Traverse City Dance Project 

Apprentice Program


Guidelines & Audition Information


The Traverse City Dance Project frequently has openings for local apprentices. We seek advanced dancers from the Traverse City/Northern Michigan region. This is an opportunity to dance with a professional company, learn and perform advanced repertory, and be mentored by professional dancers and choreographers. 


What will apprentices do?

  • Take daily company class pre-class warm-up in somatic/cross-training techniques (Pilates, Gyrokinesis, Qi Gong, etc.)


  • Understudy the TCDP repertory, with possible performance opportunities


  • Interact with and be mentored by professional dancers from companies such as Dayton Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet X, Gibney Dance, Ballet NY, Ballet Memphis, Sacramento Ballet, Lustig Dance Theater, San Diego Ballet, and Rioult Dance NY


  • Experience the daily schedule and rigors of a professional dance company


Who can be an apprentice?

  • Advanced dancers, currently training on a professional track.  Apprentices must be proficient in ballet/pointe/modern.


  • Dancers who are mature, self-motivated and goal-oriented. Recommendation letters required.


  • Must be available for all rehearsals and performances (unless prior approval is obtained by artistic staff)


  • Must be in good physical condition by the start of the season - our schedule is very intense!


  • Must sign a waiver acknowledging that we do not provide worker’s compensation if an injury occurs.  All of our dancers are independent contractors.


What else do I need to know?


          Dates of program: TBD 

          Schedule (subject to change):


10-11:15am - Company Class

11:30-2:00pm - Rehearsal A

2-2:30pm - LUNCH

2:30-5:30pm - Rehearsal B 


(5-min breaks every hour)



We offer a professional-level experience, therefore we must emphasize the maturity level and self-motivation required to work as a TCDP apprentice. We are seeking truly exceptional young dancers. While we will make time for a degree of one-on-one coaching and mentorship, we are on a very limited schedule. All of our apprentices will be held to the same high standards and expectations that we hold for our experienced professional dancers. The apprentice program will begin with an orientation, during which we will explain rules and expectation, answer questions, and collect signed copies of our Apprentice Operating Agreement, which will act as a contract for the apprenticeship.  The daily and weekly schedule will be made available in advance, but are subject to reasonable change, and apprentices must be flexible.  


Housing and transportation are NOT provided. Please arrange for your own housing in the Traverse City area. You must also provide your own transportation to and from rehearsals in Traverse City and Interlochen. Carpool opportunities may be available, please contact us if you need assistance with transportation and we will do our best to assist you.


This is an unpaid apprenticeship. It is a free program for high-level pre-professional dancers, to provide invaluable professional level, résumé-building experience.



Contact us at if you are interested in participating. Tell us your name, age, training background, and where you currently study. Please have your current teacher send us a recommendation. 


Send us an email! We will respond as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Best wishes,


Brent Whitney & Jennifer McQuiston Lott

Founders/Artistic Directors, Traverse City Dance Project 


Pictured: Beau Foley, Zach Manske, Mariano Zamora-Gonzales, Alexandra Policaro, Simrin Player performing with the TCDP


Photo by Susan Kettering

Traverse City Dance Project

Photos: Susan Kettering

Website Design: Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Rachel Walton

Graphic Design: Rachel Malehorn

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