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 and Meals


dancers on rockCHQ 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 23.

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


Application opens November 15, 2019 • Fee (USD): $40.00

Apply Here


Admission and Scholarships


CHQ welcomes applications from talented students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin or religious background. Admission is by audition only and students must enroll in the entire duration of the program. Admission decisions and scholarship awards are made before March 1, and no decision will be released until the applicant’s file is complete and the non-refundable application fee is paid. Two to three weeks after the audition, admission results will be sent to the email address on the student's application.


Students may apply for scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of student’s talent, years of study and financial need. In 2016, the Chautauqua Institution awarded direct scholarship aid to 60%
of the students in the School of Dance. To apply for a scholarship please fill out the online financial
aid form.


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Photo: Jeff Cravotta


“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

Apprentice and Festival Programs

Company Apprentice Program

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June 23–August 11, Ages: 16–19

Six girls and four boys are chosen for this prestigious program. Students will be in-residence for the full seven weeks and take professional company class with the Charlotte Ballet and a master class with Pilobolus and other guest artists during the summer. They will perform once with the Charlotte Ballet and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and once with the Festival Dancers and Music School Festival Orchestra.  Apprentices will also perform in two Student Galas. All performances take place in our brand new, state of the art 4,400 seat Amphitheater. 

Apprentices are also invited to take part in the choreographic workshop at the end of the summer where students choreograph their own pieces and choose other students to perform it.

Photo: Jeff Cravotta 

Chautauqua Festival Dancers

Karlee Donley Thunder Bridge colour 1June 23–August 11, (ages 15 - 18)

Approximately 16 girls and 8 boys will be selected for this program which is designed for the older, more advanced student. These dancers will perform with the Music School Festival Orchestra and also in two Student Galas. All performances take place in our brand new, state of the art 4,000 seat Amphitheater. A new facet of the Festival program will include individual coachings with the resident faculty (including Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride and Sasha Janes) during the summer to enhance the dancers’ experience. 

Festival Dancers are also invited to take part in the choreographic workshop at the end of the summer where students choreograph their own pieces and choose other students to perform it.

Photo: Stelth Ng


“Chautauqua is a dream come true! My experience over the past two summers has been very rewarding. The extremely talented faculty, the incredible amount of class and performance time, the personal mentoring from Charlotte Ballet company members, and the fabulous Chautauqua Connections program have all contributed to my success. I feel well prepared to start my professional dance career.”

– Sarah Lapointe, Charlotte Ballet :: 2013 Festival Dancer & 2014 Apprentice Dancer

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Artistic Director

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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

Patricia McBride

Director of Ballet Studies and Master Teacher - 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. She stages a Balanchine work every summer.

Sasha Janes

Sasha Janes

Director of Contemporary Studies (Resident Faculty) – Sasha Janes was born in Perth, Australia, and received his formal dance training from the Australian Ballet School. He has danced professionally with The West Australian Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Dayton Ballet and Charlotte Ballet. In 2006 Janes was commissioned to choreograph his first ballet, Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa, and since then he has choreographed several ballets for Chautauqua Festival Ballet and NC Dance Theatre including You’re So Fine, Breathe, Glass Houses, Last Lost Chance, Rhapsodic Dances and Dangerous Liaisons. Janes now serves as associate artistic director after eight seasons dancing with NC Dance Theatre.  He teaches and choreographs for the Chautauqua School of Dance.

Maris Battaglia


Associate Director, School of Dance (Resident Workshop Ballet & Choreographer) - Director of the American Academy of Ballet, which was established in 1965 upon her return to Buffalo from New York City. She received her training at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.



Rebecca Carmazzi Janes

rebecca janes

(Resident Faculty) 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.

Mark Diamond

Mark Diamond

(Resident Faculty) - Former soloist, Hamburg Ballet, and principal dancer, Milwaukee Ballet; choreographer for the Dayton Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and National Slovak Ballet. Currently choreographer and teacher for the Charlotte Ballet. He is a teacher of boys’ class for Festival and Workshop.


Sarkis Kaltakchian


Ballet, guest faculty, (Ballet and Character, Choreographer for Boys' Program) - A native of Armenia, Sarkis Kaltakchian studied at the Choreographic Institute of Yerevan, where he later danced with the Armenian National Ballet and Opera Theatre. He also danced with the Classical Ballet of Costa Rica, Les Ballets Classique de Montreal, The Banff Festival of the Arts, Ottawa Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and Hartford Ballet as soloist and principal dancer. His repertory includes the works of Balanchine, Petipa, Choo- San Goh, King, Caniparoli, Fonte,Peterson, Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Diamond, Bonnefoux and Duato. His Teaching experience includes five years in the ballet department of Les Ballets Divertimento de Montreal under the direction of Maxim Marterosian, and Head Instructor and Director of the Tulsa Ballet II since 2005. Sarkis currently teaches at The School of the Charlotte Ballet. 

Rachael Humphrey Leonard


(Resident Hip Hop) Originally from Buffalo NY, where she studied dance for 15 years at the American Academy of Ballet with Maris Battaglia, Rachael is a 2010 graduate of SUNY Potsdam/Packer Dance, Configuration Dance Theater and Danny Grossman Dance Company. She is currently a member of Lehrer Dance and teaches Hip Hop.

Glenda Lucena


Ballet (resident faculty and Répétiteur) - Former principal, ballet mistress, artistic director, and academic director of the Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas, the Ballet Nacional de Venezeula, Ballet Farten and the Choreographic Center for the Arts in Barquisimeto, respectively; former ballet mistress for Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella; currently Guest Repetituer at Indiana University.


Michael Vernon


Ballet (Resident Choreographer & Faculty) - Trained at the Royal Ballet School, London and at American Ballet Theatre School, New York. Mr. Vernon performed with London Festival Ballet. He was Artistic Director of the Eglevsky Ballet. He is Chair of the Department of Ballet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  He travels domestically and internationally as both teacher and choreographer.


2018 Guest Faculty

Anna Gerberich

Anna Gerberich1Anna Gerberich began her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary. In 2004, she was invited by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride to apprentice with the Charlotte Ballet, and in 2005 she was hired into the company. Within four years, under Bonnefoux she was promoted to Principal. After 11 years with Charlotte Ballet, Anna accepted a position with the Joffrey Ballet. At Joffrey she had the opportunity to work with numerous choreographers including John Numier among others. Anna received the Pointe Magazine NERDA Award of Promise in 2001 and was awarded the Barbara Weisberger RDA Founders Award of Excellence in 2004. In 2014 Anna had the pleasure to appear in the Kennedy Center Honors, performing Balanchine’s Who Cares in acknowledgment to Patricia McBride.

Pete Leo Walker

Pete Leo Walker1Pete Leo Walker joins Aspen Santa Fe Ballet following five seasons with Charlotte Ballet, where he performed a diverse repertoire of neoclassical and contemporary works. A native of Jacksonville, FL, Pete began training at Dansations Performing Arts Center and continued at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. Pete is a 2011 recipient of the Princess Grace Award. In 2013 he was featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch.”



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