Auditions for Summer 2023 and 2023–24 Year-Round Training

The Dance Academy is part of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, which also includes Youth Dance programs. Led by the Dean of the Colburn Dance Department, the Dance Academy is a rigorous pre-professional ballet training program that both honors the great traditions of classical ballet and embraces the new and contemporary.

Students learn masterworks and deepen their understanding of the great tradition of this art form. They also collaborate with the choreographers of today and develop their own creative voices. Our holistic artistic education shapes dancers as thinkers, artists, and performers as they experience life in the cultural heart of a global city.

The small class size allows for each dancer to develop in their own way, through mentorship and personalized guidance that nurtures their unique gifts and prepares them to join any dance company around the world.

Attending the Colburn Dance Academy requires a high level of commitment and passion. We require applicants to have already studied ballet for a minimum of four years. We train students ages 13–19 in the summer and students ages 14–19 for the year-round program. Female dancers should be able to exhibit excellent pointe work. Our curriculum is both ballet-focused and includes other dance forms to shape our dancers as well-rounded artists.

Student video audition submissions may be for one or both of the following:

Colburn Dance Academy year-round training for the 2023–24 school year (Sept 2023–June 2024) and Colburn Summer Ballet Intensive (June 12–24, 2023).

Register for Auditions

In-person and online audition dates:
  • June 17, 2023 from 1:00 pm-3:30 pm PT
  • Email to preregister for this hybrid audition and specify if you will be attending online via zoom or in person at the Colburn School Grand Rehearsal Hall.

Audition Process

At the in-person or Zoom 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.
Female-identifying students 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 petit allegro and grand allegro. Single leg or repetitive turns such as piqué turns on diagonal, fouetté or arabesque turns may be required. (Class will be modified for online virtual teaching.)

Male-identifying students 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 petit allegro, strong and confident grand allegro with double tour en l’air, and à la seconde turns. (Class will be modified for online virtual teaching.)

Video auditions for the 2023 Colburn Summer Ballet Intensive will be accepted from December 15 until May 15, 2023.

Video auditions for the 2023–24 Colburn Dance Academy will be accepted from January 1 until August 15, 2023.

Please note that students are encouraged to send in their videos as early as possible to be considered for the limited number of spots in both the 2023 Colburn Summer Ballet Intensive and 2023–24 Colburn Dance Academy year-round training.

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

In the event you are unable to provide a video that includes any of the following required class elements, please submit your most recent performance video or any other video content that demonstrates ballet technique.

Video Audition Requirements

All students must include the following:

  • Barre – the following combinations to one side:
  • Plié
  • Tendu
  • Rond de Jambe
  • Adagio
  • Grand Battement
  • Center floor work

Women must include the following, performed en pointe:

  • Adagio
  • Échappé
  • Relevé 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)
  • À la seconde turns

Video Audition Dress Code

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

Residential Dorms

Contact Gavin Kelley at or 213-621-1085 to inquire about residential availability.