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Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get in?

Admission is by audition only. For Winter Term, auditions for students ages 11 to 18 are held in September (generally the Tuesday after Labor Day). Auditions for students age 6 to 10 are held in May. Click here for upcoming Winter Term audition dates. For Summer Course, the 20-city National Audition Tour is held in January and February of each year; audition dates and sites are announced in November of the previous year. Summer Course auditions are also held in New York in January on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:00 noon and must be scheduled online in advance. [back to top]

How do I audition if I live outside the United States? Is there a fee?

International students (those outside the continental United States) may audition for the Summer Course by submitting a Video application. The video should portray the student in an abbreviated class with the full range of barre and center exercises and, for girls over the age of 12, pointe work. Prior to submitting the video, applicants must fill out our online application form which collects basic contact information and the $25 audition fee via credit card.  The online application and video must be submitted between November 1 and January 30th.  Click here to learn more about submitting a Video application.  International students may also audition in person for the Winter Term. Contact SAB's audition coordinator to make an audition appointment. [back to top]

May I audition for both Winter and Summer at the same time?

No. There are distinctly separate auditions for Winter Term and Summer Course. A small percentage of Summer Course students are invited to enroll in the School's Winter Term, or students may audition specifically for Winter Term. For more information on Summer Course auditions, click here. For more information on Winter Term auditions, click here[back to top]

How old do I have to be?

Winter Term students are between the ages of 6 and 18 years old; students must reach their sixth birthday by September 1 in the year they wish to enroll. The Summer Course is for intermediate and advanced students ages 12 to 18. (Students must reach their twelfth birthday by June 1 of the Summer Course they wish to attend). [back to top]

How young do I have to be?

Winter Term students are between the ages of 6 and 18 years old; students must reach their sixth birthday by September 1 in the year they wish to enroll. The Summer Course is for intermediate and advanced students ages 12 to 18. (Students must be 18 or younger as of July 1 of the Summer Course they wish to attend.) [back to top]

What will be required at the audition?

Auditioning boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 10 are evaluated individually and participate in a simple musical exercise. No previous ballet training or preparation is required for this age group. Winter Term auditions for 11 to 18 year olds generally are abbreviated ballet classes with the usual range of barre and center exercises. Pointe shoes are required for girls 13 to 18 years of age. Summer Course auditions for 12 to 18 year olds are also abbreviated ballet classes, but all girls are required to bring pointe shoes to the audition. All students should be prepared to show a copy of their birth certificate or passport at the audition. [back to top]

What is the cost of tuition?

For Winter Term tuition and scholarship information, please click here. For Summer Course tuition and scholarship information, please click here[back to top]

Can I get a scholarship or financial aid?

For the Winter Term, students in all levels may apply for tuition scholarships that are awarded based on ability and financial need. Additional financial assistance may be awarded for the expense of room and board, travel, and/or academic education, based on ability and financial need. For the Summer Course, scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis. Awards range from class tuition only to funds for tuition, room and board, and transportation. Honorary scholarships may also be awarded. [back to top]

When will I be notified of acceptance?

Notification of acceptance or rejection for the Summer Course will be provided within a few days after the audition for applicants who pre-register online. Summer Course applicants who apply on-site will receive their notification within three weeks of the audition. Notification of acceptance or rejection for the Winter Term varies depending on the time of audition.  Notification information is distributed at all Winter Term auditions. [back to top]

If I am visiting, may I take a class? Watch a class?

Only students enrolled for the complete Winter Term (or Summer Course) are allowed to take classes. There are no classes available for visiting students. Professional dancers who wish to take class may contact the Registrar's office for class information. The professional rate is $15 per class. Observation of classes is not permitted in the beginning and intermediate levels. Class observation for the advanced levels is available on a limited basis. Visiting ballet teachers are invited to observe classes at SAB; however, they are not permitted to take notes. Those wishing to observe a class must contact the Artistic Coordinator[back to top]

Does SAB hold any programs outside of NY?

SAB introduced the California Workshop for Young Dancers (formerly LA Workshop) in 2011. The two-week summer program offering classes in technique, pointe and variaions takes place in early August and is for students between the ages of 10 and 14. Auditions are held at select locations on SAB's National Audition Tour in January. For more information about SAB's CA Workshop, click here[back to top]

What should I wear to the audition?

Children aged 6-10 should wear leotards, t-shirts, shorts or swimsuits to the audition. Girls aged 11-18 should wear pink tights and a solid colored leotard. No skirts or leg warmers are allowed in auditions. Boys aged 11-18 should wear black tights, white T-shirt, white socks, and black or white shoes. [back to top]

Do I need a photo or resume for the audition?

Photographs, resumes and recommendation letters are not accepted at SAB's auditions for Winter Term or Summer Course. [back to top]

Where is the School located?

The School of American Ballet is located in the Samuel B. and David Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York City, on West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. A staircase and elevator at 165 West 65th Street provide access to the building entrance above street level. Click here for maps and detailed directions on traveling to the School. [back to top]

Is there an audition fee?

There is a $35 fee for all auditions (including Winter Term and Summer Course) held at SAB in New York City and on SAB's National Audition Tour.  There is a discounted $25 audition fee for applicants who pre-register and pre-pay for the Summer Course National Audition Tour. Community auditions for 6-10 year-olds held each spring at off-site locations in Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn are free. [back to top]

When do students begin pointe?

At SAB, pointe work usually begins in the fourth year of study (Girls IV) for 15 minutes at the end of each technique class and in a separate weekly, one-hour pointe class. [back to top]

What does SAB look for in a dancer?

First and foremost, the School of American Ballet looks at each applicant as an individual. The School is selective in admitting new students and renewing their enrollment from year to year. Admission is by audition only. Applicants must be young enough to derive the maximum benefit from their training, enjoy excellent health and have an anatomical structure suited to the demands of classical dance: a well-proportioned, flexible, coordinated body, legs that easily adopt the turned-out condition, and a high instep. They must also possess musical aptitude and a natural gift for movement. Applicants for the Summer Course must be intermediate or advanced students who, in addition to the above, are at a stage of technical advancement proportionate to their age. [back to top]