Colorado Ballet's Studio Company is a pre-professional training opportunity for dancers with the potential and desire to become professional dancers. Studio Company members are selected by audition only. Those auditioning must have a strong technique and be committed to pursuing dance as career. The program is designed to offer young dancers the chance to experience life in a professional setting, while receiving excellent training. Studio Company members have the opportunity to work in a professional dance environment with the Professional Company and gain first-hand exposure to the demanding rigor of dance as a profession. The Studio Company is designed as a one-season program, with the option for a second season if invited by the Artistic Director.
Top row L to R: Melissa Meng, Toni Martin, Hannah Stolrow, Bryton Foster, Riko Fujita, Miyuki Abe, Tyler Rhoads
Front: Molly Huempfner, Sara VanderVoort, Molly Klug, Regan Kucera, Tracy Fuller, Camille Robinson, Katie Buckmiller
When it rains, it pours at Colorado Ballet. Some weeks are extremely busy and others are scheduled with class only. The typical workday for Studio Company members includes class and rehearsal from 10:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is scheduled Tuesday through Saturday.
The work schedule changes when Colorado Ballet is in a production at the theatre. During these periods class is usually at 12 p.m. and the day is split to include some rehearsal after class and a call at the theatre around 7 p.m. for evening performances. If there is a matinee, class is always at the theatre at 12 p.m. Evening performances usually begin at 7:30 p.m. and matinees start at 2 p.m.
Four weeks out of the season Studio Company members are involved in a public school lecture/demo series. These shows are in addition to the regular workday. They may require a call at the studio as early as 7 a.m. for departure to the venue. Typically, school shows run each day, Tuesday through Friday during these four weeks.
Colorado Ballet's Artistic Director may select Studio Company members to appear in any number of regular company productions, depending on the need. Most seasons, Studio Company members appear in at least two to three Company productions. Also, Studio Company members participate in special run-out shows which are presented by Colorado Ballet's Education Department; and Studio Company members are often used for promotional and media calls as well.
Female members of the Studio Company are allotted a modest amount of pointe shoes on a per show basis for Company performances in which they are cast. For example, during The Nutcracker, Studio Company members may receive four pairs for the run. It should be noted that they are performing in nearly every performance. If a Studio Company member is not cast in a Company production, they will not receive shoes. Members should plan to furnish their own shoes for the periods outside of performances. Male Studio Company members are also given techniques shoes on a per show basis as allotted by the wardrobe supervisor,so they should also bring or buy a few pairs of their own for periods outside of performances.
Photo: Studio Company dancers perform for patients at Children's Hospital Colorado (photo provided by Children's Colorado)
Studio Company members receive a modest stipend of $75/week. In order to meet living expenses, most Studio Company members are able to find part-time work in the immediate metro area. Nevertheless, the importance of other financial support from family, a savings account and sound budgeting skills for Studio Company members cannot be downplayed. When seeking supplementary employment, morning work seems to fit best with the Ballet's schedule. In addition, it is most helpful if dancers are able to secure a job that provides a flexible work schedule and is close in proximity to the downtown area. Remember that the primary responsibility of Studio Company members is to carry out the duties of their agreement with Colorado Ballet.
College or university study is encouraged, but only if it can be managed around the Ballet's schedule, which can be an extreme challenge. It is advisable to complete your the year at Colorado Ballet before seriously pursuing a college study program.
No, being a a member of the Studio Company does not guarantee a position with the Company. However, many current Company dancers were selected from the Studio Company after proving their talent and dedication during their time as Studio Company members. Nonetheless, the program should not be viewed as a yearlong audition for the Company; as historically fewer than ten percent of Studio Company members have been offered a Company position. The program is intended to provide young dancers with pre-professional training and Company experience. Participants are introduced to the rigors and realities of life as a full-time dancer. Several Studio Company members have moved on to work for other dance companies, while some dance with Colorado Ballet and still others enroll in college or pursue other goals.
Photo: Page to the Stage performance at a local school
Colorado Ballet is only able to provide insurance to its paid employees. Studio Company members are considered student trainees of Colorado Ballet and are not provided health insurance by the Company. Moreover, Studio Company members must provided proof of current health coverage and complete a medical examination before beginning with the Studio Company.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, many apartment buildings are located in the surrounding neighborhoods (i.e. Capital Hill, Congress Park, Cheesman Park) bordering the studios as well as throughout the metro area. Rental rates are higher in the downtown area compared to suburban living, but most Studio Company members live within a ten-block radius of the studios. It is advisable Studio Company members arrive prior to the start of the season or attend the Summer Intensive Program at the Academy of Colorado Ballet in order to get a jump-start on finding low-cost housing before the start of the season.The company manager also tries to aid in the coordinating of roommate options, if necessary.
Colorado Ballet's studios are located near downtown Denver in the Art District on Santa Fe at 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204. The studios are within walking distance of many apartment buildings in the Capital Hill neighborhood. There are markets, coffee shops, restaurants and movie theaters within a reasonable distance. The Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, Colorado History Museum, state capital building and the Colorado Institute of Art are all our neighbors.
It is not essential to have a car in downtown Denver. Of course, it would be convenient on days of extreme weather, to get to a mall or to see other parts of Colorado. However, numerous bus and light rail routes provide transportation services to the six county metro area. A better option is to have a bike and helmet. For more information about public transportation,visit www.rtd-denver.com.
Another important consideration for having a car is the cost of parking. Parking rates in downtown Denver are high. Street parking costs about $1-2 per hour and most meters are subject to two-hour limits. Parking at the Ballet cost each participating employee between $45-50 a month. There is also an additional charge to park in the parking facility at the theatre. Finally, if you live in the Capital Hill area you will have to park on the streets, which can often be be a challenge due to the large volume of people relying on street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.
For more information about Colorado Ballet's Studio Company or living in Denver, please contact the Company Manager at email@example.com or call 303-339-1631.