Summer Dance Program Auditions

Boston Ballet School is thrilled to be offering in-studio programming for its 2020-2021 school year, and it is our intention to bring SDP students back to Boston and Newton in 2021.

However, in the interest of keeping our faculty and auditioning students safe during the winter season, we have decided to make the audition process for Summer Dance Program 2021 entirely virtual. In place of our nationwide audition tour, we will be offering live audition classes via Zoom throughout January.

As a result of this new process, we will have the opportunity to evaluate every prospective student, no matter where they are located, based on a LIVE audition class – something that has never been possible before. Furthermore, these virtual audition classes will be capped at 24 students per faculty adjudicator, ensuring that those auditioning are given maximum attention from faculty. We are confident that this increased access to smaller and more intimate SDP auditions will help us achieve our goal of providing Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned dance instruction to the most diverse and talented group of students possible.


To audition for Summer Dance Program, students must be between the ages of 12* and 18** years old when the program begins on Sunday, June 27. While 11-year-olds may audition in January, they may only do so if they will be 12 years old by the time the program begins.

All women must have at least one year of pointe experience in order to audition.

*Students from outside the US and Canada must be at least 14 years old when the program begins in order to participate in the in-person option.

**We are unable to provide housing to students who turn 19 years old during the program. Students that this applies to are still eligible to audition, but they will need to arrange for their own housing and transportation to/from classes in order to participate in the in-person option.



Step One: Online Registration
The full schedule of virtual audition classes, as well as registration, can be found below. Registration for all classes will close at 11:59 pm EST on the Wednesday before the audition. Unlike in previous years, students will NOT be able to register on the day of the audition.

The audition fee for our live classes will be $35. This fee is non-refundable regardless of circumstances.

Students who are unable to attend one of our live classes may submit a pre-recorded video audition.

Step Two: Supplemental Survey
Soon after a student’s online registration has been completed, they will receive a confirmation email. This confirmation email will contain a link to an additional survey that is required of all auditioning students. This survey is where students will be asked to provide more details surrounding their dance training.

If you do not receive a confirmation email or cannot find the link to this survey, please email


Auditions will be held during multiple two-hour blocks on Saturdays and Sundays between January 9 and January 31. The first 30 minutes of an audition block will be for check-in, and the class itself will be roughly 90 minutes. Students are expected to be available for the entire two-hour block.

Audition classes will be split up by both age and gender.

Please note, students should choose their audition group based on the age they will be at the time of the audition, even if they will be a different age this summer.

If members of the same household wish to audition at the same time, they must access the Zoom meeting from separate devices and must not be visible in each other’s screens. In order to keep auditions organized, it is important that each auditioning student has their own Zoom window for faculty to observe. If this is not possible, we would advise that members of the same household audition at different times.


How to Prepare for your Virtual Audition

Step One: Download Zoom
In advance of the audition, students should install the Zoom application on the device they will be using for the audition. It is important that this device have a camera and microphone. This will allow faculty to see students and allow students to ask questions if needed.

Step Two: Make Sure You Have a Space Where You Can Safely Dance
Students will need an area that is approximately 6 feet by 6 feet. It is not advisable for students to dance on cement floors, concrete floors, or carpet. If students have a roll of marley at home, laying this over a hardwood floor is a great solution. 

Additionally, students will need a barre or a sturdy piece of furniture – chairs are great – that is a comfortable height. No matter what you use, make sure that you will be able to use both sides (or easily move the barre/chair so it is on the other side of you).

Step Three: Make Sure We Will Be Able To See/Hear You
Students should make sure that their cameras are positioned in a way that can capture their full body from a distance. Make sure that you also have some room to move around in your space and still be seen.

Also make sure that the lighting is conducive to being seen well by the faculty adjudicators. For example, if a student is positioned between the camera and a bright window, they will be silhouetted. For the best results, light sources should be positioned in front of a student, rather than behind.

See the FAQ below for information on the audition dress code, but keep in mind that it is our top priority that students be clearly seen within their at-home space.

Step Four: Make Sure You Will Be Able To See/Hear Us
Because devices may be a good distance away from the student, students should make sure they have a way to clearly see and hear the instructor and accompanist. If students have access to a large monitor, this may be an easier way to make sure they can see from a distance. Additionally, If students have headphones or Bluetooth speakers that can be connected to their device, it is suggested these be used for the best audio experience.

Step Five: Test Your Equipment Before the Audition
Within the few days leading up to your audition, do a test run. Make sure you’re comfortable with the space and the technology so that all you have to focus on during the audition class is the class itself. 

Do a test with enough time to make any changes that are necessary (and then do another test).

Step Six: Join the Zoom Meeting
On the Thursday before their audition, students will receive a confirmation/reminder email. This email will include the Zoom link / Meeting ID and the password required to access the audition.

On the day of the audition, students should make sure to log into the Zoom call between 5 and 10 minutes early. Please note, though, it is possible they will not be let into the meeting until the posted start time because of other audition blocks happening before theirs.



What if a student has technical difficulties during a Zoom audition?
While many of us have grown accustomed to teaching/taking virtual classes, we understand that virtual auditions are a new endeavor. If technical difficulties prevent a faculty adjudicator from getting enough information to confidently determine a student’s proper placement, that adjudicator will request that the student either participates in another virtual audition or submits a pre-recorded audition video.

Please note, these requests for an alternate audition must come from the faculty adjudicator, not the student. Even when a student does have minor technical difficulties at points throughout the audition, the adjudicator may still be able to make an informed decision, as there are many opportunities for students to demonstrate their abilities during a 90-minute class. Ultimately, our faculty adjudicators are determined to make sure that each student has been given a fair audition opportunity.

Can two student audition together?
If members of the same household wish to audition at the same time, they must access the Zoom meeting from separate devices and must not be visible in each other’s screens. In order to keep auditions organized, it is important that each auditioning student has their own Zoom window for faculty to observe. If this is not possible, we would advise that members of the same household audition at different times.

What should I wear for my audition?
Women are encouraged to wear a black leotard and tights in the color closest to their natural skin tone or in which they feel most comfortable. If a student must wear a lighter leotard color in order to be seen most clearly in their individual location, this is acceptable. In addition, women will need both technique and pointe shoes.

Men should wear black tights and a white t-shirt, but may wear lighter/darker clothing as needed in order to be seen as clearly as possible in their individual locations.

Are photos/resumes needed for the audition process?
No. Beyond the completion of the supplemental audition survey (link provided in audition registration confirmation email), students will not need to provide any additional materials in order to audition.

When will my child be notified of the audition result? 
Audition results will be sent out within five business days of the audition. Any student who does not hear back within five business days should email after checking any spam folders.

If my child isn’t accepted to the program, may they audition again?
No. Students are not eligible to audition more than once per year. Furthermore, students may only audition in one manner: via live Zoom class or via a pre-recorded video submission. Students are, however, welcome and encouraged to audition for SDP in successive years.

May I request and receive feedback from my child’s audition?
Due to the number of students who audition each year, we are unable to provide individual feedback.


We celebrate diversity while fostering a team spirit.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director