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The Agony And Ecstasy Of A 6-Year-Old Auditioning For Ballet School

One hundred 6-year-olds audition for the prestigious School of American Ballet.

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Each spring, the School of American Ballet holds auditions for the upcoming Winter Term at community audition locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem, Chinatown and the Bronx.


The Manhattan-based academy is the official school of the New York City Ballet, and those children selected for the Winter Term will perform in the company's annual production of The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center.

The school's Community Audition Program is paid for by foundations and specific donors committed to "recruiting talented beginning students from under-served New York City neighborhoods."

Boys aged 6-14 attend the school tuition-free thanks to the Boy's Program, a foundation established by the academy's donors to "increase the number of well-trained American male ballet dancers."


Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 6055 A264 DADD AADC 347E 5986 547C C11C DD7D 176A.

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