are available to talk with students and offer friendly support while students are adjusting to life away from home. They serve as mentors and resources for students and are an integral part of the student experience. In addition, our Residential Staff members accompany students to any off-site medical appointments that a student needs to attend.
 
At both Boston University and Lasell University, the Residential Life office is staffed by an RC between the hours of 8 am and midnight. These RCs at the desk are available for both students and parents to contact with any questions and needs.

Dining:

The residential student meal plan consists of breakfast, bagged lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, brunch and dinner are provided. At both Boston University and Lasell University, the dining hall is a short walk from the residence halls. Both dining halls are equipped to accommodate students with a variety of allergies and dietary restrictions.

Weekend Activities:

In addition to activities at the residence halls planned by RCs, Boston Ballet School plans optional weekend outings that are available for residential and commuter students. These trips are chaperoned by RCs and transportation is provided. Students must pre-purchase tickets for activities, as slots are limited and are filled on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
Past SDP activities have included…

  • …New York City Ballet performances at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

  • …Broadway national tours at the Boston Opera House

  • …Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park

  • …dinner dance cruises on Boston Harbor

  • …local tour attractions around the city of Boston

  • …trips to local beaches

Frequently asked questions

 What is the daily schedule like at SDP?
 
A typical day at the studio runs from 9 am to 6 pm. Within this time frame, students will have between 4 and 6 hours of dance classes or supplemental lectures. Classes are only held Monday through Friday.
 
On the weekends, students are free to the spend the time as they please and need. While there are planned Weekend Activities that students may opt into, students are also welcome to explore the city in groups, spend the day relaxing from a busy week, do laundry, or hang out with new friends on campus.
 
Are there different levels within the program? How and when does level placement happen?
 
All level placements are determined based on a placement class that occurs on the first day of the program. Each SDP campus will have its own separate placement classes that are run by the core faculty members from that respective campus.
 
All level placement is at the discretion of Boston Ballet School’s SDP faculty and is non-negotiable.
 
What is the difference between the Boston and Newton campuses?
 
As Boston Ballet School’s Summer Dance Program continues to expand, we are ecstatic to be able to offer a growing number of serious-minded students five weeks of intense and rigorous training at two world-class facilities.
 
While both campuses offer similar core curricula, students are placed into Boston or Newton based on careful consideration of their individual needs. The faculty members that the students will work with are carefully chosen so that each student will be put in the best position to reach their full potential.
 
At both campuses, students will be taught by members of our year-round Boston Ballet School faculty as well as various guest teachers. These guests include internationally renowned faculty, company dancers from Boston Ballet, and other professionals in the field.
 
Are there scholarships and financial aid available?
 
A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available. These are awarded on a case-by-case basis, and any student receiving a scholarship will be notified at the time of their initial acceptance into the program.
 
A limited amount of need-based financial aid is available. Please note that we are unable to offer need-based aid to international students or to students who have been awarded a merit-based scholarship. For more information or to receive an application, please email SDP@bostonballet.org upon acceptance into the program. Financial Aid applications must be received by Friday, March 6, 2020.
 
Do I have to live in the residence hall?
 
While our residential programs at Boston University and Lasell University are strongly recommended to ensure students have a fully immersed summer experience, students may choose to commute from home or find alternate housing on their own. Being a residential student provides you with many additional benefits including:

  • Access to public transportation to and from both the Boston and Newton campuses

  • Meals provided

  • 24/7 access to support staff

  • Participation in evening activities and events throughout the week

  • Built-in support network of like-minded students

 
Can I request to room with a specific person at Boston University / Lasell University?
 
Students are assigned to rooms based on age, gender, and mutual roommate requests.
Prior to the start of the program, all students will be sent a Supplemental Survey Form to complete. It is on this form that residential students may request a roommate. Please note that requests are not guaranteed and that a request cannot be honored unless the students in questions have mutually requested each other.
 
How do residential students commute between their residence hall and the Boston Ballet studios?
 
Student living at Boston University will use Boston’s subway – the “T” – before walking a short distance to commute to the Boston campus. Residential students are provided with prepaid “T” passes at the start of the program. Students can see their commute here.
 
Students living at Lasell University will be transported via chartered bus to and from the Newton campus.
 
Can my child be considered for Boston Ballet School’s year-round program after attending SDP?
 
SDP is the first step for enrollment into Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill, and all SDP students will be evaluated for potential admission.

Our artist/athletes are always pushing themselves to the edge. That passion and energy is what makes watching them so exhilarating.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director
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