We are recovering from the loss of our beloved Doris Duke Theatre. If you are looking for a way to support the Pillow’s future at this time, please donate here.


2021 Professional Advancement Programs are Being Re-Envisioned

New ways of working, mentoring, sharing work, and contributing to the community will be required to support your journey ahead as a dance artist. While we finalize plans, tell us what would best support your artistic growth in the year ahead. Write to: [email protected].

Announcement of 2021 Programs will be made December 2020.

Contemporary | July 13—31

Milton Myers and Didy Veldman, Program Directors

Guest Choreographers Francesca Harper, Helen Pickett, and Stephen Shropshire | Read about the Artist Faculty.
For United States and international, early-career professionals and advanced pre-professional dancers; minimum age 16.

The School at Jacob’s Pillow is where dancers evolve the distinct artistic voice that will distinguish their work in the field. Though unable to gather within the Jacob’s Pillow studios, the Contemporary Program is convening a small group of dancers to work online within “on-screen” studios. 

The program features being creatively engaged in the multiple choreographic processes of Francesca Harper, Helen Pickett, and Stephen Shropshire; mining the physicality possible within dancers available spatial environments. Group dialogues and small group mentoring sessions will help evolve dancers visions of being dance artists in the altered cultural landscape ahead. Independent curricular assignments, conducted during dancers’ own time, will include viewing materials and performances from the Jacob’s Pillow Archive, researching topics on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, or recording choreographic assignments. Additionally there will be a Master Class Series from The School at Jacob’s Pillow led by internationally acclaimed artists and open to dancers worldwide. 

Online live sessions will require up to 3.5 hours daily with an additional two hours maximum of independent work a few days per week. Live sessions will occur during timeframes that accommodate the broad range of time zones where artist faculty and dancers are based. Jacob’s Pillow School Sponsors will meet with dancers online and when possible, experience work created online.


Program Directors

Milton Myers

July 13—31
Milton Myers is resident choreographer and instructor for PHILADANCO! and on the faculties of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Peridance, STEPS on Broadway, and The Juilliard School, where he is the first Horton instructor.

Learn More

Didy Veldman

July 13—31
Dutch artistic director, choreographer, and contemporary teacher Didy Veldman was trained in Amsterdam. She danced with Scapino Ballet, Ballet Genève, Rambert, and co-founded Alias Company in 1992. She began choreographing in 1987, creating work for all four companies.

Learn More

Application Details: Contemporary


Great experiences to meet Pillow artists and learn about The School, though these opportunities are not an application requirement. View Recruitment Tour locations, dates, and details.


2020 Application Deadlines & Notifications
January 17 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round I | $15 processing fee
February 14 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round II | $30 processing fee
April 22 at 11:59pm EDT Extended Regular Deadline | $45 processing fee

Admittance status notifications are being sent as of May 1 by email. Acceptances are being sent first for all programs and will be followed by sending other notifications. Thank you for your patience. We are sending all notifications on a rolling basis.


Program Tuition Fee | $2,250
The three-week tuition fee includes tuition, onsite room and board, free admission to Festival performances and events, and ground transportation from Lee, MA to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA. Each year up to 80% of accepted dancers receive Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships to make their attendance possible.

Jacob’s Pillow School Sponsors and Supporters make it possible to charge$750/week; far below the actual program cost of more than $5,000. If accepted, we will ask you to join us in letting these friends of The School at Jacob’s Pillow know how grateful we are for their support.


Be prepared to upload the following materials into the Program Application:

1. Audition Video

    • Video material should be in the modern/contemporary genre.
    • Footage: Must be of clear viewing quality and shot no more than six months prior to submission. Media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type videos will not be reviewed.
    • Adjudicators prefer one concise video with a table of contents; multiple videos will be viewed if contents are properly identified.
    • Passwords: To expedite the review process, no passwords preferred. If you need to use passwords, please have the same password for all video uploads.
    • URL Uploads: 1) Please upload only one video link per field. 2) After uploading a URL link and password, test it. If the link fails to open, your application cannot be reviewed. 3) Keeping your link(s) accessible until the program start date will ensure you can be re-considered for acceptance if waitlisted.

    A.Verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
    B.Technique sampler, 8 minute maximum

    • Center floor grand pliés, ronds de jambe, extensions, and balances
    • Across-the-floor progressions with turns, jumps, and leaps

    C. Performance sampler, 10 minute maximum

    • In-studio footage is preferred over performance footage
    • If group footage, identify who adjudicators need to view
    • Provide a table of contents, identifying 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

2. Written Statement
In 1000 words or less, please share your:

    • 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

3. Résumé/C.V.

4. Headshot

5. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference are required
Upload into Program Application when requested or postmark by your Application Deadline to School Director, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA 01223

A. Please request a letter from one current teacher, describing

    • Technical and performance artistry
    • Stamina to participate in rigorous, professional level schedule of classes, rehearsals, performances, and evening responsibilities
    • Ability to live and interact responsibly as a professional in a diverse artist community

    B. Please acquire name, title, phone, and email from a second dance artist or teacher who can speak about your work.

6. Scholarship Instructions, if applicable


Go to Contemporary Program and Scholarship Application Now