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 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), and allows 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 downtown facility at IX Art Park in Charlottesville, VA.

The Trainee Program is tuition-based with a limited number of merit scholarships available.  Tuition for the 2024-25 season is $6,000.

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

For audition information, please click on the button below. If you have further questions, please contact Lori Jablonski: [email protected]

The 2020-21 Trainee Program Dancers on stage at the Academy Center of the Arts – March 2021