Colburn School partners with L.A. Dance Project to train youths

A view of the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles will be partnering with the L.A. Dance Project to create a new program designed to train young dancers between the ages of 14 and 19.

The newly announced Colburn Dance Academy, which is scheduled to launch this fall, will be a program offering dance instruction and education with an emphasis on ballet technique.

Jenifer Ringer, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who retired from the company earlier this month, will lead the new academy. L.A. Dance Project co-founder Benjamin Millepied is serving as an artistic advisor and will offer a master class to students.


PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times

Colburn Dance Academy will recruit students who have four to five years of classical ballet training and who aspire to become professional dancers. Auditions will be required for admission. The program will be intimate, with just 10 to 12 students in the first class, with enrollment eventually building to 24 students.

Organizers said the program will consist of students meeting five partial days a week. Students will be responsible for pursuing their high school education independently of Colburn. The curriculum will include ballet dance classes as well as enrichment classes in different dance genres and general music.

Tuition rates have not been determined yet. Auditions will be held in Los Angeles and other cities, with international applicants welcome. Video auditions will also be accepted.

James Fayette, who is married to Ringer, will serve as associate director of the Colburn Dance Academy. He is also managing director of L.A. Dance Project and a former principal at City Ballet.

The Colburn School already offers dance education through the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, which was formed in 2006. The institute provides classes ranging from beginners’ level to advanced levels of dance.


Benjamin Millepied talks about leaving L.A. dance for Paris

Benjamin Millepied and Music Center announce L.A. Dance Project

Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project finds home: 1927 downtown theater