Ballet Hispánico Expands Its Pa’lante Program
October 5, 2023

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance has announced a tuition-based traineeship derived from the school’s gratis Pa’lante Scholars initiative, which began in 2021. Both educational tracks are designed to help dancers—especially those who are Latinx, Black, or brown—transition from students to professionals.

The Pa’lante Program is part of La Academia: Professional Studies Program, which serves dancers ages 18 and above. Scholars and trainees receive group instruction and individualized mentorship. Trainees are eligible for partial to full scholarships and reduced tuition and can be chosen for the scholars program during the academic year. Dancers from both courses of study may be selected to take class with the company.

“Our Pa’lante Scholars initiative has bridged a gap in the learning model, launching dancers into
our professional company and other dance companies across the nation,” Ballet Hispánico School of Dance director Michelle Manzanales said in a press release. In addition to joining Ballet Hispánico, alumni of the scholars program have danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Nimbus Dance Works, and Coredance Contemporary Dance, among others.

Dancer Kaysha Smith. Photo by by Nir Arieli, courtesy Ballet Hispánico.

Pa’lante trainees study a diverse curriculum spanning classical ballet technique, pointe, partnering, contemporary dance styles, repertoire, conditioning, and choreography, along with hip hop, flamenco, and salsa. Professional seminars for trainees will cover dance history, financial literacy, career planning, networking, and audition strategies. Program directors and other members of the Ballet Hispánico artistic team will offer one-on-one coaching.

Trainees will gain onstage experience through the School of Dance’s annual winter showcase and spring performances, with other opportunities potentially including shows at community events and the company’s black-box theater. Dancers may be chosen to tour or work with choreographers on new pieces and repertoire.

“We have made it our mission to shine a spotlight on these talented young dancers, uplifting their voices, and ultimately creating a central place for them on the world’s foremost stages,” Manzanales added.

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