The Preprofessional Dancer Institute (PDI) is open to serious-minded dance students, ages 12 – 18, who demonstrate exceptional potential and readiness to take the next step in preparing for their dance careers. The program is limited to no more than 75 students (split into two equal groups), so acceptance is limited to the most dedicated, motivated, and prepared young dancers.

Participants will be selected through an online application process, including video submissions, a personal statement, and references. PDI has an established scholarship program for both New Mexico residents and dancers traveling from outside the state. Full and partial scholarship award decisions are based on a combination of financial need and merit. PDI is committed to reducing the impact of financial barriers on participation.


The cost of the Preprofessional Dancer Institute is $795 for the five-day program. Participants all receive individualized performance assessments from our master faculty. Also included in the tuition is a ticket to the performance of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet on Saturday evening.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up to forty-five (45) days prior to the start of the program. An exception will be made for documented medical or health reasons due to an unforeseen injury or illness. For dancers with an injury or illness, 100% of the tuition will be refunded up to thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program. If the illness or injury is reported to the program director under thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program, a 50% refund will be issued by check no more than five (5) business days after the completion of the program, and the other 50% may be used as a credit for another program in the next twelve (12) months that is produced and owned by Francisco Gella Dance Works. In the case of any injury or illness, a documented note or letter from a licensed physician must be submitted before a refund will be considered.

If admitted to the Institute:

A 50% non-refundable deposit will be due by May 15th in order to secure your admission to the Class of 2020. The remaining balance will be due by June 15th.

Scholarship Consideration and Deadline

Full and partial scholarships are awarded for especially deserving and financially restrained dancers. Scholarships will be allocated according to the combined consideration of both financial need and merit. The goal of our scholarship program is to remove financial barriers to participation. Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.

To apply for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship application, which is included towards the end of the online Institute application. Please note that the following is required for your scholarship application:

      • A written financial statement of need from you and your parents
      • A letter of recommendation from your studio or school director, or teacher

The deadline to apply for scholarships is the same as the admission application (April 15th).