Looking for answers? We respond to some frequently asked questions below.

Get answers related to auditions, scholarship and financial aid, The Joffrey's location in Chicago, international student visa requirements and more.

General FAQs

Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, is the only training program owned, operated or endorsed by The Joffrey Ballet. The Joffrey Ballet is not affiliated with any other dance training or school program, including the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. The Joffrey Academy, located in the Exelon Education Center at Joffrey Tower in Chicago, Illinois, is the only school that follows the organizational mission, training syllabi, and artistic vision of The Joffrey Ballet. No other program, including those holding the Joffrey name, is sanctioned by The Joffrey Ballet. For more information, please contact Academy Reception at 312.784.4600.

The Joffrey Academy of Dance has two locations in the heart of Chicago. 

Joffrey Tower

Located at 10 E Randolph St, our Academy studios can be found on the 3rd floor of Joffrey Tower. Joffrey Tower is located in the heart of Chicago’s loop, near most major public transportation, including the Chicago Transit Authority (Red, Brown, Green, Blue, Orange, and Purple lines).

South Loop Studios

Located at 1920 S Wabash, our Academy studios are located on the first floor of the building. Our South Loop studios are near both the Red and Green Chicago Transit Authority lines. 

Joffrey Tower

There is an Inter-Park self-parking garage located next to Joffrey Tower at 20 E Randolph St that charges by the hour. Individual parking stickers are available for purchase at Joffrey Reception. Pre-paid parking packs are available at Joffrey Reception as well. Individual parking stickers and parking packs are eligible for use after 3PM on weekdays and all day on weekends. 

Aside from the garage, there is paid street parking in the surrounding area. 

South Loop

Paid street parking is available on S Wabash and in the surrounding area. Additionally, there are several SpotHero spaces in the area. 

*SpotHero is an app on your phone in which you can reserve private parking spaces in the city. Prices vary.  

If a Joffrey student or staff member contracts COVID-19, that person must follow CDC guidelines before returning to Joffrey Tower. Masks are not currently required on Joffrey property. People may choose to mask at any time. Any changes in mask requirements as identified by the CDC guidance will be communicated by the Joffrey Ballet. 

CDC Guidelines

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required, however, CDC-recommended vaccines and boosters are highly encouraged. Vaccination requirements are subject to change. 

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The schedules of classes for Children’s Division, Dance Lab Program, and Pre-Professional Division are intended to accommodate the academic schedules of our students. The students at the school continue their education in a variety of ways. Some enroll in local schools, while others complete their coursework through correspondence with either their home school or an online university. Students in the Conservatory, Trainee, and Studio Company programs may consider distance learning programs if they have not yet received their high school degree. Students seeking online K-12 education should pursue this independently, as the Joffrey Academy of Dance does not take any responsibility for arranging academic needs and does not provide an accredited program for the completion of high school. All academic arrangements are the responsibility of the student.


Registration and Financial FAQs

The Joffrey Academy of Dance does not offer any tuition refunds, credits, or transfers for missed or cancelled classes, injury/illness, withdrawal, or dismissal from programming. By registering for classes, registrants agree that they are liable for the full amount indicated on any Joffrey Academy of Dance materials, including any fees, even in the event of the student's withdrawal or dismissal from the program before it has begun or is complete.

The Joffrey Academy of Dance does not accept cash as a form of payment.

All students participating in Joffrey Academy programming are required to complete three forms: a Medical Exam, a Medical Waiver, and a Participant Liability Waiver and Hold Harmless Agreement. Participant Liability Waiver and Hold Harmless Agreements are signed upon registration. Please see below for details regarding our Medical Exam and Medical Waiver policy. 

Medical Forms Policy

The Joffrey Academy of Dance is requiring all dancers to have a Medical Exam and Medical Waiver on file in order to participate in Joffrey Academy programming. This is for the safety of the dancer and the Joffrey Academy of Dance. Dancers who do not have all medical forms on file by their first class will be permitted to attend and observe class, however, will not be able to dance. Dancers may begin participating fully in classes once all medical forms have been submitted. Forms must have been completed and signed within 12 months of August 31 the year the dancer is registered for Joffrey Academy programming. Students who are still missing forms after three (3) weeks of being enrolled in Joffrey Academy programming will be un-registered from said programming. Forms only need to be submitted once per school year. New forms must be submitted at the start of each fall or at the time the new dancer joins the Joffrey Academy of Dance. 

A limited number of merit scholarships are available each term to students who have demonstrated professional potential. Merit scholarships are awarded by the artistic staff of The Joffrey Ballet.  

A limited amount of financial assistance is also available for students whose financial circumstances would limit their exposure to classical ballet and other dance forms. 

Students awarded scholarships or financial assistance must attend all classes assigned to their level. If an absence is unavoidable (i.e. illness, family emergency, etc.), students will need to notify the Joffrey Academy as soon as possible to excuse their absence. Scholarship and financial aid students must pay any registration fees and/or deposits, and will always strive to exemplify high moral character, a strong work ethic, and excellence in performance.

The Joffrey Academy does not currently offer a work-study program.

Scholarships are given out by our artistic team based on audition results. Scholarships cannot be requested. Financial aid is determined by the Abbott Academy Artistic Director, the Academy Managing Director, and the Student Life Manager and Registrar. Financial aid is need-based. To be considered for financial aid, families must apply.

Scholarships and financial aid are for tuition only and do not cover housing or any other fees. All scholarship and financial aid students will be required to pay the applicable registration fee for their program.

All Children’s Division classes from Toddler and Me through Ballet IB are age-based classes. Beginning at age 10, new students are required to take a trial class to determine their placement in the Children's Division, Dance Lab Program, or Pre-Professional Division. Acceptance into the Conservatory, Trainee, Studio Company, or Summer Intensive programs is by audition only. Placement in the Academy is at the sole discretion of the artistic staff and directors.

Private lessons are offered to Academy students at the discretion of the Academy artistic staff and are dependent upon regular attendance in the classes in which the student is already enrolled. Students must fill out a Student Private Lesson Request Form. The price of the lesson will include a studio rental fee as well as the Faculty member’s rate for private lessons. Faculty pricing for private lessons is at the discretion of the instructor. Please contact Reception at [email protected] for more details. 

The Adult Open Division is the only Division at the Academy of Dance that is on a drop-in basis, however, pre-registration is required for each class. Students are able to pre-register online through their account as early as 7 days in advance and up to 5 minutes before the class begins. All classes fill on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enrollment Class Series are not available for online pre-registration due to required instructor permission. Students interested in joining an enrollment class series should express interest to reception and their teacher. Once receiving permission, they may join the following week. 

Audition FAQs

Acceptance to a program does not guarantee a place in the program. Registration is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs fill quickly and capacities are limited, so we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Once the program is at capacity, students will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if a spot becomes available in the order their waitlist request was received.

Online registration prior to the day of the audition is highly encouraged, however, students are able to register online the day of their audition up until 15 minutes before the audition starts. 

Students should audition according to their age on the date of the audition – not the age they will be during the time of the summer program. Students will be considered for all summer programs that they are eligible for based solely on technique. 

Students who cannot make it to a live audition or who do not fall within the audition age groups offered may submit a video audition. Video auditions for our 2024 Audition Tour will be accepted from January 1, 2024 to February 4, 2024.

Students will be considered for all summer programs that they are eligible for based solely on technique. Students who indicate interest in year-round programs on their audition form will also be considered for those programs if eligible. Year-round programs include the Pre-Professional Division, Conservatory Program, Contemporary Ballet Trainee Program, Ballet Trainee Program, and the Joffrey Studio Company. Students interested in the Pre-Professional Division may also be considered during their time in our Summer Intensives.

Students will be accepted and placed into programs based on their audition and solely at the discretion of the artistic staff. All students can expect to receive their results sometime between February 5, 2024, and February 18, 2024. All results are final and scholarships are merit-based. If you have not received your results by the end of February, please reach out to [email protected]

Yes, the Joffrey Academy encourages families to fill out the financial aid application early even if their student has not auditioned or received an audition result. Only accepted students will be considered for financial aid.

The Joffrey Academy of Dance has a limited number of need-based financial assistance awards available to offer Summer Intensive students. Application details can be found here. A limited number of slots in each program will be reserved for Financial Aid awardees due to the timing of registration and financial aid award notification.

International Students FAQs

Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the Internet system that maintains information on nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. The fee-supported system enables schools and program sponsors to transmit information to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. This information includes status changes such as admission at Port of Entry, change of address, change in program of study, and other details.

Joffrey Academy of Dance is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. The Joffrey Academy of Dance can enroll international students with M-1 visas.

An M-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that is used by those who wish to study in the United States temporarily for vocational reasons.

Only students accepted to the Studio Company, Trainee Program, and Pre-Professional Division Levels V and VI qualify for an M-1 visa.

The Joffrey Academy will ensure that qualifying students go through the proper steps to apply for a visa, however, visa approval cannot be guaranteed.

You can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start of your intended program.

The M-1 visas are issued for specific program lengths. Students will have 30 additional days after their program ends to prepare and leave the country.

With a valid I-20 and valid I-94, a student can enter and exit the U.S. freely.

A student cannot work unless they have written permission from USCIS.

Initial Steps: Fill out the Joffrey Academy information form; Receive I-20 form from The Joffrey Academy of Dance; Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $200. Apply for a visa: Apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Schedule an Interview: Schedule an interview; Gather and prepare all documents for visa interview.

Students with questions should contact Academy Reception at [email protected].

Yes, all students are required to have health insurance while attending The Joffrey Academy of Dance. You can use a health insurance company of your choice or you can use one of our two approved insurance companies, International Student Insurance (ISI) or ISO Student Health Insurance. Quotes can be obtained at either of Joffrey Academy’s program landing pages:

ISI: https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/school_requirements/7108/Joffrey_Academy_of_Dance.html

ISO: www.isoa.org - select “International student,” type “Joffrey Academy of Dance (IL),” and select student date of birth

Students who participate in ISI plans will have access to Rush Hospital, Joffrey’s medical partner, through the United Healthcare network.

Summer Intensive FAQs

Current students who are interested in attending a Summer Intensive will need to attend an audition. Acceptance into year-round programs does not guarantee acceptance into summer programs.

Our expectation for our intensives is that students will participate in the entire program and their experience will culminate with the final presentation at the end of the program. However, we understand that the summer season can be a very busy time for families and we are willing to address this issue on a case-by-case basis. Please note that tuition must still be paid in full for all students beginning late or leaving a program early. Please contact [email protected] to request late entry or early dismissal from a program. Note that due to limited capacities on programs this year, participating students may be required to complete their entire program.

Students and families are responsible for their own transportation from the airport to the dorms and will not be greeted by Joffrey Academy staff at the airports. Chaperones will be available to supervise students only once they arrive at the dorms on the official check-in day. If you are not comfortable with your student getting a cab on their own, we suggest getting a car service. Someone from the car service will go into the airport with a sign of your student’s name, and safely escort them to the car, help with baggage, and drive them to their location. Car services can be booked in advance.

Transportation from the airports to downtown Chicago can be arranged by CTA trains and buses, cabs, or car services. Cabs are available curbside at either Midway or O’Hare International Airports. Car services can be prearranged by parents/guardians for students traveling alone to Chicago. CTA train maps and schedules can be found by visiting: transitchicago.com

Students should be prepared for all classes on the first day. They should have their tights and leotard, ballet shoes and pointe shoes (if applicable), jazz and character shoes (if applicable), and any warm-ups they would like to have with them. The Joffrey Academy recommends that each student bring a water bottle and nut-free snacks. All students will either need to pack a lunch (with an ice pack) or students ages 15+ have the option to purchase lunch locally (students ages 15-17 must have a signed Liability Waiver and travel in groups of 3). For a complete recommended packing list, please refer to the Orientation Packet that is emailed prior to arrival.

Students are divided in to groups with other students of similar age and skill level. The skill level of each group may vary each year depending on overall level and experience of the students attending the program. All Summer Intensive group placements are determined by the Academy Artistic Team and Faculty and are final. Artistic staff and faculty do not discuss placement decisions with students or parents/guardians.

Please note that this does not apply to the Junior Summer Intensive levels I and II.

Injured students should observe class unless they are unable to do so. For students staying in the dorms, there will be a chaperone stationed there to stay with sick/injured students. If students are unable to get to class, students must call our Attendance Hotline at 312.784.4698. Failure to notify us of an absence may lead to a strike being issued against the student. Students who will be late to class or leave class early must inform the Academy. Late arrivals and early dismissals can be reported to Reception at 312.784.4600 or [email protected]

Students with injuries should speak with their instructor, chaperone (if applicable), and Academy administrative staff so they are informed of any restrictions. 

The Joffrey Academy maintains a “three strikes” policy during summer intensive programs. Any misconduct will be counted as a strike and an incident report will be completed to record each rule violation. When a student receives their second strike, families will be contacted and teachers will be informed. A student who has three strikes will be dismissed from the program without a refund. 

Due to the number of students and faculty involved for our Summer Intensive programs, no written evaluations will be issued for the Summer Intensives. Summer Intensive faculty evaluates students on a continual basis throughout the program and offer corrections as needed during classes. 

An audition class will be held for year-round programs during select intensives. Students who are interested in becoming a Joffrey Academy student during the year should attend this audition. Students whose intensive does not include an audition class should speak to Academy Reception about their interest in our year-round programs.

The Advanced Summer Intensive - 5 Week, Advanced Summer Intensive - 3 Week, and Junior Summer Intensive - 3 Week offer housing options where students will be supervised by Joffrey Chaperones. Housing includes chaperone supervision and breakfast and dinner each day.

Joffrey chaperones are required to be with their students at all times outside of Joffrey Tower with the exception of students age 15 and up with signed liability waivers. Students and chaperones will be expected to get to and from class as a group. Joffrey chaperones are also responsible for acting as role models and mentors to their students and maintaining an open door policy to help address all student concerns. Chaperones and Joffrey Academy staff are in communication on a daily basis about students. 

Students over the age of 18 are not required to be with a chaperone at all times. However, students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by their chaperones and the dormitory. Students who are 18 and over who violate any of these rules will be issued a strike as outlined in the discipline policy.

This form allows dorm students between the ages of 15 and 17 to be off campus without the supervision of a chaperone by permission of their guardian, however, students with a signed liability form must still abide by the rules:

Students must be in a group of 3 or more any time they are off campus Students must check in and out with Chaperones when they will be leaving campus Students must provide Chaperones exact details of where they will be going, who they are going with, and when they will return Students must return by building curfew (9pm Sunday-Thursday, 10pm Friday and Saturday) and be checked in with a Chaperone Students may only go up to 20 minutes walking distance of the dorms or Joffrey Tower. Under no circumstance are students to use public transportation unless accompanied by a Joffrey Chaperone. Should a student engage in any illegal activity while off campus, it is grounds for their dismissal from the program. No refund or compensation will be made for early dismissal and any costs incurred through dismissal will be the responsibility of the student/parents.

Check-in is the Sunday before the program starts, and check-out is the Saturday after the program ends. The exact times of check-in and check-out will be emailed to students after registration. Students can also check-out on the Friday night after the final presentation. Joffrey Academy staff, chaperones, and dorm housing staff are not responsible for students or their luggage who arrive early to check-in for the dorms.

Students residing at University Center must live in a shared bedroom with one roommate. A bathroom is shared among two rooms, for four students total.  There are no single rooms available for Summer Intensive students. Students wishing to reside alone must secure housing on their own, and will not be supervised by a chaperone. 

Students will be placed in suites/rooms based on program, age, and gender. Students will be placed with other students in their same program who are the same age or close in age.

Students can request roommates during registration. Both students must request each other as roommates in order for a request to be accepted. The Joffrey Academy will try to accommodate these requests, but they are not guaranteed. 

Yes, students may receive mail at University Center as early as move-in day. Pre-move-in packages will not be accepted or guaranteed. Room numbers will be assigned and provided prior to move-in day. Please address envelopes or packages as:

Attn: University Center525 S. State Street Chicago, IL 60605  

Yes. Students interested in attending a religious service on the weekend should let their chaperone know at the beginning of the program. If possible, chaperones will arrange a drop-off and pick-up time or accompany the student to the services depending on the situation.