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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: Igor Burlak Photography
After learning more about Summer Dance Program 2023 by reading below, register for an audition HERE.
Age: Students must be between the ages of 12* and 18** when the program begins on Sunday, June 25. While 11-year-olds may audition in January, they must be 12 by the start of the program.
* Students from outside the US and Canada must be at least 14 years old when the program begins.
** Housing is not available for students who will turn 19 during the program. Anyone who will turn 19 during the program must register as a commuter and arrange for their own room and board.
Experience: All ladies must enter the program with pointe experience, though we recognize that many of our younger students will be very new to pointe during January auditions. Starting pointe during the 2022-2023 school year is enough experience for a student to audition.
Students will train in one of our two state-of-the-art studio locations – Boston’s South End and Newton, Massachusetts. With approximately 25 hours of curriculum each week, the SDP schedule includes:
At both the Boston and Newton Studios, classes will run Monday through Friday between 9:30 am and 6:30 pm (Boston) and 9:00 am and 6:00 pm (Newton). Some students will start late or leave early on any given day, but students will have roughly 4-6 hours of class each day.
Over the course of a week, students can expect the following breakdown:
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 is still in development, students can expect to see the following teachers this summer:
Tamara King, Principal, Boston Ballet School
Joan Boada, Associate Director of Boston Ballet II
Miranda Weese, Interim Director of Dance, Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill
Boston Ballet School Faculty
Faculty bios are available HERE.
Boston Ballet Dancers
Dancer bios are available HERE.
Each student will be assigned to either our Boston Studio or our Newton Studio based on age. Dividing by age guarantees that students will work most closely with the faculty members best suited for their level of physical development and experience. While each studio will have its core faculty, we strive to integrate our entire teaching team across both locations in order to create an equitable experience for all students.
Ladies ages 12-14 will train at our Newton Studio, and ladies ages 16-18 will train at our Boston Studio. 15-year-old ladies will be assigned to a studio once enrollment has settled so that students can be divided in a way that guarantees equitable class sizes at both locations.
The same age split outlined above will primarily be used for men as well, though exceptions may be made to account for the smaller population of men enrolled in the program. Additionally, some men may train at both locations over the course of the week, to ensure Partnering classes are available to all eligible ladies.
Included in a student’s tuition is access to on-site Physical Therapy for injuries sustained during the program. Physical Therapy is available at both the Boston and Newton Studios and is 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 at 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.
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.
This summer, all residential students will be housed at Boston University in Boston, MA. With the Charles River and Fenway Park just steps away, and with easy access to sites like Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Boston Common, we are thrilled to offer all SDP students a true “Boston” experience.
To accommodate all students, we will be using multiple dorm buildings across two separate campuses at Boston University. Students will be assigned to their campus based on their eventual studio assignment, though all residential students – regardless of their campus – will be able to interact with each other at the dorms.
The residential package includes a dining plan for all students. Each weekday, students will be provided breakfast, a bagged to-go lunch, and dinner. On the weekends, students will receive brunch and dinner.
SDP’s residential program is overseen by a large team of Residential Counselors (RCs). RCs are an integral part of the student experience, serving as mentors/resources for students and offering friendly support during the adjustment to life away from home. RCs are hired in a ratio of at least one counselor for every ten students, so students and their RCs are able to develop meaningful relationships over the course of the program.
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, trained, and managed directly by Boston Ballet School.
Students training at our Newton Studio will be transported back and forth each day via private bus, while those training at our Boston Studio will utilize the “T” – Boston’s subway system. In any event, students will be chaperoned by Residential Counselors while in transit.
Tuition: $3,380 (plus $100 registration fee)
Move-in day (residential students only): Saturday, June 24
Placement classes: Sunday, June 25 through Monday, June 26
First full day of classes: Tuesday, June 27
Last day of classes / parent observation: Friday, July 28
Move-out day (residential students only): Saturday, July 29
Boston Studio: 19 CLARENDON STREET, Boston, MA 02116
Newton Studio: 153 NEEDHAM STREET, Newton, MA 02464
Boston University Residence Halls
For female Boston Studio students:
575 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
For female Newton Studio students and all male students:
Boston, MA 02215
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. 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.
Beyond the vaccination requirement, specific COVID-19 mitigation protocols for SDP 2023 will be released in the spring of 2023. It is our hope to have a “mask optional” policy for as much of the program as possible, but mask requirements may vary depending on the point in the program, the environment, local spread, or other factors. When making the decision to register for SDP, students should be prepared to mask at times.
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.
Based on what date will the Boston / Newton split be determined?
Students will be assigned based on their age 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 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. Primarily, these differences will manifest in varying partnering and performance opportunities.
In spite of these differences, 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.
Additionally, while students will have an equitable training experience across the two locations, day-to-day routines may differ based on the different locations of the two studios (daily transportation, etc.).
Are there different levels within the program?
Yes, there are five different levels for women, and three different levels for men. There will be several class sections of each level (1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, etc.), and students will be placed into their level/section based on a placement class at the beginning of the program.
In addition to the levels mentioned above, advanced students nearing the completion of their training may place into our 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 26, 2023. 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 international students or to those who have already been awarded merit-based scholarship.
Are merit 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.
How can I be considered for Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill School for the 2023-2024 school year?
This year, the audition process for the 2023-2024 school year at Boston Ballet School’s PROFESSIONAL DIVISION AT WALNUT HILL will be merged with our Summer Dance Program 2023 audition tour.
Students who wish to be considered for the 2023-2024 school year at Walnut Hill, must do the following:
1. Begin the academic application process through Walnut Hill.
Once an application to the dance program has been started, Boston Ballet School will be informed, and the student will be flagged as requiring an artistic evaluation for Walnut Hill during their SDP tour.
For those who will be auditioning for SDP prior to Walnut Hill’s January 15 application deadline, the Walnut Hill application does not need to be completed before the SDP audition, but it must be started in order for the student to be flagged as a Walnut Hill applicant.
2. Register for an in-person audition through the Summer Dance Program audition tour.
Students who are unable to attend an in-person audition may submit a pre-recorded video audition, but virtual Zoom auditions are not an option for those seeking admission to Walnut Hill.
3. At the SDP audition, our faculty adjudicators will evaluate the student for both Summer Dance Program and the Professional Division at Walnut Hill.
4. Following the audition, Boston Ballet School will send a student their Summer Dance Program results, while Walnut Hill will send a student their Professional Division results separately.
Students who do not express interest in being considered for the 2023-2024 school year at Walnut Hill (by beginning/submitting an application) in advance of their SDP audition will not be able to enter the applicant pool at a later date.
Do I have to live in the residence hall?
No. Students may choose to commute from home or find alternate housing on their own. If you choose to search for independent housing arrangements, please make sure to take into consideration which Boston Ballet School studio you will be training at.
Can I request to room with a specific person in the residence halls?
Yes, roommate requests will be collected in the spring. For roommate requests to be accommodated, the following must be true:
Those who do not request a specific roommate will be assigned to room with another student close to them in age. Roommates will be put in contact with one another by early June, so they can begin developing a relationship in advance of move-in day.
What do students do in the evenings and on the weekends?
Over the course of the program, each Residential Counselor is responsible for hosting 4-5 activities, ranging from small group offerings on the weeknights to large events on weekends. These activities may be hosted on campus or out in Boston. Some favorite activities from previous years include movie nights, trivia nights, arts and crafts, lip sync competitions, outings to local parks, etc.
Outside of planned residential programs or weekend activities, students will have the opportunity to sign out of the dorms to explore Boston with other students. Additionally, parents or other approved guardians are able to sign students out of the dorms, for both daytime and overnight releases.
Will parents be able to contact their child’s Residential Counselor?
Parents will not be able to directly contact any individual Residential Counselor. All parent communications will go through our Residential Office, which can be contacted via phone or email during the program. The Residential Office staff will be able to pass messages along to individual Residential Counselors or help to schedule a virtual meeting or phone call.