Sharpen Your Partnering Skills at BalletMet This Summer

Sponsored by BalletMet
January 13, 2023

Whether you’re a pre-professional dancer looking for a rigorous—but rewarding—summer schedule or a junior dancer looking to expand your training over the summer, BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, has an intensive for you. “BalletMet has very versatile intensives, focusing mainly in ballet, but also incorporating other genres, conditioning and dance history into the schedule,” says BalletMet Academy director Dr. Maria Torija. “During our intensive, our students dance from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening with a 45-minute lunch break, so there is lots of instruction time. But we also like to balance that by introducing them to fun things to do around the city.”

Intensives at BalletMet prepare students for professional company life with 35 to 40 hours of training each week, six days a week. Each day is filled with ballet technique, variations, pointe, repertoire and supplementary classes in modern, jazz, flamenco and Pilates. Unique to BalletMet Dance Academy is its custom syllabus created by Torija. The method, which aims to train students in a thorough and thoughtful manner, draws from Torija’s 20-year globe-spanning career as a professional dancer, as well as her bachelor’s degree in ballet teaching, and master’s and PhD in performing arts.

New this summer is BalletMet’s Classical and Contemporary Partnering Intensive, which takes place June 19–24 (the week before the five-week ballet intensive). The intensive was added to BalletMet’s summer lineup after faculty “noticed an interest in additional partnering work in our regular intensive,” says Torija. “The partnering intensive will give us an opportunity for dedicated instruction in that area.” Every day of the intensive starts with technique class. Afterwards, students break into groups to work on classical pas de deux technique and repertoire, followed by contemporary pas de deux technique and conditioning.

A teen female ballet dancer brushes her left leg to second while her teacher standing behind her corrects her alignment.
Academy director Maria Torija helps a student with corrections. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, courtesy BalletMet.

Program size: Approximately 25 students per class
Age range: 12–20
Performance opportunities: A final performance showing in BalletMet’s performance space/black-box theater at the end of the intensive
Tuition: $2,700 for five-week intensive; $695 to add the Classical and Contemporary Partnering Intensive; $795 to attend the Classical and Contemporary Partnering Intensive as a standalone week
Room/board: $3,050 for out-of-town students for five-week intensive. Includes live-in supervision, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, free on-site laundry, on-site security and a dining hall within walking distance. Also includes outings in Columbus, Ohio. (Add $625 if attending Classical and Contemporary Partnering Intensive as an add-on to the five-week intensive. As a standalone week, room/board is $725.)
Daily schedule: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, and Saturday, 12:30–5:30 pm. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, variations, modern, jazz, yoga and conditioning.
Additional opportunities: Interested students may be evaluated for BalletMet’s trainee program during weeks one through three of the summer intensive.
Alumni: BalletMet Dance Academy and summer intensive alumni have danced with professional companies around the world, including: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre: Gwynenn Taylor Jones; American Ballet Theatre: Patrick Bissell (principal); Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet: Gwynenn Taylor Jones, Shaun Boyle; Cincinnati Ballet: Johanna Bernstein, Cameron McNinch, Peter Mueller; Complexions Contemporary Ballet: William Cannon; Dance Theatre of Harlem: Camille Parsons; English National Ballet: Emma Hawes; Hubbard Street Dance Company: Lisa Keskitalo. At BalletMet: Leigh Allardyce, Carole Augustus, Holly Baroway, Megan Bioty, Shaun Boyle, Christian Broomhall, Olivia Clark.
Important dates in 2023: Early January–late February: summer intensive auditions. (Students can audition in person at the city closest to them, attend one of four Zoom audition dates, or submit a recorded video audition.); June 19–24: Classical and Contemporary Partnering Intensive; June 26–July 28: five-week summer intensive.

Since its founding in 1974, BalletMet has been providing top-notch performances and ballet education to Central Ohio and beyond. The company tours both stateside and internationally, performing for 100,000 audience members each year. Click here to learn more about BalletMet’s summer programs and intensive.

Three ballet couples partner each other in developpé on pointe.
Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, courtesy BalletMet.