About the SF Ballet Trainee Program: Established in 2004, the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program is comprised of students ranging in age from 16-19 who hail from across the globe. Perspective Trainees are chosen from the School's most advanced level classes by SF Ballet School Director Helgi Tomasson and Associate Director Lola de Avila. The goal of this pre-professional program is to help ease the dancers' transition from the studio classroom to the professional stage. Trainees participate in technique classes taught by Trainee Program Principal Patrick Armand, Tomasson, de Avila, School Faculty and Company Artists. Trainees also have the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own works as well as rehearsing with established choreographers and performing classical and contemporary works from the SF Ballet's repertory. On average, Trainees present twelve performances a year throughout the Bay Area and participate in the annual SF Ballet School Student Showcase, performing works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, August Bournonville, and Marius Petipa. When appropriate, Trainees are involved in Company productions such as Tomasson's Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as Balanchine's Symphony in C, among others. After graduating from the Program, Trainees go on to join San Francisco Ballet as well as many other renowned companies including the Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.