All Houston Ballet II applicants must first submit a video audition as a preliminary requirement. Applicants may then be invited to audition in person.
Students may forego the video audition by auditioning for our Summer Intensive Program during our 2014 Audition Tour in January and February of 2014. Students under the age of 20 will be considered in the following cities: Orange County, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, New York, Seattle, and Houston. Dates and details will be posted under the Audition Tour webpage.
Houston Ballet II Video Deadline: March 1, 2014 Video Requirements can be found here.
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 Munoz 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 develp 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. Dancers interested in auditioning for Houston Ballet II are invited to audition at one of the touring cities during Houston Ballet's company tour or during our open call in Houston (date above).
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 Nutrcracker, 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 acreditted 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 a certain age are required to participate in our Academics Program. Extra fees may apply.
College Local university programs are available to dancers who remain in the Houston area after training with Houston Ballet II. Students may apply to the University of Houston Downtown for college study and receive as many as 30 hours of college credit upon graduation from UH Downtown after completing Houston Ballet II (one to two year participants). Community college classes are often held on site or at a nearby location for those wishing to continue their education while training or dancing. St. Edward's University offers Houston Ballet II dancers a one-third reduced tuition rate and the opportunity to earn semester hours of credit towards a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Humanities.
Houston Ballet Academy offers assistance to students in finding accomodation. There are many options of places to live in the area near Houston Ballet. Some examples (but not limited to) are as follows:
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. Students under the age of 18 may apply for chaperoned housing in the Center for Dance Dormitory, but are not guaranteed placement. Rent is approximately $660.00 US per month.
Home Stay Foreign students have the option of living with a home-stay family. Meals and transportation to the ballet are provided by the home-stay family. Houston Ballet Academy can assist students with inquiries. Rent is approximately $600.00 US per month. Please visit Home Stay Houston for more information.
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. The academy will provide assistance to students in finding apartments within their budget and/or roommate(s).
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 phsyician 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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