A Day in the Life of a SF Ballet School Trainee

Hi! I am a San Francisco Ballet School Trainee and I am 16 years old. My dream is to become a professional ballet dancer. I started taking ballet when I was 7 years old.

I moved to San Francisco to train at SF Ballet School. Just like you, I go to school every day, but my classes include a lot dance classes that will help me prepare for a career as a professional ballet dancer. I live at the SF Ballet School’s student residence with other teenagers studying ballet at SF Ballet School. The student residence is like a college dorm, except all of us are training to be professional ballet dancers. Some of us were born in California, and some of us were born in other states or countries and moved to San Francisco to study ballet at SF Ballet School.

Every morning I start with a big, healthy breakfast because it takes a lot of energy to dance all day. I also prepare my dance bag for the day ahead, just like you prepare your backpack for school. I make sure to pack my ballet shoes, dance clothes, a roller to prevent injury, and lots of food. I take the bus with my classmates to the SF Ballet building. I get there early before class begins to warm up my muscles. It is really important to prepare my body by warming up and stretching before ballet class. I take a ballet technique class every day. The first part of ballet class is at the barre, the second part of class is called center. Sometimes I take additional classes like strengthening, conditioning, pas de deux, character dance, contemporary dance, mime, or music.

After classes I have a short break before rehearsals. I make sure to have a big, healthy lunch. Rehearsals can last from three to four hours. Today, I’m rehearsing for Nutcracker with the professional ballet dancers in the SF Ballet Company.

After my classes and rehearsals, I take the bus back to the student residence. After eating a big healthy dinner I do my homework—just like you. When I’m done with my homework, I like to hang out with my friends, watch movies, play video games, or watch the Golden State Warriors games on TV. My hobbies include playing the piano and cooking. I’m learning how to cook healthy meals. Sometimes I get to watch a SF Ballet performance in the evening at the War Memorial Opera House. Depending on the performance, I may be cast and get to perform in Nutcracker or The Sleeping Beauty! Performances make for long days, but it is exciting to dance onstage. At the end of every day, I make sure to get lots of sleep so I’m well rested for the next day.