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Train professionally. Create rigorously. Take the next step toward your career in the arts.


Boston Dance Theater Trainee Program

bridges the gap between a dancer’s formative training and professional or collegiate pursuits. BDT’s philosophy and process stretches the self-imposed limits of developing artists both physically and mentally as performers and co-creators, emboldening them to fearlessly take their place in the 21st century dance landscape.


Jessie J Stinnett

Program Director

Henoch Spinola

Program Manager

Sean Pfeiffer

Program Administrator



The Trainee Program is a full time, 11-month educational experience that is immersive and designed for pre-professional dancers aged 17-24 who aspire to join a professional dance company and want to take a gap year between high school or college and entering the professional world. The year consists of 3 trimesters (39 weeks, 13 week sessions) during which trainees take company class, rehearse, perform, create, and teach alongside BDT’s main company.


Since 2018 the BDT trainee cohort has performed repertory works at:

  • Starlight Theater

  • Rose Kennedy Greenway Boston

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

  • Goethe-Institut Boston

  • Providence College

  • Dance For World Community Festival

  • Somerville ArtBeat Festival

  • Newport Dance Festival

  • North Hill Retirement Community

  • Allston-Brighton branch of the Boston Public Library

  • 3S ArtSpace


In addition to regular class and rehearsal hours, trainees receive 1:1 mentorship with co-artistic director Jessie Jeanne Stinnett. At the conclusion of the training year, each trainee will be fully prepared to embark on auditions. With Stinnett, the trainee will develop their audition package that is targeted toward the companies or universities that are most suitable for the trainee’s artistic voice.

A unique and distinguishing characteristic of BDT’s training program is that all trainees engage directly with the main company on a daily basis. Trainees and Core Members train together, rehearse together, and trainees understudy company members in all creative residencies. This means that the trainee will have the privilege to engage directly with choreographers that BDT commissions, and will be able to list this invaluable experience on their CV. Our alumni have worked with world-renowned choreographers and rehearsal directors including Itzik Galili, Elizabeth Gibiat, Maleek WashingtonSidra Bell, Junichi Fukuda, Brett Perry, Grace Whitworth, and Yin Yue.



January 2 - April 5


April 15 - August 2

FALL 2024

September 10 - December 14

Dancers attend classes Mon - Fri, approx 32 hours per week.







Boston Dance Theater Repertory

Career Planning + Coaching

Dance Entrepreneurship


Contemporary Partnering




Floor work / Flying Low Technique

Floor barre



Somatics + Experiential Anatomy


Itzik Galili  (Stuttgart Ballet, Rambert Ballet)

Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell Dance NY)

Yin Yue (Yin Yue Dance Company)

Shannon Gillen (VIM VIGOR)

Marco Goecke (Nederlands Dans Theater)

Micaela Taylor (TL Collective)

Mathieu Geffre (National Company Wales)

Babatunji Johnson (Lines Ballet)

Rena Butler (Hubbard Street Chicago)

Rosie Herrera (Rosie Herrera Dance Theater)

Junichi Fukuda (Fukudance)

Maleek Washington (Camille A. Brown)

Isvel Bello (Malpaso Dance Company)

Roya Carreras (Roya Carreras + Artists)


Dancers must be aged 17 or older at the start of the audition to be considered.

Dancers must complete their high school diploma or equivalent before starting the program.


International Dancers:

BDT is not an accredited institution and, therefore, cannot provide international visas. Though responsibility falls to the student to secure a visa, BDT staff is available to advise and support you in the process. For more information, visit the resources linked BELOW:

Tuition & Costs:

Please visit the 2023 Trainee Program FAQ for more information on tuition & costs.

Estimated cost of Living 2019 (not including tuition).

Community Agreements

Please review BDT's Community Agreements when applying.

J- I info


BDT has received funds from generous donors to provide scholarships to deserving applicants who show outstanding promise in dance. Scholarship applications are currently limited to only BIPOC-identifying dance artists. These scholarships only cover the TUITION for the Trainee Program. 

  • Acceptance into Boston Dance Theater Trainee Program is by audition only.

  • Dancers must be aged 17 or older at the audition to be considered.

  • Dancers must complete their high school diploma or equivalent before starting the program.


Applications accepted: Rolling basis

Late consideration, space permitting

Required materials:

All prospective students must complete the audition registration form. You will be asked to provide the following:

  • Headshot

  • Video sample(s)

  • Letter of motivation

  • Statement of intended outcomes

There are 3 ways to audition for the BDT Trainee Program:


Immersive Audition

Attend either the Summer or Winter Immersion Projects.


Company Class

Please email to make an appointment.


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Video Audition

Accepted on a rolling basis. Submit now.


  1. Register for a virtual or video audition 

  2. After you have auditioned, acceptance letters are sent out on a rolling basis. You should hear from us within 2-4 weeks following your audition.

  3. Once accepted, to reserve your spot in the program you must sign and return all Registration Documents (Letter of Agreement, Cosigner Forms, Physician Release Form) + pay non-refundable down payment (due date will be included with letter of agreement).


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Kasey Aguilar

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Katie Kennedy

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Rowan Casillas

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BDT Trainee Program Alumni have moved on to dance with:

Boston Dance Theater


Guerilla Opera

Ballet Bloom Project


Modern Connections Collective

Adelphi University

Kairos Dance Theater

New Mexico Ballet Company

and many more!

If you are interested in being connected with a Trainee Program Alum and hear more about their experience, please email:

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