Apply to the Dance Academy

smiling students

Prospective Students

Attending the Colburn Dance Academy requires a high level of commitment and passion. We require applicants—between the ages 14 and 19—to have already studied ballet for a minimum of four years. Female dancers should be able to exhibit excellent pointe work; although our curriculum is ballet-based, students should to be prepared to explore different dance forms.


Admittance for the Dance Academy full year program is a competitive process. Students are accepted into the 2019–20 full academic year program through audition only.

Auditions for the 2020–21 academic year will be announced in 2020.

A $20 fee in cash or check is required at the audition for prospective students who have pre-registered.
A $25 fee is required for students registering on the day of the audition.

Audition Process

At the audition, Dance Academy artistic staff will give and observe a full ballet technique class. The class is taught in the Balanchine style and will run between 90 minutes and two hours.

Women will take the full class in pointe shoes and are expected to demonstrate strong and articulate pointe work with proper placement throughout the class along with accomplished double pirouettes both en dehors and en dedans as well as clear petite allegro and grand allegro. Single leg or repetitive turns such as pique turns on diagonal, fouettes or arabesque turns may be required.

Men are expected to demonstrate strong and correct placement throughout the class along with secure double to triple pirouettes both en dedans and en dehors as well as clear petite allegro, strong and confident grand allegro with double tour en l’air, and a la seconde turns.

Video auditions are accepted prior to August 9. Videos should be uploaded to a privacy-enabled video sharing service including YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox or other similar platforms, and emailed to Videos should include the following content with a preferred limit of 15 minutes in length.

All students must include the following:

  • Complete barre with one side only (dancer’s preferred side per combination)
  • Center floor work

Women must include the following, performed en pointe:

  • Adagio
  • Echappe
  • Releve in arabesque
  • Pirouettes both en dehors and en dedans
  • Diagonal turning combination
  • Petit allegro
  • Grand allegro

Men must include the following:

  • Adagio
  • Pirouettes both en dehors and en dedans
  • Diagonal turning combination
  • Petit allegro
  • Grand allegro
  • Double tour en l’air (may be part of grand allegro)
  • A la seconde turns

Video Audition Dress Code

  • Women: black leotard, pink or skin tone tights, pointe shoes
  • Men: black tights and white t-shirt


A year’s tuition is $6,800 with an activity fee of $300. A limited number of merit scholarships are granted and financial aid is available. Please contact Gavin Kelley at or 213-621-1085 for more information regarding financial aid.


Colburn offers excellent access to academics on-campus through Oak Crest Academy, a third-party private school. The academic program requires a separate and additional tuition, but is not a requirement of the Dance Academy.

However, students must attend an academic school to meet their state-mandated academic education requirements. Dance Academy classes, which are scheduled for the early part of the day, typically interfere with traditional high school hours, so students must consider alternative academic programs if Oak Crest is determined to not be an option.


A limited number of off-campus residence spots is available three blocks away from the Colburn School at our partner school, the American University Preparatory School.

Students live with other non-Colburn high school students and are supervised by the live-in professional AUP staff. The AUP complex includes a cafeteria, where Colburn students are provided with two meals each day. Room and board costs for 2019–20 academic year are $13,500.

For more information, contact Gavin Kelley at or 213-621-1085.