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Conservatory FAQs

May we apply for a specific level?

NSB will assign a level to each dancer based on age and experience. Dancers invited to participate in the Conservatory Program will be chosen from NSB’s Trainee Division, Summer Intensive Programs, and auditions/evaluations with interested candidates. 


How many hours of dance per week?

Dancers have an estimated 22.5 hours of mandatory dance per week and can take any additional classes they desire.

(*22.5 mandatory hours/5.5 optional classes, rehearsals, and assistant teaching).


Is attendance mandatory?

Students are required to take ALL classes offered so that they may continue to advance technically. If a student is seeking medical attention, a note must be given to NSB from either a doctor or therapist to return to class. If they cannot participate due to illness or injury, we advise them to watch and take notes if possible. Classes are not transferable and there are no refunds for classes missed for any reason. In the case of absence, please email or call the school and leave a message with your reason for absence prior to class time. Makeup classes, due to illness, snow days, and holidays during the week (not on vacation time) must be scheduled at the same level or lower level in the same term in which they were missed.

What are the ages of the conservatory students?

Our program is designed for select individuals, ages 12 to 20.


Will there be time for lunch/snacks?

Yes, NSB has scheduled breaks for water and lunch. We have a microwave and refrigerator but encourage dancers to pack lunch in their own cooler bags.


Is it hard to balance school with dance effectively?

Academics are a priority and treated as such. We have an academic mentor to assist, in addition to quiet study areas.


Do you offer education to the dancers on nutrition, psychology, etc.?

NSB offers in partnership with Children's Hospital of Boston, a social-emotional curriculum during the second semester. Other seminars on these topics with professionals in the field are offered during intensive programs. We also have organized a “Parent Connection” Series for parents to learn more about and help their child navigate the dance world. 


What else should we pack for dancers for the day?

Water, snacks, extra shoes, tights and leotards, laptop, chargers, hair items, bandaids, etc


What is the dress code?

See Dress Code


What is the role of the parent in the conservatory program academics?

Parents are solely responsible for their child’s academic success. Parents will check their student’s progress daily and check any messages from the student’s online instructors to ensure maximum communication. The student's virtual online schooling program will let them know how the student is doing in each class. Parents are encouraged to allow for NSB's Academic Mentor, Meghan Jenkins, to act as a secondary coach to help keep academic responsibilities on track.

Does the Conservatory offer scholarships, work-study programs, or financial aid?

ALL STUDENTS RECEIVE A MERIT SCHOLARSHIP for help with their academic studies during the 36-week school year. The $6,820 scholarship covers the cost of NSB’s academic expenses and participation fees for performances listed in the 2024-2025 Season. 

To help as many dancers/families as possible, additional financial aid is available to qualified students. Most scholarships and work-study schedules are partial. Scholarships require strong evidence of financial need. 

Do Conservatory Students have performance opportunities?

NSB’s Conservatory Season provides an exciting opportunity for students to perform in a professional atmosphere as a trainee. Students will work alongside professional dancers, award-wining choreographers, composers, and musicians during the season.  


How does the Conservatory help my child prepare for auditions?

The faculty instructs the students in class about the best way to present themselves during their classes and during the audition process. The director, Denise Cecere, will often say at the start of class, we are taking this class as an audition and will give feedback to the dancers. 


Does the Conservatory offer career counseling/mentoring?

NSB is always available to offer counsel to all students and parents. Parents should email the Educational & Business Administrator, Caroline Jewell to schedule a meeting. Students during their Junior and Senior year are counseled on how to put together their resume, website and encouraged to put together videos to send electronically to the selected trainee programs, universities, and companies. Students may hire faculty members to help with filming the audition video. Academic Mentor, Meghan Jenkins, is available to help families with college search and preparation. Visit 


Can my student change levels during the year?

Students will be placed in classes that are appropriate for their level of physical and mental development. If at any time the director feels that the placement is incorrect, the student will be changed to the appropriate class level at any time during the year. 


Is there a deadline for registration or is it ongoing?

NSB's Conservatory Program by audition only. Classes are limited and determined before each semester. It is unusual for a conservatory student to begin mid-year, but under certain circumstances, it is allowed.


What happens if my child becomes unwell during the day?

We will work with each family and assist the student as necessary. We have a staff member at the front desk to coordinate with parents to come to the school and bring them home.


What happens if my child is injured during the school year?

Students are required to take ALL classes offered so that they may continue to advance technically. If a student is seeking medical attention, a note must be given to NSB from either a doctor or therapist to return to class. Students that are unable to participate in class due to injury should watch and take notes.  


Are students allowed to leave the NSB premises during the day?

Yes, students may leave only if a signed permission slip is on record and the student must sign out and back in each day.


Is there parking for students at NSB? What is the drop-off procedure?

Yes, there is parking for students of driving age on the left side of Sanborn Street. Students whom parents drop off and pick up are asked to be dropped off on the left side of Sanborn Street and walk to the side entrance of the building next to the driveway. Please do not drop your child off on Lowell Street and have them cross. After class, students will wait in the lobby area for their parent or guardian to pick them up on the left side of Sanborn Street so there is no need to cross the street. Students will not be permitted to wait outside of the studio or cross Lowell Street. We strongly urge parents/guardians to be punctual when picking up their child(ren). There is NO parking on the right side of Sanborn Street or in the circular driveway; spaces are reserved for faculty members only. You may park in the town’s municipal parking lot adjacent to the building later in the day when Town Hall is not in use and on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Does the Conservatory offer housing?

The Conservatory does not have dorms, NSB will work with potential families in need of housing to help find a host family or locate an agent in the area to help find housing.


How many students are enrolled at each level?

NSB tries to limit enrollment and keep each level between 10-12 students. Combine levels do not exceed 26 students at a time.


What are the options for academics?

The conservatory students are urged to take their academic studies seriously either at a traditional school that allows half-day attendance, accredited virtual-on-line schooling or homeschooling program in order to have the flexibility in their schedule to allow for extensive pre-professional dance training. The Conservatory Program requires an intense concentration and dedication to daily training and rehearsals, in addition to supporting the dancer's academic schedules. The program will integrate a mentor to help with academic online studies. If dancers choose to participate in the academic study period, they will follow a daily schedule outline. 


Will we receive feedback about our child’s progress at the Conservatory?

If a parent or guardian needs to speak to a director, faculty member, or administrator, please call or email the school to set up an appointment. Parents and guardians are not permitted to wait in the lobby, dressing rooms, or classroom during the school day unless it is parent observation week. Parent/Teacher Conferences will be scheduled during the winter/spring term. 


Where have Conservatory students gone after they graduate?

Over the past fifty years, students have gone on to higher education at prestigious universities at home and abroad, gone on to train or work as professional dancers in ballet companies, modern & contemporary companies, Broadway, and commercial work. Many of our alumni have gone on to teach, choreograph, and direct. 


Are students able to audition and attend other programs during the summer? If so, where have they gone?

Yes, when the time is right, summer programs are encouraged. We have had students accepted into prestigious programs globally, including Paris Opera Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School, The English National Ballet School, The Royal Danish Ballet School, National Ballet of Canada, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Chautauqua Institution, Houston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ballet West, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey, Boston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Ballet Austin, Colorado Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet and many more. 


What types of dance/classes other than ballet are offered?

It is important that young dancers are versatile in today's dance world. Conservatory students will participate in ballet technique, pointe, partnering, variations, men’s virtuoso technique, repertoire, modern, contemporary, jazz, ballroom, tap, improvisational skills, and cross-training, including yoga and Pilates classes to prepare them for a career in dance. 


What is a typical Conservatory student schedule?

Visit Conservatory Schedule


How do you work to prevent injuries when young dancers are dancing so many hours?

It is imperative to have a healthy environment for all participants. As such, the program will work closely with faculty and staff to support the educational, emotional, and physical demands placed on young dancers during these formative years of study. Faculty may also lecture during the season on injury-prevention techniques, dance history, nutrition, sports psychology, mind-body connection, and guidance counseling. 

Are cell phones permitted in the studio?

Cell phone use is not permitted in NSB studios. If a student must use their phone for any reason, they are to ask their instructor to do so. The Conservatory at NSB has a distraction-free environment conducive to learning. 


Can dancers take photos and videos and post them to social media?

No photos, videos, or images of any kind taken on Northeast School of Ballet’s property or during performances should be posted on any social media accounts for any reason without the permission of NSB, Inc.

Is my child able to participate in competitions, conventions, or study elsewhere during the 36-week conservatory school year? 

No, if your child signs a contract with NSB they will follow the class schedule, rehearsal, and performance season of NSB only. Students are not permitted to train or perform with other organizations during the 36-week contract. 

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