One of the most invaluable aspects of training at the San Francisco Ballet School is the opportunity for many students to gain stage experience at a young age. Performing before a live audience teaches stage decorum, instills confidence, and facilitates the transition from student to professional.
Each year more than 150 students are selected to appear with San Francisco Ballet in its annual holiday production of Nutcracker. Participation is by audition only.
San Francisco Ballet School students performing in the 2009 Student Showcase (© Erik Tomasson)
Each spring the School stages a student showcase, open to a paying public. The performances begin with class demonstrations given by the lower-level students. Select advanced-level students then perform in ballets from the Company's repertory, as well as in works created especially for them. Preceding one of the performances is a fund-raising dinner orchestrated by the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary. The proceeds from the performances support the School's scholarship programs.
Other ballets that provide stage opportunities for students include Romeo & Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote. More advanced students may be selected to perform with the Company in some of their larger repertory works. The School's Trainee Program also offers performance opportunities. Students may have the opportunity to participate in performances of the San Francisco Opera and other ballet companies visiting the Bay Area.