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Colorado Ballet Summer Intensive 2016


       Audition Schedule     




      Tuition- coming soon     


      Acceptance Packet- coming soon      




       Young Dancer Workshop      

June 12-July 21, 2017

Guest Faculty: John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow, more to come!

“It’s a pleasure to watch young students train with such focus and determination for their futures. Colorado Ballet Summer Intensive nurtures students beyond the classroom into budding professionals”
– Gil Boggs, Artistic Director of Colorado Ballet

Two, four and six week sessions available (see dates below)
Ages 11-21 on pointe
At Colorado Ballet's home at the Armstrong Center for Dance

1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204

Under the direction of Valerie Madonia, the Colorado Ballet Academy offers a Summer Intensive program for the serious intermediate dancer through to pre-professional levels. The Academy has a history of transitioning students into the Colorado Ballet Company and into other companies worldwide. With internationally renowned master teachers and our own highly regarded school faculty, our program offers classes designed to provide far reaching improvement for each student. Focus is placed on developing the whole dancer by offering classes according to level in ballet technique, pointe, men’s class, variations, pas de deux, modern, contemporary, character, Pilates, body conditioning as well as lectures on injury prevention, nutrition, Anatomy in Clay ©,  and dance history. * Please note not all class are available for the entire program.
  • Dance in one of eight studios housed in our state-of-the-art studios in the heart of Denver's Art District on Santa Fe.
  • Two, four, and six week sessions are offered to accommodate summer schedules: Two weeks from June 12 to June 24 or June 26 to July 8; Four weeks from June 12 to July 8 or June 26 to July 21; Six weeks from June 12 to July 21.  Students wishing to perform at the conclusion of the Program must attend the second four or six week session. Students who are housing with us should arrive the day before their session starts. 
  • Students will be considered for our year-long Pre-professional division as well as the opportunity to join Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company. Those students wishing to be considered for either program must attend a four or six week session. 
  • Physical therapy is available to students from the company’s in-house providers.
  • Students must be 11 by the start of the Summer Intensive to audition and must be on pointe by the time of the audition.
  • Admission is by audition only, the Academy gives first preference to students who audition in person.
  • Our highly experienced teaching faculty includes former dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet as well as current Colorado Ballet professionals. We are dedicated to providing superior training to our students in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Photo by Francisco Estevez


Students must be on pointe by the time of the audition and be 11 by the time of the start of the intensive. We welcome auditions both in person and via video. Click here to see a complete list of audition dates Audition fees are $30 if paid in advance, $35 if paid at the time of the audition, and $45 if auditioning by video.  Click here to download the registration form.  Please e-mail the completed form to  Video auditions can be submitted at  The video for an individual or class should include the following:

Barre Work one side

  • plies
  • battements tendus
  • rond de jambe a terre
  • grand adagio 
  • battements

Center floor work

  • adagio
  • pirouette combination
  • petit allegro
  • grand allegro

Pointe work

  • echappés
  • pique in arabesque
  • pirouettes en pointe
  • waltz combination

The video should not exceed 15 minutes in length.

* Please wear only leotards (white t-shirt for men), tights and appropriate shoes in the video

Click here for information about the Young Dancer Workshop auditions.


Summer Intensive Students reside on the University of Denver’s beautiful campus. They enjoy the scenic surroundings of Denver while participating in activities including the Denver Art Museum, a Colorado Rockies major league baseball game, a performance at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Botanic Gardens or Denver Zoo. Students are chaperoned at all times by experienced adult counselors familiar with the challenges of being away from home and the rigors of summer dance training.

Summer Young Dancer Workshop

Click here for information on the Summer Young Dancer Workshop 2016.

Guest Instructors

Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.  

Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of Mary Day,  where  she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe. 

Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included  the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Killian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world. 

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full length classics such as, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world. Among  them, American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner. 

John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he began his ballet training with Gwen Ashton. He subsequently trained at the National Academy of Dance in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre School summer program in 1977, and was invited to join the second company thereafter.   

In 1978 Mr. Gardner joined the main company of American Ballet Theatre, and was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1984. Mr. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many Soloist and Principal roles, represented an extensive range of styles, and afforded him the opportunity to work with many of the master choreographers of the twentieth century, including Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp. 

In 1991 Mr. Gardner was invited to dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. He danced with the company for five years, and worked closely with many acclaimed modern dance choreographers, most notably Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and David Gordan. Mr. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with White Oak Dance Project, and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. He returned to American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in 1996, and continued to perform with the company  until 2002. 

After retiring from the stage Mr. Gardner began to pursue a career as a teacher and coach. He taught the graded level program at Ballet Academy East in New York City for three years. During this time he also taught at various dance studios around the city, including Broadway Dance, where he had the privilege of working as a substitute teacher for the Master Teacher David Howard upon his request. Mr. Gardner has enjoyed his development as a teacher, coach, ballet master, and choreographer over the years, and has worked extensively at both the professional and student levels. He is a sanctioned repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied. He has been invited to work in these many capacities for ballet companies and schools around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Mr. Gardner is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur Amanda McKerrow.

Photo: Tracy Jones by Francisco Estevez


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