It is that time of the year again; the time where everyone is overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, and juggling a million different things. Yes, the 2023 audition season is upon us, and it is more stressful than ever. It could be that this is the first year back of full in-person auditions since the pandemic restrictions. It could be that there are more dancers trying to find placement. Or, it could be that this year is your first year out. Who knows? Every year during the middle of Nutcracker rehearsals and premieres, ballet schools around the world announce their national summer audition tours. This tour is a series of dates that audition thousands of dancers around the world to fill spots at their summer course.
Every year since I started A Ballet Education, I have included a list of placed to audition for the summer. Sometimes it causes controversy, sometimes it causes fear and panic, and sometimes, I am bias. Then again, what review isn’t a little bias? As the audition tours have come out, I have been helping my students plan their auditions, travel schedules, trying to avoid conflicts with competitions, how to navigate everything, and where they might end up.
Here is the problem. Ballet is on a good one, and everyone is so desperate for money, the reality is: Ballet Schools have already started auditioning for their 2023-2024 season. Stressful I know. Most people who are serious about moving to a professional school next September have already started locking in their matches through auditioning. Whether you passed the San Francisco Ballet School pre-screening, or were invited to the Paris Opera Auditions, or National Ballet School’s first round, the reality is, major schools are recruiting a year in advance.
This has now caused schools to start pre-registration for summer intensive auditions as early as the end of October, but now the majority of schools have released their dates. If they haven’t– they are following the “old” way; and they haven’t kept up with social media, or the current trend of ballet.
If you don’t know what a summer intensive is, click here for all of the many posts regarding summer intensives.
Here is A Ballet Education’s 2023 Summer Intensive Guide
(None of these schools have paid for placement or review. These programs are not listed any particular order, sort of.)
- San Francisco Ballet School
Patrick Armond, Director (San Francisco, CA)
As one of the most respected ballet companies in the world, The San Francisco Ballet School has become one of the most recognized schools in the world.
- School of American Ballet
Darla Hoover, Chair of Faculty (NYC, NY)
SAB, the famed school to New York City Ballet and the official school Balanchine founded, this school is the direct line to join the ranks of city ballet. The School of American Ballet is now under a new director, so who knows what the new look of the school will be? However, you should audition, because if you get in, it looks nice on the resume.
- Paris Opera Ballet School
Elisabeth Platel, Director (Nanterre, France)
The Paris Opera Ballet School, literally the OG of ballet schools. This famed institution can be quite difficult to get into, but getting into the summer course can be just as hard. This short program allows you to attend multiple summer courses, and lets you work with some of the most respected teachers in ballet. And let’s be honest… it is the Paris Opera.
- American Ballet Theatre, New York
Stella Abrera, Artistic Director (NYC, NY)
While ABT offers numerous programs and a variety of different levels, you really want to get into New York, and if you get in, you might want to consider it. Another school with a new director, ABT JKO and ABT Studio company might be the future of American Classical Ballet.
- Elite Classical Coaching
Catherine Lewellen, AD (Frisco, TX)
Arguably, Elite classical coaching might be the school to beat in America. This pre-professional school has established itself on the competitive circuit, the collegiate circuit, and has launched professional dancers.
- Miami City Ballet School & The Choreographic Workshop
Arantxa Ochoa, School Director (Miami, FL)
Miami City Ballet School is literally on the beach. So, who wouldn’t want to go summer in Miami? However, it’s not just the location. MCBS has slowly gained momentum and worked their way up to the top, offering a top level Balanchine experience, but offering the technical rigor of Cuban or Russian pedagogy.
- Master Classes in Prague
Daria Klimentova, Director (Prague)
What was once reserved for professionals, or budding professionals, this year, the master classes in Prague will host young dancers under huge names likes Patrick Armond (San Francisco Ballet) and Simona Ferrazza (Dutch National).
- Princess Grace Academie
Luca Masala , Artistic Director (Monaco)
Two weeks in Monaco, who wouldn’t want that? Spending two weeks at the famed Princess Grace is not only a delight because it’s on the French Riviera, but it also allows you to do other summer courses. This two week program looks great on the resue, as the princess grace academy has established itself amongst the world of competitive ballet but consistently winning the PDL.
- John Cranko Schule
Tadeusz Matacz, Director (Stuttgart, Germany)
This beast of a school is housed in their new facilities courtesy of Porsche. This school has always been well respected, but has really become a part of the international ballet scene as they have recruited some of the biggest names and winners. Keeping up with the ballet scene on the global scale is difficult for state run programs, but JCS really is keeping up if not leading the way.
- National Ballet School
Mavis Staines, Artistic Director (Toronto, Canada)
Probably Canada’s most recognized school, this school has always been amazing. However, like others who have followed suit, is finally keeping up with the global recruiting scene, and with the competitive world of ballet. This summer course is also marketing as a four week long audition for their coveted year round program.
- YAGP NERVI FESTIVAL
Larissa Savliev, Artistic Director (Nervi, Italy)
Even the YAGP is keeping up. For the last three years, YAGP Europe has hosted a six day festival in Nervi, hosting some of the biggest directors and choreographers. This week long program offers students the ability to work with multiple directors in a short timespan and sets you up for the competitive season the following year.
Other programs you might want to consider:
Houston Ballet School (Houston, TX)
The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive, Christopher Powney, AD (UK)
European School of Ballet, Jean Yves Esquerre, Director (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Cary Ballet Conservatory, Mariaelena Ruiz, AD (Cary, NC)
Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy, Dmitri Kulev, AD (Orange County, CA)
International Ballet Academy, Nadia Pavlenko, AD (Cary, NC)
Ellison Ballet, Edward Ellison, AD (NYC, NY)
Sarasota Ballet School (Sarasota, FL)
A&A Ballet (Chicago, IL)
Southland Ballet International Intensive (Fountain Hills, CA)
More programs you might want to consider:
Master Ballet Academy
Philadelphia Ballet School
The Washington Ballet School
Oklahoma City Ballet School
Tulsa Ballet School
Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet