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Trainee Program


2022-23 SEASON

The Sarasota Ballet's Trainee Program offers talented students a well-rounded curriculum designed to prepare them for their next steps in their dance career.  The program focuses on training with performance opportunities and a chance to work alongside The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company.

Education Director - Christopher Hird
Assistant Education Director - Dierdre Miles Burger
Assistant Education Director - Lindsay Fischer 
Faculty Member - Risa Kaplowitz
Faculty Member - Addul Manzano
Faculty Member - Heidi Brewer (Modern)

Franco De Vita (former Artistic Director, ABT JKO School)
Raymond Lukens (former Artistic Director, ABT National Training Curriculum)

Each year students are chosen from the Trainee Program to join The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company. For the 2022/23 season, 7 Trainees are moving into the Studio Company. 4 Studio Company dancers are joining The Sarasota Ballet main Company.

Other Graduates from the 2021-22 year are joining the following companies: Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Indianapolis Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet II, Portland Ballet as well as colleges including Butler University and University of Florida.

Men's Training
We have a strong program to develop men's virtuosity, partnering and contemporary. Faculty includes Education Director, Christopher Hird, Assistant Education Director Lindsay Fischer and former principal dancer of Charlotte Ballet, Addul Manzano. Trainee Men also have the opportunity to work alongside The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company.

Program Includes:
  • Classes in classical and modern technique, pointe, men's virtuosity, pas de deux, conditioning, variations and repertoire
  • Progressing Ballet Technique - new for 2022/23
  • Work alongside Sarasota Ballet Studio Company
  • Students may have the opportunity to understudy Company roles
  • Career advice and audition preparation
  • Exchange program with Canada's National Ballet School and Royal Danish Ballet School
  • Choreography Showcase for students who are interested in exploring choreography
  • Students are prepared for Youth America Grand Prix, ADC/IBC
  • Students receive free tickets to each Company production
  • Students have the special chance to give flowers to the Principal dancers at opening nights
  • Opportunity to assist in younger student classes and develop teaching skills
Extensive Performing Opportunities

Previous performances have included:

  • Nutcracker Winter Showcase
  • Marie Selby Gardens - New Year's Eve celebration
  • Sarasota Opera House - hour-long performance with live music from Key Chorale
  • School Matinee performances
  • Lecture demonstrations at community organizations
  • Images of Dance - end of year performance at Sarasota Opera House
For more information and to audition, please contact:

Students may audition in person, via Zoom or or send in a video submission.  Students should Pre-Register for their video audition. Cost is $35.

For more information, please contact: [email protected] | 941-225-6520

Box Office: 941.359.0099
Phone: 941.359.0099
5555 North Tamiami Trail  Sarasota , FL  34243