Finish your training. Start your career.

Established in 2020, the Ballet Idaho Trainee Program is a comprehensive one- to two-year pre-professional program employing a holistic approach in training dancers towards professional careers. 

Stephanie Orza

Stephanie Orza

Ballet Idaho Trainee Program Director

Stephanie began her training in 1992 with the San Francisco Ballet School where she danced with both School and Company for the next ten years. In 2002, Stephanie moved to Boise, Idaho and danced with Ballet Idaho’s School and Company for one year. She then moved to Basel, Switzerland to dance with the Basel Ballet School and Company for one year. Stephanie came back to the states in 2004 and joined the Inland Pacific Ballet as a principal dancer, dancing there for eight years. Stephanie’s teaching and choreographing career also began at the Inland Pacific Ballet in 2005. In 2011, Stephanie moved to Portland, Oregon where she instructed and choreographed for The Portland Ballet, Bodyvox, Westside Dance Academy, Allegro Dance Academy, Center for Movement Arts, and Polaris Dance Theater. Stephanie moved back to Boise, Idaho, and joined the Ballet Idaho faculty in 2018.

Trainee Program

Focusing on addressing the training deficiencies often present in conservatory style programs, the Trainee Program supplements students’ academy coursework with focused studio instruction, participation in Ballet Idaho’s company class, company observation and shadowing, personal coaching and mentorship, as well as multiple performance opportunities.

Acting as a pipeline into the company, Ballet Idaho recently hired two trainees into the main company as apprentices for the upcoming season. The goal of this program is to hone skills and deepen understanding of this artform in order to better prepare young artists for professional careers.




Trainees take ballet class daily. Curriculum includes pointe, variations, repertoire and contemporary technique class as well as Company Class. Trainees will alternate between trainee-specific choreographic premieres, existing repertoire,  as well as  opportunities to shadow and participate in company rehearsals. Trainees may also  participate in the upper level of the Ballet Idaho Academy to supplement classwork and further refine their technical skills.

Following morning class, the daily schedule mirrors that of a professional company, focusing on repertoire work. Previous repertoire has included: Jiri Kylian workshop led by Glenn Edgerton and new creations by FLOCK, Lauren Edson of LED, Anne Meuller, Nicole Haskins, and Ballet Idaho company members. 

Teaching Faculty includes Stephanie Orza, Brett Perry, Courtney Anderson, Emily Wallace, Ballet Idaho Artistic Director Garrett Anderson, Artistic Associate Anne Mueller, Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill as well as Ballet Idaho company dancers and guest faculty.

Performance Opportunities

Trainees are featured in their own performance series as well as used for corps de ballet work in the Nutcracker and other large-scale productions with the company. Trainees may also be included in leading roles in Academy performances. On a case by case basis, trainees may also learn company roles in mixed repertory programs.

Trainees are also given opportunities to try their hand at choreography; participate in lectures, seminars, and outreach programs; and provided personalized guidance and support in job search and audition planning towards professional pathways, including efforts to pursue post-secondary dance education.

Unique Benefits

  • Provides a bridge that often doesn’t exist between academy and company experience
  • Opportunities to rehearse and perform with Ballet Idaho Company Members
  • Small class sizes for individualized attention
  • Personalized mentorship
  • Support for a diverse spectrum of career goals
  • Choreographic opportunities
  • Audition preparation and coaching
  • Proven pipeline to company contracts with Ballet Idaho


Trainees have the opportunity to receive personalized mentorship from staff and faculty, as well as coaching from  company choreographers as they explore the choreographic process.

“This program has proven to be a vital bridge between student and professional. It has been wonderful to see these young dancers grow as artists while sharing our studio shows and stage with the professional company. This program has afforded them invaluable experience as they prepare for promising professional careers at ballet Idaho and beyond.”
– Artistic Director Garrett Anderson

How to Audition

Dancers interested in auditioning for Ballet Idaho’s Trainee Program should be between 18-21 years of age.
Applicants interested in auditioning for the 23.24 cohort should send their resume and video reel to Trainee Program Director, Stephanie Orza at: Deadline for submission is March 1, 2024.  Additionally, there will be an in-person audition opportunity at Ballet Idaho on February 17, 2024 and March 24, 2024.  These auditions are by invitation only.    Ballet Idaho’s Trainee Program auditions dancers only by invitation after viewing video reels.
Female-identifying dancers’ reels should include one classical variation or repertory selection, one contemporary variation or repertory selection, 5 minutes of classwork on pointe, and partnering work if available.
Male identifying dancers’ reels should include one classical variation or repertory selection, one contemporary variation or repertory selection, 5 minutes of classwork including double tour en l’air, and partnering work.
Please address all audition inquiries to

Tuition and Scholarships

The trainee program is a tuition-based program. 

Both partial and full scholarships are available on the basis of merit or need.

What Previous Trainees Have Said

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