The School at Jacob’s Pillow wrapped summer Professional Advancement Programs on August 21. Check back regularly for updates about 2023 programs. Applications open in November. 

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Contemporary Performance Ensemble

Program Director Milton Myers, Associate Program Director Francisco Martinez

June 27 – July 17 | At the Pillow

Music Director John Levis | Guest Choreographers include Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, Studio Wayne McGregor led by Antoine Vereecken, and more | Guest Artist Classes with Festival Artists | Read about the Artist Faculty

Performance Ensemble Schedule

For 24 early-career, company-ready, or advanced-level contemporary dancers; minimum age 16. Dancers will need to meet Jacob’s Pillow COVID-compliant protocols, which will be announced in 2022 and subject to change pending new developments.

Renowned mentor, choreographer, Horton technique teacher, and an artistic voice for The School, Milton Myers will be joined by an Associate Director and an internationally acclaimed Artist Faculty to engage the Performance Ensemble in the skills and creativity required to become integral collaborators with choreographers as they create work on the Ensemble.

Weekly performance opportunities enable dancers to strengthen the artistry needed to meaningfully express choreographic intent. The first and second program week concludes with informal work-in-process showings in the Perles Family Studio. The third program week concludes with dancers appearing on the iconic outdoor stage before a live, and live-streamed, Pillow audience on Saturday, July 16. All presentations are part of the Jacob’s Pillow 90th Anniversary Festival Celebration.

Studio days begin with ballet or contemporary technique classes, or Guest Artist Classes led by Festival Artists. The remainder of the day is spent in creative development rehearsals, or workshops and seminars that support that process. Artist Faculty will provide in-depth coaching and mentoring to strengthen dancers’ artistic voices and help them develop as distinguished performer-collaborators in the field. 

The Jacob’s Pillow School Experience is a full immersion in the stamina, perseverance, entrepreneurial, collaborative, and creative voracity required to live and work as a dance professional. This international, conservatory style studio curriculum extends far beyond the studio day. It also includes:

  • Discussing Dance Works curated for viewing from the Jacob’s Pillow Archive 
  • Career-building Seminars on achieving the momentum needed to confidently and resiliently forge ahead in the field
  • Assignments connected to the choreographic process or camera techniques for dance film or social media postings 
  • Attending 90th Anniversary Season performances, talks, and other events occurring on two stages and across the Jacob’s Pillow grounds  
  • Researching personal dance interests and assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives
  • Building a Career Network for your future from interactions with peers, staff, artist faculty, artistic directors, company members, dance supporters, audiences, community members, and visitors

Together, these experiences instill artistic growth, an artistic point of view, and a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance; all the while building an influential career network. 


Open the sections below to learn what you need for a competitive application.

2022 Contemporary Application Deadlines & Notifications

Participation Requirements & Policies

Jan 14 at 12am/midnight EST | Early Deadline | $40 processing fee

Deadline Extended:
Mar 11 at 12am/midnight EST
| Regular Deadline | $45 processing fee

After Mar 11 at 12am/midnight EST | Rolling Basis* | $50 processing fee

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Program Directors and School staff; with admittance status sent by email on a rolling basis if spaces are available.

  • Clicking APPLY NOW takes you to Acceptd, our application portal where you will upload materials described below.
  • Review the Application Guidelines located there in order to submit a complete and competitive application.
  • Before submitting, review your work carefully, as only complete applications are considered for acceptance.
  • If you need any assistance, contact

Program Application Materials to Upload


  1. Audition Video

Footage must be of clear viewing quality and preferably shot within six months, or as recent as possible, prior to submission. Videos shot outside of a studio, perhaps in a home, garage, or other setting are fine. Media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional type videos are not reviewed. Adjudicators prefer one concise video with a table of contents; multiple videos will be viewed if contents are properly identified. Use one of the following file types to successfully upload your video(s): MP4, M4V, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MPG, MPEG, M2V, MKV, and WEBM.

  • Verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
    • Your name and current affiliation
    • Why this program is important for you this year
    • What you are showing on your reel
    • Anything you wish to share about your footage: title/choreographer(s) of performance footage, why footage date not as preferred, etc. Remember, we are looking at who you are as a dancer, not where you are dancing.
  • Technique sampler, 8 minute maximum
    • Center floor grand pliés, ronds de jambe, extensions, and balances
    • Across-the-floor progressions with turns, jumps, and leaps; petit allegro, if possible.
  • Performance sampler, 10 minute maximum
    • In-studio footage is preferred over performance footage
    • If performance or group footage, identify who is to be viewed
    • Identify names of works and choreographers for
      • 2-3 variations, improvisations, and/or repertory excerpts
    • Excerpts should demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles


  1. Written Statement 500 words or less
  • Influences on your current dance work and artistic goals 
  • Career aspirations and experiences desired to reach them
  • How you envision this program impacting your vision of yourself as an artist


  1. Résumé/C.V.


  1. Photos
  • Headshot (required)
  • Dance Shot (optional)


  1. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference are required
  • Be ready to list the name, title, phone, and email of a dance teacher or artist who has agreed to write a Letter of Recommendation. On receipt of an email from Acceptd on behalf of Jacob’s Pillow, he/she/they should be prepared to address the following:
    • Technical and performance artistry
    • Stamina to participate in rigorous, professional level classes, rehearsals, performances before the public, and evening responsibilities
    • Ability to interact, and live, responsibly as a professional in a diverse artist community
  • Be ready to list the name, title, phone, and email of a second dance artist or teacher who can speak about your work with staff if needed.

About Scholarships

  • If you are a dependent, all financial information provided must be for your parent/guardian(s).
  • U.S. and international dancers are eligible for scholarships. 
  • Read Program Fees & Scholarships for program fees, expenses covered by scholarships, amounts distributed, and named scholarship opportunities. 
  • The Scholarship Application is easily found within the Program Application. 
  • If you need any assistance, contact


Scholarship Application Materials To Upload, if applicable


  1. Statement of Need – up to 500 words suggested, yet we understand circumstances applicable to your situation may require more than 500 words. 
  • Describe your current financial situation and why financial aid is necessary
  • Provide clear and accurate information about your current income and/or employment
  • List previous scholarships, awards, and/or financial aid received


  1. Proof of Income
  • Federal Tax Form, 2020 and/or 2021, page one only, for yourself, or your parent/guardian.
  • If exempt from filing, or a non-U.S. resident, combine earning statements for July, October, and December 2021 into one PDF document.


  1. Support Documentation
  • Combine evidence that substantiates your Written Statement of Need into one PDF document. Examples are: child care invoices, debt counseling statements, financial aid records, food stamp registration, hospital invoices, rental agreements, scholarship award copies, tuition payment record, etc.