September Audition Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the audition format?

The audition is an hour-long ballet technique class including barre and center work.  Girls and boys audition together.  Girls will have age-appropriate pointe work, and boys will have battu and air turns at the end of class.

Is there a dress code for the audition?

Girls may wear any color leotard; pink tights and pink shoes are preferred. Boys may wear any solid-color t-shirt without words or pictures; black tights and black or white shoes are preferred. No skirts or legwarmers allowed.


Should I wear pointe shoes?

Girls 15 and older should wear pointe shoes for the full audition.  Girls 14 and under should wear ballet slippers, but should bring pointe shoes into the audition.  (They will be asked to put on their pointe shoes at the end of the audition class.)

Should I have had previous training?

Students ages 11-18 are expected to have previous ballet experience.  Eleven to twelve year olds should have completed a minimum of 2 years of training (including beginning pointe for girls.)  Thirteen to fifteen year olds should be training at the intermediate level, and students 16 and older should be at an advanced level.

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 students; and enrollment 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, good turn-out, and a high instep.  They must also possess musical aptitude and a natural gift for movement.  Applicants should be at a stage of technical advancement proportionate to their age.

When will I get my audition result?

Results will be distributed within 24 hours of your audition.  More information will be communicated at the time of the audition. 

If accepted at the September audition, when would I begin class?

Students accepted from the September audition would enroll in the current Winter Term which officially begins on Wednesday, September 4.  However, the earliest an accepted applicant may begin class is Wednesday, September 11.  No student who auditions at the September audition will be allowed to begin class before this date regardless of how soon enrollment paperwork is completed. Additionally, enrollment paperwork must be submitted to SAB by 12 noon two business days before a student can begin class. 

How can I prepare for the possibility of acceptance to SAB?

In order to begin class, a student is required to submit a medical form, part of which must be filled out and signed by a doctor.  Students must have had a physical within one year of September 3, 2019.  If your child has not had a physical since September 3, 2018, you may want to schedule one prior to the audition in anticipation of possible enrollment.

Additionally, accepted applicants may apply for financial aid.  In order to apply for financial aid, you will need to compile documents outlined under the Financial Aid question below.  Assembling this material in advance of the audition will speed up the application process.

Finally, all families will need to provide an initial deposit payment by Monday, September 9.  The deposit payment will vary depending on the assigned class level and whether the student is applying for financial aid. After the initial deposit, families will have flexibility to select a payment plan for the balance of the tuition. 

How much is tuition?

Tuition is different for each class level.  Students at this audition will likely be accepted into Girls IV and up or Boys III and up.  Click here to review the complete listing of tuition fees by class level for the 2019-2020 Winter Term.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. SAB budgets almost $2 million per year for scholarships, financial aid and other subsidies. Ensuring that students with the highest financial need may enroll remains the guiding principle for the allocation of tuition, room & board, and academic aid during the Winter Term.  SAB uses an independent financial need assessment company (TADS) to determine each student’s level of aid.  Anyone wishing to be considered for aid must submit an application. Applicants should compile the following materials prior to the audition if they plan to apply for aid:

  • Federal income tax and payroll information (i.e. W2, recent pay stubs, federal tax form 1040, 1099, etc.)
  • Utility bills
  • Rent or mortgage payment information
  • Debt information (e.g. credit card debt, loans, medical bills)

Upon acceptance, SAB will provide directions for submitting a financial aid application to interested families.
Note: if you have already submitted a TADS application for the 2019-20 school year for another educational institution, you do not need to reapply.

Is on-site housing available?

SAB operates and on-site residence during the Winter Term for more than 60 students. Typically, SAB has already allocated all available spaces in our on-site residence hall prior to the September audition.  Priority for housing is given to our re-enrolling students and to students who attend our five-week Summer Course in July. We encourage all students ages 12 to 18 who do not live in the New York area to first audition for a future Summer Course, during which they would be automatically evaluated for acceptance to our Winter Term.  If there is availability in our Residence Hall at the time of the September audition, accepted applicants will be offered spaces on an individual basis at the time of acceptance.  Additional enrollment steps may apply if a space in the residence hall is offered.  

Please visit this link for more information about how to audition for SAB’s Summer Course.

I am/was a 2019 Summer Course student. Should I attend the September audition to be considered for the Winter Term?

No. All Summer Course students are evaluated as candidates for the upcoming Winter Term.  The Summer Course serves as a 5-week “audition” for our year-round program. Any students who were enrolled in and completed the 2018 Summer Course are not permitted to attend the September audition.