The School at Jacob's Pillow experience includes intensive studio work, performing weekly for Festival audiences, attending all Festival performances and events, and interacting with an international dance community on beautiful, historic grounds. 

Immersion in Dance
Living and training on the beautiful historic grounds of Jacob's Pillow involves intensive studio work, performing weekly for Festival audiences, attending performances and events, and interacting with an international dance community. Classes, rehearsals, and coaching sessions from 9am to 5pm, six days a week, demand technical and performance skills, stamina, perseverance, risk-taking, and creative collaboration. Festival activities each evening are just as intense and inspiring. 

Faculty and Festival artists are prominent dance professionals representing a wide range of choreographic and performance approaches, traditions, and innovations. Fifty companies from all over the world give more than 150 performances, filling three stages with ballet, contemporary, dance-theatre, hip-hop, jazz, tap, and culturally-specific dance. School participants gain free access to these events as well as to master classes, community classes, artist talks, book signings, film screenings, exhibits, and open rehearsals. Within the Jacob's Pillow Archives, rich collections of videos, historic films, photographs, programs, and other materials covering over a century of dance deepen your knowledge of dance. This immersion leads to deep artistic and personal growth for participants in The School.

A Community of Artists
A festival community of artists, scholars, research fellows, interns, and staff fosters thought-provoking conversations and invaluable relationships for the future. Major dance figures from around the world have been coming to the Pillow since the 1930s. Encounters with artistic directors, choreographers, critics, scholars, and dedicated dance supporters abound. You might find yourself browsing in the Pillow Store beside Michelle Dorrance, having lunch with Peggy Hickey, mingling with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar at a cast party, or chatting with Glenn Edgerton after a Q&A session. 

The School's student body is an international mix of young professionals and pre-professionals, from Grand Prix finalists and Presidential Scholars in the Arts to corps and apprentice company members. School alumni always have an artistic home at the Pillow. During Festival 2015, 29 returned as artistic directors, choreographers, performers, and faculty.

Jacob's Pillow is located in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, an international destination noted for its beautiful natural environment and world-class cultural institutions, including Tanglewood, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, MASS MoCA, Norman Rockwell Museum, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. New York City and Boston are each less than 3 hours away. The 225-acre campus includes two theatres, an outdoor stage, five dance studios, exhibition galleries, the Archives, health office, food venues, store, gardens, and a wetlands trail.

Campus Life
Ted Shawn's students and company members built and maintained much of the property, from roads to studios to wells. Residents today share this same spirit of responsibility as they help care for the beauty, history, and integrity of the Pillow. 

Dancers in The School live near artists, faculty, and staff in wood-framed cabins with archival photographs and mementos of famous dancers lining the walls. The Campus Center provides a place to relax or work out. Registered nurses assist with body maintenance and physician appointments. Pillow drivers shuttle dancers to town as needed and fill requests for sundry supplies. Three meals a day are provided in the Stone Dining Room, which was hand-built in 1935 by Ted Shawn's Men Dancers.

Life at the Pillow

"I'm not only making so many connections with major choreographers and dancers from all over the world, but am leaving the Pillow with a different outlook on being an artist and twenty-three friends that will last a lifetime."
- Kyle DuPree, 2010 Contemporary Program Participant

Visiting The School

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