For many students today, the last step before going pro is a traineeship—a one or two–year program where dancers can polish up their technique and gain professional performing experience. While more and more companies are launching trainee programs, the opportunities they offer (and tuition they require) vary dramatically. Some trainees get to take company class and dance with the corps in larger ballets. Others get private coaching from the ballet masters. In certain programs, trainees participate in some of the company's most innovative projects.
Nashville Ballet is adding a new element to their second company this fall: a pre-professional training division for advanced dancers looking to hone their skills. The new program is designed as an entry level into the performing division of Nashville Ballet 2. The cost is $1000 a year for in-depth training, performance opportunities and mentoring from faculty.
The Washington Ballet just announced that they will launch a trainee program this fall. Choreographer Carlos Valcarcel will serve as ballet master for the one- to two- year program for pre-preprofessional students ages 17 and older. It's aimed at students who want to fine-tune their technique and gain valuable performance experience before auditioning for companies.