Applying to the Professional Division
Please visit our audition page to learn more about applying for the year-round program.
About the Professional Division
Students invited to the Professional Division concentrate on perfecting technique and developing artistry through an intensive full-day, 38-week, comprehensive program. Professional Division curriculum includes technique, pointe, variations, men’s class, adagio, modern, choreography, Pilates apparatus classes, essential barre, strength training, and an extensive Health and Wellness and mentorship program featuring seminars on such topics as personal medicine/self care, nutrition, and injury prevention. This 1 to 2-year program is designed to help students transition from student to professional dancer. PNB School assists students with career planning by offering workshops and resources on resume writing and the audition/job search process, providing contacts for audition photos, and through individual counseling/conferences. Selected Professional Division students may also have frequent opportunities to perform in Pacific Northwest Ballet productions throughout the year.
Professional Division students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements during the school year, as PNB School does not have year-round housing available. Students often choose to live with a roommate; most roommate situations are established before the end of Summer Course. Many students have recommended searching online at Zillow.com to find prospective apartments in the vicinity of PNB (visit Zillow.com and click on “Rentals” for Seattle. It shows available rentals, location, and cost).
Conferences with Mr. Boal and Ms. Bolstad are held in the winter to discuss student progress, options for summer programs and the following school year, and audition tour plans.
As the first ballet school in the United States to institute a consulting staff, PNB School takes pride in our leadership in educating young dancers. Strong advisory and consulting programs are in place to assist and guide students and parents on an individual and group basis. The consulting staff currently includes a licensed social worker, dietician, and a physical therapist.
PNB School is committed to promoting the healthy emotional development of its students. Our Consulting Therapist is available for short-term counseling, intervention services, and professional consultations to students who seek additional support in personal development or wish to discuss (in confidence) thoughts and concerns related to PNBS classes, academic school and/or family and social issues. Any information discussed with the Consulting Therapist will be strictly confidential.
Pilates & Strength Training
Originally designed for PNB dancers and students, PNBConditioning uses the Pilates method to develop core strength and stability, promote long, lean muscles, and increase flexibility. PD students may sign up for free weekly apparatus sessions on a space-available basis.
PD women participate in weekly Essential Barre classes; a 50 minute workout that integrates musical rhythms, small props, and ballet barre.
PD Men participate in a bi-weekly Strength Training Program to strengthen the upper body and core muscles in order to enhance partnering ability, shape and sculpt muscles, and avoid injury. Each class utilizes bodyweight, free weight, and mat exercises to focus on specific muscle groups in the chest, shoulders, back, arms, abdominals/core, and legs to gain the strength, power, and stability necessary for the physical demands of a professional male ballet dancer.
Seattle University Educational Partnership
Professional Division students have the unique opportunity to join PNB Company dancers in taking Seattle University Courses taught by SU faculty at the Phelps Center. Each academic year, Seattle University provides three courses for the partnership, one per quarter, generally meeting one night per week. More information on the PNB/SU partnership is available to students at fall orientation.
PNB School is firmly committed to providing as many career planning resources and job placement opportunities as possible to Professional Division students. A resume workshop/audition seminar is held in the fall to help students begin the process of writing a resume and searching for a job in the dance field. Photographer contacts for audition portfolios are available to students, as well as an annual directory which provides extensive information on approximately 40 ballet companies in the United States, a useful resource in planning auditions. Individual counseling and advice on careers in dance and/or college dance programs are also provided.
Artistic Director Visits: Artistic Directors from ballet companies throughout the United States and Canada are invited each year to visit PNB in the winter months (typically January and February) to watch a class and consider Professional Division students for positions with their respective companies. All PD students are expected to participate in these classes.
Offsite Company Auditions: Absences for company auditions outside of PNB must receive prior approval from the Managing Director and the Artistic office before any travel arrangements are made.
2020/21 Professional Division Job/College Placement
Total enrolled: 28 Women 12 Men
Students received job offers or college acceptance for the 2022/23 school year at the following organizations/universities:
Ballet Austin, Ballet Idaho, Ballet Tucson, Ballet West II, Grand Rapids Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Diego City Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, St. Louis Ballet
NOTE: All performance opportunities for the 2020-21 season are TBD at this time.
Company Rehearsals: PD students may be called to PNB Company rehearsals. If called, students are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals, whether or not they are cast to perform. The School office must be notified if rehearsals conflict with School classes. School dress code is required in rehearsals.
Company Performances: PD students may perform in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. A select number of students may be cast in other productions throughout the season.
NEXT STEP: PD students may be selected to participate in NEXT STEP, a choreographic showcase where PNB School’s Professional Division students perform an all-premiere line up of works created just for them by PNB Company dancers. This one-night-only performance in June continues PNB’s commitment to bringing new works to the McCaw Hall stage. Not all PD students are cast in NEXT STEP.
PNB Annual School Performance, held at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in June: Professional Division students perform original choreographic works and excerpts from PNB’s repertory.
Teacher Assistants: PD students may be selected to assist with Children’s Division and Student Division classes. Teacher Assistants gain valuable experience working with PNB School instructors, learning to manage children in a classroom setting through demonstration and verbal instruction. Please see Ms. Siegel if you are interested in this opportunity.
“Fourteen years ago my daughter embarked on a journey with classical ballet and PNB that has forever changed and enriched her life.”
“Just being in the wings, watching the Company dance has inspired me to be a dancer. Being onstage and dancing with a real live orchestra playing and an audience watching gives me the drive and strength to work hard all year.”
“The School is where dreams are started. The Company is where you can fulfill them.”