Walnut Hill School for the Arts Offers Top-Notch Dance and Academics, Plus a Partnership With Boston Ballet

Sponsored by Walnut Hill School for the Arts
December 13, 2022

Since 1893, providing a robust and dynamic arts education has been essential to the ethos of Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Originally founded as a private boarding school for young women, Walnut Hill became coed in the 1970s and further honed its focus on the arts. Today, it offers top-notch programs in music, theater, writing, film, visual art and, of course, dance

In 2020, Walnut Hill partnered with Boston Ballet to establish the Boston Ballet School Professional Division at Walnut Hill, which provides dance students opportunities to train with Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen and other artistic staff, perform with the professional company, and be considered for positions in Boston Ballet II.

Walnut Hill’s proximity to the cultural and professional opportunities available in Boston is certainly a draw for students, while the safe haven afforded by the Natick, Massachusetts, campus allows them to refine their craft in a supportive environment. In addition to providing a superior arts education, Walnut Hill emphasizes academic courses, and offers students chances to collaborate with other young artists across a variety of disciplines.

“Having our pre-professional training program immersed in an arts school with exposure and opportunities to collaborate with other artforms allows for a unique, inspiring and more enriching educational experience,” says Miranda Weese, Walnut Hill’s interim director of dance and a former New York City Ballet principal. “In providing an atmosphere where you can get everything you need in terms of academic and artistic training, in one place, means we’re educating the whole person and not just the dancer. That’s what makes our program world-class, and stand out from the rest.”

Dance students at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Photo by Igor Burlak, Courtesy Walnut Hill.

Program size: 65–70 dancers, with three women’s levels, two men’s levels and small classes of up to 20 dancers to allow for individualized attention
Age range: Grades 9–12, with an opportunity to be considered for Boston Ballet’s Graduate Program
Performance opportunities: Annual year-end Next Generation performance featuring Professional Division students with Boston Ballet II and a live orchestra at Boston Ballet’s home stage, Citizens Bank Opera House; opportunities to perform in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker and other Boston Ballet performances; opportunities to choreograph and perform in student work through the Student Choreographic Project; annual Senior Showcase performance for students preparing to enter the professional arena.
Tuition: $55,000 for day students, including meals; $71,600 for boarding students. Need-based financial aid available. Merit-based scholarships are also available for students applying for the Boston Ballet School Professional Division.
Room/board: Included in boarding-student tuition 
Daily schedule: Six-day-a-week intensive program, with up to four hours per day of dance training. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, men’s and women’s variations, partnering, modern/contemporary, character and conditioning.
Additional opportunities: All Professional Division students are automatically considered and evaluated to be eligible for the Boston Ballet one- to two-year Graduate Program and, from there, for Boston Ballet II.
Alumni: Thanks to its recent partnership with Boston Ballet, Walnut Hill has seen an influx of dancers moving into both Boston Ballet II and the Boston Ballet Graduate Program. Current BBII dancers include 2021 graduates Cassidy Cail and Sydney Williams; current Graduate Program dancers include 2022 graduates Emily Aston, Celeste Cisneros, Colin Cloyes, Aidan Duffy, Annie Fitzpatrick and Kennedy Newell. 
Important dates in 2023: January 15: Regular application deadline; February 1: Financial aid application deadline; March 15: Students notified of admission decisions. July 16–20: The Boston Ballet School holds its annual Summer Ballet Workshop at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. No auditions are required, but students must submit a letter of reference from their dance studio by April 1.

Walnut Hill School for the Arts offers an uncompromised education in both dance and academics, preparing students for illustrious professional careers and well-rounded lives. If you’re ready to take the next step in your dance education and think Walnut Hill could be a fit for you, learn more about its offerings here

Dance students at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Photo by Igor Burlak, Courtesy Walnut Hill.