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Trainee Program



The Trainee Program is now back in-studio and virtually - we have two groups of Trainees and  students may choose to attend in-person, virtually or hybrid. The health and safety of all our students is of utmost importance. We have created guidelines for all students so that we can dance safely in-studio. In addition, we have installed special Remo Halo Air Purifiers in order to further protect our students and staff. This unique air purification system works to limit the spread of viral particles. 

We are still accepting students virtually and there may be spaces available for joining us in person.  If you are interested, please contact us to arrange a Zoom audition. For any immediate questions, please contact us at: [email protected] | 941-225-6520

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’s Studio Company.

The Trainee Program is led by Education Director Christopher Hird and Assistant Education Director, Dierdre Miles Burger who both have extensive experience in training professional dancers. 

Men's Training
We have a strong program to develop men's virtuosity, partnering and contemporary. Faculty includes Education Director, Christopher Hird 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 (during non-Covid):
  • Classes in classical and modern technique, pointe, men's virtuosity, pas de deux, conditioning, variations and repertoire
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ladies 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 (during non-Covid; currently performance opportunities are being sourced)

In 2018/19 performances 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 or send in a video submission.  Students should Pre-Register for their video audition. Cost is $35.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Hird: [email protected]
Dierdre Miles Burger: [email protected]
Or call: 941-225-6520

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