A Trainee Program (2023-2024)


CUL·TI·VATE, A Trainee Program: curated encounters (in and outside the dance studio) designed to support and strengthen the total dance artist, advancing their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, agility, and acumen. Rooted in TU Dance’s vision of transformational communities, CUL·TI·VATE nurtures artistic excellence and the development of intellectual curiosities and moral character, finely tuned to ignite flourishing communities committed to shared humanity.  (Dr. Carol Marie Webster, PhD)

Inspired by the next generation of dance artists, CUL·TI·VATE is a program designed as a bridge for dancers with advanced training between their educational perspective and envisioning themselves in the professional field. Through classes, workshops, choreographic processes, mentorship, community engagement, teaching, performance and more, dancers will connect and share experiences as a collective as well as expressing and gaining momentum towards their individual interests and goals beyond their time in the program. CUL·TI·VATE will embrace and support each dancer while fostering their unique artistic path centered in TU Dance’s values of excellence, belonging, creativity and transformation.  

View the 2023-2024 CUL·TI·VATE Brochure.

CUL·TI·VATE Foundations

  • Classes/Training: Continue to build on and strengthen foundations in technical practices to support the versatile dance artist of today. We believe in a multifaceted approach as well as the importance of rigor and preparing young dancers for a broad range of artistic opportunities. 
  • Engaging with Current Artists in the Dance Field: Supporting connections with current dance artists, choreographers and scholars in the field on a local, national and international level with the goal of expanding future professional opportunities beyond one’s time in the CULTIVATE program. These connections will be achieved through multiple TU Dance productions throughout the year as well as partnerships with local dance presenters and venues hosting national and international artists.
  • Career-Oriented Workshops: Tools to equip the young professional dancer of today and provide a space to foster individual artistic interests and agency to be a part of the landscape of change within the future dance.
  • Mentoring (Spring): With the goal to further support each individual artist, dancers will be paired with a mentor with an expertise in their area of interest and work towards co-creating an artist statement to utilize for auditions, workshops, etc. (Some mentoring hours may fall outside of the regularly scheduled program hours)
  • Choreographic Processes: The opportunity to be immersed in artistic processes with renowned choreographers, professional dancers as well as students from the The School at TU Dance Center in the creation of new work.
  • Self-Choreographed Solos: Each dancer will have the opportunity to create, perform and film their own solo with guidance from TU Dance’s artistic team as well as their individual mentor. 
  • Teaching: Each dancer will gain experience assisting with classes at The School at TU Dance Center. For those that feel particularly drawn to teaching, pedagogy and/or choreography, further opportunities within the school may also be discussed.
  • Community Engagement: Through TU Dance’s continued commitment to staying involved with the community and sharing the transformational power of dance, there will be opportunities to engage with our partner schools as well as other organizations within the Twin Cities. 
  • Performances: There will be 2-3 performance opportunities throughout the year.  
    • Winter Showcase, December 8-10, 2023
      • Alongside students from The School at TU Dance Center.
    • THREAT (Evening length work featuring choreography by Yusha-Marie Sorzano), April 26 & 27, 2024
      • All trainees will attend the THREAT audition (date TBD).
      • All trainees will be involved in the choreographic process.
      • Trainees might be selected by the choreographers in collaboration with TU Dance artistic director to perform in THREAT.
    • Spring Showcase: May 17-19, 2024
      • Alongside students from The School at TU Dance Center.

CUL·TI·VATE Details 

  • Age range: 18-24 
  • Audition Requirements
    • Strongly encouraged to attend the TU Dance Summer Intensive (Level 4 or 5), July 24-August 12, 2023. Please register here! (scholarships avilable)
    • If unable to attend the Summer Intensive, please email the following to and by August 14, 2023. 
      • Resume and Cover Letter expressing your interest and goals for participating in CUL·TI·VATE
      • Performance Reel (3 minutes max and may include studio or performance footage which clearly shows the individual instead of group work)
    • An in-person or virtual meeting may be scheduled as part of the audition process.
    • Dancers will receive notification of their acceptance into the CUL·TI·VATE program by August 28, 2023. 
  • Yearly Schedule
    • CUL·TI·VATE is a one-year program with an option to return for a second year
    • Fall 2023:
      • September 25- December 10
      • 10-week Fall session
      • Week off: November 20-24
    • Spring 2023:
      • January 22-26, February 22-April 27 and May 8-19
      • 12-week Spring session
  • Daily Schedule
    • Monday-Friday 9:30am-4:15pm.
    • The schedule may include additional hours (evenings and/or Saturdays). Advanced notice will be provided is the schedule change. 
    • Tech Week hours may differ from the daily schedule noted above, and will be provided approximately one month in advance. Full availability is required during tech week. 
  • Compensation
    • $450/week. Trainees will be compensated as employees.
  • Location 
    • All classes, rehearsals and workshops will take place at TU Dance Center, or places determined by TU Dance.
    • Community engagement and performances may take place off-site 
  • Housing and travel are not provided 

CUL·TI·VATE Interest and Questions: For any questions about the program, and to let us know if you are taking the TU Dance Summer Program as part of the audition, please email:


Contact Us