PA’LANTE SCHOLARS AND PA’LANTE TRAINEES
For over fifty years Ballet Hispánico has been a platform for Hispanic, 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. As part of La Academia, the Pa’lante Program will offer all students the opportunity to study under the unique Ballet Hispánico training model and methodologies.
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.
Now in its third year, the Pa’lante Scholars program has launched dancers into Ballet Hispánico’s professional Company and other dance companies. Pa’lante Scholars have joined Ballet Hispánico, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Nimbus Dance Works, Neville Dance Theater, Coredance Contemporary Dance, and more.
Due to the overwhelming success of the Pa’lante Scholars tuition-free program, we are adding the NEW Pa’lante Trainee program that broadens access to the unique Ballet Hispanico training model. The competitive Pa’lante Scholars program continues to award a 100% tuition-free training, performance opportunities, and a company experience.
Beginning in the fall of 2023, a new select group of young Pa’lante Trainees will participate in the program to experience world-class training and individualized mentoring, with access to partial scholarships and reduced tuition. All Trainees will take all Pa’lante classes and participate in rehearsals, with the possibility of performance opportunities. Trainees will automatically be considered for the Scholar program during the course of the year. Select dancers from both programs may also have the opportunity to take class with the Company.
Ballet Hispánico expanded the initiative into a training program that models a dancer's real-life experience and often bridges the gap for BIPOC dance students that came to dance without the experience of legacy training that many ballet dancers receive at a young age. Dancers train from 9am-5pm in a hybrid model consisting of classes and rehearsals, along with professional development, specialty classes and performance opportunities.
These programs immerse young dancers into a professional setting, focusing on artistry development through Ballet Hispánico's accredited comprehensive and holistic curriculum, including classical ballet technique, multiple contemporary dance styles, pointe work, partnering, repertory, conditioning, choreography, and specialty classes such as hip hop, salsa, and flamenco. Students will also participate in professional seminars in career planning, dance history, financial literacy, auditioning strategies, and networking. Individualized coaching and mentorship will be provided by the directors of the program, as well as other members of the Ballet Hispánico artistic team.
Pa'lante Program performance opportunities may include performances at the Company’s black box theater, at community events, and for engagement programs. Students will also perform as part of the School of Dance's annual Winter Showcase in February and Spring Performances. Dancers will have the opportunity to be selected to work with choreographers on new creations and/or repertory and are eligible to be considered to perform and/or tour as opportunities arise.
A daily schedule between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday will provide ample time to train intensively in multiple genres, focused on ballet and contemporary. Dancers will have technique classes and/or have the opportunity to learn and rehearse repertory and/or work with choreographers. Program participants will also be eligible for invitation to take class with the world-renowned Ballet Hispánico company and other artistic exchange opportunities.
"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
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.