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Education

Summer Dance Program

Boston Ballet School’s Summer Dance Program (SDP) offers an unparalleled experience for serious-minded, high-level ballet students between the ages of 12 and 18. Each summer, students from around the world are drawn to SDP to immerse themselves in a professional training environment. Under the instruction of an internationally renowned faculty, and alongside a community of like-minded peers, students will develop their passion for ballet while expanding their capabilities as dancers, artists, and performers.

Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor

After learning about our 2022 program below, register for an audition here.
 

The Program  |  Residential Life  |  Tuition, Important Dates, and Program Addresses  |  Auditions  |  Professional Division at Walnut Hill  |  Health and Safety  |  Frequently Asked Questions

The Program

Curriculum

Each week, students’ schedules will feature classes from several curricular categories. The categories, and some of the classes that students might take within each, include:

  • Ballet: technique, pointe, men’s

  • Partnering: pas de deux, ballroom

  • Contemporary: modern, jazz, musical theater

  • Cultural: character, flamenco, chinese

  • Performance: repertoire, variations, rehearsals

  • Wellness: conditioning, stretch and strengthen, nutrition


Faculty

Summer Dance Program brings together year-round faculty from Boston Ballet School, professional dancers from Boston Ballet, and guest artists from around the country to share their expertise with students.

While a full faculty roster will be in development up through the start of the program, students can expect to work with some of the following teachers this summer:

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director, Boston Ballet
Tamara King, Principal, Boston Ballet School
Peter Stark, Associate Director of BBII and Head of Men’s Program
Miranda Weese, Interim Director of Dance, Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill

Boston Ballet School Faculty
Ivaylo Alexiev
Igor Burlak
Tara Gragg
Pavel Gurevich
Eyla Jeschke
Maureen Kelly
Denise Lewis
Andrea Renee Long-Naidu
Alla Nikitina
Dalay Parrondo

Faculty bios are available here.

Boston Ballet Dancers
Paulo Arrais
Lia Cirio
Paul Craig
Derek Dunn
Chyrstyn Fentroy
Seo Hye Han
Viktorina Kapitonova
Lasha Khozashvili
Lawrence Rines

Dancer bios are available here.

Guest Faculty
Karin Averty
Michele Gifford
Sarah Wroth


Studios and Levels

Boston Ballet School has multiple campuses that feature custom designed, state-of-the-art, dance studios. During Summer Dance Program, students will train in our Boston and Newton locations. Both facilities have seven studios, significant administrative support, inclusive changing rooms, and ample warm-up and break space. Additionally, students at both locations will work closely with full time BBS faculty members, Boston Ballet dancers, a variety of guest faculty members, and live pianists for all classical ballet classes.

This summer, ladies ages 12-15 will train at our Newton Studio, and ladies ages 15-18 will train at our Boston Studio. While the same will mostly be true for men, exceptions may be made across both age groups. Dividing our studios by age guarantees that students will work most closely with the faculty members best suited for their level of experience and physical development.

To ensure that all students are appropriately challenged and pushed during SDP, a level-based curriculum will be implemented equitably across both studio locations. By applying any curricular differences to the individual levels – rather than applying them more broadly to an entire studio – our 2022 program will meet each student right where they are in their dance training. While SDP features a standard curriculum that all students receive, each individual level may have slight differences in the classes they take and the faculty they work with.


Physical Therapy

Included in a student’s tuition for SDP is access to on-site physical therapy for injuries sustained during the program. Physical Therapy is available at both studio locations and open to all students participating in the program.

Should a student’s injuries require medical attention beyond our on-site physical therapy, appointments will be arranged with our partners in the Sports Medicine Division at Boston Children’s Hospital. All appointments will be arranged by Boston Ballet School, and residential students will be accompanied by residential staff.


Daily Schedule

At both the Boston and Newton Studios, classes will run Monday through Friday between approximately 9 am and 6:30 pm. Some students may start late or leave early on any given day, but students will have roughly 4-5 hours of class each day.

Note: There will not be classes on Monday, July 4. Instead, classes will be held Saturday, July 9.


Weekend Activities

Each Saturday and Sunday, students will have the option to participate in off-campus weekend activities. These trips are chaperoned by Residential Staff, but they are open to any student enrolled in SDP. In the past, activities have included Red Sox games at Fenway Park, performances by New York City Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, amusement park and beach trips in New Hampshire, performances at the Citizens Bank Opera House in Boston, local museums, sightseeing tours, dinner cruises on Boston Harbor, and more.

These activities come at an additional cost, and tickets will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis in the spring.
 

Residential Life

Students who register for the residential component of Summer Dance Program will be housed at a local university in Boston where they will spend five weeks getting to know their peers and enjoying the surrounding city. Final details regarding our residential partner will be announced closer to the start of auditions.

SDP’s residential program is overseen by a large team of Residential Counselors (RCs). Theses RCs are an integral part of the student experience, serving as mentors and resources for students and offering friendly support during the adjustment to life away from home. Additionally, RCs are responsible for planning a number of on-site programs for their students, in addition to supervising the off-site activities each weekend. In order to provide a consistent experience from the dorm room to the dance studio, the residential staff is hired and trained directly by Boston Ballet School.
 

Tuition, Important Dates, and Program Addresses

Tuition: $3,200 (plus $60 registration fee)
Food/Housing (residential students only): $3,400

Placement classes: Sunday, June 26 through Monday, June 27
First day of classes: Tuesday, June 28
Last day of classes: Friday, July 29

Move-in day (residential students only): Saturday, June 25
Move-out day (residential students only): Saturday, July 30

Boston Studio: 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116
Newton Studio: 153 Needham Street, Newton, MA 02464


Financial Assistance

In addition to merit-based scholarships that will be awarded at auditions, limited need-based financial assistance is available. Families who would like to apply for this aid should contact SDP@bostonballet.org upon being accepted to the program.

In order to be considered for assistance, a student must a) register for the program by their registration deadline and b) submit a Financial Aid application by Sunday, February 27.

Please note, we are only able to offer financial assistance to students from the United States.
 

Professional Division at Walnut Hill

As of the 2020-2021 school year, Boston Ballet School’s pre-professional training program is hosted at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, an arts-centered boarding school in Natick, MA.

Walnut Hill provides Boston Ballet School’s high-school-aged pre-professional students a top-notch education in conjunction with the high-level training that comes along with being a Boston Ballet School student. Additionally, students are housed and fed at Walnut Hill’s beautiful campus in Natick, MA alongside fellow student-artists from a variety of disciplines.

Learn more about Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill here.

Typically, the Professional Division is close to full by the time SDP begins. Therefore, in order to have the best chance for consideration, students interested in enrolling for the fall of 2022 should separately audition and apply directly through Walnut Hill. We encourage interested students to begin this process as soon as possible.

While the timeline of SDP 2022 will not easily allow for a student to matriculate into Walnut Hill for the fall of 2022, SDP does remain the best way for students to get their foot in the door for full-time training with Boston Ballet School. Though there are no formal auditions in the summer, students will meet and train with members of the Walnut Hill faculty, who are always looking to identify potential students for year-round training. Additionally, we will be offering information sessions and campus tours so interested students have a strong foundation as they look towards the application process for the 2023-2024 school year.
 

Health and Safety

Boston Ballet School is committed to offering its Summer Dance Program students a rigorous in-person intensive that has been designed with the safety of our students and staff at top of mind.

As such, vaccinations against COVID-19 will be required of all students enrolled in this summer’s program.

Students who are not eligible to be vaccinated – based on their age – or who are approved for a medical exemption* may still enroll in the program, but they are not eligible for housing and must register as a commuter student.

*Boston Ballet’s policy to consider medical exemption requests is consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law, and in accordance with CDC guidance. Philosophical exemptions are not accepted.

We continue to monitor daily updates from public health agencies, and we will adjust our programming, logistics, and availability accordingly so we provide an SDP environment where everyone can feel safe and secure and operate in a manner that is responsible.

In any event, Boston Ballet School promises the following to our Summer Dance Program families:

  • Your investment is guaranteed. Your enrollment is an investment in our shared future and directly supports the artists, faculty, and staff who make everything you love about Boston Ballet possible. As a non-profit, we rely on your investment now more than ever. When you enroll in Boston Ballet School, you give us the gift of a solid financial foundation upon which to build our upcoming programming.

  • In the event that our programming changes and you cannot attend, you will be the first to know and will be guaranteed the choice of a full credit, refund, or tax-deductible donation option.

Here, you will find a comprehensive look at how Boston Ballet School has been operating since the start of the pandemic. We are immensely proud of the work we have done to keep our students and staff safe while still being able to offer an exemplary dance education. Some of our current COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols include daily health screenings for staff and students, social distancing and masking wearing required at all times, and reduced class sizes.

COVID-19 mitigation protocols for SDP 2022 will be released in the spring of 2022.

Boston Ballet School’s protocols are all created and approved by Boston Ballet’s COVID-19 Taskforce. This Taskforce consults with numerous doctors, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, and legal experts in the development and approval of all plans. These experts come from a variety of departments from institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and others. The team is specifically designed to address safe dance training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce also complies with local and federal safety guidelines as well as CDC recommendations.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Based on what date will the Boston / Newton split be determined?
In general, ladies between the ages of 12 and 15 on July 1, 2022 will train in our Newton Studio, and ladies between the ages of 15 and 18 will train in our Boston Studio. All students will take a placement class at the start of the program, and some adjustments may be made for 15-year-olds, depending on final enrollment.

Men will not be assigned to a studio location based on age, but they will be assigned following an initial placement class at the start of the program.

Boston Ballet School is not able to accommodate any requests for placement into a particular studio. Any exceptions to the above age cutoffs will only be initiated by the Artistic Staff. All students accepted to SDP are elite, high-level students who will receive excellent training by participating in our program.

Will my experience differ based on the studio – Boston or Newton – I train in?
The differences that students experience will largely be determined by the curriculum offered to their specific levels. And with Newton being the studio for younger students and Boston for older ones, students across the two studios may experience age-appropriate curricular differences. In spite of these differences, though, students at both our studios will have the same experience in terms of the frequency and the caliber of training. Additionally, while each studio may see certain faculty members more than others, some instructors will have a presence at both studios over the course of the program.

While students will have an equitable training experience across the two locations, day-to-day routines may differ slightly based on the different locations of the two studios.

Are there different levels within the program?
Yes, there are four different levels for women, and three different levels for men. There will be several classes at each level, and students will be placed into their level based on a placement class at the beginning of the program.

Additionally, advanced students nearing the completion of their training can place into the Ensemble Level, which features additional repertoire work and a heavier focus on performance.

Is financial assistance available?
Yes. In the interest of making Summer Dance Program as inclusive as possible, we encourage all accepted students with financial concerns to apply for aid. To receive an application, please email SDP@bostonballet.org upon acceptance into the program.

For an application to be processed, a completed application must be received by Sunday, February 27, 2022. Additionally, the student must have registered for the program and put down the initial deposit and registration fee. If we are unable to offer sufficient financial assistance, students may withdraw and get a full refund of their initial deposit.

Please note, we are unable to offer any need-based aid to students who have already been awarded merit-based scholarship or to international students.

Are scholarships available?
A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available to students of all ages. These scholarships will be awarded based on a student’s audition, and students will be notified of any scholarship they’ve received with their acceptance into the program.



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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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