La Academia: Professional Studies Program (Ages 18+)

For over fifty years Ballet Hispánico has been a platform for Black and Brown youth to find their dreams in the dance world. 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. The Ballet Hispánico legacy is intrinsically tied to these students’ lived experiences. As an organization we face a renaissance period of growth and revitalization, and we seek now to build on this legacy of access and inclusion, emboldened by our success to in turn create more opportunities to empower our youth.


The Pa’lante Scholars initiative is an innovative, tuition-free professional studies program designed to bridge the gap between the pre-professional and professional stages of a dancer’s career. Ballet Hispánico is answering the need for more career centered programs that build artistry and leadership for our communities, without the financial burden often tied to professional development. We believe that a talented young dancer should never be held back by financial strain. Removing the financial barrier to professional training will in turn ensure young dancers can pursue artistic careers without the burden of debt. The impact of this vision will be reflected as dancers are better able to flourish in their artistic careers, ultimately strengthening recognition and representation of Latinx dancers in the field.

The Pa'lante Scholars program is made possible by the transformative generosity of MacKenzie Scott.

Major support is provided by the Miranda Family Fund, and by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Funding for the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation/The Hearst Foundations.



"The PS Program offers real life tools to aspiring dancers. Not only am I receiving great training and practice learning famous works, I also get personal feedback on my resume, artistic statement and advice on how to reach out to companies.


This program has opened my eyes to the versatility in dance. While I did value training in other styles it wasn’t until we were learning [repertory] that I realized how much taking other dance styles will influence my ability to pick up and perform choreography.


You learn so much in so little time and are exposed to real life opportunities that will help inform your future dancing positions. Those who are looking to become professional this is a great bridge between training to working professionally."

- Payton Poole, Pa’lante Scholar ‘22, she/her/ella

"This program has taught me how to balance life and dance. It has also taught me how to make that leap from student to professional by having workshops on how to write emails, make resumes, being in professional settings and balance my diet. I was also taught a lot more about my Spanish background and how to celebrate my culture through dance. I've never been more proud to represent the Hispanic community through my movement. 

This program has helped me embrace my Hispanic culture by exploring multiple styles of dance such as Flamenco, Salsa, Bomba, Afro-Latin, Latin Jazz and learning repertoire from the Ballet Hispánico Company. I now look at my movement from a perspective that is proud to be Hispanic and being able to express my culture through the movement.

My highlight has been having the opportunity to rehearse and perform in Annabel Lopez-Ochoa's Doña Perón as Little Evita. Being in the same room as the [Ballet Hispánico] company has opened my eyes to how I'd like to be represented in the studio and working with such an amazing choreographer has inspired me in unimaginable ways."

- Laura Perich, Pa’lante Scholar ‘22, she/her/ella

Pa'lante Scholars

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