Frequently Asked Questions

The Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department specializes in the preparation of classical ballet dancers for a professional career performing in the field. We work within the Jacobs School of Music which means we have live music in every performance we do as well as multiple opportunities to collaborate across the field of music in presenting new ballet choreography with new music to new audiences. The IU School of Contemporary Dance is located within the College of Arts and Sciences. It is a different degree program with a different faculty in a different school. The division allows for separate approaches to training and different degrees.

We offer a Bachelor of Science in Ballet or a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field. An Outside Field is a secondary degree requiring more credits than a minor, fewer than a double major, in the field of your choice. It allows you to use the Big Ten R-1 university to increase your academic potential while pursuing pre-professional work at the HIGHEST possible level. In addition to these degrees, many of our students often graduate with a double major. Common double majors involve a business degree from the Kelly School of Business, a nationally ranked top-ten business school on our Bloomington Campus.

Our dedicated and passionate majors work harder than anyone else in the field. They take morning academics as scheduled throughout their week. They then attend conditioning or ballet technique class beginning at 11:15am. Conditioning and technique are followed by pointe class, partnering class, virtuosity class or variations class which is then followed by rehearsal for our top-level repertoire until 5:45pm each day. Some dancers choose to have evening academics after their ballet day is over. We do not rehearse on the weekends but there are optional classes through our Pre-College ballet program for children age 3-18.

Our faculty of six professors, all with professional experience in the field, gives dancers a nurturing training ground at a crucial time for their artistic development. Our ten to one teacher student ratio means no one fades into the background. We work on artistry and growth through our investment in professional-level repertoire. This year we are performing works by Justin Peck, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, George Balanchine, we are mounting a BRAND NEW Nutcracker by Sasha Janes and for our spring performance, we are partnering with Final Bow for Yellowface to bring a new vision for La Bayadére to the national stage. Our students perform. This program is about working as a company and learning how to be a good citizen of ballet at the same time.

The student life at the Jacobs School of Music is a culture of care and support. Students describe our program as feeling like a family and the faculty fully support student wellness on all levels. We have an Athletic Trainer on site six hours per day to address dancer needs as well as an Office of Wellness for the Arts to address issues of student stress and anxiety.

This is an intensive classical ballet program. Even when working on contemporary works of repertoire, our dancers are on pointe upwards of 25 hours per week. Pointe shoes are worn daily in technique class as well as for pointe classes, partnering, variations class and most rehearsals.

We have 65 dancers in total, 18 male presenting dancers and 47 female presenting dancers.

This data is based yearly on the job market and the student’s individual commitment, but our general placement rate is 90% of graduates achieving paid professional employment.

Apply for Indiana University by November 1st; apply for the Jacobs School of Music and submit your prescreen video by December 1st. If you are invited to audition in person, you may choose and in-person weekend, either the second weekend in January, the first weekend in February or the first weekend in March.

Learn more about how to apply

Usually about 230 apply with a prescreen. We invite around 90 to audition in person and from those 90 dancers, we accept around 30 to yield an in-coming class of about 18 dancers.

Yes! Every applicant who receives admission is automatically considered for a possible scholarship award based on your audition performance.

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