Trainee Program

Charlottesville Ballet’s Trainee Program offers a personal approach to help dancers transition from advanced students into professional artists. The ultimate goal of the program is to offer dancers a healthy environment in which they can refine the skills of technique, artistry, and performance required for a career in dance.

Trainees represent the most senior level of Charlottesville Ballet Academy and receive quality classical ballet training in the ABT National Training Curriculum led by Co-Director Sara Clayborne. Trainees also have exposure to various dance genres from jazz and modern, to Alexander Technique and have opportunities to explore the contemporary and classical choreography of Charlottesville Ballet’s repertoire.

Trainees rehearse and perform alongside the professional company in The Nutcracker, mixed-repertory productions, Family Series productions, and touring performances.  Costumes and shoes (pointe shoes for ladies and ballet shoes for men) will be provided for use in all company productions.

Mentoring Initiative

Our Mentoring Initiative is also an integral part of the Trainee Program at Charlottesville Ballet.  Trainees will be paired with a mentor and will receive workshops throughout the season to offer support and resources for succeeding in the professional dance environment. 

Each dancer in the Trainee Program will also receive audition mentoring (resume review, video production assistance, etc.) and receive audition leave time to seek out professional employment.  Through the Mentoring Initiative, Charlottesville Ballet strives to nurture trainee dancers into well-rounded artists and ensure long, healthy careers in any dance field.

Trainee Program Schedule & Tuition

Charlottesville Ballet strives to nurture each individual by providing a balanced program that promotes our mission of lifelong health and well-being.

The Trainee Program begins in the early fall and runs through early spring.  Charlottesville Ballet’s Trainee Program schedule is five days per week (Monday – Friday) for approximately 30 hours per week, allowing dancers to seek out part-time jobs or pursue academic studies in addition to dancing and honing their craft in the studio. All classes are located in the Charlottesville Ballet facility at 1885 Seminole Trail in Charlottesville, VA.

Drop In Classes

Dancers who are interested in attending Trainee class may email Associate Director Caitlin Lennon at [email protected]

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The Trainee Program is tuition-based with a limited number of merit scholarships available.  Tuition for 2020-21 is $4,500.

*Work-study program is available through an application and interview process

For more information about the Trainee Program, please contact Associate Director Caitlin Lennon at [email protected]    

All Photos by Keith Alan Sprouse