Summer Intensives are here! Audition season is upon us! The stress of it all is overwhelming. Everyone is thinking the same thing, are summer courses even going to happen? Once you can get your mind around that, you start to wonder what is next? What program is right for you? Where is this all even leading?

What are some of the best programs out there? Ballet has changed so much in the last ten years, and probably even more so in the last two years than ever before. When it comes to deciding on a program, here are things to consider:

How old are you? If you are ages 16+, you will want to go to a summer course attached to a company in hopes of securing a traineeship or spot in the school.

What are you looking for? Are you looking to try the Balanchine Technique? Are you looking to try the Russian method? Are you looking to catch your technique up?

Is it even right to go away? The answer is going to depend on where you are in your ballet journey and what you are looking for.

Brooklyn Brizendine, The Ballet Clinic
Photo by David King (A Ballet Education)

Here are some of our top picks for summer courses around the US!

Professional Schools

Professional schools are schools attached to a company. As it stands, with companies hiring new directors, it means the schools will be changing as well, what they are looking for, and the aesthetic they are after. Here is a list of summer courses associated with companies.

The School of American Ballet (NYC, video audition only)

American Ballet Theatre‘s JKO School (NYC, but because of the pandemic pick Florida)

San Francisco Ballet School (new artistic director is taking over, but it seems that the current school director will be staying on.)

Houston Ballet (Texas, known for their men’s as pas programs, one of the strongest summer courses in the US.)

Summer intensives to also consider, just because they are in republican states:

Ballet West (Salt Lake City, they love tall girls!)

Miami City Ballet (Florida, SUPER BALANCHINE)

Orlando Ballet (Florida, New director)

Sarasota Ballet (Florida, very English, so if you are looking for that Royal Ballet aesthetic.)

Ballet Austin (Texas, Balanchine-ish and contemporarish)

Texas Ballet Theater (Texas, very affordable program)

Program at Texas Ballet Theater

Pre-Professional Schools

Pre-professional schools have definitely replaced professional schools when it comes to training. Power schools have made their presence known through competition, and now are dominating the job placement market. Smaller class sizes, more individualized training, and attention to detail have allowed these schools to create some of the best dancers around the world.

These are the programs you really should be going to, especially if you are ages 9-14:

Elite Classical Coaching (Texas)

Master Ballet Academy (Arizona)

A Ballet Education’s The Ballet Clinic (Arizona)

Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy (California)

Cary Ballet Conservatory (North Carolina)

West Met Classical Coaching (Minnesota)

Draper Center (New York)

Ballet Central New Jersey (New Jersey)

Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (Florida)

National Ballet Academy Denver

Ballet Academy East (New York)

The Art of Classical Ballet (Florida)

More professional programs

Boston Ballet

Ballet Met

Colorado Ballet

Oregon Ballet Theatre

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Nashville Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

Tulsa Ballet

Other Programs

Summer courses around the US happen at every school. It is a way to expose kids to a professional environment and enhance their training. Here are even more programs to consider this summer!

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet

Southland Ballet

Indiana Ballet Conservatory

The Harid Conservatory

The Rock School

Vitacca Dance

Skyra Conservatory

More information on summer intensives