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Pacific Northwest Ballet


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Does anyone have any information on PNB's Professional Division? Their web site has minimal information and they are not very helpful when e-mailed directly. When I tried to e-mail and ask questions about the program, the only answer I received were audition times in the Fall and SI information. :) Does anyone have any personal experience and information that will be helpful in getting a feel for this program? Thank you!

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  • Dave


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I'm sorry we dropped the ball when you e-mailed. We're usually very conscientious about answering e-mails, but at this hectic time of year e-mails sent to the general "PNB School" mailbox occasionally don't get routed to the right person to answer them completely. Please feel free to e-mail me directly with any questions, or I'd be happy to answer them here. What would you like to know?

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My daughter spent 3 years in PNB's professional division, finishing 6/04. I'm not sure exactly what you want to know, but I can give you some general info.


There were approximately 25 kids in the PD program each year she was there. They have daily classes in ballet, partnering, modern, character, etc. They perform in most of the company's productions...the more advanced kids, anyway. (Mine was thrilled to be a swan in Swan Lake last year.) Many (including mine) were on full scholarship, and some (not mine) received monthly stipends to help with living expenses. There are no academics, my dd finished high school through a correspondence course as did many others. You're on your own with living arrangements, too. Most share apartments with other kids near the studios.


PNB really helped the kids find jobs. They showed them how to put together resumes, took their pics, had various ADs watch class, and assisted with our audition tour expenses. Many of the kids actually did get jobs @: PNB, PBT, Sacramento Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Oregon Ballet, Ballet Austin & Atlanta Ballet. My dd is an apprentice @ Ballet West this year.


She loved the program, the teachers & the kids. I like to think it was her own kind of college experience. Please let me know if you have other questions & maybe I can help.

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pnbmom, I'm so glad you're still keeping your eyes on BT for Dancers and thank you so much for your very, very informative and helpful post. It's the information that people such as yourself, and others like you, who share their experiences and personal information that make such a huge difference to those who are facing these next steps. Thank you. :)

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Thank you for your answers! Pnbmom, some of what you already posted is exactly what I was looking for. One of the questions that I have is: what age group are we talking about here. If the students are sharing apartments, I'm guessing that we are talking about kids who are at least 18 years old? My DD will be 16 and is looking towards programs in case she doesn't make the residency programs of her choice. Seattle being close to our location is of course, more to my liking. Flight expense will be minimal in comparison to the residency programs on the East coast, etc. Also, she has set herself up academically to graduate from high school after the first semester of next year. Some of the residency programs that she is considering will change that.


Pnbmom and Dave, it sounds to me like if DD wants to attend this program, I will have to relocate with DD again. As far as you know about the housing situation, will this be the case? What's considered a cheap apartment in the Queen Anne area?

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My dd left for their SI the summer after her jr year @ 17. She was invited to stay & did for their PD program. The 1st year she roomed with a 20 yr-old PD that could legally sign rent papers. The following year she shared a 2 bdrm apt with 2 other 18 year-olds. Her share of the rent was approx. $450/month. You could check online for Queen Anne rents...I think they have increased since our time.


The ages mostly range from 17-20, but there have been some 16 yr-olds. I'm pretty sure that you have to attend their SI in order to be asked to join the PD program. Ask PNB re: details, but I believe that not all the kids that apply for the PD program @ the end of the summer are accepted. Please ask if you think of other questions.

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We do accept 17-year-olds and occasionally a 16-year-old for our year-round program. Ages usually range from 17-20. Since we have no year-round dorm, we leave it up to the students and their parents to determine student housing arrangements and whether the student is ready to live on his or her own. Although students under 18 need an adult to co-sign an apartment lease, some of them do live alone or in apartments shared with other PD students. PNB requires students under 16 to live with a family member. Most PD students have completed high school; those who have not are expected to make arrangements to do so by correspondence or other means. PDs are selected from among those attending the Summer Course who apply to stay for the year. Not all who apply are invited to stay.


After a quick glance at today's classifieds, it looks like 1-bedroom apartments in the Queen Anne neighborhood are running about $600-1200 and 2-bedrooms about $800-1500. Some of our PD's have found landlords who really like having PNB students as tenants, though, and they are paying significantly less -- in one case, in a building only 1-1/2 blocks from the studio.

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Thank you both so much. You guys are great! DD will be there at this weekend's audition with some of her class mates. Her studio directors are taking a group of girls for PNB's open class and audition. :shrug: Sounds like a great weekend!

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I know 3 girls from my school that graduated from high school last year are in the PD.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm sure this is in the WAY wrong forum, but it seems lately there are so many forums/threads, ect, I just don't know where to post anymore!!!


I have heard that PNB has a trainee program of some sort, and, in fact, one of DD's friends was asked to stay there last year before her Senior year, but declined. Does anyone know about this program, specifically, ages, housing, academics, etc?

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PNB has a "Professional Division" that usually consists of 17 - 19 year olds but there are occasionally 16 year olds in it. They usually have 3 classes a day although sometimes they will have rehearsal as they do participate in performances with the company. There is no housing, you are on your own with finding your own living accomodations be it sharing an apartment with another dancer or living with friends or relatives in the area. There are also no academics, you are on your own with this one, too. The students usually finish up their academics through correspondence or on line schooling.

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