June 23-July 25, 2014
Summer Intensive is a program of serious study in a warm and companionable atmosphere. The faculty provides caring and careful instruction conducive to technical and artistic progress. In seeking to maintain a feeling of community, Princeton Ballet School purposely limits the number of students in class.
Mary Pat Robertson, Director, conducts auditions throughout the United States and Europe to select 100 students for the program. For students ages 13 and up, classes are held at the Princeton Studio location with optional housing at Princeton University.
Admitted students, click here to download the Summer Intensive registration form.
Click here to download a Summer Intensive information sheet.
Click here for audition information, including the international audition tour schedule.
Click here for a PDF of this year's Summer Intensive poster, including the audition tour schedule.
Summer Intensive is for students ages 13 and over. Only students 14 and over will be accepted into the dorms. Students age 11-14 may join our Summer Intensive Intermediates program and students age 9-11 may join Summer Intensive Juniors program.
Experience the opportunity to:
• Sample a taste of professional life in a full day (9:30-5:00pm) dance experience, including rehearsals for a final performance
• Grow technically through five hours of daily ballet technique, including pointe or men’s class
• Deepen your understanding of important concepts in injury prevention, such as proper alignment and rotation
• Learn first-hand the relationship between the great classical dance traditions of the world
• Expand your dance background through classes in modern dance and theater dance
• Exercise your creativity by participating in the choreography workshop
• Develop group communication and leadership skills when choreographing with your peers, while establishing friendships with equally committed young dancers
• Set effective goals and learn to increase personal discipline and focus
• Interact with dedicated professionals, including the teaching staff and American Repertory Ballet's professional company members who participate in the workshop
Summer Instensive students may also be considered for the American Repertory Ballet/Princeton Ballet School Trainee Program. Click here
for more details about this program.
"Notre fille a énormément apprécié son séjour dans votre école de danse de Princeton et nous souhaitons vous dire toute notre reconnaissance pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour elle pour lui faciliter son séjour."
“Our daughter greatly enjoyed her time at Princeton Ballet School, and we would like to thank you so much for all that you have done to make her stay so pleasant.”
-Famille de Brye, Académie Américaine de Danse de Paris
The teachers work with the whole dancer, not just the technical side. Small classes provide plenty of attention and personal help. Full time faculty includes ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin, ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, ARB Company Teacher Kathleen Moore, and ARBW Ballet Mistress Maria Youskevitch, with guest artists such as Kirk Peterson (American Ballet Theatre), Trinette Singleton (Joffrey Ballet), and Jeanne Solan (Netherlands Dans Theatre).
Click Here for the biographies of the Faculty
"I came back from the summer stronger and more dedicated and passionate about ballet than ever. I have been doing all the exercises you taught us and I am surprised how much I have gained from them! I have a notebook with everything I learned over the summer that I review and it brings back lots of great memories, but most importantly lots of wonderful information that I will always have. So thanks again for an amazing summer ...I had the best experience of my life."
- Julia Kagen
Walnut Hill School,
Morning classes for Summer Intensive focus on advanced ballet technique. There are five groups of approximately 20 dancers. The faculty (see Faculty section for biographies) are very interested in strong focus and personal effort, to yield technical advancement. Each day begins with a 110 minute ballet class. Following a brief break, the students’ second class of each day is either pointe, men’s class, or partnering. (Partnering is offered to all levels in our Summer Intensive). Once a week, this time slot is reserved for Body Mechanics (see below).
The afternoons are comprised of two 90 minute classes. One is a second ballet class, moving at a faster pace than the thorough morning class. The other time period is for a variety of experiences,ranging from repertory classes with American Repertory Ballet company dancers, to modern dance and theatre dance classes taught by Princeton Ballet School faculty and alums working professionally in these fields. After the first two weeks of the program, this 90 minute slot becomes the rehearsal for the performances (see Performance below).
Pointe classes: are a combination of pointe technique and strengthening work, and variations.
Variations classes feature variations from each teacher’s background.
Pointe classes are taught by all faculty.
Men’s classes: are taught by Douglas Martin. Classes are bi-weekly, with two days of each male dancer’s schedule also given to partnering, and the fifth to Body Mechanics.
Body Mechanics: is taught to each group weekly by Mary Pat Robertson, Director of Princeton Ballet School. This class explores various topics which an aspiring professional needs to understand—core strength, ankle and foot issues, spine issues, turnout—and gives exercises and knowledge which will help maximize the dancers’ potential in these areas.
Choreography Workshop: see "Performance" below.
Placement in levels: levels are set upon arrival at the program. The first day of classes will involve placement auditions, and the classes start meeting in their regular groups on the second day.
"Princeton Ballet School has taken years of training and put it into an incredible, productive five week program. I’ve had the privilege to work with dance geniuses who have given meinformation that I’ll carry with me throughout my life. Thank you to all the staff and faculty for this unforgettable experience."
- Chelsea Wilson
Virginia School of the Arts, Lynchburg, VA
Princeton Ballet School is located in an air-conditioned facility with four large studios featuring high ceilings and sprung dance floors. Live music accompanies all ballet and modern dance classes.
The facility includes a dance library and is adjacent to numerous shops and restaurants, with generous open space, picnic tables, and gardens. The entire studio complex is wireless accessible.
"This program has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. The teachers not only correct you, but make sure that you apply the corrections. The care and consideration they are able to use benefits you incredibly. However, I have to say, that what makes this intensive so wonderful is how enjoyable it is, even when the teachers are pushing you to use the last amount of energy you have."
-- Patricia Strutz, 17
A high point of the Summer Intensive experience is the performance. Because the faculty’s main charge is the progress of the students, which happens through carefully done classwork, rehearsals for the performance are not allowed to take too much time out of each day. The performance is presented as an adjunct to that training, because it is so important to also work in various dance styles, from the classical to the contemporary, and because it is just a wonderful way to cement friendships and create lasting memories.
Rehearsals for the performance begin in the middle of Week 2. One 90 minute class period per day is given to rehearsals. Students are offered the choice of participating in a faculty-led rehearsal period, or participating in the Choreographic Workshop. Once a student has chosen to be in a faculty piece, all casting is at the discretion of the faculty. Each summer, ARB Resident Choreographer, Mary Barton, creates a new work for Summer Intensive, along with other faculty members creating and staging works. Each year one large classical excerpt is also staged. Summer ’12 was excerpts from Swan Lake, staged by Maria Youskevitch.
One unique aspect of Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive is the Choreography Lab. This optional program allows young dancers to start stretching and strengthening the creative side of their brains, under the guidance of Janell Byrne. Ms. Byrne, a Juilliard-trained modern dancer and choreographer, has been teaching for Princeton Ballet School for over 35 years, while producing a large body of work (over 100 ballets). In addition to introducing the dancers to the basic elements of improvisation and choreography, the Lab included Q and A sessions with working choreographers, including Artistic Director Douglas Martin and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton. Choreography Lab met every Saturday afternoon. It is open to any dancer in Summer Intensive, at no extra charge.
The performance is always presented on the evening of the last day of the program. Families and community members are welcome. Tickets are sold separately at a modest price.
"È stato particolarmente interessante e formativo per me avvicinarmi, fin dalla prima lezione della summer intensive, ad un metodo di studio della tecnica classica decisamente nuovo in alcuni suoi aspetti, e invece ricco di fonti di approfondimento e rifessione in altri affrontati nel mio percorso di studio precedente: ho trovato ogni movimento, fin dalla sbarra, più danzato, vissuto e respirato!"
"What was particularly interesting, and made a great impression on me, right from the beginning of the first lesson of the Summer Intensive, was a method of studying classical ballet definitely new, in some of its aspects, and in other ways, richly motivating me to reflect on and deepen my prior knowledge: I found every movement, from the very beginning of the barre work, more danced, more lived, more breathed."
- Federica Valla
Dormitory accommodations are on the Princeton University campus. The University campus adjoins downtown Princeton, a small town of great charm. Transportation to and from the studios is provided.
Room and Board: $2750
A mandatory $100 activities fee covers all dorm student activities, exclusive of the optional New York bus trip.
A limited number of merit-based tuition scholarships are available. RA positions available for dancers 21 and over. All students attending each audition site are automatically considered for scholarship. There is no separate application process.
Princeton Ballet School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex or creed in the administration of its admission or scholarship programs. Princeton Ballet School is an equal opportunity employer.
Click here for audition information, including the international audition tour schedule.
Pre-register - Option no longer available for SI 2014
Pre-registration is encouraged to save money and time at the door.
Audition fee, when paid online is $25 (on-site fee is $30/30Euros).
Please bring two photos to your audition: one in first arabesque and a headshot. Photos need not be glossies-- can by color xeroxes.
Pre-registration is encouraged. Click here to view the registration form to submit by email, mail, or fax.
Register at Audition Site
If you prefer to wait and pay at the door, please download, print and fill out the registration form below and bring it with you with your $30 (30 Euros) audition fee at the door.
Registration Form 2014
Audition by Video
If you are unable to attend an audition in person you may audition by sending us:
1. A DVD
2. An audition application
3. $35 audition by mail fee
The DVD should be on a DVD-R disc and no longer than 10 minutes. Applicants should be dressed in simple leotard and tights. The video should show some barre work(about four exercises) and center as follows: adagio, a pirouette combination or two, petit and grand allegro. Ladies should include three or four pointe combinations. A variation may be included if you choose.
301 North Harrison St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Please call 609.921.7758 x14 if you would like further information.
Click here to see answers to frequently asked questions about the audition process
Further Opportunities— The ARB Trainee Program
The Trainee Program is the bridge between the student phase of training and that of a professional career. ARB Trainees start each day with intensive classes designed to polish technique and build strength. These classes are exclusively for the Trainee dancers, with a focus on the individual participant. The Trainees finish each day with two classes in our Professional Training Program, the top level of the PBS training. These classes include pointe, variations, partnering and modern dance training. After their morning training, which also includes pointe, variations and modern dance, the Trainees join ARB company rehearsals where they understudy company roles. This exposes the Trainee to the expectation of a professional company, learning repertory, polishing technique and performance skills in the more intense professional environment. Trainees also participate in the ARB Workshop—the rehearsal and performance training program for the top levels of Princeton Ballet School. Dancers learn repertory designed for their level of capability, and are given the opportunity to perform in professionally produced productions. Princeton Ballet School is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.
American Repertory Ballet
The American Repertory Ballet is New Jersey's preeminent classical and contemporary ballet company. ARB is committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th century alongside new and existing works by choreographers from today. Founded in 1963, the company is currently under the artistic leadership of Douglas Martin, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. The company's rich history of repertory includes established masterpieces by distinguished American choreographers such as George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp; cutting edge works by choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Kirk Peterson, Dominique Dumais, Harrison McEldowney, Amy Seiwert, Susan Shields and Melissa Barak; and former Artistic Directors Dermot Burke, Marjorie Mussman, Septime Webre and Graham Lustig. ARB has been designated a "Major Arts Institution" by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades, and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. ARB was voted People's Choice for Best Dance Company in 2008 and 2011.