The School at Jacob’s Pillow is planning Summer 2022 Professional Advancement Programs. Check back regularly for updates. Applications open on November 15.

The School at Jacob’s Pillow wrapped summer Professional Advancement Programs on August 28. Check back soon for updates about summer 2022. Applications open on November 15. 

Do you want more information about The School at Jacob’s Pillow? Be among the first to hear about upcoming programs and application deadlines. Sign up for our e-mail list below!


Tap Dance | Onsite & Online

Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant & Dormeshia, Program Directors
Artist Faculty Jason Samuels Smith | Master Class Artist LaTasha Barnes |
Read about the Artist Faculty

Performance Ensemble | July 26-August 15
onsite studio work + Pillow live and streamed events
For 11 United States and international, early-career/company-ready professional and advanced pre-professional tap dancers; minimum age 18. Dancers will need to arrive in advance of August 1 to meet Jacob’s Pillow COVID-compliant quarantine and testing protocols prior to beginning onsite participation. July 25 is a placeholder date; please check back as these requirements may change.

Performance Ensemble Schedule

Virtual Program | August 2-13
online real time studio work + Pillow streamed events
For 20 United States and international, early-career/company-ready professional and advanced pre-professional tap dancers, minimum age 13.

Virtual Program Schedule

Artists Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia, Derick Grant, LaTasha Barnes, and Jason Samuels Smith continue to create work that honors tradition, pays homage to the pioneers, and celebrates the possibilities of now. Dancers will work with these world-renowned leaders in the field and perform weekly.

Weekly performance opportunities enable dancers to strengthen the artistry needed to meaningfully express choreographic intent. The first program week concludes with onsite and online dancers teaming up to present an informal work-in-progress showing to School Sponsors. The second program week concludes with: online dancers presenting to the onsite Ensemble and School supporters on August 13, and onsite dancers presenting work(s) on the iconic outdoor stage before a live, and live-streamed, Pillow audience on August 14.

The studio day features daily classes in technique, improvisation, storytelling and character development, performance quality, and history covering a range of styles, from the origins of jazz through the present day. 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. The international, conservatory style studio curriculum extends beyond the studio day into:

  • Discussions about works viewed and being created
  • Career-building seminars focusing on building the momentum needed to confidently and resiliently forge ahead in the field
  • Viewing curated selections from the Jacob’s Pillow Archive or filming a dance phrase from multiple camera angles as part of the choreographic process
  • Attending, or viewing, 2021 Pillow performances & talks led by artists and scholars 
  • Researching dance interests or assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives
  • Engaging in dialogues with peers, staff, artist faculty, dance companies, supporters of dance, and audiences. 

These experiences instill artistic growth, an artistic point of view, and a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance, while providing dancers with an influential career network.


Open the sections below for complete information on applying to the 2021 Tap Dance program.

2021 Tap Dance Application Deadlines & Notifications

Participation Requirements & Policies
Jan 25 at Noon EST | Early Deadline | $40 processing fee, includes 1 free Recruitment Master Class
Extended: March 1 at Noon EST | Deadline | $45 processing fee, includes 1 free Recruitment Master Class
March 1 at 12:01 EST and onwards | Happy to consider if opening available | $55 processing fee

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis by Program Directors and School staff. Admittance status emails are also sent on a rolling basis.


Consider taking a Tap Master Class. For details, see the Master Classes page.

  • Be prepared to upload materials into the application form when asked.
  • Clicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal. We highly recommend you review the Application Guidelines located there in order to submit a complete and competitive application.
  • Review your work carefully before submitting, as only complete applications are considered for acceptance.
  • If you need any assistance, contact School Programs Coordinator Fiona Scruggs: [email protected] or 413.243.9919 x. 168.


Required 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
    • Drills that move through toe/heel rudiments, flaps, shuffles, time steps, cramp rolls, paddle and rolls and other close floor work, pull backs, wings, etc. All in time, all acapella.
    • 8 bars each of different grooves/feels/pockets (including a swing feel, a double-time swing feel, a straight feel, a funk feel, a 3/4, a 6/8, and 2-3 examples of any traditional material known). All in time, all acapella.
    • 1-2 minutes of improvisation. This can be acapella or with music. If music is used, please make sure the volumes of the music and the taps are balanced.


2. Written Statement 1000 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


3. Résumé/C.V.


4. Headshot


5. 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.


APPLY NOWClicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal.

Click to visit our main Program Fees and Scholarships page.


Required Scholarship Application Materials To Upload, only if applicable

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 amounts distributed and named scholarship opportunities. The Scholarship Application is easily found within the Program Application. If you need any assistance, contact School Programs Coordinator Fiona Scruggs: [email protected] or 413.243.9919 x. 168.


1. Statement of Need – up to 500 words suggested, yet we understand circumstances applicable to your situation this year 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


2. Proof of Income  

  • Federal Tax Form, 2019 or 2020, 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 2019 into one PDF document.


3. 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.


APPLY NOWClicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal.