The ZDT Company Experience:

About the Summer Trainee Program

ZDT is a project based professional company that offers a unique career oriented educational program for advanced preprofessional dancers ages 17 - 24. The company’s trainees are selected annually through an audition process to participate in a three-week integrated company experience during the summer, culminating in a performance at the New Century Dance Project Festival. In 2024, the ZDT Company Summer Residency, Trainee Company Experience, and NCDP festival will once again take place in beautiful Santa Fe, NM.

Through this uniquely curated experience, dancers discover a stronger sense of self, and develop an understanding of the distinct philosophy and approach of ZDT through working closely with Artistic Directors Francisco Gella and Yusha-Marie Sorzano, and other guest artists invited to participate. Vitally, this intimate program inspires a greater connection to the dance world within each young artist’s professional journey.

Dancers selected to be Zeitgeist Trainees are offered an immersive company experience encompassing both training and performance designed to play a significant role in their preparation for a future professional performance career. The Trainee’s schedule will run parallel to that of the professional dancers and apprentices. ZDT artistic directors will be working with all dancers – professionals, apprentices and trainees - to create a cohesive team experience and environment. 

Our Commitment to Recruiting a Diverse Group of Trainees
and Creating a Community of Belonging

Bringing together students from diverse cultures, countries, and backgrounds creates the richest possible environment for learning and cultivates an artistic setting for the most innovative and powerful dance making. ZDT makes every effort to bring together young artists representing the world in which we live, taking into account gender, age, ethnicity and race, and internationalism, geographic origins such as urbanism and ruralism; socioeconomic background; sexual orientation and gender identity; religious beliefs; and political points of view. 

Equally important, our staff foster a community that lives out an active commitment to respecting our differences and each dancer’s authenticity and individuality. We nurture an atmosphere that binds us together as human beings through recognizing our shared intrinsic value, where every dancer feels dignity, respect, and a sense of belonging from other members of the community.  

Auditioning for Summer 2024 

*Deadline: February 19 

The ZDT Trainee Company will consist of up to 40 dancers ages 17 - 24. 

Eligibility to Audition:

  • Must be at least age 17 (at the time of the program’s start in July) or for college students through the final year in a BFA/BA Dance Program at the time of auditioning.
  • Dancers up to age 24 who have graduated from high school who are not in college but are actively training may audition.
  • Pursuing a professional dance performance career
  • International dancers are strongly encouraged to audition along with dancers from the United States.
  • Must be available from July 13 - August 4.
  • Demonstrated maturity and respect for others to thrive in an intense environment where dancers will live and work together 24/7.

Audition Requirements:

  • A video introduction showing a brief close-up shot of your face, from the shoulders up. Clearly state your full name; preferred pronouns; current city; state, region, province; country of residence; your age and level in HS or College, and your home studio/school/conservatory/college or university that provides your current primary training and education.
  • An improv video no more than 60 seconds in length. Must have been filmed no earlier than September 1, 2023
  • A video no more than 60 seconds that demonstrates a center tendu exercise, an adagio, and a petite allegro or small jump combination.
  • All three video sections must be edited into one video, uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo so that you can share the link with your submission.
  • Clothing you are wearing for videos should be form-fitting enough to see your lines clearly.
  • A one-page personal statement (may not be longer than one page) that addresses your career interests and goals, how the ZDT Company Experience will contribute to helping you get there, and what you will uniquely contribute to building this year’s Trainee community. 


  • Your materials must be submitted online through the link provided here no later than Monday, February 19
  • All Trainee candidates will be notified of decisions no later than March 21

For more information, please email

Summer 2024 Program Details

July 13 - August 4
Santa Fe, NM

What Should I Expect?

  • A daily schedule that will include company classes every morning.
  • Learning choreography rep in the afternoon/evening.
  • Seminars on career and professional dance topics.
  • Mentor relationships with the artistic,educational, and residential directors.
  • Performing world-premiere work at the New Century Dance Project (NCDP) Festival.
  • Classes and workshops with choreographers and teaching artists through full participation in the NCDP choreography and performance intensive from Monday through Sunday of the third week.
  • Acquisition of skills and experience, and photographic/video footage for college admission and/or professional company auditions.
  • Learning the pace, structure and flow of professional company life through an extended immersive experience.
    An intensive 24/7 living/learning environment requiring a commitment to getting along with people who are different then yourself.


Advanced dancers ages 17-22. At least five years of classical ballet training, modern, and contemporary, with cross-training in other styles preferred. Strong interest in pursuing a professional performance career required. Curiosity and interest in applying and integrating diverse styles of dance and other art forms desired.

Tuition / Lodging

  • Tuition for 22 days (includes New Century Dance Project Festival fees): $2,595
  • Room & Board: $2,095

Equity Scholarship Fund

A limited amount of full and partial scholarship assistance will be offered to trainees with the highest amount of demonstrated financial need. Optional application is included in your audition submission. You’ll need a detailed letter outlining your current financial situation with an explanation of why you can’t attend without support. Awards will be made at the same time decision letters are sent.

Attendance Requirements

Dancers must be initially available and willing to commit to rehearsals and performances in-person from July 15 - August 6. Dancers will be expected to arrive in New Mexico on Saturday, July 15 and leave after 5pm on Sunday, August 6.


Click here to audition or please email if you have any questions.

The Summer 2023 Trainees

Jaelyn Beltram

Las Vegas, NV

Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and Las Vegas Academy of The Arts

Faith Bender

Severna Park, MD

Montclair State University

Sophie Biederman

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico

Bianca Calderon

San José/Pittsburgh, Costa Rica/PA

Point Park University

Alyanna Carriedo

Coral Gables, FL

New World School of the Arts and Miami Dance Project

Annika Davis

Manhattan, NY

Joffrey Ballet School

Christian De Jesus

Las vegas, NV

Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre

Ellery Donlon

Chandler, AZ

The School of Ballet Arizona and Arizona School for the Arts

Zuzu Duchon

Newport Beach, CA

Project 21 and Yorba Linda Academy of Ballet

Georgia Ehrlich

Los Angeles, CA

The Company and Archer School for Girls

Julia Farrell

Cincinnati, OH

Rapture Dance Company

Paige Finley

Chicago, IL

The Ailey School and Fordham University

Elena García

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico

Jadie Gonzales

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico

Audry Gonzalez-Rutt

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico

Zora Griffin Todd

Phoenix, AZ

Club Dance Studio and Ballet Etudes

Shea Hancock

Stockton, CA

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance 

Cydney Heard

Las Vegas, NV

Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre

Roselana Hermoso

Valencia/Tampa, Venezuela/FL

Howard W. Blake High School for the Arts

Lilia Holladay

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico

William Huguet

Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts and Jean Leigh Academy of Dance

Benjamin Jones

Albuquerque, NM

Sandra’s School of Dance, Public Academy for Performing Arts

Jasmine King

Elk Grove, CA

Elite Studio of Dance

Sage Kowalkowski

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

University of California, San Diego

Alissa Magno

Waipahu, HI

Punahou Dance School

Juliette Martinez

Laguna Hills, CA


David McCool

Warner Robins, GA

Studio Powers

Holly McDowd

Lake Oswego, OR

Elevate Dance Academy

Kiley Nomura

Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Ballet Theatre

Orlando Paz

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

Sienna Pearson

San Diego, CA

Coronado School of the Arts and Aspire Dance Company 

Camila Perez

Miami, FL

New World School of the Arts and Miami Dance Project. 

Selah Piett

Newark, NJ

Montclair State University

Michaela Ramirez

Los Ángeles, CA

Los Ángeles County High School for the Arts and Debbie Allen Dance Academy

Aidan Robbins

Boston, MA

Boston Conservatory

Autumn Rodrigue

Miami, FL

Korea National University of Arts and Cal Arts

Julian Rodriguez

Phoenix, AZ

Ascend Dance Academy

Brooke Sahawneh

Kingman, AZ

CLI Conservatory

Addyson Smith

Woodland Hills, CA

Elite Dance Center

Aubrie Stoehr

Temecula, CA

Murrieta Dance Project 

Noelani Van Loon

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico School for the Arts and National Dance Institute New Mexico  

Dayanara Vega

Hillsboro, OR

MVP Dance Elite and Arts and Communications Magnet Academy