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Summer intensive auditions in Nashville

If your big dream is to dance professionally, a summer intensive can get you started.
If your big dream is to dance professionally, a summer intensive can get you started.
Wikimedia Commons

Believe it or not, it's audition season again! Most big-league dance companies take an audition tour through major cities around the country hunting for prospective summer intensive students, and this year Nashville is a scheduled destination for several big names. The following is a list of just a few of the companies holding auditions in Nashville and the surrounding area during the next few months.

The Rock School for Dance Education: The Rock isn't quite coming to Nashville this year, but auditions will be held for their summer program on February 8 in Huntsville, AL, just two hours' drive from Music City (too close to pass up for this list). The school is a well-known, Philadelphia-based professional academy with alumni in dozens of top companies as well as on Broadway. Ages eight and up are welcome to try out.

Radio City Rockettes: The Rockettes are once again offering their annual summer intensive for advanced dancers, and will be holding auditions in Nashville on February 15. The website states that the summer program has produced over 50 Rockettes, so those who aspire to join their ranks have a great opportunity with this one-week summer course.

Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory: Nutmeg offers three different summer intensives, for Pre-professional Training, Professional Training and Apprentice Professional Training. Auditions for these will not be held in Nashville, but on February 16 the company will stop at the Tennessee Conservatory of Fine Arts in Knoxville (about three hours' drive away). The school offers a year-round program that includes highly professional training in dance and performance skills as well as a full college preparatory curriculum.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee: Auditions for DTT's summer intensive will take place on February 22. Ages 11-22 are welcome, and this particular audition includes the added bonus of a free ticket to the company's performance of East meets West that evening. This relatively new company is showing promise as well as accessibility, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing new audiences to live dance theater.

Nashville Ballet: Nashville's own dance company will be holding auditions for both the summer intensive and the company (including NB2) on March 1. All auditions are held as master classes given by the company's faculty, with no early cuts. Ages 11 and up are welcome to audition, and (as with most of the names on this list) both in-person and video auditions are accepted.

Joffrey Ballet: Joffrey will be coming to both Nashville and Memphis on March 9, with the option to audition for both ballet and jazz. Ages 10-25 are welcome to try out. This is a highly acclaimed school based in New York with an emphasis on being well-versed in different dance styles, and developing a uniquely American curriculum.

Of course, these are just a few of the many opportunities that will present themselves around the southeast. Many other companies make stops in Atlanta, GA and/or Winston-Salem, NC. Various other locations in Florida, Alabama, and even Arkansas appear in tour listings for nearly every major U.S. Company. As Nashville's dance community grows, watch for more companies taking advantage of its central location in the Southeast and the ever-increasing artistic talent in Middle Tennessee. (We can do more than just country music, you know.)

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