Ballet Companies With Pre-professional Programs

For those who live, breathe, and sleep dance, there are ballet companies out there that offer pre-professional programs to help the process of furthering a dancer's career.

“I was born to dance” is a cliché saying used by many talented dancers in this world, but for some it may actually be true . . .

For those who live, breathe, and sleep dance, there are ballet companies out there that offer pre-professional programs to help the process of furthering a dancer’s career. These programs take a lot of hard work, determination, and commitment, but by the time the dancer is 18 years old, he/she will be ready to take the stage as a professional!

Interested in pursuing a career in dance? Here are some ballet companies throughout the United States offering pre-professional programs that could get you started.

Boston Ballet–Boston, MA

The Boston Ballet offers pre-professional programs from levels I–IV. In order to ensure eligibility, interested dancers must first complete the Intermediate II level of training, and then proceed with a formal audition process. Prospective students have the opportunity to be recruited through the Classical Ballet Program. The requirements for the program include technique, pointe, modern, character, and Pilates to ensure dancers are well rounded in their training. With the four levels of training, the school highly suggests that each dancer considers the program while in the debut year at the school. Despite the level of training, each program rehearses six days a week for up to 2.5 hours a day.

The Boston Ballet is well-known for its performance of The Nutcracker. Check out some highlights of the performance here:

Joffrey Academy of Dance–Chicago, IL

The Joffrey Academy of Dance offers pre-professional programs from levels III–VI. The program is designed to prepare dancers for a professional career in dancing. The levels are divided by age groups and entry is available through audition only. Here is a brief breakdown of the levels:

  • Level III, Ages: 9–12+
  • Level IV, Ages: 12–15+
  • Level V & VI, Ages: 14–18+ 

American Ballet School–Apex, NC

The American Ballet School admits advanced students (ages 12–18) into the pre-professional program by audition or interview after the student has completed levels I–III. The curriculum is very intensive and includes multiple dance forms, weekend dance shops, and master classes. The pre-professional course for study is broken into eight levels of training beginning at ballet basics and ending at performance learning and refining. Classes are held six days a week, and once the program is completed, each student should have attained balance, coordination, physical strength, confidence, and an understanding of the art. The student will then be well prepared for a professional career as a dancer.

Other pre-professional ballet companies to consider:

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About Victoria Scibilia

Victoria Scibilia

Victoria Scibilia is a freelance writer and former contributing editor for Carnegie Higher Ed.


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