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Colorado Ballet Academy

Before the world is their stage, they train right here in Colorado.

Before there was a company there was a school.  In 1951, Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, planted the seeds that would flourish into Colorado Ballet.  Today, its Academy is the premier training institution in the state, with programming sought after by serious ballet students the world over.  Located in eight state-of-the-art studios in downtown Denver, our students train in the same building occupied much of the day by the Company.  The level of professionalism found at CBA is reflected in our impressive faculty who have enjoyed highly successful careers as dancers and teachers with companies such as American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet. Grounded in formal classical ballet technique, our curriculum follows the traditional sequence of training intended to increase a student’s technical skill and stamina encouraging discipline in the studio according to age and physical development.

Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

The Colorado Ballet Academy is the official school of Colorado Ballet, located in Denver, CO.  The Academy provides training to students ages 1 ½ through adult, beginner through professional, utilizing the most current standards of ballet training.  The Academy begins teaching students from ages three through six for creative dance and pre-ballet, two classes that lay the foundation for further study of classical ballet. Beginning at age seven, students are placed in Level 1 and advance according to age, experience, and ability.* Our academy curriculum is designed to guide students from their first introduction to the art through a full course of ballet study.  During their time here, students will take classes in technique, pointe work, pas de deux, modern, jazz as well as vital conditioning classes.  The Colorado Ballet Academy's designed method follows a structured sequence of training stages intended to increase student’s technical skills, stamina and discipline in accordance with their age and physical development.

Colorado Ballet’s Pre-professional Division provides a necessary base to ease the transition from student to professional dancer in a focused, nurturing environment.  In a small and personal setting of up to 15 dancers, students participate in 29 hours of class per week, Monday-Saturday.  The audition-only program is geared toward developing the whole artist, offering classes beyond dance technique to create well-rounded dancers ready for the professional ballet world.  Housing and billeting options are available on request.  Please click here for more information on the Pre-professional Division. 

Stage Experience

Colorado Ballet Academy offers the unique opportunity to gain stage experience at a young age with our acclaimed professional ballet Company and through student showcase performances and outreach programs. Students learn through coaching and observation the discipline imperative to preparing for performance, stage etiquette, confidence, and decorum which are inherent in performance environments.

The Nutcracker
Each year more than 80 students are selected to dance with Colorado Ballet in its celebrated production of The Nutcracker. Participation is only open to our students committed to our ballet program for the entire academic year, students are chosen by audition only, for ages 8 and up.  Click here for The Nutcracker audition information.

Winter Performance
The Academy's winter performance for the 2016-2017 year will be Les Patineurs, an effervescent ballet set as a skating party enjoying a winter’s evening. Our winter performance will be danced by levels 5 through Pre-professional.

Spring Performance
The Academy produces an annual student showcase, which is open to a paying public.  For the 2017 spring performance we will present Coppélia, a charming ballet that tells the tale of a dollmaker and his doll who infatuates a local boy Franz to the indignation of Swanhilda.  Academy Levels 1-4 will perform excerpts and Levels 5 through Pre-professional will perform a full one act ballet of Coppélia in May for their year-end performance.

Additional Opportunities
Students may audition for other ballets that provide stage opportunities for students.  Past opportunities have included Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cinderella and ALICE (in wonderland). Our Pre-professional students may be selected to perform with the Company and the Studio Company in some of Colorado Ballet’s largest productions.

2016-2017 Session

Classes continue until May 6.

2017 Summer Programs

Student Evaluations 

Every student in Levels 1 through Pre-professional trainees receive written evaluations at the end of each year with a briefer evaluation provided mid way through the year.  The evaluations will include information on the student’s technical proficiency and demeanor. Parent, teacher and student conferences can be scheduled through the school office. When students begin classes in the fall they will be reassessed to ensure their placement remains the same from the prior evaluation period (many students study during the summer session which can impact their placement). 

Contact Us

(p) 303-339-1623 | (f) (303) 861-7174
Location: Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
The main entrance to Colorado Ballet's new home is through the parking lot on the 11th Street side of the building.  
For general information, class registration and inquiries: 

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  • Click here to read the March 2017 Academy newsletter
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Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

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Photo: Colorado Ballet Academy students by Francisco Estevez Photography


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