Texas Ballet Theater’s Professional Division Programs Immerse Dancers in Company Life
Embedded in a company known for its excellence in artistry and storytelling, Texas Ballet Theater’s Professional Division—home to its Professional Training Division and Studio Training Company—is designed to guide dancers from advanced student to professional. In fact, alumni from both TBT’s Professional Division programs and its summer intensive currently make up about 60 percent of the main company.
The curriculum of the Professional Training Division, adapted from the Royal Academy of Dance’s syllabus, ensures that students develop the proper technique, alignment, and strength required for a sustainable dance career. Dancers also take modern, contemporary, and jazz to build versatility. “The variety of styles offered expands a dancer’s employability, and can open doors for different avenues of dance,” says Kathy Warakomsky-Li, associate director of schools and director of the Studio Training Company. Students also benefit from the school’s relationship with the Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine: Every other week, physical therapists visit the school to offer dancers support or referrals to specialized doctors.
The Studio Training Company allows dancers to work closely with Texas Ballet Theater’s artistic staff and company members. Training in the same facility as the main company, dancers may be asked to attend company rehearsals to learn corps roles, have access to the same physical therapists, learn and perform works choreographed by TBT members, and even have select opportunities to perform alongside the professional company. Through career-planning sessions, Studio Training Company dancers chart their next steps, like applying to collegiate programs or auditioning for professional companies. Whether it’s assistance with video auditions, letters of recommendation, or participation in competitions with the potential for company recruitment, the school’s faculty are there to support the unique needs of every student.
Studio Training Company and Professional Training Division dancers have ample performance and outreach opportunities in the Dallas–Fort Worth community. At the school’s annual Stars of Tomorrow showcase, Professional Division Program students are featured in everything from classical repertoire to new neoclassical works, and they have the chance to connect with up-and-coming choreographers from all over the country.
With less than 20 dancers in each program, the Professional Division guarantees that its students receive one-on-one attention. “The faculty often discuss ways to help each individual dancer discover what makes them unique,” says Professional Training Division instructor Hayden Stark. “Professional Division Program dancers always amaze us with their incredible growth in artistry and confidence.”
Studio Training Company
Program size: 16–20 dancers
Age range: 16–22
Performance opportunities: Stars of Tomorrow, fall showcase, spring performance (with the full school), lecture demonstrations at local schools, student matinees of Peter and the Wolf; other Dallas–Fort Worth area appearances.
Daily schedule: Monday–Friday: 9 am–4 pm. Saturday: 3 hours in the afternoon. Additional time for company rehearsals as needed.
Additional opportunities: The Nutcracker with professional company (Snowflakes, Flowers and other parts as needed). Roles in other full-length TBT ballets, such as Dracula and Beauty and the Beast in the 2023–24 season.
Alumni: Texas Ballet Theater, Oklahoma City Ballet, Syracuse Ballet, Northwest Arkansas Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Zion Dance Project, Pensacola Ballet, Manassas Ballet Theatre
Important dates: August 7, 2023: first day of the 2023–24 season. Auditions for the 2024–25 season will be announced in November/December.
Professional Training Division
Program size: 14–20 dancers
Age range: 14–19
Performance opportunities: Nutcracker excerpts performed around the Dallas area, Stars of Tomorrow, spring performance, choreographic workshop, lecture demonstrations at local schools, Youth America Grand Prix; other Dallas–Fort Worth area appearances as scheduled.
Room and board: None
Daily schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 am–3 pm. Wednesday: 5:30–8:30 pm
Additional opportunities: The Nutcracker with professional company (Rats, Cooks, and other parts as needed)
Alumni: TBT Studio Training Company, Kansas City Ballet II, Louisville Ballet Studio Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program
Important dates: August 14, 2023: first day of the 2023–24 season. Auditions for the 2024–25 season will be announced in November/December.
Find more information on both programs here.