All Houston Ballet II applicants must first attend a summer intensive audition or submit a video audition as a preliminary requirement. Applicants may then be invited to audition in person at Houston Ballet Academy.
Houston Ballet II is Houston Ballet's second company and part of Houston Ballet Academy. Stanton Welch is the Artistic Director of Houston Ballet II, Shelly Power is the Academy Director, Claudio Muñoz and Sabrina Lenzi are the Houston Ballet II Ballet Master and Mistress.
Houston Ballet II consists of students from the second company and have daily class from outstanding faculty from all over the world. Houston Ballet II's repertoire includes both classical and contemporary works by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, Houston Ballet Artistic Director Emeritus Ben Stevenson, and many other choreographers. The company's mission is threefold:
To provide students the opportunity to dance leading roles in varied repertoire;
To allow the dancers to develop technically and artistically by actual performance experience;
To serve the greater Houston community by providing quality, professional performances.
Houston Ballet II is another way for Houston Ballet to serve its constituents by reaching smaller communities that might not have the chance to see major ballet companies perform. The visibility of Houston Ballet II assists the growth of the professional company by showing the excellent training Houston Ballet Academy provides.
During the 2013-2014 year, Houston Ballet II consisted of 17 dancers, 8 men and 9 women. Houston Ballet II dancers are taught by academy instructors as well as company instructors.
System of Dance Training
A Houston Ballet II dancer's primary study will be Vaganova, however, Cecchetti and RAD are emphasized as well. Modern classes occur three times a week and consist of a mix of Limon, Cunningham, Graham, and Evans styles of movement. All modern classes are accompanied with live percussion. Houston Ballet II's are taught improvisational techniques as well as an exploration of techniques in choreography. Every Houston Ballet II dancer will be asked to learn a series of classical repertoire variations in which one variation will be chosen and performed for an artistic panel. Houston Ballet II dancers are also required to create an original solo for themselves to be performed at mid-semester.
In addition to ballet and modern, Houston Ballet II's learn classical character dance, jazz, and contemporary dance, as well as basic social dance such as swing, tango, and salsa.
Repertoire, Guest Teachers and Coaching
Repertoire Houston Ballet is most fortunate to have Stanton Welch as artistic director. Mr. Welch is a world renowned choreographer. Houston Ballet II's are required to learn several of Mr. Welch's works such as Fingerprints, A Time to Dance, Bruiser, Blue, and Raymonda. As well as Giselle, Coppélia, Les Sylphides, La Sylphide, La Bayadère, Napoli, Esmeralda, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, to name only a few. In 2006, Houston Ballet II's were given the opportunity to participate in Stanton Welch's new rendition of Swan Lake.
Guest Teachers and Coaching John Eliasen, Royal Danish Ballet Mark Morris, Mark Morris Dance Group Tina Fehlandt, Mark Morris Dance Group John Meehan, former director of American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and former director of The Hong Kong Ballet Violette Verdy, former principal dancer New York City Ballet Pierre Lapointe, Les Grandes Ballet Canadiens de Montreal Lauren Anderson, former principal dancer Houston Ballet Barbara Bears, former principal dancer Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet II has an extensive performance schedule throughout the year as they perform with the company in addition to having their own season. Please refer to the Houston Ballet II calendar to see a detailed list of performances throughout the year.
Auditioning for Professional Companies
Houston Ballet offers career planning assistance to Houston Ballet II dancers. Dancers are provided with up to date information on company hires, assistance in making audition appointments, help with resumes/vitae preparation, and professional head and body photo guidance. Workshops are held yearly for those needing assistance.
Advice and guidance on alternative dance career planning is available as needed. Information and assistance with college dance programs is also available.
High School All Houston Ballet II students are required to earn a high school diploma. Houston Ballet Academy does not provide an accredited program for the completion of high school, although an education coordinator is available to assist students with their completion of high school through the many online and correspondence programs available. Students who have not completed their high school education and are under 18 years old are required to participate in Study Hall. The Study Hall fee is $250 per semester.
Foreign students may be required to take ESL (English as a Second Language) class provided by the Houston Ballet Academy. The ESL fee is $250 per semester.
There are many options of places to live in the area near Houston Ballet.
Houston Ballet Center for Dance Dormitory Houston Ballet's chaperoned dormitory is located on the 6th floor of the Center for Dance. Conveniently located just a few stories up from the Academy studios, the dormitory has space for 16 students and a live-in chaperone. The Center for Dance Dormitory if offered by invitation only from the artistic staff. Rent is approximately 760.00 US per month in the Center for Dance dorm.
Non-Chaperoned Housing There are many apartments within a 4 mile radius of the Houston Ballet Center for Dance. Many students live in the River Oaks area, where rent is less costly, and use the METRO bus system or bicycles for transportation to and from the Center for Dance. Rent ranges are dependent upon which area students choose. Apartments within walking distance are Hogg Palace and Post Rice Lofts.
Injury / Illness
Houston Ballet's athletic trainer is available to students. Houston Ballet Academy has a team of physicians that are available to see students on short notice, and the Academy can provide transportation to the doctor and/or hospital if necessary. On-site clinics are often held at Houston Ballet. Physical therapy works closely with Houston Ballet II's to assist in all injury assessments.
All students are required to have a physical evaluation performed by Houston Ballet's team physician in Houston prior to beginning classes.
Pilates / Body Conditioning
Houston Ballet is proud of its state of the art body conditioning and Pilates training facility. Ninety percent of all Pilates and body conditioning instructors have been professional dancers. Tread mills, weight machines, cadillacs, and reformers are available free of charge every day to all Houston Ballet II dancers. To provide each student with the most comprehensive and conscientious training possible, students in Houston Ballet II are required to pay for their first five (5) pilates sessions. After that, they are given complimentary pilates sessions with Houston Ballet pilates instructors. Trainers are available for individual instruction as well as group lessons.
Yamuna ball classes are also taught as well as other dance related and non-dance related injury prevention classes.
Women: Leotard #1: Motionwear - Princess Cami 2518 shelf lined, tencel, color - Black. Tights: Body Wrappers - Style A46, pink. Pink ballet and pointe shoes.
Men: Shirt #1: Motionwear - Style 7207 black. Black footed tights, tall black socks, and black ballet shoes.
MODERN Men and Women: Black or pink footless tights
JAZZ Men and Women: Jazz shoes, jazz pants optional
CHARACTER Women: Character shoes and character skirt Men: Jazz shoes/ballet shoes
Note: Leg warmers and ballet skirts are not allowed in class. Women will be required to purchase a rehearsal tutu at the beginning of the fall semester.
For more information on Houston Ballet II, please contact Houston Ballet Academy at 713-535-3210 or via email to email@example.com.
Image: Houston Ballet's Academy students performing Bruiser Photo by: Jim Caldwell
Image: Houston Ballet's Academy students performing Blue Photo by: Jim Caldwell
Image: Houston Ballet's Academy students performing Raymonda. Photo by: Jim Caldwell
Image: Pilates instruction Photo by: Bruce Bennett