Summer Intensives Frequently Asked Questions


Is pre-registration required for the audition tour?

Pre-registration for the audition tour is strongly recommended, but not required. Students who pre-register pay a discounted audition fee of $30 online. Pre-registration will close the Sunday before each audition. Students who register in-person on the day of the audition will pay a $35 audition fee by cash, check or money order only. The video audition fee is $40 and can be paid online through the pre-registration site.

Which audition should I attend?

Students should audition according to their age on the date of the audition – not the age they will be during the time of the summer program. Students will be considered for all summer programs that they are eligible for based solely on technique.

How can I audition if I cannot make it to a live audition or if my age group is not offered in my city?

Students who cannot make it to a live audition or who do not fall within the audition age groups offered may submit a video audition. Video auditions are accepted on an ongoing basis as space permits. It is highly recommended that students submit video auditions by February 1 as space in our programs fills up quickly. Students who submit a video audition after February 1, may not receive a result before registration opens.

What should I bring to the audition?

Pre-registered students who have submitted both their audition fee and online audition form will not need to bring any materials to the audition.

Students registering on the day of the audition will need to bring:

  • Completed Audition Form

  • A headshot (4"x6") with ballet hairstyle

  • For students ages 12 and up: First Arabesque Photo (4"x6", Ladies - on pointe)

  • $35 cash or check audition fee payment 

Please see the Audition Tour information page for attire and additional information.

Which programs will I be considered for during the audition tour?

Students will be considered for all summer programs that they are eligible for based solely on technique. Students who indicate interest in year-round programs on their audition form will also be considered for those programs if eligible. Year-round programs include the Conservatory Program, Trainee Program, and the Joffrey Studio Company. Students interested in the Pre-Professional Division will have the opportunity to audition during the Summer Intensives. 

When will I receive my audition results?

Audition results will be emailed to the primary email address listed on the audition form within 2 weeks of the audition date. Please add reception [at] joffrey [dot] org to your safe sender list to ensure receipt of the audition result email. 

Is my spot in a summer program guaranteed if I am accepted?

Acceptance to a program does not guarantee a place in the program. Registration is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs fill quickly, and we encourage parents and students to register as soon as possible. Once the program is at capacity, students will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if a spot becomes available in the order their waitlist request was received.

Program Capacities:
Advanced Summer Intensive - 5 Weeks                     150
Advanced Summer Intensive - 3 Weeks                     60
Junior Summer Intensive Level 3                                50
Junior Summer Intensive Level 2 (full day)                 20 per section
Junior Summer Intensive Level 1 (half day)                20

What is your refund policy?

When registering for any of the Joffrey Academy’s programs, parents/guardians should understand that it is a commitment for the entire length of the program and they are liable for the full tuition amount indicated on any Joffrey Academy of Dance materials. The Joffrey Academy of Dance maintains a policy of offering no refunds, credits, or transfers. Tuition is non-refundable even in the event of the student’s withdrawal or dismissal from the program before it has begun. The Joffrey Academy of Dance does not offer any tuition refunds for missed classes. Refunds are not available for class cards or any Adult Open Division classes.

Upon registration families will agree to the following policy:

I understand and agree that I am liable for the full tuition amount indicated on any Joffrey Academy of Dance materials, including any late charges, fees, or interest, even in the event of the student's withdrawal or dismissal from the program before it is complete. I understand that the Joffrey Academy of Dance does not offer any tuition refunds for missed classes, withdrawal or dismissal from the program. No credit will be given for missed classes due to injury or illness.

When does registration open for my program?

Current Joffrey Academy students and select students from the audition tour will be offered Priority Registration allowing a student to register as soon as he/she receives their acceptance letter. If priority registration is not indicated on a student’s acceptance letter, registration will open on the following dates:

Advanced Summer Intensive- 5 Weeks    February 10, 2020 at 10AM CST
Advanced Summer Intensive- 3 Weeks    February 11, 2020 at 10AM CST
Junior Summer Intensive Level 3              February 12, 2020 at 10AM CST
Junior Summer Intensive Levels 1 & 2      February 13, 2020 at 10AM CST

What is included in tuition?

Tuition includes the fee for classes and a catered, boxed lunch on weekdays for all programs except the Junior Summer Dance Intensive Level 1 because it is a half-day program. Please note that students are given the choice to opt out of boxed lunches, however, opting out of lunch does not decrease the tuition. All Junior Summer Dance Intensive Level 1 students should bring their own nut-free snack each day.

What is included in the housing fee?

Room and board costs include supervised housing at Univesity Center's Residence Hall in a shared room with a shared suite bathroom, as well as breakfast or brunch and dinner every day in the dining facility. Students may also use the Fitness Center in the dorms (students under 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone). Full linen service is available for purchase at check-in, which includes bedding, blanket, pillow, towels, and a weekly room refresh for $5/day (entire stay is due at check-in). Micro-fridges are provided in each room.

What is included in the Activities Fee?

The Activities Fee will cover admission to planned weekend activities, as well as transportation from the dorms to the activities when applicable. The Activities Fee will not cover any unplanned activities that the students and chaperones decide upon during the week such as dinner outside of the dorm dining halls, ice cream, movies, shopping, etc.

Is the Activities Fee mandatory?

The Activities Fee is mandatory for all students staying in the dorms. For students in Advanced Summer Intensive- 5 Weeks, Advanced Summer Intensive- 3 Weeks and the Junior Summer Intensive Level 3 who are not staying at University Center, the Activities Fee is optional.

Non-dorm students who choose to pay the fee are encouraged to participate in all activities. If a non-dorm student chooses not to participate in certain activities, no discount will be offered. Paying for only a portion of the activities is not an option. Non-dorm students who wish to participate in activities must sign-up by April 1.

Can parents pay the Activities Fees and attend?

The Joffrey Academy cannot accommodate coordinating parents or guests attending the planned activities along with their students. Parents are welcome to purchase tickets or arrange their own tickets in the planned activities.

My student has a food allergy, who should I tell?

During registration, there will be a place to indicate student food allergies and preferences. If you select “Other” during registration, please send an email to academyforms [at] joffrey [dot] org with further clarification.

What forms are required in order for my student to participate?

Every student must submit a Medical Exam Form (completed by the student’s doctor), a copy of the front and back of their insurance card, and a signed Medical Care Waiver. These forms can be downloaded during registration. All paperwork must be submitted prior to the start of the program. Students may not participate in class if any required paperwork, including proof of insurance, is missing.

For students ages 15-17, parents may submit a Liability Waiver Form, which allows their students to go off campus, in a group of three or more, without a Chaperone. Students must sign in and out with a Chaperone each time they leave and return from the dorms and may only go within walking distance. 

Visitor forms must be submitted if students have guests coming to visit or pick them up during the program. 

Is it possible to begin a program late or leave early?

Our expectation for our intensives is that students will participate in the entire program and their experience will culminate with the final presentation at the end of the program. However, we understand that the summer season can be a very busy time for families and are willing to address this issue on a case-by-case basis. Please note that tuition must still be paid in full for all students beginning late or leaving a program early. Please contact reception [at] joffrey [dot] org and fill out an inquiry form to request late entry or early dismissal from a program.

Will student be greeted at the airports?

Students and families are responsible for their own transportation from the airport to the dorms and will not be greeted by Joffrey Academy staff at the airports. Chaperones will be available to supervise students only once they arrive at the dorms on the official check-in day. If you are not comfortable with your student getting a cab on their own, we suggest getting a car service. Someone from the car service will go into the airport with a sign of your student’s name, and safely escort them to the car, help with baggage, and drive them to their location. Car services can be booked in advance.

Transportation from the airports to downtown Chicago can be arranged by CTA trains and buses, cabs, or car services. Cabs are available curbside at either Midway or O’Hare International Airports. Car services can be prearranged by parents/guardians for students traveling alone to Chicago. CTA train maps and schedules can be found by visiting: Cabs from the airports vary depending on traffic, but the approximate range is:

Midway to downtown (dorms): $25-35

O’Hare to downtown (dorms): $45-65

University Center Residence Hall Address: 525 South State Street 



Where do classes take place?

Classes are held at Joffrey Tower, at 10 East Randolph, in the Exelon Education Center. Additionally, supplementary space is used in order to accommodate all of the students and programs during the summer intensive. The Joffrey uses space at 218 South Wabash, the historic building where The Joffrey Ballet first rehearsed when the company moved to Chicago. The walk from 218 South Wabash to Joffrey Tower is about 10-15 minutes as it is only a few short blocks away. Chaperones will be accompanying students walking to and from the studios. Schedules will indicate where classes are held, and families may plan to drop off/pick up students at the correct space.


When can I drop-off and pick-up my student for class in Chicago?

Students in Chicago will have class at Joffrey Tower (10 E Randolph) and at 218 S. Wabash, depending on the program and schedule. Joffrey Tower and 218 S. Wabash Studio will open each day at 8:30 AM. Please do not arrive earlier than 8:30 AM because the building will be locked and students will not be able to enter. Once students arrive at The Joffrey Tower or 218 S. Wabash, they are not allowed to leave for any reason until their classes have completed for the day.

Where can I find required Summer Intensive attire?

Attire requirements will be included in the Welcome Packet sent out to registered Summer Intensive students. The Joffrey Academy of Dance has several partnerships with dancewear retailers, some of which offer discounts for Summer Intensive students:


Allegro Dance Boutique

Mention you a Joffrey student for 10% off all products:

2114 Central Street 
Evanston, IL 60201 

104 South Cook Street
Barrington, IL 60010


Enter discount code JFB30 and get 30% discount on all Zarely products.

Discount Dance Supply 


Motion Unlimited

218 S. Wabash, Suite 270 
Chicago IL, 60601 

What should students bring to class on the first day of the program?

Students should be prepared for all classes on the first day. They should have their tights and leotard, ballet shoes and pointe shoes (if applicable), jazz and character shoes (if applicable), and any warm ups they would like to have with them. The Joffrey Academy recommends that each student bring a water bottle and nut-free snacks. For a complete recommended packing list, please refer to the Welcome Packet that is emailed to the primary email on file for the parent/guardian after registration.

How are students placed in groups during the intensives? (Please note: this does not apply to the Junior Summer Intensives Levels 1 and 2)

During the first two days of the program, students are divided in to groups with other students of similar age and skill level. The skill level of each group may vary each year depending on overall level and experience of the students attending the program. All summer intensive group placements are determined by the Academy Artistic Team and Faculty and are final. Artistic staff and faculty do not discuss placement decisions with students or parents.

What is a typical day like?

For full day programs, classes begin at 9:00 AM and conclude by 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Students may have classes in ballet technique, pointe technique, partnering, classical variations and repertory. Students will also take other technique classes including modern, character, jazz, and Pilates throughout the week. Please note that the Junior Summer Intensive Level 2 ends by 3:15 PM every day. The Junior Summer Intensive Level 1 is a half day program which runs from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. 


Who will be teaching the Summer Intensive Programs?

All classes are taught by the Joffrey Academy’s reputable faculty. Students may also have the opportunity to take class with a Ballet Master, Company Member, The Joffrey Ballet’s Artistic Director or the Joffrey Academy Artistic Team. For a list of Academy Faculty, visit the Faculty Page on the website.

Is there a discipline policy for students who break the rules?

Yes. The Joffrey Academy maintains a “three strikes” policy during summer intensive programs. Any misconduct will be counted as a strike and an incident report will be completed to record each rule violation. When a student receives their second strike, families will be contacted and teachers will be informed. A student who has three strikes will be dismissed from the program without refund. 

What is the policy for students who are sick or injured during the program?

Sick or injured students should observe class unless they have a fever or if they are contagious. For students staying in the dorms, there will be a chaperone stationed there to stay with sick/injured students. If students are unable to get to class, students must call our Attendance Hotline at 312.784.4698. Failure to notify us of an absence may lead to a strike being issued against the student. Students who will be late to class or leave class early must inform the Academy. Late arrivals and early dismissals can be reported to Reception at 312.784.4600 or reception [at] joffrey [dot] org.

Students with injuries should speak with their instructor, chaperone (if applicable), and Academy administrative staff so they are informed of any restrictions. 

Will written evaluations be given to students during the program?

Due to the number of students and faculty involved for our summer intensive programs, no written evaluations will be issued for the summer intensives. Summer intensive faculty evaluates students on a continual basis throughout the program and offer corrections as needed during classes. 

Will I be able to see my student perform?

Each summer program culminates in a final presentation. In order to accommodate family members for each student, the number of tickets per student will be limited depending on the program capacity and number of performances. Tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite, and invitations are sent to the parent/guardian email on file. Please add invite [at] eventbrite [dot] com to your safe senders list to ensure you receive the invitation in a timely manner. Final presentations sell out extremely quickly, and we encourage families to reserve tickets as soon as possible.

My student’s program has multiple performances for the final presentation, how do I know which one to attend?

Should the casting and program vary for your student's final presentation, casting information will be sent prior to tickets going on sale. Please note that not all intensives have multiple final presentation performances.

Is my student eligible for Joffrey Academy’s year-round programs after attending a summer intensive program?

An audition class will be held for year-round programs during select intensives. Students who are interested in becoming a Joffrey Academy student during the year should attend this audition. Students whose intensive does not include an audition class should speak to Academy Reception about their interest in our year-round programs.

What are options for staying in the Chicago area?

There are many extended stay hotels in the Chicagoland area. Most suburbs are also accessible by train or shuttle into the city. Please consult Chicago area transit system maps ( for Chicago Transit Authority, or for Metra Train). Discounted parking validation will also be available at Joffrey Tower for the final presentation. Family and friends are free to find accommodations wherever they choose. For your convenience, a few local options for both short-term and long-term stays are listed below:



JW Marriott Chicago 

Official Hotel of The Joffrey Ballet

151 W Adams St

Chicago, IL 60603



The Palmer House Hilton
17 E Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603



Marriott Execustay
151 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601


Premier Luxury Suites
545 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60654


Extended Stay Hotels

In which programs are students eligible for housing?

The Advanced Summer Intensive- 5 Week, Advanced Summer Intensive- 3 Week, and Junior Summer Intensive Level 3 offer housing options, where students will be supervised by Joffrey Chaperones. Housing includes chaperone supervision, breakfast and dinner each day, planned activities on the weekends, as well as other perks and amenities. 

How do I register for housing?

Registration instructions for securing housing with University Center will be emailed to accepted students along with registration information for Joffrey Academy summer programs.


Housing registration must be completed by April 1.


In addition to the required attire for class, what should I bring to the dorms?

Additional items students may want to bring with them:

  • Cell phone & charger
  • Cards or small games for dorms
  • Spending money for shopping
  • Linens and towels for the dorms
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Alarm clock
  • Water bottle
  • Dance bag
  • Kleenex
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant, soap, shampoo and conditioner, eye glasses and contacts if needed, etc.)
  • Laundry bag, detergent, and money for laundry
  • Snacks
  • Casual wear: shorts, T-shirts, Jeans for evening activities
  • Nice outfit for a play or concert event
  • PJ’s
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen, hat for beach
  • Sweatshirt
  • Jacket


How much money should dorm students bring for the summer program?

This depends on the student. Overall, $100 per week in spending money should be adequate for all programs to cover any shopping or extra activities students would like to do while in Chicago. Pre-paid gift cards or debit cards are a great way for parents to provide money to their students without sending them with cash.

How will I know that my student is being properly supervised?

Joffrey chaperones are required to be with their students at all times outside of Joffrey Tower with the exception of students age 15 and up with signed liability waivers. Students and chaperones will be expected to get to and from class as a group. Joffrey chaperones are also responsible for acting as role models and mentors to their students and maintaining an open door policy to help address all student concerns. Chaperones and Joffrey Academy staff are in communication on a daily basis about students.

How are students over the age of 18 who stay at University Center supervised?

Students over the age of 18 are not required to be with a chaperone at all times. However, students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by their chaperones and the dormitory. Students who are 18 and over who violate any of these rules will be issued a strike as outlined in the discipline policy.

What is the Liability Release Form for students ages 15-17?

This form allows dorm students between the ages of 15 and 17 to be off campus without the supervision of a chaperone by permission of his/her guardian, however, students with a signed liability form must still abide by the rules:

  • Students must be in a group of 3 or more any time they are off campus
  • Students must check in and out with Chaperones when they will be leaving campus
  • Students must provide Chaperones exact details of where they will be going, who they are going with, and when they will return
  • Students must return by building curfew (9pm Sunday-Thursday, 10pm Friday and Saturday) and be checked in with a Chaperone
  • Students may only go up to 20 minutes walking distance of the dorms or Joffrey Tower. Under no circumstance are students to use public transportation unless accompanied by a Joffrey Chaperone.
  • Should a student engage in any illegal activity while off campus, it is grounds for his/her dismissal from the program. No refund or compensation will be made for early dismissal and any costs incurred through dismissal will be the responsibility of the student/parents.
When is check-in and check-out?

Check-in is the Sunday before the program starts, and check-out is the Saturday after the program ends. The exact times of check-in and check-out will be emailed to students after registration. Students can also check-out on the Friday night after the final presentation. Joffrey Academy staff, chaperones, and dorm housing staff are not responsible for students or their luggage who arrive early to check-in for the dorms.

Are the dorm students allowed to have visitors?

Yes, students can have visitors when they are not in class. Visitor Forms must be completed by parents/guardians and returned to the Joffrey Academy at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled visit. No visitors, including parents, are permitted beyond the first floor lobby inside of any dorm room or on the floor where students are staying. Visitors will be limited to the communal lobby or anywhere outside of the dorm.

Can students pick their roommates?

Students can request roommates during registration. Both students must request each other as roommates in order for a request to be accepted. The Joffrey Academy will try to accommodate these requests, but they are not guaranteed. 

How will roommates be assigned?

Students will be placed in suites/rooms based on program, age, and gender. Males and females will be kept separate, and students will be placed with other students in their same program who are the same age or close in age.

Can students receive packages?

Yes, students may receive mail at University Center as early as move-in day. Pre-move in packages will not be accepted or guaranteed. Room numbers will be assigned and provided prior to move in day. Please address envelopes or packages as:


Attn: <Student’s Full Name, Room #>

University Center

525 S. State Street


Chicago, IL 60605


Can students attend religious services throughout the program?

Yes. Students interested in attending a religious service on the weekend should let their chaperone know at the beginning of the program. If possible, chaperones will arrange a drop-off and pick-up time or accompany the student to the services depending on the situation.

Is wireless internet available in the dorms?

University Center has Wi-Fi available in the student dorm rooms and communal areas throughout the building. 

Can students apply for a scholarship to a summer intensive program?

The Joffrey Academy Artistic Staff awards a limited number of merit scholarships for the summer intensive programs. All students are considered for merit scholarships during the audition tour. There is no application process. Students will be informed of scholarship awards in their program acceptance letters. If no scholarship award in included in a student’s acceptance letter, it means they were not awarded a merit scholarship.

Is financial aid available for summer intensive programs?

The Joffrey Academy of Dance has a limited number of need based financial assistance awards available to offer summer intensive students. Parents may submit a financial aid application and their most recently filed 1040 (including additional schedules) by February 1, 2019. Only complete, on-time applications will be considered.

Can I apply for financial aid before my student has auditioned?

Yes, the Joffrey Academy encourages families to fill out the financial aid application early even if their student has not auditioned or received an audition result. Only accepted students will be considered for financial aid. 

When will I receive my financial aid results?

Financial aid results will be emailed to the email address listed in the application by February 8, 2019.

Do scholarships or financial aid cover room & board or other fees?

Scholarships and financial aid are for tuition only. Because housing is secured through an outside party, we are unable to apply financial aid or scholarship towards room & board or any other fees associated with attending the program including travel and dancewear. All scholarship and financial aid students will be required to pay the applicable registration fee for their program.