Dance Conservatory: Additional Information

The Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory is an intensive, pre-college program for intermediate to advanced dancers who seek to build artistic acuity and technical endurance while learning about options for college study and careers in dance. Dancers attend daily classes in ballet and modern technique and work in intimate repertory groups with professional choreographers. Students gain exposure to a variety of dance forms and topics through a series of master classes and lectures with world-class teaching artists and experts in the field. Daily course studies in improvisation allow students to create their own movement and dances, which are performed alongside repertory pieces in two fully produced, end-of-session showcases.

Concentration on anatomically aligned technical skills that boost movement potential and establish healthy dancing practices is integral to all levels of the program. Dancers start each day with instruction in stretching and conditioning in preparation for the intense pace of the Summer Dance Conservatory.

Conservatory students attending the Dual Session participate in a weekend program that includes consultations with graduate student mentors on learning goals and career aspirations, instructional sessions, and a visit to NYC for a professional dance concert.

Summer Dance Conservatory classes are organized by age and experience levels. Students’ strengths and learning needs are matched and grouped with instructors during placement day at the start of the program.

Prospective participants must complete an online application, and an audition (video or live).

Session I: July 14 -19, 2019
Session II: July 21 – 26, 2019
Dual Session:  July 14-26, 2019 (weekend program included)

Students may attend one or both sessions.
Commuter or residential options are available.

Summer Dance Conservatory Pointe Ensemble (New!) – DUAL SESSION ONLY 

The Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory Pointe Ensemble is by audition only and requires a minimum of 2 years pointe experience. Pointe Ensemble dancers will be introduced to the classical technique and style of American Ballet Theatre and key elements of the ABT® National Training Curriculum (ABT –NTC), as utilized in the Mason Gross Extension Division’s ABT ® Certified School of Ballet.

Pointe Ensemble members will take daily classes in stretch & strength, ballet technique, modern technique, pointe work, classical repertory, and master classes.  Pointe Ensemble dancers do not take improvisation.  Additional classes may include topics such as pirouettes, jumps, and variations. Students will learn classical repertory to be performed in progress at the end of Session I, and in completion at the end of Session II.

Pointe Ensemble students will have an opportunity to audition for partial scholarships to attend the Mason Gross Extension Division’s ABT Certified School of Ballet at Rutgers University.

Students attending the Live Auditions on February 10 and March 31 who wish to audition for the Pointe Ensemble should plan to stay from 2 – 2:15 PM.

At the Summer Dance Conservatory, students will:

  • Warm up with daily morning classes in body conditioning.
  • Build technical skill and strength with daily classes in ballet and modern dance.
  • Create your own choreography in collaborative daily sessions.
  • Work with a choreographer to develop a dance performance piece utilizing the strengths of every dancer.
  • Expand your horizons through innovative, collegiate-level workshops in hip-hop, jazz, improvisation, stage make-up, and historical and cultural dance!
  • Enjoy evening events: advisory sessions with Mason Gross School of the Arts faculty, dance movie nights, and social events.
  • Enjoy Master classes with visiting teaching artists.
  • Attend a performance on campus
  • Take a trip to NYC to attend a dance performance (Dance Conservatory dual session students only)
  • Showcase your work with an end-of-session performance in the stunning Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater.


Auditions may be done on-campus or submitted online

CLICK HERE to register for auditions, 12-2 p.m. Sunday, February 10 or March 31. Check in at 11:30 a.m.
CLICK HERE to submit a video audition online

$25, non-refundable


Nicholas Building Lobby & Dance Studios (Nicholas Music Center)
85 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08816

Auditioning participants may park in Lots 79 & 79A. This parking lot is located to the left of Bettenbender Plaza, and across from Hickman Hall. But you must register your vehicle online to avoid getting a ticket from the university.

Click here for a map of the layout of the parking areas.

What to Expect
The audition will consist of a 55-minute ballet technique class and 55-minute modern class.
– No pre-prepared solos or videos are required.
– Please bring a headshot or school photo (any size) with your name clearly printed on the reverse. *Headshots will not be returned*

Attire for Females:
– Pink footless or convertible tights and a black leotard.
– Hair pulled up off of the neck
– Ballet slippers for ballet portion (bare feet for modern)
– Pointe shoes only for students auditioning for the  Pointe Ensemble (2 – 2:15 PM)
*There will not be time to change tights. Please wear footless or convertible tights*

Attire for Males:
– White or black form-fitted T-shirt, tank or leotard – Bike shorts, leggings, athletic pants or footless/convertible tights, dance belt. – Long hair pulled up – Ballet slippers for ballet portion of audition (bare feet for modern).

IMPORTANT! Enrollment in the audition is limited. Registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis.
– Walk-ins are not accepted. Pre-registration required.
– During the audition, you will be evaluated within your age cohort for program placement.


Video auditions for the 2019 Summer Dance Conservatory may be submitted hereGuidelines and video requirements can be found below.All students who live within 2 hours driving time of the audition location MUST attend a live audition.
Please visit our Registration & Fees page to register for an audition.
June 11, 2019
The dancer must be in tights and tight fitting top or leotard that clearly enables the viewer to observe the dancer’s technique. No skirts, no loose fitting tee-shirts, no leg warmers, and no costumes.
Your video must be less than 10 minutes in length. You only need to perform one side of each exercise. The entire dancer should be visible throughout the video (no close-ups) and must include the components listed below:
  • Begin your video by stating your name, age, and date of birth.
  • Perform one side of each of the following exercises to musical accompaniment:
    • Barre
      • Plie
      • Tendu
      • Adagio
      • Grand Battement
    • Center
      • Adagio
      • Pirouettes
      • Petit Allegro
      • Grand Allegro
    • For Men
      • Two turning combinations
      • Tours en l’air
      • Petit Allegro with beats
  • A Prepared Solo: The solo may be original choreography or from standard repertory. It should demonstrate the dancer’s artistic qualities and flow of movement. The solo may be ballet or modern. Dancers who have both a ballet and modern solo prepared may include both on their recording.
  • Pointe Ensemble Auditions (3 – 4 Center exercises)
    • Echappés and relevés
    • Piqué turns
    • Piqué to arabesque
    • Pirouettes if able
    • Bourrées

Have questions? Click here to view our FAQ page!