Ballet training often starts at locally-owned studios. Once a student shows promise, they frequently move to a larger school, often affiliated with a professional company, or attend a ballet boarding school.

Gaining admission to these schools usually requires auditioning, attending summer workshops/intensives, or participating in a competition.

As we will see in later sections, transitioning from a local studio to a more elite school with a track record of successful students is extremely common.

This transition process is highly selective. A Vanity Fair piece from 2009 states

Over 2,000 students audition for the school (New York City Ballet School) each year, of which approximately 200 are invited for its five-week summer course, and fewer than 100 are accepted for its 10-month winter course.

Of those dancers attending the intensives, even fewer end up at the year-round program or join the professional company.

Our next section looks at these rates and other metrics of success grouped by different ballet schools.