At Idyllwild Arts day and boarding school, our Dance Department immerses you in a dancer’s life.

pdt_abtlogoIntense training and the passion for dance of our teachers will transform you into the best artist you can be. Trust us to help you gain the strength and coordination that dance requires.

We feature a multi-discipline dance program that offers the ABT curriculum in ballet as well as cutting-edge modern and jazz.

To develop your mind we have an excellent academic program, which includes an English as a Second Language Department that helps international students become fluent in the global language of dance—English.

All students receive personal attention in an environment geared toward success.

Martha Graham, the legendary modern director, choreographer, and dancer, said that “Dancers are great because of their passion.”

If dance is your passion, let Idyllwild Arts help you make it your life.


Martha Graham, the legendary choreographer and dancer, said that “Dancers are great because of their passion.” Our faculty’s passion for dance and the intense artistic and physical training they offer will transform you into the best artist you can be.

At Idyllwild Arts we immerse you in a life of passion for dance with our multi-discipline program that offers the American Ballet Theatre curriculum as well as cutting-edge instruction in modern and jazz dance. Every student receives close, personal attention in an environment geared toward success.

  • Competitions: Youth America Grand Prix, Spotlight, Standing on the Edge
  • Festivals: Pasadena Dance Festival, Tri-Arts Festival
  • Performing opportunities with Inland Pacific Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker
  • Two mainstage dance concerts each year, plus student choreography productions
  • American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Exam
  • Teaching opportunities with Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Children’s Dance Program
  • Masterclasses

Academy Courses
  • Anatomy and Kinesiology
  • Ballet
  • Pointe Class
  • Men’s Class
  • Pas de Deux
  • Dance History
  • Jazz Dance
  • Modern Dance
  • Dance Composition
  • Tap Dance
  • Senior Seminar
Summer Courses
  • Youth Program (ages 13-18)
  • Triple Threat Bootcamp Musical Theatre Intensive (ages 13-18)
  • Dance Intensive (ages 14-18)
Guest Teachers of Masterclasses have included
  • Lillian Barbeito, BODYTRAFFIC
  • Karen Clippinger, author of Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology
  • Orion Duckstein, former Paul Taylor Dancer, USC Dance Department
  • Robyn Gardenhire, Artistic Director for City Ballet of Los Angeles
  • Sean Greene, Lewitzky Dance Company
  • Chad Michael Hall, UC Irvine
  • Anna-Marie Holmes, choreographer and celebrated ballerina
  • Alia Kache, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Broadway (The Lion King)
  • Evan Knapp, California Ballet School
  • Fiona Loomis and Glen Eddy, Netherlands Dance Theatre
  • Michelle Miller, Cornish College
  • Alexandre Munz, former Principal Soloist for Berlin Opera Ballet, The S.A.F.E. Project
  • Akua Parker, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • John Pennington, Cal State Long Beach, former Lewitzky Dancer
  • Karin Plantadit, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Broadway (Movin’ Out, Come Fly Away)
  • Dante Puleio, José Limón Dance Company
  • Jeff Rogers, Ballet West, DASH Ensemble
  • Jock Soto, former Principal Dancer for New York City Ballet
  • Josie Walsh, Artistic Director and Choreographer for Ballet RED
College Matriculation

Our graduates have been accepted to the following
Colleges and Universities.

  • Bad Boys of Dance
  • Bennington College
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Cal Arts
  • Cornish College
  • Fordham University/The Ailey School
  • George Mason University
  • Goucher College
  • Hamburg Ballet
  • New York University
  • Rutgers University
  • SUNY Purchase
  • The National Dance Company of Mexico
  • Tokyo Ballet
  • University of Arizona
  • University of the Arts
  • UC Irvine
  • USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance
  • University of Utah
of our students who apply are accepted.
Children's Dance Program

The Idyllwild Arts Children’s Dance Program was developed in 2015 by Idyllwild Arts Academy Dance Chair, Ellen Rosa-Taylor, with a two-fold mission:

1. To bring dance training to the children of the town of Idyllwild ages 3-13
2. To give hands on teacher training to the junior and senior dance majors of Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Classes are held on Saturday mornings from 9:30-12:15 on the campus of Idyllwild Arts. Each year there is a culmination performance in the Lowman Concert Hall in which each child has the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience.

For more information on this program please contact: Ellen Rosa-Taylor at
To register for this program please contact: Sharon Barr at or 951.659.2171 x2367

Audition Requirements

The Dance major is designed to provide students with the technical and artistic versatility required to advance in the professional dance world. Ballet plays a crucial role in the education a Dance major receives with a focus on classical technique emphasizing healthy movement habits. Dancers are also required to take modern and jazz dance each year they are enrolled in the program. The Dance Department puts on two main stage productions as well as studio works throughout the year, including student choreography.

Candidates for the Dance major are encouraged to audition on campus or during an audition tour. If a live audition is not possible, candidates must submit an American format DVD or provide an online audition on a site such as YouTube containing the following:

Ballet – 4 minutes maximum
Combinations should be shown on 1 side only
Barre work: plies, tendu in 5th, ronds de jambe a terre and en l’air, Grande Battement.
Center work: Adagio with développé, en dehor and en dedan pirouette, sauté in first position, grande allegro
Pointe work (if applicable:) Relevé in 5th position, Echappé, Retiré, Bourrée

Contemporary – 1 minute of contemporary classwork or a contemporary solo

Optional – Classical Ballet variation

Students should include a 5 x 7 photo taken in first arabesque.

For Specific questions regarding the Dance admission process contact:
Andrea Chesley at 951.659.2171 x2344 or


A partial list of the Dance faculty’s extensive achievements as both performers and choreographers includes performing as Premier Danseur for the Paris Opera Ballet, with the Los Angeles Opera, the New York City Opera, City Ballet of Los Angeles, and in Walt Disney Concert Hall and New York’s Joyce Theatre, on Broadway in the original casts of The Rocky Horror Show Live, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, The Red Shoes, The Dance of the Vampires, and on television in The Gilmore Girls, Law and Order, and winning grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ford Foundation scholarships, and Lester Horton Dance Awards.

Learn More…

Featured Alumni

Julian Barnett ‘98
Choreographer and 2015 U.S.
– Japan Creative Artist Fellow

Nicholle Rochelle ‘99
1999 Bronze Medalist at Genée International
Ballet Competition, 2002 Princess Grace
Foundation Fellowship winner

Eleanor Bauer ‘00
2013-2016 Artist in Residence
at Kaaitheater, Brussels

Neal Beasley ‘00
2004 winner of Princess Grace Foundation
– USA Award

Marisa Hamamoto ‘00
Founder of Infinite Flow, America’s first
professional wheelchair ballroom dance company

Kaley Pruitt ‘06
Illinois State University Dance faculty,
founder of Kaley Pruitt Dance company

Braulio Alvarez de la Parra ‘09
Tokyo Ballet

Gina Galetto ‘12
Dancer for Celebrity Cruises

Lani Dickinson ‘12
Winner of 2015 Princess Grace Scholarship for Dance and Choreography, AXIS Dance Company

Ricardo Urbina ‘15
Hamburg Ballet