The School of Spectrum Dance Theater is excited to announce our new Trainee Program! The Trainee Program is targeted for dancers ages 18-23 who feel they are in need of more skills before they are able to successfully enter the professional dance world. 

The goals of the program are:

  • To provide a comprehensive study in Byrd technique and style
  • To provide tools in preparation for life as a professional dancer through discussions, rehearsals, and performance opportunities;
  • To encourage exploration and development of connections to the dance community
  • To provide a uniquely enriching experience that promotes self-motivation, self-discipline, an appreciation and engagement in all the arts
  • To foster critical thinking and investigation around the role of the artist and social/civic discourse.

The Trainee Program is an invitation-only professional training program designed to offer pre-professional young adults an opportunity to work in a professional setting.

The program is a year-long commitment.

As a trainee, you are expected to be in the daily technique class and are expected to adhere to the general class schedule.

Please direct all communications to the Interim School Principal, Mary Sigward mary@spectrumdance.org.


Spectrum’s faculty and guests as well as Artistic Director Donald Byrd, teach daily technique classes. The weekly schedule is similar to that of Spectrum Dance Theater’s Company (with additional evening classes available in The School of Spectrum Dance Theater). As such, trainees may be required to rehearse and perform with the students of the Academy Program. Any additions to the schedule or requirements will be shared on an ad-hoc basis.

A razor-sharp focus on the Donald Byrd technique as well as ballet molds the trainee into a highly-skilled, technical, and imaginative dancer. Within the curriculum, dancers can expect to receive:

    • Time to delve into the theory of each technique
    • Methods and approaches to working in communities
    • A practicum with DanceSPEAK
    • Emotional and creative challenges of dancing in social justice informed productions
    • Process for dance

The weekly schedule is as follows:

    • Morning Technique Class: 10:00 am – 11:30 am (Monday – Friday)
    • Movement Investigation: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Monday – Friday)

Other commitments include:

    • Additional classes as specified by the Artistic Director
      • (i.e. Modern Dance from a Contemporary Perspective; Introduction to Choreography; Dance History)
    • Company performances as specified by the Artistic Director.

Trainee Program tuition is $700 per session and payment plans are available. A deposit of $300.00 is required to reserve your spot by September 25, 2020.

Please contact Mary Sigward mary@spectrumdance.org for payment.




  • Spectrum Dance Theater season: September 14th, 2020 – May 31st, 2021.
  • Spectrum Dance Theater Trainees will observe most federal holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Spectrum Dance Theater Trainees are not permitted to schedule vacations or have any absences related to pursuing other interests or activities for the duration of this agreement: September 14th, 2020 – May 31st, 2021.
  • Spectrum Dance Theater Trainees must seek approval from the Interim School Principal before engaging in or committing to any performance opportunities not associated with Spectrum Dance Theater.
  • Spectrum Dance Theater reserves the right to dissolve this agreement at any time for any reason it deems necessary.



Spectrum Dance Theater reserves the right to cancel classes and rehearsals due to inclement weather. In the event of inclement weather, the Artistic Director or Interim School Principal will communicate with trainees and staff.

Spectrum Dance Theater follows Seattle Public Schools inclement weather procedures. If Seattle Public Schools are closed, Spectrum will be closed for all classes. If Seattle Public Schools has a 2-hour delay, Spectrum will open at 11:00 am and classes, before 11:00 am, will be canceled. There are no make-up classes or refunds for weather-related closures. We will post updates about operating hours by 7:00 am in the following locations:

Should weather change during business hours, we will notify students and families by email as well as post the updates on our website.



Spectrum Dance Theater expects our trainees to be prompt for class and rehearsal. A trainee who is more than 10 minutes late should wait to be welcomed into class by the instructor. To avoid the risk of injury, the trainee should quietly warm up out of the way of the class. Trainees should not interrupt the teacher to explain the reason for their tardiness. Please wait until after class for follow-up.

Attendance is vital to trainee growth. If a trainee foresees an absence, it is the trainee’s responsibility to notify the Artistic Director, Interim School Principal, and that day’s instructor of their absence.

If planning a rehearsal absence, please notify the Artistic Director and School Principal in advance. If two or more absences occur without notification, a mandatory meeting will be scheduled between the trainee and Artistic Director or Interim School Principal and may result in termination from the Trainee Program.



Appropriate Contact: Dance is an art form where physical contact is necessary and it is important to maintain professional contact. Any displays of personal affection or exclusive relationships are not permitted when in class or rehearsal.

  • Be Considerate of others and present respectful behavior.
  • Be On Time; arriving late disrupts the class.
  • Be Respectful of the Space; keep our studios clean by not bringing in food or drinks.
  • Be Professional; follow dress code and wear deodorant.


FOR REHEARSALS it is recommended that you have warm-ups to keep your body warm when you have breaks. Always look presentable for the choreographer. Hair must be neat and out of your face unless otherwise advised. Trainees are also expected to adhere to all of The School of Spectrum Dance Theater’s dress code policies.

Studs, small earrings, and rings are the ONLY jewelry allowed in class. If you are wearing a necklace you may be asked to remove it for safety or if working with a partner.




Communication is vital to the success of the Trainee Program. As e-mail is the primary form of communication, a reliable and regularly checked email is required in order to participate in the Trainee Program. If a student is under 18 a parental email will also be used for all communications. The Interim School Principal and Artistic Director ask that students respond to any program-related notifications within 24 hours.

All rehearsal schedules, tech schedules, upcoming Master Classes, meeting sign-ups, and general news will be emailed. It is the responsibility of the dancer to check daily for updates.

If you need to contact the Trainee Program administration team:



In the case of official withdrawal from the Trainee Program, a withdrawal form must be submitted to the Spectrum Office as notice. A withdrawal form may be obtained from the Interim School Principal, Mary Sigward. An appointment with the Artistic Director and/or the school principal will be required in order to complete the withdrawal process.