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The Academy Program is an intensive training program for students ages 14-19 years who are interested in professional careers in dance. The Program’s diverse curriculum of Ballet, Contemporary, Donald Byrd Technique, Donald Byrd’s Engaging with the Choreography, strengthening classes, and World Dance, develops well-rounded dancers, provides a rich artistic experience, and delivers the highest level of dance training. The Academy Program opens up many special opportunities for learning, mastery, and artistic development for each and every student Acceptance to The Academy Program is by audition only, and is based on artistic talent, physical ability and commitment level.
young contemporary dancers

The audition for the 2018/19 Academy Season will take place on Sunday July 29th from 1-3pm at the Spectrum studios. It will consist of a one-hour ballet class followed by repertoire. Female-identifiying dancers should wear pink convertible tights, a black leotard, and ballet shoes during the ballet class. Male-identifiying dancers should wear black tights, white shirt, and black ballet shoes during the ballet class. There is no fee but registration is required. Please contact Mary Sigward at mary@spectrumdance.org with any questions.


There will be new age guidelines for the 2018-2019 school year:
Pre-Academy: ages 13-16
Academy: ages 15-19
*Students must meet the minimum age requirement by November 1st, 2018.
If possible, please fill out the audition form in advance, prior to attending the audition: Audition Form


  • High-quality, rigorous and diverse dance instruction and training.
  • Opportunities to work directly with Donald Byrd and the Company at Spectrum Dance Theater.
  • Invitations to attend Company rehearsals.
  • Performance opportunities such as the Academy Performance Series, Student Choreography Showcase,  All-School Demonstration, Holiday Show, and community presentations.
  • Opportunities to learn skills in theater production such as costuming, lighting, and live audio.
  • Discounted and/or free tickets to Spectrum Dance Theater Company performances.


The Academy program is intended to cultivate students pursuing a professional career in dance. Students must attend 9-12 classes per week (approximately 14-18 hours/week) – Ballet (5x); Pointe (2x); Contemporary (3x); World Dance (1x), Donald Byrd’s Engaging with the Choreography (1x), and Strengthening Class (1x).


The cost of the Academy Program is $699 per 7-week session. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

How to Apply

Students between the ages of 14 and 19, interested in participating in The Academy Program are required to audition for acceptance into the program. The audition consists of Ballet Technique and Contemporary choreography. Students should wear ballet attire. A black leotard, pink convertible tights, and ballet shoes for women; and white or black leotard, black leggings, and black ballet shoes for men.

Pre-registration is required. To be notified of upcoming auditions, please join the Spectrum e-mail list or check back at the Spectrum website for announcements. In-class auditions are also available for students who cannot attend a formal audition.  Please contact the Academy Coordinator Mary Sigward at mary@spectrumdance.org or 206-325-4161 to make audition arrangements.

Apprentice Program

Apprenticeship with the Company allows individuals to experience first-hand the demands of dancing in a professional Company. Academy apprentices also receive opportunities to perform with the Company.