Chautauqua Institution

School of Dance

The Chautauqua Ballet program, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, is well known for the unique opportunity it affords students to study with master teachers within a small studio environment. The faculty at Chautauqua will often help place students into major companies throughout the U.S. through their many contacts. An important part of the program is the possibility for young dancers to perform (with live music) in the 4,000-seat Amphitheater.

The School of Dance facilities include four large teaching and rehearsal studios — the Carnahan-Jackson Studios. The dancers are housed in a well-supervised dormitory which is adjacent to the studios. The summer of 2009 saw the completion of new buildings which house the costume shop as well as faculty/staff housing. The center core of the Carnahan-Jackson Studios has been reconfigured to provide for enhanced administrative and production offices as well as proper locker rooms for both professional and student dancers.

The ballet curriculum at Chautauqua is designed for talented students who wish to pursue careers as professional ballet dancers. Intensive training in classical ballet will be continued in rehearsals leading to performances. All classes feature live music. In spite of a rigorous schedule of classes and rehearsals, students will have ample time to enjoy recreational activities at Chautauqua including symphony concerts, professional ballet company performances, Friday Night specials and any number of recitals and lectures at no extra cost.


“The chance to dance in Chautauqua has been one of the most beneficial in my career. It has helped me to find confidence in myself as an individual artist and has shown me what living the life of a dancer really means. The people, place and all of the treasures of Chautauqua have contributed so much in my training as a dancer. My passion for dance has grown immensely because of it. I would never trade my summer here for anything.”

Sarah Grace Lee 
Apprentice Dancer 2011
School of American Ballet
"Chautauqua is an intimate program where you develop close relationships with incredible, world class teachers and the talented dancers you're surrounded by. You have the opportunity to explore different styles of dance and perform diverse repertoire for a wonderful, engaged audience. It's a unique experience that you can't find at any other summer intensive."

Alexandra Heier
Apprentice Dancer, 2013 and 2012
Boston Ballet School 


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