Established in 2004, the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program is a one to two-year pre-professional program comprised of students chosen from the School's most advanced level. Trainees range in age from 16 to 19 years old and hail from all over the world. Participation is by invitation from SF Ballet School Director Helgi Tomasson and School Associate Director Patrick Armand.
San Francisco Ballet School Trainees (© Erik Tomasson)
Trainees participate in daily ballet technique class, as well as pointe, batterie, and pas de deux classes taught by San Francisco Ballet School faculty members. They rehearse and perform classical and contemporary works from the repertory of San Francisco Ballet and works staged especially for them. Trainees also participate in workshops on teaching a ballet class, choreography, and stagecraft. The Trainees perform from October to June throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. These performances include outreach programs at schools and community centers, appearances at corporate and special events, as well as their own full evening performances. They understudy and dance in many San Francisco Ballet productions including Tomasson's Nutcracker and Swan Lake. The year culminates with the San Francisco Ballet School Student Showcase performances in May.
This comprehensive program provides the experience necessary to ease the transition from student to professional dancer, all while offering personal attention in a small, nurturing environment. Past Trainees have gone on to join San Francisco Ballet as well as other notable companies including: National Ballet of Canada, The Joffrey Ballet, English National Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet II, Cincinnati Ballet, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, and Ballet San Jose.
Trainee's joining San Francisco Ballet after completion of the program:
2004-2005 2 (apprentice positions)
2005-2006 4 (3 apprentice positions, 1 corps de ballet position)
2006-2007 2 (apprentice positions)
2007-2008 2 (one apprentice position, 1 corps de ballet position)
2008-2009 5 (3 apprentice positions and 2 corps de ballet positions)
2009-2010 6 (3 apprentice positions and 3 corps de ballet positions)
2010-2011 7 (5 apprentice positions and 2 corps de ballet positions)
2011-2012 5 (apprentice positions)
2012-2013 5 (4 apprentice positions and 1 corps de ballet position)
2013-2014 6 (5 apprentice positions and 1 corps de ballet position)
2014-2015 5 (apprentice positions)