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Trainee Program

When you are ready for a career with the company, we have a program for you. San Francisco Ballet School students who wish to pursue a career as a professional ballet dancer are hand-picked by the School Director and Associate Director to join our Trainee Program. These chosen few can expect a demanding curriculum that requires 100 percent commitment. Accordingly, we offer Trainees a financial package that removes the pressures of paying for tuition and finding housing.

Who is this for?
Pre-professional students

Housing and tuition are free


455 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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. This comprehensive program provides the experience necessary to ease the transition from student to professional dancer, all while offering personal attention in a close, nurturing environment.


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.

Performance Opportunities

Trainees perform from October to June throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in outreach programs at schools and community centers, at corporate and special events, and they are presented in dedicated full-evening performances. They understudy and dance in many San Francisco Ballet productions including Tomasson's Nutcracker and in full-length ballets like Swan Lake and Giselle. The year culminates with the San Francisco Ballet School Student Showcase performances in May.

Past Trainee performances


Participation is by invitation from San Francisco Ballet School Director Helgi Tomasson and School Director Patrick Armand. Students are selected from the most advanced ballet class, level eight.

Company Placement

The Trainee Program is a crucial part of maintaining the legacy and extending the reputation of San Francisco Ballet. Fully 50 percent of current San Francisco Ballet dancers were asked to join the company through the Trainee program. Over the last ten years 47 Trainees were asked to join as Apprentices or Corp de Ballet members. While not every Trainee will be asked to join the Company, we’re proud to report that 100 percent of our graduates have gone on to dance with professional ballet companies around the world including: 

Ballet San Jose
Ballet West
Boston Ballet II
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Cincinnati Ballet
English National Ballet
Houston Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet
National Ballet of Canada
Oregon Ballet Theatre
Vienna State Opera Ballet
The Washington Ballet

“The Trainee Program provided a constant challenge of managing School classes and company rehearsals, as well as performance opportunities around the Bay area and with the Company, too. The demanding schedule kept me in top shape for the challenge of learning different ballets. The experience really prepared me for my future career with the Company.”

Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, SF Ballet Soloist and SF Ballet School Alumni

If you have questions about enrollment, tuition, or a particular program at the School please contact us.

415 865 6700