Summer Auditions & Admission

Study in the School of American Ballet’s summer programs is for serious ballet students between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. Admission to our summer programs is by audition only. Our flagship five-week  Summer Course in NYC for 12 to 18 year olds offers intensive exposure to SAB’s year-round training syllabus and provides an opportunity for students to experience the unparalleled cultural offerings of New York City.  The Young Dancer Series for 10-12 year olds offers an abbreviated introduction to SAB’s curriculum and faculty with a one-week program in June at our Lincoln Center headquarters (New York Junior Session) and a new virtual two-week intensive in August held entirely on Zoom. (Young Dancer Virtual Workshop).

A note about SAB’s 2021 Summer Programs:

SAB currently plans to hold an in-person, five-week Summer Course and an in-person New York Junior Session.  At this time, we are projecting that CDC guidelines and state and local regulations will continue to mandate small ballet class sizes and lower occupancy in our Residence Hall, and we are preparing to operate our 2021 summer programs with rigorous health and safety guidelines in place, including mandatory distancing and mask wearing. Our plans will continue to evolve in the coming months and are dependent upon the progress of the pandemic and updates to public health policies.  All programs are subject to change.

Admission Criteria

Study in SAB’s Summer Course is for intermediate and advanced students, 12 to 18 years old who are at a stage of technical advancement proportionate to their age and who have the physical qualifications suited to the demands of classical dance. Twelve year olds must already be training on pointe by the time of their Summer Course audition.

For admissions to the New York Junior Session and Young Dancer Virtual Workshop, students 10 or younger (including 9 year olds who will be 10 by July 31, 2021) are expected to have completed a minimum of 1-1/2 years of training by the time of their audition. Eleven year olds should have completed a minimum of 2 years of training (including introductory pointe work), and 12 year olds should be training at the intermediate level.

Age Criteria
To apply for the 5-week Summer Course, students must be no younger than 12 and no older than 18 as of July 31 the year they attend the program. For the Young Dancers Series: students must be no younger than 10 and no older than 12 as of July 31 in the year they attend either the New York Junior Session or the Young Dancer Virtual Workshop.

2021 Summer Auditions

In the interest of safety, SAB will not be conducting in-person auditions this winter. All applicants interested in applying for one or more of SAB’s 2021 summer programs must do so by submitting a video application online. A link to complete this online application will be available by early December. In the meantime, you should reference the video specifications below to help you prepare your audition video. Applications will be accepted through January 31, though for best consideration, we encourage you to submit your video before January 15.  There is a $42 fee for all applications.

Please visit this link to be notified when the online application is available.

Audition Video Specifications

Below are guidelines for creating your audition video. Note that all videos must be uploaded to a streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo prior to submitting the online application. You will be required to provide a link/url to your final video in the application. Links that require the video to be downloaded are not accepted. Additionally, please do provide links that require an invitation to a specific email address to view.

The video should be approximately 15 minutes in length and portray the student in practice clothes (girls in leotard and tights without skirts; boys in T-shirt and tights) in an abbreviated class with the following barre and center exercises. Pointe work is required only for students 12-18. Students ages 10 & 11 may include pointe exercises if they have already started working on pointe, but these exercises are not required. See below for pointe work specifications by age.

We recognize that many students may not have access to a ballet studio for filming their audition video. If you are recording your video application at home or in a non-traditional dance space, please only include the listed steps that can be safely executed in your space. The pointe work requirements listed below may be modified as needed based on the limitations of your floor surface. Please include only what you can safely accomplish.

*Please do not include any variations or performance footage in the video audition.

Download a printable copy of the audition video guidelines

Barre Exercises

For all ages
Please film barre work from a side (slightly front) angle. Position the camera as close as possible but ensure that that your entire body is fully visible from head to toe for both barre and center work.

all should be simple combinations

  • Two demi-pliés and one grand plié in first, second, fourth and fifth positions
  • Tendu (both sides)
  • Frappé (both sides)
  • Piqué (both sides)
  • Rond de Jambe (à terre & en l’air) (both sides)
  • Développé (both sides)
  • Grand Battement (both sides)

Center Exercises

For all ages unless otherwise noted

  • Tendu Battement
  • Abbreviated Adagio (ages 10-12) – simple combination for four 8-counts
  • Adagio (ages 13-18) – incorporate developé à la seconde and developé to arabesque
  • Pirouettes (ages 10-12) Single pirouette or Relevé Passé if pirouettes have not yet been learned
  • Pirouettes (ages 13-18) – from fourth and fifth position, single and double
  • Sauté (in all positions)
  • Changement from 5th position
  • Assemblé
  • Jeté

If filming in a studio or a large home studio space in which the following can be safely completed, please include the following steps:

  • 10-12 year olds: Brief Waltz across the floor (two 6-counts)
  • 13-18 year olds: Glissade assemble
  • 13-18 year olds: A step going across the floor with either tour jeté or cabriole.
  • Boys ages 12-13: Big Jump or single tour en l’air
  • Boys ages 14-18: Entrechat six and tour en l’air (single or double)

Pointe Requirements

Pointe is required for 12-18 year olds and optional for 10-11 year olds

10-13 year olds
(10-11 year olds should only include if they have already started pointe training)

Show the following with two hands on the barre. Use portable barre if possible and film dancer from the front.  If a wall barre must be used, please film dancer from behind (do not film a side view)
  • Relevé
  • Échappé (from 2nd and 5th)
14 year olds
Complete all barre exercises on flat. Wear pointe shoes for the following center exercises:
  • Single pirouette
  • Echappés (from 5th position)
  • Relevé fondu or relevé in arabesque
15-18 year olds

All barre and center work should be done in pointe shoes if possible.  If floor circumstances aren’t ideal, wear your pointe shoes only for barre/center exercises that can be completed safely.

Audition Results

All results will be distributed via email beginning in January. We will provide a more detailed audition result schedule in January.


The School of American Ballet has a nondiscrimination policy with respect to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or any other protected characteristic in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs or any other school-administered programs.

Summer Auditions sponsored by: