Pre-Professional Program

Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy offers a robust Pre-Professional Program that educates, trains and prepares students for a career in professional dance.

Intended for recent high school graduates and current high school students with alternative academic study options, the program offers daily intensive training led by senior faculty member and Head of Training for Academy and Pre-Professional Divisions Tatiana Jouravel-Malinkine.

Inside Look:
Pre-Professional Program

Daily Schedule

Each day’s schedule is built to offer a balanced class schedule while exposing students to the type of structure to be expected during the course of a professional career.

Typical Schedule:

8:15-9:15 AM  |  Pilates (Select days)
9:30-11:00 AM  |  Ballet
11:15-12:15 PM  |  Pointe*
12:15-1:00 PM  |  Lunch Break
1:00-2:00 PM  |  Repertoire
2:15-3:15 PM  |  Style Class**

*Pas de deux or Men’s class as enrollment allows.
**Style classes include Variations, Flamenco, Hip Hop, African, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Character, Dance History, Career Seminar, and more.

Schedule is subject to change.

Life in the Program

Academics

Current high school students should plan to secure their own alternative academic courses as we do not maintain partnerships with online school programs at this time. We are happy to make recommendations on programs our graduates have used successfully.

Housing

Students secure their own housing accommodations for the duration of the program. We partner with Milwaukee School of Engineering to provide on-campus apartment lease options to students ages 18+. We also recommend the Historic Third Ward and East Town neighborhoods, both closely located to our studio facilities, which have bountiful leasing options and easy access to public transportation. The Historic Third Ward is home to a large population of young professionals, while East Town offers more affordable apartments and housing for students and families.

Community

Our Pre-Professional Program provides a supportive community of staff and faculty. Our team is available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the program and life in Milwaukee. We are happy to guide you with recommendations on housing, academics, and other essentials. Students who complete their registration for the program will be added to a contact list that will be shared before the program begins, allowing students and families to connect with each other in advance of the start of the program. Returning students are often another useful, firsthand resource for first-year students.

Life In Milwaukee

Milwaukee Ballet’s new, state-of-the-art studios at Baumgartner Center for Dance are located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood. The Historic Third Ward is block after block of former industrial warehouses and is now one of the city’s creative hubs and home to art galleries, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, performing arts venues, trendy and upscale restaurants with patio dining, and boutique shops.

To the west, the public access Riverwalk stretches nearly four miles into downtown along the Milwaukee River. To the east, along Lake Michigan, sits the Henry W. Maier Festival Park, home to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, as well as many of Milwaukee’s ethnic festivals.

Just north of the Historic Third Ward lies the East Town neighborhood, offering beaches, restaurants, and a plethora of enriching arts and culture experiences, including Jazz in the Park, Milwaukee Art Museum, the newly renovated Marcus Performing Arts Center, and the famous Pabst Theatre.

Learn more about our great city at visitmilwaukee.org!

Program Highlights

Our program curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded experience for pre-professional students.

  • Daily classes in ballet, pointe or men’s work
  • Weekly classes in variations
  • Small class size provides focused individual attention
  • Audition opportunities for Milwaukee Ballet Company productions
  • Inspiring live musical accompaniment
  • Guest teachers in various other dance styles
  • New, state-of-the-art studios at Baumgartner Center for Dance

Auditions & Enrollment

Students must be advanced-level dancers in high school or post-high school.  Ladies must have at least 4 years of intensive pointe training.

Auditions are offered to prospective, eligible students free of charge. Review the audition options for the upcoming 2024/25 Pre-Professional Program below, or email Alyx Johnson, School & Academy Coordinator, with any questions.

a person in a tutu jumping in the air
woman in ballet clothes
a group of people in leotards and black leotards

Video Auditions

Submit video audition materials via this link. The deadline for video submissions is April 28, 2024. 

Guidelines: 

  • Video length should be 10-15 minutes with combinations shown on one side.
  • Barre Work: plies, tendus, adagio, and grand battement
  • Center Work: pirouettes en dehors and en dedans, adagio, small and medium allegro, and grand allegro (32-64 bars including diagonal of turning steps)
  • Pointe Work: echappe, retire, double pirouettes en dehors and en dedans
  • Variation of choice

Additional Materials:

  • Please include a resume and photos (a headshot and a photo in first arabesque – en pointe, if applicable).

In-Person Auditions

Attend our standard technique audition that includes and ballet and pointe class at our Baumgartner Center for Dance studios in downtown Milwaukee. Register to attend the in-person audition here.

Audition Details
Saturday, March 16
Check-In 2:30-3:00pm
Audition 3:00-4:30pm

128 N Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Experience Days

Come see what the Pre-Professional Program is all about for yourself! Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy offers Experience Days each spring for prospective students to immerse themselves in the program.

Advance registration is required; sign up here.

2024 Dates & Location
April 18 & 19, 2024 (Attend one or both days!)
Baumgartner Center for Dance, 128 N. Jackson St, Milwaukee

Dress Code
Any style black leotard with pink tights and shoes or skin-tone tights and shoes; or a fitted, white T-shirt with black tights and shoes. Optionally, students should bring a short chiffon or Georgette wrap skirt (Repertoire), a knee-length character skirt (African), and clean, non-marking sole sneakers (Hip Hop) based on their day’s schedule.

Sample Schedule*

8:30 am Meet & Greet and Tour
9:30 am Ballet Class
11:00 am Pointe or Men’s Class
12:00 pm Lunch (provided, optional) with Panel Q&A
12:30 pm Contemporary
1:30 pm Classical Repertoire
2:45 pm Hip Hop

*Subject to change. A final, detailed schedule will be shared prior and may vary based on your selected attendance.

Tuition

The Pre-Professional Program runs from September through May. Tuition includes all classes, rehearsals, costumes, and performance participation. Students must secure their own housing, food, transportation, dance attire, and shoes.

2024/25 Tuition

9 monthly payments  |  $855 per month
One-time $25 registration fee
September tuition and the registration fee are due at the time of registration.

Online applications for financial assistance will be available for the 2024/25 program starting June 2024.