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. In 2022, the Young Dancer Series will be limited to the New York Junior Session, which will be held at our Lincoln Center headquarters in late June.

A note about SAB’s 2022 Summer Programs:
SAB currently plans to hold all 2022 summer programs in person.  While SAB will continue to operate with rigorous health and safety guidelines in place, we are hopeful that summer enrollment and residence hall capacities will resemble pre-pandemic levels. Our plans will continue to evolve in the coming months and are dependent upon the progress of the pandemic and updates to public health regulations and policies.  All programs are subject to change.

VERY IMPORTANT: SAB will require all summer 2022 students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only medical exemptions will be considered to this policy. Instructions for requesting a medical exemption (which involve documentation from the student’s physician) will be provided to accepted students. Note that students do not yet need to be vaccinated at the time they submit their applications to SAB’s summer programs. Accepted students who wish to enroll will be required to submit proof of vaccination by April 1, 2022.

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 admission to the New York Junior Session, students 10 or younger (including 9 year olds who will be 10 by July 31, 2022) 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, and 12 year olds should be training at the intermediate level. Previous pointe work is not required for admission to this program.

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 the New York Junior Session. Students who will be 12 as of July 31 may apply for and, if accepted, attend both programs.

Note: Current SAB Winter Term students are not eligible to audition for SAB’s summer programs. 

2022 Summer Auditions

In the interest of health and safety and to ensure that all applicants have an equal opportunity to be evaluated while the pandemic continues, SAB will require all 2022 summer program applicants, both U.S. and international, to submit a video application online.  No in-person auditions will be held.  See below for guidelines on creating your audition video plus a link to complete the online application. The deadline to apply is January 25, 2022.  For best consideration, submit your application by January 15. 

Creating Your Audition Video

SAB has assembled guidelines and resources to help you create your audition video. Watch below for inspiration and tips on how to begin your audition video. Then review this section carefully for specific guidelines. SAB will begin accepting applications on November 22. A link to apply will be available from this page when the application form opens. However, you may begin to prepare your audition video now.

General Video Guidelines

The audition video should be approximately 15 minutes in length and portray the student in practice clothes* in an abbreviated class showcasing the barre and center exercises included below. Pointe work is required only for students 12-18 who are applying to SAB’s Summer Course in NYC. Students ages 10-11 (and 12 year olds applying only to the NY Junior Session) 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.

*Girls should wear a leotard and pink or flesh tone tights and shoes; skirts should NOT be worn.  Boys should wear a T-shirt and tights with white, black, or flesh tone shoes. Note that it is acceptable to wear a face mask if your filming location requires it. 

Download SAB's 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 (one side)
  • 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. (Where applicable, please include combinations that demonstrate both sides)
Note: use the applicant’s age as of the video filming date to choose the appropriate exercises from the list below.

  • 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 applying to the Summer Course in NYC and optional for 10-11 year olds and 12 year olds applying only to the NY Junior Session. Note: use the applicant’s age as of the video filming date to choose the appropriate exercises from the list below.

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.

Uploading Your Video

All completed 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. Note that YouTube is the preferred viewing platform for our faculty. More detailed instructions for uploading videos to YouTube can be found in the guidelines document below. Links that require the video to be downloaded are not accepted. Additionally, please do not provide links that require an invitation to a specific email address to view (such as in the “private” setting for YouTube uploads).

A note about privacy: you do not need to compromise your privacy in order to submit a video. YouTube users should choose the “unlisted” setting (instead of the default “public” setting) when you upload your video. An “unlisted” video will not be publicly viewable in your YouTube channel and cannot be found through a YouTube search. Only those with the direct link can access it. Vimeo users should set their video setting to “Private” so that only people with the link can access it. For an added layer of privacy on Vimeo, you can select the “password” setting. You will then need to provide the password the SAB application.

Download a printable copy of the audition video guidelines and YouTube upload instructions

Application Information

Once you’ve created and uploaded your audition video to a service such as YouTube or Vimeo, you can submit your application using the form link below. Please note the following details as you prepare your application:

  • There is a $42 audition fee for all video applications. This fee must be submitted via credit card at the time of application. Audition fees are not refundable.
  • The deadline to apply is January 25, 2022. For best consideration, apply by January 15, 2022.
  • You will need to upload a copy of a document confirming the applicant’s date of birth such as a birth certificate, passport, government or other ID that includes the student’s date of birth. Acceptable file types are PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG.
  • As a general rule, recommendation letters, photographs and/or resumes are not accepted as part of the application.
  • You must create an account to submit the application. If you applied in 2019 or 2020, you may use the same login to submit your application. If you cannot remember your password, you can use the forgotten password link to generate a reminder. Note that new accounts should be created in a parent/guardian name and can be used to complete applications for multiple siblings.
  • We will begin distributing results on a rolling basis beginning the week of January 10.
  • Please contact auditions@sab.org with questions.
Apply Now!

Audition Results

All summer program results will be distributed via email to the address included on the application form.  Results will be disseminated on a rolling basis beginning the week of January 10. 

2022 Digital Summer Brochure

Browse our 2022 Digital Summer Brochure and learn more about our 5-week Summer Course and 1-Week New York Junior Session.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

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: