Colorado Ballet

Pre-professional Division

Pre-Professional Division

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 small and personal settings of up to 15 dancers per class, students participate in a minimum of 26 hours of class time per week.  The audition-only program is geared toward developing ballet artists ready to take on the challenges of dance in the the 21st century. Our participants from around the globe are exposed to cultural life in Denver through organized trips to museums, films and the symphony. Students take daily classes in ballet technique, pointe work, pas de deux, variations, modern dance, jazz and company repertoire.  We provide vital conditioning in Pilates and Gyrokenisis onsite in addition to classes in nutrition, injury prevention, anatomy, acting, character and music appreciation.  

Isabella Brown by Francisco Estevez Photography

Performance opportunities are a priority at this level of training and are provided on a monthly basis at First Friday Art Walks in our own Black Box Theatre,  during Sunday Salons and with the Colorado Ballet Company (repertory permitting). Students accepted into this Division must be between the ages of 14-21 and have either graduated high school,  be enrolled in an online academic program or participate in a  limited class schedule in a traditional school. Out of town and foreign students who wish to board have the option of apartment shares or with a host family.  

At the end of the nine month training season, Pre-Professional Division students are given first priority for openings in the Colorado Ballet Studio Company as well as admittance to the following year's program. Housing and billeting options are available on request. Studio Company members work directly with the Company throughout its season and perform with the corps de ballet as well as community sponsored performances.  

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Pre-professional Division.

Pointe Magazine featured Colorado Ballet's Pre-Professional Division in the August/September 2015 issue.  Click here to read the article.

Cost and Audition Information

The cost for the Pre-Professional Division is $7,500 for the year.  A 5% discount is given when paying in full for the year. Auditions are accepted online via ACCEPTD.COM. An application (downloadable on the site) and arabesque are also required and should be uploaded to ACCEPTD along with your video. Details regarding the requirements of the video are available on ACCEPTD.COM. 

For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Academy Director Valerie Madonia at  Click here to download an audition form.

Stage Experience

Colorado Ballet Academy offers the unique opportunity to gain stage experience at a young age with our acclaimed professional ballet company as well as 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.  Performance opportunities include the Winter and Spring Performances, First Fridays in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, Sunday Salons, Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker, and other Colorado Ballet productions.  In 2016-2017 Pre-Professional students will have the opportunity to learn roles in Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker.  Click here for more information.

Sunday Salons provide Choreographic Expression at Colorado Ballet Academy 

During the 2016-2017, our Pre-Professional Division students will enjoy the opportunity to perform in our Black Box Theater for hundreds of audience members. Our newly formed Sunday Salons will support the creation by new choreographers who will rotate New Works on a monthly basis. This will allow our students to experience different styles of work, choreographic personalities and the process expected of dancers as new choreography is developed. Sunday Salons are a vehicle for Colorado based choreographers to share their work utilizing our talented young dancers with an audience in an informal showing on Sunday afternoons.  

First Fridays Featuring open Black Box performances for our Youth Company and Senior Division 

Opening the doors to the neighborhood here in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe is what First Fridays are all about. It’s a chance for our students to share their artistry with the community in short bursts of performance in the Black Box as the audience comes and goes. 

2016-2017 Schedule of classes:

Group A


Group B










Monday Ballet 12:00-1:30 p.m.  Tracy Jones      Monday Yoga/Gyrokinesis 9:00-10:00 a.m. Sharon Wehner 
  Pointe  1:45-2:45 p.m. Tracy Jones     Ballet 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m Dana Benton
  Variations  3:15- 4:15 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski      Pointe 12:45-1:45 p.m. Dana Benton  
  Pas de Deux 4:30-6:00 p.m. Francisco Estevez     Variations 2:00-3:00 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski
Tuesday Ballet & Pointe 12:00-2:00 p.m.  Valerie Madonia    Tuesday Ballet & Pointe 9:00-11:15 a.m Erica Fischbach 
  New Works  2:30-4:30 p.m. Rotates  
New Works 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Rotates
  Jazz 4:30-6:00 p.m. Maria Olano Sardi      Pas de Deux 2:00-3:00 p.m.  Robert Sher-Machherndl 
Wednesday Open/Lecture 9:00-10:00 Rotates   Wednesday Open/Lecture 9:00-10:00 a.m. Rotates
  Modern 10:15-11:30 a.m. Jennifer DePalo Peterson      Modern 10:15-11:30 a.m. Jennifer DePalo-Peterson 
  Ballet 12:00-1:30 p.m. Valerie Madonia     Ballet 12:00-1:30 p.m. Erica Fischbach 
  Pointe/ Men's Class 2:00-3:00 Erica FischbachFrancisco Estevez     Pointe/ Men's Class 2:00-3:00 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski Francisco Estevez
  Rehearsal 3:00-4:30 p.m. Valerie Madonia      Rehearsal 3:00-4:30 p.m. Valerie Madonia 
  Ballet 4:30-6:00 p.m. Valerie Madonia    Thursday Pilates 9:00-10:00 a.m.  Nick DiBatista 
Thursday Ballet & Pointe 12:00-2:00 p.m Valerie Madonia     Ballet 10:15-11:45 a.m. Erica Fischbach
  New Works 2:30-4:30 p.m. Rotates     Pointe/Pirouettes 12:00-12:45 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski 
  Ballet 4:30-6:00 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski/
or Igor Vassine
    New Works 1:00-3:00 p.m.  Rotates
 Friday Ballet 12:00-1:30 p.m. Robert Sher-Machherndl    Friday Ballet 9:00-11:00 a.m. Igor Vassine 
  Batterie 1:30-2:30 p.m Robert Sher-Machherndl     Pointe 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Heather Prokhnitski
  Pirouettes 3:00-4:00 p.m. Erika Sandre  
Batterie 12:45-1:45 p.m. Igor Vassine 

Pilates 4:30-5:30 p.m.  Lisa Wolf     Jazz 2:00-3:00 p.m. Maria Olano Sardi 
Saturday Ballet 9:00-10:30 a.m. Erica Fischbah     


  Extra Classes for Pre-Professional Division (no additional Cost)  

Wednesday Ballet 4:30-6:00 p.m.  Valerie Madonia  

Saturday Ballet 9:00-10:30 a.m. Erica Fischbach    
Friday Character 7:30-8:30 p.m. Erika Sandre  

Wednesday Advanced Tap 7:30-8:30 p.m. John Williams "Mr. Tap"    


Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

Photos: Colorado Ballet Academy students by Francisco Estevez Photography

Anatomy in Clay Centers


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