Summer Course in NYC

SAB’s highly acclaimed introduction to the School’s curriculum, faculty, and residential program has been a core offering since 1938. Over the past eight decades, thousands of talented students between the ages of 12 and 18 have first experienced the School through the five-week Summer Course, with hundreds going on to distinguished professional dance careers at top companies around the world. The Summer Course is a critical access point for those interested in future year-round training at SAB as all summer students are evaluated as candidates for the SAB’s Winter Term. 

Admission to the Summer Course is highly selective. All students must audition. Those accepted will train for five weeks with SAB’s year round faculty and guest teachers from New York City Ballet. Summer students learn the key principals of the ballet aesthetic refined by Balanchine, which is strongly rooted in Russian classicism and emphasizes precision, control, expansiveness, speed, and musicality.

SAB’s onsite Residence Hall, professional Student Life staff and extensive activities program further set Summer Course apart from any other summer intensive offered in the United States. Students live, train, and dine in SAB’s headquarters at the world famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts under twenty-four hour security and supervision by trained student life professionals.  A myriad of chaperoned outings give student the opportunity to experience the unparalleled cultural offerings of New York City.

2024 Summer Course


The 2024 Summer Course will take place from July 1, 2024 – August 2, 2024
(Residence Hall move-in day is Sunday, June 30.  Classes begin on Monday, July 1. The last day of classes is August 2 and move-out day is August 3.) 

Summer Course classes are held six days per week (Monday through Saturday) for the five weeks of Summer Course. Each student is assigned to a class division by means of a placement class given on the first Monday of the program. All levels take a technique class and 1-2 additional classes daily in pointe, variations, partnering, character, contemporary, choreography composition, or technique. Each class level’s schedule varies daily, with classes taking place between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm. 

Age & Admission Criteria
To apply for the 2024 Summer Course, students must be no younger than 12 and no older than 18 as of July 31, 2024. 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.

COVID-19 Policies
SAB’s COVID-19 vaccination policy for the 2024 Summer Course will be announced in January 2024 before program enrollment begins. Students do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to audition for our 2024 summer programs. For the current 2023-24 Winter Term, SAB requires all residential students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is strongly recommended but not required for Winter Term day students.


SAB’s Summer Course curriculum consists of the same varied course offerings as SAB’s core Winter Term program. Preparation for a career in classical ballet is the primary focus of summer training.  In 2023, SAB announced enhancements to our curriculum including more technique classes for every level, added partnering classes, plus new weekly contemporary and choreography composition classes for select levels. See our full curriculum offering below.


SAB’s technique classes are the primary method by which faculty members communicate the fine points of classicism that are the foundation of Balanchine’s aesthetic. Students learn to move with greater musicality, control, precision, speed and expansiveness. 


Classes devoted to developing strength en pointe are an important element in the curriculum for girls at all Summer Course levels, in support of Balanchine’s goal for dancers to move quickly and effortlessly.


Excerpts from well-known classical and neoclassical ballets make up the repertoire of Variations classes for Summer Course students. In separate classes for girls and boys, faculty members draw upon their extensive performance experience to present students with the keys for transforming technique into art.


SAB’s course in partnering instills a strong sense of balance, musical and physical timing, unity of movement, and eloquence of gesture in male and female students.  All boys classes and girls Groups III and up will take one or more Adagio classes each week.


This course acquaints students with the polonaise, mazurka, and other formal and folk dances of the past that appear not only in the classical repertory but also in contemporary works.

Weight Training

Intermediate and Advanced Men take classes for conditioning and strengthening the musculature of the upper body, thereby enhancing partnering skills.


Phoebe Higgins, an SAB alumna and certified Pilates instructor, provides mat classes in the Pilates conditioning method.


For the first time in the summer, students in levels III and higher will take a weekly contemporary class allowing them to explore a broader range of movement and develop their artistry beyond classical ballet.

Choreography Composition

Our most advanced levels will take a weekly choreography composition class allowing them to experiment with choreography and improvisation with their peers in a creative and supportive environment.


SAB’s professional nutritionist Heidi Skolnik conducts seminars on nutrition for optimal performance.

Physical Therapy

A fully-developed physical therapy program is administered by our licensed professionals, who conduct seminars on stretching, strengthening and injury prevention.

Cultural Program

During the Summer Course, every class level will take part in seminars or activities to further broaden students’ awareness of the arts. Among the possible activities for 2024 are ballet history seminars, Q&A sessions with dancers from New York City Ballet or SAB alumni, and tours of Lincoln Center.

Choreography Workshop

During the final two weeks, promising young choreographers will create new works using a selection of the most advanced summer students. The participating students will perform the resulting ballets in a studio showing for an invited audience, including the performers’ parents.

Housing and Student Life Programs

In addition to the exceptional training students receive each day during the Summer Course, the School is dedicated to ensuring students have an extraordinary experience outside the classroom as well. Our facilities boast an on-site residence hall located in the same building as SAB’s studios in which a majority of our Summer Course students live throughout the program. The residence hall is a safe, convenient, fully-supervised “home away from home” that provides an enriching atmosphere for building friendships and a sense of community. Additionally, our Student Life staff works to provide a full complement of extracurricular programming that allow students to experience the best of New York City arts, culture and recreation.

Read More About Summer Housing and Student Life Programs

Tuition and Scholarships

2024 Summer Course Tuition Rates

Upon signing the enrollment agreement, parents agree to pay all charges in full even if the student chooses not to attend or fails to complete the 5-week program. A deposit is due approximately 10 days after a student is accepted to the Summer Course. Final balances will be due on April 15.

Tuition (All Levels) $3,610
Registration Fee $125
Room and Board $3,890
Activity Fee $150
Laundry Fee $15


Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis and are determined at the time of the audition.  They may include one or more of the following elements: class tuition, room and board, transportation. Students will be notified of any scholarship awarded at the time of acceptance. There is no separate application for Summer Course scholarships.

Invitations to Winter Term

While the five-week Summer Course is designed to be an enriching, short-term training experience for all students who attend, it is also a very important component of the School’s mission to enroll and train promising young dancers for professional careers in ballet. As soon as Summer Course classes commence, SAB’s faculty begin to closely assess summer students’ potential for year-round training at SAB. A small percentage of Summer Course students are invited to stay for the Winter Term. The majority of the School’s intermediate and advanced Winter Term students are recruited through the Summer Course. While SAB holds an annual fall audition for the Winter Term, priority for scholarships and on-site housing is given to students who have been invited to the Winter Term through the Summer Course.

We strongly encourage any student interested in future enrollment in the Winter Term to apply to Summer Course. Many students attend more than one Summer Course before receiving an invitation to the Winter Term.  Note that SAB’s Residence Hall generally is available to students who will be 14 or older at the start of the Winter Term and entering the 9th grade or higher.  Summer students younger than 14 are only eligible for invitations to Winter Term if they have a local residence and guardian.


Admission to Summer Course is by audition only. SAB offers several opportunities for students to attend auditions every January.  We are also accepting video applications for any applicant who cannot attend and audition in person in 2024.


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.

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