from student to professional


SLB invites students to audition for the Professional Training Program.  This is the top tier training offered by the SLB School and it is intended to help students transition from student to professional dancer. The Professional Training Program is a program for ages 18-22 that concentrates on strengthening technique and developing artistry through a full-day, 35-week, comprehensive program. The Professional Training Program includes technique, pointe, variations, adagio, contemporary, and seminars on such topics as nutrition, personal safety, and life skills.


Performing Experience

  • Company Rehearsals: Professional Training Program students may be called to SLB Company rehearsals. If called, students are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals, whether or not they are cast to perform. The School office must be notified if rehearsals conflict with School classes. Professional Division dress code is required in rehearsals.\\

  • Company Performances: Professional Training Program students perform in “The Nutcracker”. Additional opportunities may include other SLB productions and a PD Workshop performance

Tuition for Professional Division:

  • $335/month (9 months of the year)

Age Requirements: 18–22

Scholarships & Financial Aid

A limited number of partial scholarships are available and are awarded on the basis of financial need, class performance and potential for a professional career.  Scholarships are granted for no longer than one academic year.


Professional Training Division Instructors
Instructors change daily/weekly; guest instructors also teach when made available.


  • CiCi Houston (ballet, pointe)

    • Serves as Saint Louis Ballet Rehearsal Director 

  • Ellen Costanza (ballet, pointe)

    • Formerly trained at American Ballet Theater, former principal dancer with Cleveland San Jose Ballet 

  • Donna Patzius (ballet, pointe)

    • Serves as SLB company class instructor and former principal dancer with Ballet Met​

  • Mark David Bloodgood (ballet, pas de deux, pilates)

    • Current company dancer with Saint Louis Ballet ​

  • Michael Burke (ballet, pas de deux, contemporary)

    • Current company dancer with Saint Louis Ballet

  • Lori Wilson (ballet, pointe)

    • Current company dancer with Saint Louis Ballet



Program Dates 2022-2023:

September 6, 2022 through May 20, 2023


Sample Class Schedule

  • Monday: 12:30-2:00 Class; 2:15-3:00 Pas de Deux

  • Tuesday: 12:30-2:00 Class; 2:15-3:00 Pointe / Men’s Technique

  • Wednesday: 12:30-2:00 Class; 2:15-3:00 Contemporary or rehearsals with company

  • Thursday: 12:30-2:00 Class; 2:15-3:00 Pointe / Men’s Technique or rehearsals with company

  • Friday: 12:30-2:00 Class; 2:15-3:00 Variation or rehearsals with company

  • Saturday: 11:00-12:30 Class; Plus Rehearsals with company when applicable


More than just classes and performances

Student Conferences

Conferences with Artistic Director and Rehearsal Directors are held in the winter to discuss student progress, options for summer programs, the following school year, and audition tour plans.

Pilates & Strength Training

SLB senior company members offer the Pilates method to develop core strength and stability, promote long, lean muscles, and increase flexibility.

Career Planning

SLB is committed to providing as many career planning resources and job placement opportunities as possible to Professional Division students. A resume workshop/audition seminar is held in early December to help students begin the process of writing a resume and searching for a job in the dance field. Photographer contacts for audition portfolios are available to students, as well as an annual directory which provides extensive information on approximately 40 ballet companies in the United States, a useful resource in planning auditions. Individual counseling and advice on careers in dance and/or college dance programs are also provided.

(Offsite company auditions: Absences for company auditions outside of SLB must receive prior approval from the Artistic office before any travel arrangements are made.)

Recent alumni from the Professional Training Program and SLB School have gone on to the following companies and colleges:

Kansas City Ballet Trainee, Saint Louis Ballet, Charlette Ballet 2, Milwaukee Ballet Trainee, Minnesota Ballet Apprenticeship, UMKC, Webster University, Ballet Met 2, Indiana University, Oklahoma University, University of Utah, Texas Christian University


Professional Training Program students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements during the school year, as SLB School does not have year-round housing available. Students often choose to live with a roommate; most roommate situations are established before the end of the summer. Many students have recommended searching online at Zillow.com to find prospective apartments in the vicinity of Saint Louis Ballet School.

Interested but unable to take Professional Training Program Classes Daily?


Approved students aged 16–22, Saint Louis Ballet School Level 8 students, and approved SLBS Level 7 students, have an option to register part-time for the daytime classes offered by the Professional Training Program.  Students participating in this way would not be considered a student of the Professional Training Program, but would have the option to supplement their regular dance schedule and education.


Students participating in this way would pay the following tuition rates monthly:


Non SLBS Student Rate for Daytime Classes:

1 day of attendance per week = $92 per month

2 days of attendance per week = $170.20 per month

3 days of attendance per week = $239.20 per month


SLBS Student Rate: SLBS students registered already into the evening program would receive a discount of 50% off these PD daytime daily rates.

For Students ACCEPTED into the Professional Training Division program for Fall 2022-2023:

Click "Register" below to complete your official registration into the program

All registrations will be reviewed before deposits are charged.
If you have not received an acceptance from SLB into the Professional Training Program, please do not use this registration.




If you have further questions please contact CiCi Houston at cicihouston@stlouisballet.org