15 Best Ballet Colleges in the USA | 2025

Ballet is a beautiful art that demands years of training and effort. Selecting an appropriate college is vital for those inclined to pursue a ballet career. Throughout the United States, various great ballet colleges provide top-class training and education.

No matter if you are a ballet beginner or you are looking to improve your ballet skills, these schools provide amazing programs to assist you in accomplishing your dreams.

This article combines the list of the top 15 ballet colleges in the USA. We have considered elements like the professors’ proficiency, the chances to perform, the equipment and the facilities, and the reputation to create this detailed guide to the most suitable schools for dancers who aspire to become professional dancers.

Why attend Ballet Colleges?

Attending ballet colleges offers numerous advantages and benefits for aspiring dancers. Here are some key reasons why individuals choose to pursue their dance education at ballet colleges:

Performance Opportunities:

Ballet colleges often offer ample performance opportunities, allowing students to apply their training in a professional and artistic setting. Students can perform in showcases, mainstage productions, and collaborative projects.

These performances help students gain stage experience, develop their artistry, and build a performance portfolio that can be valuable for future career endeavors.

Networking and Connections:

Ballet colleges provide an environment where students can connect with like-minded peers, faculty, and industry professionals. Building relationships with fellow dancers, faculty members, and guest artists can lead to valuable networking opportunities and potential collaborations in the future. These connections can also provide insights into the dance industry and open doors to future career prospects.

Exposure to Different Styles and Techniques:

Ballet colleges often expose students to diverse dance styles and techniques. While ballet is the primary focus, students may have the opportunity to explore other dance forms, such as contemporary, jazz, modern, or ethnic dance. This exposure helps dancers broaden their movement vocabulary, versatility, and artistic expression.

Professional Guidance and Mentorship:

Ballet colleges offer guidance and mentorship from experienced faculty members with firsthand knowledge of the dance profession. These mentors provide valuable insights, feedback, and support to help students navigate their dance journey.

They can offer career advice, help students identify their strengths and areas for growth, and guide them in making informed decisions about their dance career path.

Access to Facilities and Resources:

Ballet colleges often provide state-of-the-art dance facilities, including spacious studios, performance theaters, and specialized equipment. These resources contribute to a conducive learning environment and enhance the training experience. Students may also have access to libraries, costume departments, conditioning facilities, and other resources that support their artistic and academic pursuits.

Artistic and Personal Development:

Ballet colleges foster students’ artistic and personal development by nurturing their creativity, self-expression, discipline, and resilience. Students learn to embrace challenges, overcome setbacks, and develop a strong work ethic.

The holistic approach to education at ballet colleges promotes personal growth and empowers students to become well-rounded individuals and artists.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ballet College:

Accreditation and Reputation:

Consider the ballet college’s accreditation status. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets specific standards of quality and education. 

Look for colleges that recognize dance education organizations’ accreditation. Additionally, consider the ballet college’s reputation within the dance community. A college with a strong reputation often indicates a high-quality program.

Faculty and Staff Expertise:

The expertise and qualifications of the faculty and staff are crucial factors in choosing a ballet college. Research the backgrounds and experience of the faculty members to ensure they have professional dance experience and pedagogical expertise. 

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Faculty working or working in the dance industry brings valuable insights and connections. Look for colleges with faculty members with notable accomplishments in their ballet careers.

Performance Opportunities:

Performance opportunities are vital for a ballet student’s growth and development. Consider the performance opportunities provided by the ballet college. Are there regular performances, both on-campus and off-campus? 

Does the college have partnerships or collaborations with professional dance companies or theaters? Look for colleges that offer a variety of performance experiences to enhance your skills and showcase your talent.

Facilities and Resources:

Evaluate the facilities and resources available at the ballet college. Look for well-equipped dance studios with proper flooring, mirrors, and ballet barres. 

Consider the availability of performance spaces, costume departments, and practice rooms. Adequate resources contribute to a conducive learning environment and provide the necessary support for your ballet training.

Alumni Success:

Research the success of alums from the ballet college. Are there notable graduates who have had successful careers in the dance industry? 

Alum success can indicate the effectiveness of the college’s training program and the opportunities it provides for launching a professional ballet career.

Look for colleges that have produced successful dancers who have performed with prestigious ballet companies or pursued other successful paths within the dance field.

Top 15 Ballet Colleges in the USA

Here are the best Ballet colleges in America:

1. Juilliard School – New York, NY

First on our list of best ballet colleges in America is Julliard School. This school is renowned for its excellence in performing arts education, including its prestigious ballet program. 

The Juilliard ballet program is designed to develop technically strong and artistically expressive dancers. Students receive comprehensive training in ballet technique, pointe work, partnering, contemporary dance, and choreography. 

The curriculum also includes dance history, anatomy, music, and improvisation courses, providing a well-rounded dance education.

At Juilliard, ballet students have numerous performance opportunities to showcase their skills and artistry. The school presents multiple performances throughout the year, including entirely produced ballet productions, choreography showcases, and collaborative projects with other departments.

Students also have the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and perform in various venues, both on and off-campus, providing valuable stage experience and exposure to the professional dance world.

Juilliard’s ballet program has produced numerous successful dancers who have significantly contributed to the dance world. Notable alums include:

  • Misty Copeland: Acclaimed principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and an advocate for diversity and inclusion in ballet.
  • Benjamin Millepied: Former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, choreographer, and founder of the LA Dance Project.
  • Robert Battle: Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
  • Wendy Whelan: Former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and current Associate Artistic Director of New York City Ballet.

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2. Royal Academy of Dance – Houston, TX

Royal Academy of Dance—Houston, TX, is next on our list of the top 15 best ballet schools in the USA. This school offers a comprehensive ballet curriculum that follows the RAD syllabus and is known for its meticulous technique and artistic development. 

The program focuses on developing strong classical ballet technique, musicality, artistry, and performance skills. Students receive training in ballet technique, pointe work, repertoire, pas de deux, and variations. The RAD syllabus provides a structured and progressive approach to ballet training, ensuring a solid foundation and preparing students for professional careers in dance.

Another exciting aspect of this dance school is that it provides various performance opportunities for its students to showcase their skills and progress.

Moreso, they offer a comprehensive ballet education, combining a solid curriculum, experienced faculty, and diverse performance opportunities. It aims to nurture aspiring dancers and prepare them for a successful career in ballet.

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3. School of American Ballet – New York, NY

The School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City is among the most famous American ballet schools. This school is renowned for its distinctive training approach, the Balanchine Method. 

Developed by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, the method emphasizes musicality, speed, clarity of technique, and a unique aesthetic. Students at SAB receive rigorous training in classical ballet technique, pointe work, variations, and repertoire that align with Balanchine’s choreographic style. 

The Balanchine Method focuses on developing strong technique, precision, and versatility, preparing students for professional careers in ballet.

They also offer a highly regarded Summer Intensive Program, which attracts aspiring dancers from around the globe. The program provides an immersive experience in Balanchine Method training, repertoire, and supplementary classes such as character dance and contemporary. 

As a student, you get the opportunity to can work with esteemed faculty, guest teachers, and renowned choreographers. The Summer Intensive Program is a gateway for students to be considered for acceptance into the year-round training program.

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4. Boston Conservatory at Berklee – Boston, MA

Moving forward, Boston Conservatory at Berklee is among the schools known as one of the best dance schools in the USA. The school offers a comprehensive Dance Division that combines rigorous training with a focus on artistic expression and versatility. 

At Boston Conservatory, the program aims to develop technically proficient dancers skilled in contemporary and jazz styles. 

You will receive a well-rounded dance education, including ballet technique, modern dance, improvisation, composition, and dance history. The Dance Division emphasizes nurturing individual creativity and collaborative skills.

Interestingly, the school offers ballet technique training to develop a strong foundation in classical ballet. Students receive extensive training in ballet technique, pointe work, pas de deux, and variations, which distinguishes it from other dance schools.

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5. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, IN

The ballet program at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music offers a comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for professional careers in ballet. 

The program emphasizes technical proficiency, artistry, and versatility. Students receive training in classical ballet technique, pointe work, partnering, contemporary dance, and repertoire. The program also includes courses in dance history, music for dancers, and anatomy. Students can participate in masterclasses, workshops, and collaborative projects.

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The Indiana University ballet program benefits from dedicated and experienced faculty who bring their expertise and passion for ballet to the classroom. The faculty comprises accomplished ballet instructors who have performed with renowned companies and possess extensive teaching experience. 

Additionally, the program invites guest artists and choreographers from the professional dance world to enhance the students’ training experience and expose them to different artistic perspectives.

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6. University of North Carolina School of the Arts – Winston-Salem, NC

Another ballet school in America worth checking out is the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). This school of Arts offers a renowned ballet program with intensive training and a well-rounded education for aspiring dancers.

 The program focuses on developing technical proficiency, artistic expression, and versatility. Students receive rigorous training in classical ballet technique, pointe work, contemporary dance, partnering, and improvisation. The program also includes academic courses in dance history, composition, and related subjects.

This American ballet school also offers professional training experiences that prepare students for careers in ballet. The program collaborates closely with the school’s professional dance company, the UNCSA Ballet, providing students with opportunities to perform in professional productions alongside experienced dancers. 

This will allow you as a student to participate in national and international dance competitions and festivals, gaining exposure and recognition within the dance community.

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7. New York University Tisch School of the Arts – New York, NY

The Dance Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts offers a diverse and comprehensive curriculum for students pursuing a dance career. The program focuses on developing technical proficiency, artistic expression, and a strong foundation in various dance styles. 

Students can explore ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop, and other genres. The program emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, fostering well-rounded and versatile dancers.

The ballet component of the NYU Tisch Dance Program provides rigorous training in classical ballet technique, including barre work, center work, and pointe work. Students learn the fundamentals of ballet, develop strength, alignment, and flexibility, and refine their technical skills. 

The program also encourages students to explore choreography and develop their artistic voice through balletic movement. Students can create original ballet works and collaborate with fellow dancers and choreographers.

NYU Tisch’s Dance Program offers numerous performance opportunities for students to showcase their talent and creativity. 

The program stages regular performances, including student choreography showcases, repertory performances, and collaborative productions with other Tisch School of the Arts departments. Students also have the chance to perform in various venues in and around New York City, gaining exposure to diverse audiences and industry professionals.

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8. Point Park University – Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University offers a conservatory-style ballet program that provides intensive training for aspiring ballet dancers. The program focuses on developing solid techniques, artistry, and professional skills. 

Students receive rigorous training in classical ballet technique, pointe work, variations, and repertoire. The program also includes dance history, music, anatomy, and injury prevention courses, providing a well-rounded dance education. Point Park’s ballet program strongly emphasizes preparing students for professional dance careers.

Point Park University has established partnerships and exchange programs with reputable dance institutions and companies worldwide. These collaborations allow students to broaden their training and experiences. 

They may participate in intensive workshops, masterclasses, and exchange programs that allow them to work with renowned faculty, guest artists, and professional dancers from different cultural backgrounds. These partnerships enrich students’ dance education and provide valuable networking opportunities.

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9. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Cincinnati, OH

The Ballet Division at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) offers a comprehensive program combining rigorous technical training and artistic development. 

The program focuses on classical ballet technique, providing students with a strong foundation in ballet fundamentals, including barre work, centre work, and pointe work. Students also study variations, repertoire, pas de deux, and contemporary dance. The Ballet Division aims to nurture well-rounded dancers with technical proficiency, artistry, and versatility.

CCM’s Ballet Division provides numerous performance opportunities in mainstage productions. Students can perform in full-length ballets, mixed repertoire programs, and original works choreographed by faculty or guest artists. 

These performances occur in CCM’s state-of-the-art venues, offering students a professional performance experience. The division collaborates with other departments within CCM, such as the Opera and Musical Theatre divisions, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and expanding students’ performance repertoire.

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10. University of Oklahoma School of Dance – Norman, OK

The University of Oklahoma School of Dance, offers a comprehensive ballet curriculum encompassing classical ballet technique, pointe work, variations, partnering, contemporary dance, and improvisation. 

The program focuses on developing technical proficiency, artistry, and versatility. Students receive individualized attention and guidance from faculty who have professional dance experience. The curriculum also includes dance history, anatomy, and pedagogy courses, providing students with a well-rounded dance education.

The University of Oklahoma, School of Dance offers international exchange programs, allowing students to broaden their cultural perspectives and dance training. 

Through these programs, students can study abroad at prestigious dance institutions and immerse themselves in different dance traditions and styles. Exchange programs allow students to develop a global perspective, expand their networks, and gain valuable insights into the international dance scene.

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11. University of Utah School of Dance – Salt Lake City, UT

The University of Utah, School of Dance offers a dedicated Ballet Emphasis Area within its dance program. This area focuses on providing students with comprehensive ballet technique, artistry, and performance education. 

The University of Utah School of Dance’s Ballet Emphasis Area faculty, consists of experienced ballet instructors and professional dancers. These faculty members bring their expertise and passion for ballet to the classroom, guiding and inspiring students in their artistic development. 

Additionally, the program invites guest choreographers from the professional dance community to set original works on the students, exposing them to different choreographic styles and expanding their artistic horizons.

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The Ballet Emphasis Area at the University of Utah School of Dance offers various performance opportunities for students to showcase their talent and growth as dancers. 

The program stages regular ballet showcases and ensemble performances, allowing students to perform classical repertoire, contemporary works, and original choreography. These performances provide valuable stage experience and help students develop their performance skills, artistry, and professionalism.

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12. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance – Ann Arbor, MI

The ballet program at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance offers a comprehensive and versatile curriculum for aspiring ballet dancers. The program focuses on developing technical proficiency, artistry, and versatility through classical ballet training, contemporary dance, and other dance styles. 

One of the standout features of the ballet program at the University of Michigan is its emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. The school encourages students to collaborate with students and faculty from other performing arts departments, such as music, theatre, and musical theatre. 

This interdisciplinary approach allows ballet students to broaden their artistic perspectives, work on innovative projects, and gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of various art forms.

The University of Michigan’s ballet program provides students ample performance opportunities through university productions. 

Students can perform in mainstage shows, including full-length ballets, mixed repertory programs, and collaborations with other departments within the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. These productions offer students the chance to work with renowned choreographers and perform in professional-quality shows, preparing them for future careers in the dance industry.

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13. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Cincinnati, OH)

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) offers a comprehensive dance program that gives students a strong foundation in various dance styles, including ballet. 

The program focuses on technical training, artistic development, and performance opportunities. Students receive instruction from experienced faculty and can collaborate with renowned guest artists. 

CCM’s dance program emphasizes technical proficiency and creative expression, preparing students for careers in the dance industry.

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14. Marymount Manhattan College (New York, NY)

Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) is known for its strong emphasis on dance education. It offers diverse programs, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance with a concentration in ballet. 

The college provides a supportive and nurturing environment where students can develop their technical skills, artistry, and performance abilities. 

MMC’s dance program combines rigorous ballet technique training with opportunities to explore other dance styles. Students have access to state-of-the-art dance facilities and performance spaces in the heart of New York City.

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15. University of Arizona School of Dance (Tucson, AZ)

The University of Arizona, School of Dance is recognized for its outstanding dance programs, including a focus on ballet. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum emphasizing technical training, choreographic exploration, and performance opportunities. 

Students receive instruction from accomplished faculty members and have the chance to work with renowned guest artists and choreographers. The school’s ballet program emphasizes the development of solid technique, artistry, and versatility. Students also have opportunities to perform in mainstage productions and participate in community engagement initiatives.

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What is the application process for ballet colleges?

The application process for ballet colleges may vary slightly between institutions, but it generally involves the following steps:

Research: Research different ballet colleges to find ones that align with your interests and goals. Consider program curriculum, faculty expertise, performance opportunities, and admission requirements.

Application Submission: Complete the college’s application form, which may be available online. Provide the required personal information, academic background, and dance experience. Some colleges may also require an artistic resume, letters of recommendation, and an application fee.

Audition: Ballet colleges typically require an audition as part of the application process. Auditions may be conducted in person or through video submissions. Prepare and perform ballet combinations, variations, and possibly contemporary dance pieces. Be prepared to showcase your technical skills, artistry, musicality, and physicality.

Interview: Some ballet colleges may require an interview as part of the application process. This is an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn more about you, your goals, and your commitment to ballet. Be prepared to discuss your dance background, aspirations, and any challenges you have overcome.

Notification: Colleges will notify applicants of their admission decision after completing the audition and interview process. Accepted students may receive an acceptance letter or email, along with details about enrollment and financial aid.

FAQs

Can I major in other subjects while pursuing ballet at college?

Many ballet colleges offer the option to major or minor in other subjects while pursuing a dance degree. This allows students to pursue their academic interests alongside their dance training. Typical areas of study chosen by ballet students include issues like dance education, arts administration, kinesiology, psychology, or other fields related to their career goals. It is essential to check each ballet college’s requirements and options to determine the feasibility of pursuing a double major or minor.

What are the best ballet schools in the USA?

Here are the top ballet schools in America:

1. Juilliard School – New York, NY
2. Royal Academy of Dance – Houston, TX
3. School of American Ballet – New York, NY
4. Boston Conservatory at Berklee – Boston, MA
5. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, IN
6. University of North Carolina School of the Arts – Winston-Salem, NC
7. New York University Tisch School of the Arts – New York, NY
8. Point Park University – Pittsburgh, PA
9. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Cincinnati, OH
10. University of Oklahoma School of Dance – Norman, OK
11. University of Utah School of Dance – Salt Lake City, UT
12. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance – Ann Arbor, MI
13. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Cincinnati, OH)
14. Marymount Manhattan College (New York, NY)
15. University of Arizona School of Dance (Tucson, AZ)

Is there an age limit for applying to ballet colleges?

The age limit for applying to ballet colleges varies depending on the institution and program. Some ballet colleges have specific age requirements for admission, while others may focus more on the applicant’s skill level and potential rather than age.

Conclusion

The United States, for instance, has many first-rate ballet schools for future dancers. Mainly, the top 15 on our list, the places that are at the forefront of development in their field, display the best way to train students through the most rigorous programs; students and learners are guided by the experienced faculty and also get to perform on the most prestigious stages.

Although getting into these schools can be challenging, students who attend will receive a top-class dance education that will help them succeed in the future.

We recommend that young dancers explore the different schools extensively and choose the one that fits their goals and aspirations. Through sheer hard work and unwavering dedication, the possibilities are boundless for those looking for a career in ballet.

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