Students accepted into Oklahoma City Ballet’s Trainee Program focus on perfecting their technique while discovering what it takes to transition into a professional dance career. Oklahoma City Ballet’s Artistic Staff instructs Trainee Program classes in ballet technique, pointe, variations, partnering, modern, and Pilates. Trainees learn and perform both repertoire by Artistic Director Robert Mills and choreography created by the Artistic Staff. Performance opportunities include a Fall Concert, Spring Concert, and The Yvonne Chouteau School Spring Performance.
Additionally, Trainees may be selected to appear in Oklahoma City Ballet’s main stage productions and outreach performances. The comprehensive Trainee Program further includes Nutrition, Life Skills, Dancer Health, and Audition Process Seminars. Trainees will receive guidance throughout the program by Amanda Herd-Popejoy, Trainee Program Coordinator.
How to Apply to the Program
Dancers must attend the Summer Intensive to be considered for admission to the Trainee Program. The Trainee Program is by invitation only and a tuition fee applies. Students will be notified of their acceptance before the end of the Summer Intensive. Trainee Program applicants who have not completed high school must make arrangements for continuing their academic studies.
Housing and Transportation
Trainee students are responsible for establishing their own housing arrangements. Oklahoma City Ballet does not have year-round housing available. Accepted Trainees often choose to have a roommate and are able to organize roommate arrangements before the end of the Summer Intensive. Dancers must secure their own transportation to and from the Studio and performance venues.
Career Development and Conferences
Auditioning is a very important part of pursuing a professional dance career. Our program strives to assist each dancer in developing the skills and materials necessary for a successful audition. Workshops will be held to address writing resumés and cover letters, creating an audition video, and researching companies. Trainees will be provided with photographer contacts in order to schedule headshots and full-body dance shots required for auditions.
Each Trainee will have an individual mid-season conference to discuss progress in the program and audition plans for the next season. End-of-season meetings will be held to notify students whether or not they will be offered another Traineeship or promotion to Oklahoma City Ballet’s Studio Company.
Dancers for Oklahoma City Ballet’s Studio Company are selected from Oklahoma City Ballet’s Summer Intensive and Trainee Program by Artistic Director Robert Mills. The Studio Company provides dancers the experience of what it is like to work in a professional ballet company. Studio Company dancers take daily class with the main company, and often rehearse and perform alongside the company members of Oklahoma City Ballet.
The Studio Company will perform their own repertoire in outreach opportunities around the Oklahoma City metro and with Oklahoma City Ballet’s Yvonne Chouteau School. Apprentices for Oklahoma City Ballet are often selected from Oklahoma City Ballet’s Studio Company.