Our Academy is the premier training institution in the state, with programming sought after by serious ballet students the world over

Photo by Francisco Estevez

Before the world is their stage, they train right here in Colorado.

Before there was a company there was a school. In 1951, Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, planted the seeds that would flourish into Colorado Ballet. Today, its Academy is the premier training institution in the state, with programming sought after by serious ballet students the world over. Located in eight state-of-the-art studios near downtown Denver, our students train in the same building occupied much of the day by the Company. The level of professionalism found at CBA is reflected in our impressive faculty who have enjoyed highly successful careers as dancers and teachers with companies such as American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet. Grounded in formal classical ballet technique, our curriculum follows the traditional sequence of training intended to increase a student’s technical skill and stamina encouraging discipline in the studio according to age and physical development.

Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

The Colorado Ballet Academy is the official school of Colorado Ballet, located in Denver, CO. The Academy provides training to students ages 1 ½ through adult, beginner through professional, utilizing the most current standards of ballet training. The Academy begins teaching students from ages three through six for creative dance and pre-ballet, two classes that lay the foundation for further study of classical ballet. Beginning at age seven, students are placed in Level 1 and advance according to age, experience, and ability.* Our academy curriculum is designed to guide students from their first introduction to the art through a full course of ballet study. During their time here, students will take classes in technique, pointe work, pas de deux, modern, jazz as well as vital conditioning classes. The Colorado Ballet Academy's designed method follows a structured sequence of training stages intended to increase student’s technical skills, stamina and discipline in accordance with their age and physical development.

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 a small and personal setting of an average of 15 dancers, students participate in 29 hours of class per week, Monday-Saturday. The audition-only program is geared toward developing the whole artist, offering classes beyond dance technique to create well-rounded dancers ready for the professional ballet world. Housing and billeting options are available on request. Please click here for more information on the Pre-professional Division.

Stage Experience

Colorado Ballet Academy offers the unique opportunity to gain stage experience at a young age with our acclaimed professional ballet Company and 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.

The Nutcracker

Each year more than 80 students are selected to dance with Colorado Ballet in its celebrated production of The Nutcracker. Participation is only open to our students committed to our ballet program for the entire academic year, students are chosen by audition only, for ages 8 and up. Click here for The Nutcracker audition information.

Fall Feature

The 2017 Fall Feature will feature Levels 5, 6, 7 and Pre-Professional Division on October 27 and 28, 2017 at the Armstrong Center for Dance. The performances will feature Act I from Swan Lake danced by upper-level Academy students and the Pre-professional students will perform excerpts from Raymonda.

Spring Performance

The Academy produces an annual student showcase, which is open to a paying public. The spring performance will be Swan Lake on May 25, 2018 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. For the 2017 spring performance, the Academy presented Coppélia at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Additional Opportunities

The Academy also features its students during Saturday Soiree performances and First Friday Art Walk performances in our Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance. Students may audition for other ballets that provide stage opportunities for students. Past opportunities have included Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cinderella and ALICE (in wonderland). Our Pre-professional students may be selected to perform with the Company and the Studio Company in some of Colorado Ballet’s largest productions.


The Colorado Ballet Academy offers programs for participation in the Youth America Grand Prix Competition (YAGP) and the Denver Ballet Guild (DBG). These programs are designed to further each student’s education and develop well-rounded, versatile dancers.

2017-2018 Session

  • Spring 2018 Semester Registration now open!
    Limited availability for mid-semester enrollment in specific levels and classes, see schedule
  • Open Program registration is open.

Student Evaluations 

Every student in Levels 1 through Pre-professional trainees receive written evaluations at the end of each year with a briefer evaluation provided mid way through the year. The evaluations will include information on the student’s technical proficiency and demeanor. Parent, teacher and student conferences can be scheduled through the school office. When students begin classes in the fall they will be reassessed to ensure their placement remains the same from the prior evaluation period (many students study during the summer session which can impact their placement).

Contact Us

(p) 303-339-1623 | (f) (303) 861-7174
Location: Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
The main entrance to Colorado Ballet's new home is through the parking lot on the 11th Street side of the building.  
For general information, class registration and inquiries:

Sign up for our monthly Academy newsletter

Click here to sign up for our monthly Academy newsletter. Click here to read the August 2017 Academy newsletter

  • Click here to read the November 2017 Academy newsletter
  • Click here to read the October 2017 Academy newsletter
  • Click here to read the September 2017 Academy newsletter 

Follow us on Facebook!


Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Anatomy in Clay Centers

Photo: Colorado Ballet Academy students by Francisco Estevez Photography

Return to Top of Page