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Exploring Ballet With Suzanne Farrell:
A Three-Week Summer Ballet Intensive for Young Dancers

Photo of Suzanne Farrell teaching

Application Information

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has developed a teaching partnership with legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell and invites you to audition for the national summer ballet training program,Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. This three-week intensive ballet course taught by Suzanne Farrell will be presented July 25 - August 13, 2016, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A limited number of students will be accepted into this program.

To participate in this program, students must complete and submit the application materials by the deadline and attend an audition class at one of the sites. Video auditions will only be accepted from those students who live more than 150 miles from an audition site. See video auditions section of this form for requirements. Students will receive confirmation notification of their audition site before the audition class.

Those selected to participate in the summer program will be notified by February 14, 2016.

Eligibility Requirements:

Male and female students ages 14-18 (age during the duration of the program, July 25 - August 13, 2016)
Intermediate and advanced levels
At least five years of ballet training (four years on pointe for females)

Audition Dates and Sites:

Washington, D.C

Friday, January 8, 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, January 9, 1-3 p.m.
The Kennedy Center

Chicago, IL

Sunday, January 10, 2-4 p.m.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

New York City, NY

Saturday, January 16, 3-5 p.m.
Sunday, January 17, 2-4 p.m.
DANY Studios at the Joyce Theater

Portland, OR

Saturday, January 23, 3-5 p.m.
The Portland Ballet

Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, January 24, 3-5 p.m.
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Tallahassee, FL

Saturday, January 30*
Sunday, January 31*
Florida State University Department of Dance

*Space is limited. Call for details.

To Apply and Participate in an Audition Class:

  1. Submit the online application and $25 non-refundable application fee by December 20, 2015 OR download an application and mail it in along with the $25 non-refundable application fee (payable by check only to The Kennedy Center). Mail-in applications must be postmarked by the deadline.
  2. Attend audition class of your choice. Space is limited. (Audition classes are taught by Suzanne Farrell and participation is on pointe.)
  3. Arrive 45 minutes prior to the audition dressed for the class and have ready to show or submit:
    • Copy of birth certificate, ID, or other official documentation of age
    • 2 Current photos (may be snapshots): (1) headshot and (2) a full-length shot in arabesque wearing practice clothes and on pointe.

To complete the online audition application, click here

To download a paper copy of the application, click here.

To Audition By Video:

  1. If you live more than 150 miles from all audition sites, you may submit a video for consideration. By December 20, 2015, you must:
    • Submit the online application and $25 non-refundable application fee
    • Upload your video
    • Upload 2 current photos (may be snapshots): (1) a headshot and (2) a full-length shot in arabesque wearing practice clothes and on pointe.
  2. The video must have been shot within the last 6 months. Videos will only be considered if the student is the only featured dancer and is dressed in practice clothes. Female dancers should wear pointe shoes in the video (no ballet slippers). Video must be 20-30 minutes in length and should be performed as an abbreviated class. It is NOT necessary to repeat barre on right and left side. While filming, make sure that entire length of your body can be seen on film at all times.
  3. The video should include the following variations, choreographed solely by the applicant:
    • 2 petit allegro (small jump combination)
    • 2 grande allegro (large jump combination)
    • 2 turn combinations in center
    • 1 across the floor combination, traveling en diagonale, that includes a traveling turn combination

To complete audition application, click here

Summer Course:

The three-week intensive ballet course will be held Monday, July 25 - Saturday, August 13, 2016. Twelve classes will be held weekly, Monday through Saturday. All classes will be taught by Suzanne Farrell and will take place in rehearsal rooms at the Kennedy Center. Supervised accommodation will be provided at a resident hotel located within walking distance of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Students are required to reside in housing provided by the Kennedy Center. A student whose permanent address is within a 15-mile radius of the Kennedy Center may opt to reside at home and commute to the program. Any exceptions must be requested in writing before Friday, March 11, 2016 and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students accepted into the program must commit to participating in the entire three-week program. No one will be permitted to begin the program after Monday, July 25 or permitted to leave the program before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13.


Tuition: $1100 includes 12 classes per week and selected activities designed to enhance and extend the student's study of ballet. Note: All students, including commuter students, are required to participate in all program activities.

Housing: $1,400 includes accommodations (students will be housed in doubles or triples), supervision, and selected activities.

Students notified of their acceptance must send a nonrefundable payment of $550 by March 14, 2016. Students who will be housed by the program must also send an additional nonrefundable housing deposit of $250 by March 14, 2016. The balance for tuition and housing (if applicable) will be due by June 15, 2016.

Limited need-based financial aid may be available for qualified applicants. Financial aid applications must be received by January 29, 2016. If your audition occurs before this deadline, please bring your financial aid application with you to your audition. Alternatively, mail-in financial aid applications must be postmarked by the deadline. Students selected to participate in the summer program will be notified of any financial aid awards in their acceptance letter. Financial aid requests have no bearing on a student's acceptance to the program.

To download financial aid application, click here.


Call the Kennedy Center Education Department at (202) 416-8811 or visit the Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell website at:

Please note: audition sites will not have audition information. Please contact the Kennedy Center Education Department at (202) 416-8811.