The School of Dance provides students from across the nation the opportunity of studying with world-renowned teachers. The most advanced students receive the experience of performing with live orchestras in the 4,400-seat Amphitheater.

2020 Dance Performances

All performances are in the Amphitheater unless otherwise noted.


Wednesday, July 1 at 8:15 p.m. | Ballet Hispánico



Wednesday, July 8 at 8:15 p.m. | The Washington Ballet

Saturday, July 11 at 1 p.m. | Workshop 1 Studio Performance (Carnahan-Jackson Studios)



Saturday, July 11 at 8:15 p.m. | The Washington Ballet with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra  



Sunday, July 19 at 2:30 p.m. | Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala
*Includes Workshop 2, Apprentice and Festival (no ticket needed)



Monday, July 27 at 8:15 p.m. | Chautauqua Festival Dancers with the Music School Festival Orchestra
*Includes Apprentice and Festival  


Monday, August 3 at 8:15 p.m. | Alumni All-Star Ballet Gala


Thursday, August 13 at 8:15 p.m. | Dance Theatre of Harlem

TBD | Choreographic Workshop (Carnahan-Jackson Studios)



Sunday, August 16 at 2:30 p.m. | Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala
*Includes Workshop 2, Apprentice and Festival (no ticket needed)



Wednesday, August 26 at 8:15 p.m. |  Pilobolus: “The BIG FIVE-OH! Preview Performance”

The School of Dance provides students from across the nation the opportunity of studying with world-renowned teachers. The most advanced students receive the experience of performing with live orchestras in the 4,000-seat Amphitheater.

Student Handbook


Housing & Meals


dancers on rockChautauqua provides residence hall lodging for approximately 280 full-time students enrolled in the art, music, dance and theater schools. The dance dorm is adjacent to the studios and connected to the cafeteria. Dorm rooms are mainly all doubles, but we do have a few triples and quad rooms. Each room comes with a bed, desk and closet for each student and the bathroom is shared with one other room. Two full time dorm counselors are hired specifically for the dance wing as well as two student counselors so there is adequate supervision. Students are housed together based on their age. Dormitories will be open for students to move in as early as Saturday, June 26.

Photo: Tanja Kuic

Meal Plan

Dance JeffCravotta FIX2 0987 9691All students who live in the residence halls will automatically be enrolled in our full meal plan. This plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. There is no option to opt-out of the meal plan.

The food service in the residence hall operates very much like a food court. Because we are using the food court set-up, there will be vegetarian offerings at every meal for any student. “Vegetarian” meals are not vegan meals. Please be aware that we cannot accommodate unique or individual dietary requests.

There are no cooking or food storage facilities in the dormitory. If you have questions on our food service or its offerings, please contact us and we’ll do our best to help you. You may bring a mini-fridge to keep in your room.

(Photo by Jeff Cravotta)


“Chautauqua is unlike any other program, nowhere else can you receive so much personal attention to refine and establish the foundations of ballet technique as well as the skills to be a truly well rounded artist. There are numerous performing opportunities in front of an audience who are truly passionate about dance, and to have the opportunity to perform such a wide variety of repertoire is unparalleled. I would not be the person I am today without my experiences at Chautauqua.”


– Aaron Anker, Pennsylvania Ballet :: Apprentice Dancer 2013 & 2012


“The chance to work with master teachers and mentors such as Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux allowed both my artistry and my technique to develop greatly. The numerous performance opportunities were invaluable, and my work with the company gave me an important taste of professional life.”


– Sarah Pierce, Nashville Ballet :: 2015 Apprentice Dancer

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Artistic Director

JP Bonnefoux headshot 2018

Born in France, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux joined the Paris Opera Ballet at age 14 and was named Danseur Etoile at 21. He has danced with the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets and in 1970 became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. In 1977, Bonnefoux joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, and began to realize his lifelong ambition of training young dancers. His final performance was in 1980, after which time, he dedicated himself to work as an artistic director, choreographer and teacher. Bonnefoux’s choreography includes works commissioned by the New York City Ballet, The Lincoln Center Institute, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. Bonnefoux has served as choreographer and ballet master for the Pittsburgh Ballet, as Chairman and Artistic Director of the Ballet Department in the School of Music at Indiana University. He joined the Charlotte Ballet and School of Charlotte Ballet in 1996 where he served as the President and Artistic Director until 2016.


Patricia McBride

Director of Ballet Studies and Master Teacher
Kennedy Center Honors Bio

Former distinguished prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet. She has been celebrated as the outstanding American ballerina of our day and is a star of international stature. In 2014 she received one of the Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime contributions and achievements in dance. Her career with the New York City Ballet spanned more than three decades and provided audiences with dazzling performances of some of the greatest masterpieces in dance. George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins created many of their master works for her. She is a teacher of technique and variations classes for both Festival and Workshop dancers and stages a Balanchine work every summer.

Sasha Janes

Sasha Janes

Director of Contemporary Studies

He was born in Perth, Australia, and received his formal dance training from the Australian Ballet School. He has danced professionally with West Australian Ballet, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and Dayton Ballet, performing principal roles in works by Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Marius Petipa, Septime Webre, Anthony Tudor, Dwight Rhoden, Alonzo King, Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey, and many others.

At the invitation of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and associate artistic director Patricia McBride, Janes joined Charlotte Ballet in 2003. In 2006, he was commissioned to choreograph his first ballet, Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa, and has since choreographed several ballets for Charlotte Ballet, including Carmen, Dangerous Liaisons, We Danced Through Life, Last Lost Chance, Shelter, At First Sight, Loss, The Four Seasons, The Red Dress, Utopia, Playground Teasers, The Seed and the Soil, Chaconne, Queen, Sketches from Grace, and Rhapsodic Dances, which was performed as part of the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America series in June 2013. The Washington Post called Janes “a choreographer to watch.”

Janes was a participant in New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute and has been a guest choreographer for Richmond Ballet’s New Works Festival. He was a principal dancer with Charlotte Ballet for eight seasons before being named rehearsal director in 2007 then associate artistic director in 2012 and adding the title resident choreographer in 2013. Janes is currently Associate Professor of ballet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

MarisBattaglia2015Maris Battaglia

Associate Artistic Director

Maris Battaglia is the director and founder of the American Academy of Ballet. She received her training at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City and has applied her SAB training across the country. She also taught in Latvia in 1990 for 3-weeks at the Regia Ballet School- the school that trained ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov. Over 130 of her students have gone on to dance professionally in major ballet companies in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Broadway Stage. She served on the New York State Council of the Arts for an unprecedented four years and received the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County Award for Outstanding Arts Contributor in 2008. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Artist Excellence Award, which is presented to one outstanding dance teacher each year in the United States. In 1999, she was introduced into the Western New York Dance Hall of Fame.

rebecca janes

Rebecca Carmazzi Janes

Rebecca was born in Urbana, Ohio where she began her training with her Mom, Cindy Carmazzi. She also trained with the Dayton Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Jacksonville Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Ballet Met. In her junior year of High School, she was offered a contract with Dayton Ballet where she performed for nine years as a principal dancer. In 1999 she was awarded the Josie Award, for the Most Outstanding Female Performer of the year. Rebecca also worked with Chautauqua Festival Ballet and Ballet Met before joining Charlotte Ballet in 2002 as a principal dancer. During her career she has enjoyed dancing in numerous full length ballets such as Juliet in Septime Webre's as well as Jean Pierre Bonnefoux's Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Stephen Mills Hamlet, Odile and Odette in Swan Lake, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella in Cinderella, Lucy in Dracula, Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, Desdemona in Othello, and the Marquis de Mertuil in Dangerous Liaisons. She also performed in repertoire ballets by George Balanchine, Lila York, Anthony Tudor, Alonzo King, Alvin Ailey, Nacho Duato, Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Salvatore Aiello, Mark Diamond, Sasha Janes, Nicolo Fonte, Dermot Burke, Mark Godden, Christian Holder, and Uri Sands. Since retiring to be with her three children in 2012, Rebecca has been enjoying teaching for the Charlotte Ballet Academy, Dance Davidson, Piedmont School of Music and Dance, and Open Door Studios.

Kaltaktchian headshot 2019

Sarkis Kaltakchian

A native of Armenia, Sarkis Kaltakhtchian studied at the Choreographic Institute of Yerevan, where he graduated with honors. Thereafter, he joined the Armenian National Ballet. In 1989, Kaltakhtchian was invited to join Ballets Classique de Montreal. He also performed with Banff Festival of the Arts, Classical Ballet of Costa Rica, Ottowa Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet Theatre.

As a soloist and principal dancer, his repertory included the works of George Balanchine, Marius Petipa, Choo-San Goh, Alonzo King, Val Caniparoli, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Nacho Duato and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. In July 1998, Kaltakhtchian performed for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House Millennium Council. Kaltakhtchian started teaching while still dancing, under the guidance of Maxim Martirosian, former Artistic Director of Bolshoi Ballet School.

After retiring from the stage in 2005, Kaltakhtchian became the Head Instructor for the Centre for Dance Education at Tulsa Ballet, and Director of Tulsa Ballet II. He has been a guest faculty with the Chautauqua Institution in New York since 2008. He joined the faculty of Charlotte Ballet Academy in 2010, and was named Artistic Vice Principal in 2014. He is currently serves on the dance faculty at the University of Hartford.


Glenda Lucena

Glenda Lucena is a former principal dancer and later assistant to the artistic director and ballet mistress of Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas, the Ballet Nacional de Venezeula. Following that, she worked with Ballet Fundacion Arte Nuevo in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, where she served not only as a ballet mistress but also the artistic director. Lucena went on to serve as the academic di vrector for the Choreographic Center for the Arts and the Arts Foundation in Barquisimeto.

Lucena was invited in 1994 to join the artistic staff of Miami City Ballet. Initially teaching for both the Miami City Ballet Company and the School, after three years she was promoted to ballet mistress for the Company. Lucena continued to teach classes but also rehearsed and coached the Company, whose repertoire includes many of George Balanchine's works.

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has invited Lucena as a guest faculty member since 2004 to teach classes and serve as ballet mistress for Indiana University Ballet Theater's (IUBT) performances of George Balanchine's Sonatine, Victor Gsovsky's Grand Pas Classique, Marius Petipa's Paquita, Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, and Violette Verdy's ballet Variations for Eight. IUBT performed her original choreography Winds from the South, with music of Ernesto Lecuona, Lucena had many guest engagements as a professional teacher around the United States and abroad, most notably being invited as a guest teacher at The Royal Ballet School in London. In the summers, Lucena is on faculty at the Chautauqua Institution, where she serves as ballet mistress for the Dance Program and teaches, rehearses, and coaches many young, talented ballet students. Lucena continues as a guest teacher throughout the United States.


Michael Vernon

Michael Vernon started dancing at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet in London before studying at the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet before moving to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He retained those positions under the directorship of the famed Edward Villella, and himself became artistic director of the Long Island-based company in 1989. He remained in that position until 1996.

Vernon choreographed numerous ballets for the Eglevsky Ballet, in addition to ballets for many professional companies in the United States and worldwide, such as BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Mikhail Baryshnikov commissioned him to choreograph the highly successful pas de deux In a Country Garden for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). His solo S'Wonderful was danced by ABT principal Cynthia Harvey in the presence of President and Mrs. Reagan and shown nationwide on CBS television. He also served as assistant choreographer on Ken Russell's movie Valentino, starring Rudolph Nureyev and Leslie Caron.

Vernon has taught at Steps on Broadway (New York City) since 1980, working with dancers from New York City Ballet, ABT, and many other high-profile companies. He is an integral part of the Manhattan Dance Project, which brings New York-style master classes to all regions of the United States. He has been involved with the Ballet Program of the Chautauqua Institute since 1996 and is Artistic Director for the Ballet School of Stamford (Conn). In addition, he is permanent guest teacher at the Manhattan Youth Ballet and has had a long association with Ballet Hawaii. He taught for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and its school for 18 years.

Vernon has been company teacher for American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has guest taught in companies all over the world, including the West Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of China, the Hong Kong Ballet, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Berlin Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Norwegian Ballet. He has been a guest teacher for The Juilliard School and The Joffrey School, and recently joined the panel of judges for the Youth America Grand Prix regional semi-finals. 

Vernon currently serves as Chair of the Department of Ballet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

2020 Guest Faculty

Silas Farley, New York City Ballet | Bio

Angelica Generosa, Pacific Northwest Ballet | Bio

Joseph Jefferies, Boston Ballet | Bio

Nadia Maria, Atlanta Ballet | Bio

Michael Montgomery, Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Bio

Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet | Bio

Dylan Wald, Pacific Northwest Ballet | Bio

Pete Leo Walker, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet | Bio

2020 Visiting Artistic Directors

Peter Boal, Pacific Northwest Ballet | Bio

Julie Kent, The Washington Ballet | Bio

Alonzo King, Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Bio

Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet | Bio

Grant Cooper, orchestral music director and principal conductor

Kazuko Adachi, Alexandria Ball, Sebastian Birch, Arkady Figlin, David Morse, Nataliya Pinelis, pianists

Janice Wells, managing director

A. Christina Giannini, costume designer

Jennifer Propst, lighting designer

Audition Fee: $40 online/$45 on-site

Apply Now

Download the Dance Program Poster

Audition Tour

BLOOMINGTON, IN • Sunday, January 26 
Indiana University
Jacobs School of Music
Bloomington, IN 47405
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 3–4:30 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 4:30–6 p.m.

BOSTON, MA • Sunday, January 19
Boston Ballet
19 Clarendon St , Boston, MA 02116
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 4:30–6 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 6–7:30 p.m.

BUFFALO, NY • Saturday, January 11
American Academy of Ballet
479 West Klein Rd, Williamsville, NY 14221
Young Dancer Workshop (ages 7-10): 1–3 p.m.
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 3:30–5 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 5–6:30 p.m.

NEW YORK, NY • Monday, January 20
School of American Ballet
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 5–6:30 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 6:30–8 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA, PA • Saturday, January 18
The Rock School
1101 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 2:30–4 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 4–5:30 p.m.

PITTSBURGH, PA • Sunday, January 12
Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh
4100 Library Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15234
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 2–3:30 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 3:30–5 p.m.

TAMPA, FL • Saturday, February 1
Patel Conservatory/Straz Center for the Performing Arts
1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 1–2:30 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 2:30–4 p.m.

WASHINGTON, DC • Saturday, January 25
The Washington Ballet
3515 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 2–3:30 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 3:30–5 p.m.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC • Sunday, February 2
1533 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27127
Workshop I/II (ages 11-14): 12:30–2 p.m.
Festival/Apprentice (ages 15-19): 2–3:30 p.m.


About the Audition

About the Audition



On-site registration begins one hour prior to the audition class.

Advance registration is available online at Upon receipt of the online application you will receive an email confirmation from the Schools office with additional audition information. Online applications are accepted until 3 days prior to the audition date. Once an audition location is closed to online registration, you may apply and pay on-site the day of the audition with cash or check. Application fees are non-refundable.

To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the financial aid section of the online application or request a form to complete during the on-site registration. Scholarship decisions are made at the same time as admissions decisions.


Audition Class

Auditions are in the form of an abbreviated ballet technique class. Girls and boys audition together. Girls will have pointe work, boys will have battu and air turns at the end of class. There will also be a short contemporary ballet component. Individual audition critiques are not provided at any point during or after the audition.

Dancers will typically receive audition results via email two or three weeks after their audition. Admission and scholarship decisions are made at the same time.

Age Groups

Workshop I and II audition times are for students between the ages of 11 and 14. Students interested in consideration for the Mini-Intensive Weekend should also audition with this group at any of our live audition sites. Young Dancer Workshop (ages 7-10) will have a live audition class at the Buffalo location only.

Apprentice and Festival audition times are for students 15–19. If you are 14 at the time of the audition, but will be 15 by the time the program begins you should audition with the second group.


Dress Code

There is no dress code for the audition class, however, dancers should dress as they would for any ballet class. Solid leotard, tights, hair off of the face, etc. Men should be in tights and a T-shirt. No baggy or loose clothes, including skirts. Dancers should bring their pointe shoes.

Photo Requirements

All students must provide two photos at the audition; one in first arabesque position and one in battement tendu a la seconde a terre en face. A standard 3x5 or 4×6 photo is preferred and does not have to be professional. You do not need to upload these photos to your online application if you are attending a live audition – please only bring them with you to the audition site.

Photos: Tanja Kuic

“Chautauqua is an intimate program where you develop close relationships with incredible, world class teachers and the talented dancers you're surrounded by. You have the opportunity to explore different styles of dance and perform diverse repertoire for a wonderful, engaged audience. It's a unique experience that you can't find at any other summer intensive.”


– Alexandra Heier, Pennsylvania Ballet :: Apprentice Dancer 2013 & 2012

“Studying ballet at Chautauqua was one of the most rewarding experiences. There is something invaluable about working with the finest teachers from around the world. The opportunities provided for me at Chautauqua have prepared me to continue to grow as a dancer.”


– Gabriela Schiefer, Boston Ballet II :: 2014 Apprentice Dancer

Program Overview

Chautauqua School of Dance provides an unparalleled pre-professional training experience for talented dance students that includes small classes in a nurturing studio environment, extensive performance opportunities, individual coaching and career guidance in a safe and picturesque lakeside community. 

Daily ballet technique classes are supplemented with classes in pointe, variations, partnering, character, contemporary, Pilates, Broadway and more. Classes are taught by distinguished world-renowned faculty and guest faculty currently performing with national companies. Students spend ample time in rehearsal learning full-length ballets that are often new works created on them by resident choreographers. A Balanchine ballet is typically staged each summer by Master Teacher and former NYCB prima ballerina Patricia McBride. Individual and small group coaching with Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux allow dancers to focus on areas to improve and excel. With guidance from faculty, Apprentice and Festival dancers have the opportunity to create new works on their fellow dancers and collaborate with students from the Music School during the annual Choreographic Workshop. On-site physical therapy is available for each student weekly at no additional cost. 

Assisting students on their chosen career path is another important aspect of the program. Starting in 2020, Chautauqua Dance will be inviting Artistic Directors of major national ballet companies to visit the program throughout the summer. The directors will view our students in class and rehearsal, hold audition simulations, host Q&A panels, and meet with dancers about future career opportunities.   

Several student performances are presented to the Chautauqua community throughout the summer, including an Amphitheater evening with the Music School Festival Orchestra, two Sunday Galas, and in-studio showings. Additional performance opportunities for Apprentice dancers sometimes include an Inter-Arts Matinee, special Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra evenings, and inclusion in performances with visiting ballet companies. All Amphitheater performances are costumed by a fully staffed costume shop located in the Carnahan-Jackson Studio complex. Often costumes are designed and created specifically for the students when premiering new choreography.  

Chautauqua School of Dance boasts an impressive list of alumni who can be seen on stage in major national and international companies. Curated by Sasha Janes, the annual Alumni All-Star Ballet Gala serves as a celebration of the exceptional talent consistently produced by the school. Artists from top-tier national companies such as NYCB, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and more join forces for an exciting evening of contemporary and classical dance.  In addition to the performance, alumni host discussion panels and serve as School of Dance guest faculty, graciously sharing their knowledge with the next generation of Alumni All-Stars.

The Chautauqua Dance platform presents a rotating roster of diverse professional dance companies in the Amphitheater during the nine-week summer season, giving students exposure to a wide range of artistic styles both on stage and in the studio in Master Classes with artists from the visiting companies. Companies in residence have included: Charlotte Ballet, Stars of American Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Pilobolus, and more.  Students are required to attend every dance performance as part of the curriculum. 

Chautauqua Institution provides an amazing location for aspiring dancers to learn and grow in a supportive, arts-centric community. Students are encouraged to attend performances across disciplines and access to all Amphitheater events is included in the program cost. When not honing their craft in studio or on stage, students can spend their free time biking around the grounds, swimming in the lake, eating ice cream with friends on Bestor Plaza, and enjoying the many summer resort activities Chautauqua has to offer.

Performance Schedule

Tuition, Housing, and Student Life

Apply Today

Company Apprentice Dancers

Dance JeffCravotta FIX 0987 9828 2

June 28–August 16 (Ages: 16–19)

This prestigious program is geared toward advanced dancers preparing to enter the professional dance world. In addition to the full Festival curriculum, Apprentices have the opportunity to take classes with and perform alongside visiting guest companies and Alumni Gala artists. They also receive coaching with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and career mentoring from faculty members.

Chautauqua is unlike any summer intensive offered; it is truly a unique and eye-opening experience in the pre-professional ballet world. The opportunity to be taught by such world-renowned faculty for seven weeks and perform full-length ballets multiple times throughout the summer exposed me to what life as a professional will be and taught me so much. I came away from the summer with a whole new outlook and appreciation for ballet and improvement that was the result of such a rigorous yet amazing program.”


– Brigitte Kossuth, Wexford Dance Academy, Apprentice 2019

Photo: Jeff Cravotta 

Chautauqua Festival Dancers

07102019 StudentGalaPreview VG 02June 28–August 16 (Ages: 15–18)

Designed for advanced dancers, approximately 16 girls and up to 8 boys are selected for this seven-week intensive program. The Festival dancer curriculum has a major focus on individual artistic growth and technical improvement. They also have the opportunity for coaching sessions with the resident faculty including Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux.

It was amazing to be surrounded by all the talented dancers, musicians, opera singers, painters, sculptors, and actors that filled my summer experience with inspiration and growth. I will forever be grateful to the Chautauqua Dance program for creating an environment that I believe is helping me and so many others reach our potential as performing artists.


– Christiana Cecere, The Conservatory at Northeast School of Ballet, Festival 2019

Workshop Dancers

Workshop I (2 weeks)
June 28–July 11 (Ages: 11–12)

Workshop II (5 weeks)
July 12–August 16 (Ages: 13–14)

The ballet workshops for talented young dancers enroll 20 girls and up to six boys for either a two-week or five-week session (based on age). Workshop I has a studio performance at the end of week two. Workshop II has two performances in the Amphitheater.  Classes include ballet, pointe, variations, character, contemporary, & broadway with resident faculty and visiting guest artists.

"Chautauqua is a beautiful place filled with kind, supportive dancers and legendary faculty all in a quaint community where everyone loves the arts. The teachers care so much about each dancer, and will make sure you achieve your potential while having the best summer of your life!"


– Scarlett Starkey, Cincinnati Ballet Academy, Workshop I 2019

"Chautauqua is an amazing place where you can improve all aspects of dance, including your technique and performance skills. I attended Workshop 2 twice and both experiences were unforgettable. Everyone on the faculty care about each student and make sure they have the best experience possible. You are surrounded by amazing dancers and people who support you through the five weeks no matter what. One of the best parts is the end performance because you get to show your family what you have learned and how much you have improved. "


Elizabeth Bilotti, Manhattan Youth Ballet, Workshop II  2018 & 2019

Weekend Workshops

Chautauqua School of Dance offers two non-residential workshop weekends to introduce younger dancers to our full term programs. The workshops include classes with resident faculty and special guest teachers, family admission to the grounds for the duration of the program, and the opportunity to see students from the School of Dance in an Amphitheater performance. 

While housing is not provided, there are a variety of accommodations both on and off the grounds for families to enjoy all that Chautauqua has to offer.

Mini-Intensive Weekend (Ages: 11–13) 
July 25–28, Tuition: $4002019 Dance Mini Patti

This four-day program includes the opportunity to see the performance of our Festival Dancers with the Music School Festival Orchestra in the Amphitheater. Students will have three classes each day with Chautauqua Dance faculty and special guests from Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh. Acceptance is by audition only. Participants will be selected from the Workshop 1 and 2 applicant pool of live audition classes and video submissions. Please indicate on your Workshop application if you would also like to be considered for this program. (NOTE: if applying in advance, please use the “Dance 2020” Slideroom application, NOT Young Dancer.)

Application Fee: $40

Sample Schedule


The Chautauqua Mini Weekend Intensive is a rigorous ballet workout that exposes the students to different dance styles and pinpoints the necessary skills for becoming a successful dancer."


– Riya Chaudhry, School of American Ballet, Mini-Intensive 2019

Photo: 2019 Mini-Intensive participants with Patricia McBride, Director of Ballet Studies and Master Teacher

Young Dancer Weekend (Ages: 7–10) 
July 18–20, Tuition: $250

 2019 Dance YDW PorchBallet students ages 7–10 are invited to join us at the CHQ School of Dance July 13–15 for three days of classes on the beautiful lakeside grounds of Chautauqua Institution. The dancers are divided into groups of 25 based on age in order to keep the class size small. They have two classes the first day and three classes the second and third day. Classes are taught by CHQ dance faculty and special guests. This is a wonderful and exciting weekend introduction to our full term programs. (**Previously known as Pre-Workshop Weekend)

A live audition class for Young Dancer Workshop will be held in Buffalo at American Academy of Ballet on Saturday, January 11 at 2 p.m. Plan to arrive a half hour before the audition for registration. If you are not in the Western NY region, video submissions are also accepted. Requirements for the Young Dancer recorded audition are: No more than five-minute barre (one side only), including pliés, tendus, passé, dégagé, grand battement and five-minute center including pliés, relevé, tendus and petit allegro

Application Fee: $20

Sample Schedule


“Chautauqua Dance is a magical place, unlike any other summer dance program. Be ready for your child to experience a holistic transformation. We noticed improvements in our children's technique, musicality, confidence and overall independence. The world class faculty manages to accomplish all of this with honesty, kindness and respect. We couldn't be happier.”


Parent of Young Dancer 2019 and Workshop II 2018 students