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 - 22. 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 2023, 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 2023 

*Deadline: February 24 

The ZDT Trainee Company will consist of up to 40 dancers ages 17 - 22. 

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 22 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 15 - August 6.
  • 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, current city; state, region, province; country of residence; and your home studio/school/college that provides your primary training and education.
  • An improv video no more than 2 minutes in length. Must have been filmed no earlier than January 1, 2023.
  • A solo video no more than 2-4 minutes in length. It can be filmed in a studio or be a performance video (no competition videos allowed). Must have been filmed no earlier than January 2022. The more recent, the better.
  • 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 Friday, February 24.
  • All Trainee candidates will be notified of decisions no later than April 1.

Summer 2023 Program Details

July 15 - August 6 
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): $2495
  • Room & Board: $1950

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.

For more information, please email

The Summer 2022 Trainees

Stephanie Bell

Miami, FL

New World School of the Arts

Destinee Bouldin

Jacksonville, FL

Towson University

Jackson Bradford

Boston, MA

The Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Meredith Brown

Ashville, NC

Fordham University & Ailey School

Alyanna Carriedo

Miami, FL

New World School of the Arts

Maya Da Costa

Burnaby, British Columbia, CN

Pulse Dance Centre

Lorena Daily

Winter Park, FL

Skrya Studios

Christian De Jesus

Las Vegas, NV

Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre

Ellery Donlon

Chandler, AZ

Arizona School of the Arts

Emma Donnelly

La Jolla, CA

Danceology PAC

Fiona Dorr

Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Ballet Trainee

Grace Fields

Marco Island, FL

The Hartt School at the University of Hartford

Marissa Furfaro

Pittsburgh, PA

SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance

Kaprice Janae Glen

Chino Hills, CA

South Bay Ballet

Katie Goeltz

Hillsborough, CA

Nor Cal Dance Arts

Zora Griffin Todd

Phoenix, AZ

Club Dance

Addison Hill

Valencia, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts & Shooting Stars Dance Studio

Brooke Judge

Gilbert, AZ

Club Dance Preprofessional Company

Gabrielle Keeler

Scottsdale, AZ

Dance Connection Scottsdale

Jasmine King

Elk Grove, CA

Elite Studio of Dance

Jasmine Jade Klenotich

Palm Bay, FL

EleNoble Ballet

Brianna Lannard

Surrey, British Columbia, CN

Pulse Dance Centre & Link by Modus Operandi

Mary Luyster

Huntington, NY

Kanyok Arts Initiative

Isabella Lynch

San Diego, CA

Danceology PAC

Anastasia Miller

The Woodlands, TX

University of Arizona

Kiley Nomura

Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Ballet Theatre

Jayla Paredes

Plainfield, NJ

Eastside Dance Project

Georgia Robinson

Calgary, Alberta, CN

YYC Dance Project & Alberta Ballet School

Autumn Rodrique

Santa Clarita, CA

California Institute of the Arts

Gabriel Salazar

Santa Clarita, CA

California Institute of the Arts

Addyson Smith

Calabasas, CA

Elite Dance Center

Aubrie Stohr

Temecula, CA

Murrieta Dance Project

Alexander Thomas

Greenacres, FL

USC Kaufman School of Dance

Dayanara Vega

Hillsboro, OR

Elevate Dance Academy & Lines Dance Academy

Joey Vice

Westerville, OH

Generations Performing Arts Center

Braden Ward

Austin, TX

Dance Institute

Shana Winer

Miami, FL

Miami Dance Collective

Lana Zecchino

Verona, NJ

Kanyok Arts Initiative