Photo by Igor Burlak Photography

Abigail Merlis and Tyson Clark Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor

Graduate Program

Boston Ballet School’s Graduate Program is designed for accomplished ballet students who have completed their academic grade school education. This tuition-free program offers 5 to 6 days each week of formal training, repertoire rehearsals, and coaching/mentoring sessions with Boston Ballet School faculty and Boston Ballet Artistic staff. The Graduate Program offers a rigorous and consistent schedule, recognizing the program as the next step in students’ professional development.

A critical component of the Graduate Program is to introduce students to the responsibilities, expectations, and daily life of a professional dancer which prepares them for entry into a company. To foster this career development, Graduates train, rehearse, and perform alongside Boston Ballet’s second company (Boston Ballet II) and Boston Ballet’s main company.


Program Curriculum

  • Daily ballet technique class, 5-6 days per week
  • Supplementary classes (pointe, men’s, partnering, character, conditioning, contemporary)
  • Daily repertoire rehearsals
  • Regular classes and rehearsals with Boston Ballet II
  • Regular opportunity to train in Boston Ballet’s company class
  • Master classes with guest faculty, including Boston Ballet guest artists
  • Understudy and performance opportunities with Boston Ballet II
  • Understudy and performance opportunities with Boston Ballet
  • Mentorship and targeted assistance for career placement:
    • Audition video preparation (class work, variations)
    • Access to contract with Boston Ballet’s photography/videography partners
    • Individual assessment for determination of potential job matches
    • Resume review and support



The program is overseen by Kathleen Mitchell, Boston Ballet School’s Graduate Program Rehearsal Director. Additionally, Joan Boada, Associate Director of Boston Ballet II, works closely with the Graduate Program students each day.

Additional faculty members regularly teaching in the Graduate Program currently include Pavel Gurevich, Rie Ichikawa, Alla Nikitina, and Dalay Parrondo.


Additional Benefits

  • Pointe and soft shoes are provided
  • Access to regular, free, on-site physical therapy consultations provided by doctors from Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.



The Graduate Program generally follows the annual calendar for the main company. Typically, this consists of:

  • A start date between mid-August and Labor Day
  • A brief winter break following the conclusion of The Nutcracker (early January)
  • An end date between late May and early June

Upon invitation to the Graduate Program, students will be provided with a current draft of the Season Calendar. Boston Ballet School’s Graduates are required to be available for all Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet II rehearsal and performance weeks. Furthermore, for the duration of the season, the Graduate Program requires a daily, full-time commitment.


Audition Process

Graduate Program 2023-2024 is full. Please look for 2024-2025 season on our website.

Selection for the Graduate Program is by audition only, with final invitations approved by Boston Ballet’s Artistic staff.

Boston Ballet supports the International Audition Pre-Selection Guidelines. All auditioning students must submit the following materials:

  • A video with no introduction or fancy editing, consisting of the following, performed in leotard and tights (for women) and tight-fitting dance attire (for men):
  • A short classical variation drawn from the standard repertoire, danced in pointe shoes by female applicants
  • A short contemporary variation (that could consist of something drawn from repertoire, phrases from classwork or an applicant-created work) that illustrates the applicant’s command of a range of movement different from that demonstrated in the classical variation
  • 3-5 minutes of barre work, incorporating both sides, danced in soft shoes by male applicants and pointe shoes by female applicants
  • 3-5 minutes of centre work that includes adagio, pirouettes, petit and grand allegro, danced in pointe shoes by female applicants
  • CV/Resume
  • Head shot
  • 2-3 dance photos that reveal the dancer’s body proportions and line

Based on audition materials, select candidates may be invited to an in-person audition for the Program, held in Boston mid-February. Boston Ballet Artistic staff will accept candidates into the Program based on this in-person audition.



For all inquiries related to the Boston Ballet School’s Graduate Program please contact Sean Watkins, Assistant Manager of Student Experience, at


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the age range for the Graduate Program?

Graduate Program candidates have completed their high school education and are at least 18 years old. More experienced candidates may be interested in auditioning for Boston Ballet’s second company, BBII.

Is there a cost for the Boston Ballet Graduate Program?

No, Boston Ballet School’s Graduate Program is tuition free. However, students are responsible for all living costs for the duration of the program.

Do I have to audition for the program?

Yes, participation in the Boston Ballet School’s Graduate Program is by audition only.

Do Boston Ballet Graduates get a salary?

No, participants in the Boston Ballet School’s Graduate program are not employees of Boston Ballet and do not receive a salary. However, Graduates are able to independently apply for part-time work within Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School.

Does Boston Ballet provide health insurance for Boston Ballet Graduate students?

No, Boston Ballet School’s Graduate students must provide proof of their own health insurance. However, doctors from Spaulding Rehabilitation Network provide Graduates with regular, free, on-site physical therapy consultations that do not require insurance.

Is there a dress code?

Yes, required dress code for classes and rehearsals will be communicated upon acceptance and registration and will be the responsibility of the dancer to provide. The only exception is for all pointe and soft shoes, which will be provided by Boston Ballet.

Is the Boston Ballet Graduate program open to students outside of the U.S.?

Yes, Boston Ballet School does sponsor M1 visas for international students. However, students are responsible for paying all associated fees.