Photo: Kyle London       

Summer Intensive | State Street Ballet

State Street Ballet: Training

Summer Intensive

June 25 – July 20, 2018 in Santa Barbara, CA

State Street Ballet’s Summer Intensive is for serious ballet students ages 12-21. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, pas de deux, modern, jazz, character, and strength-building. We provide students with the opportunity to learn and perform excellent choreography, which ranges from classical to contemporary in style. The artistry of dance is expressed through choreography, and we place a strong emphasis on its value. Our Summer Intensive Program culminates in a fully staged performance that friends and families can attend on Friday July 20, 2018.

Location and Housing

Classes are held at our home studio, The Gail Towbes Center for Dance, conveniently located in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara. With over 10,000 square feet of studio space and state-of-the-art suspended floors, this is the perfect place to refine and enhance dance technique and artistry. Located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and backed by magnificent mountains, Santa Barbara is safe and easy to get around.

Accommodations for Summer Intensive participants are available at the University of California at Santa Barbara, a short bus ride from our studio. Students may stay in dormitory suites, with bedding and towels available. These accommodations include supervision, meals and transportation. Students may also seek their own housing arrangements.


Tuition for the four-week course is $1975 and the cost for housing and meals is $2375.

A limited number of merit scholarships will be available, and discounted rates will be applied to student chaperones (ages 19 and over).

How to Audition

Attend one of the open auditions shown in the audition schedule below. Download the application form (see below), fill it out, and bring it to the audition along with a headshot, dance photo in first arabesque, and $20 (cash only) for audition fee.

Download the Application Form

Summer Intensive and Professional Track Audition Form (pdf)

See Audition Schedule 


Rodney Gustafson is a Founder of State Street Ballet, and has been the Artistic Director for over 23 years. He is a former member of American Ballet Theatre, and has worked closely with Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, and many others. He was the director of the ABT Summer Intensive Program in Austin, Texas, and is an ABT-certified teacher at the highest level. Mr. Gustafson also has an MA in Business Administration.

Megan Philipp graduated from Butler University with a BA in Dance Pedagogy and after a career as a freelance artist in New York graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Dance Education with a focus in ABT Ballet Pedagogy. Prior to being State Street Ballet's Director of Education, Mrs. Philipp was the Faculty and Curriculum Coordinator for the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago.

Drew Sandbulte graduated from the Perpich Center Arts High School in Minneapolis and studied at Juilliard, where he performed works by renowned choreographers such as Jiři Kylián. Drew was featured on the Ovation network in the documentary series “Dance School: Juilliard”. Upon receiving his BFA, he went on to dance for Montreal’s Les Ballets Jazz and Ez Danza. He currently teaches dance at New World School of the Arts in Miami. Drew is also a licensed Massage Therapist.

Marina Fliagina was born in Russia and graduated from Perm State College of Choreography. She has performed roles in all of the famous classical ballets and has toured internationally with the Russian Imperial Ballet, and the Moscow Festival Ballet. She joined State Street Ballet as a principal dancer, and in 2001 she was promoted to Ballet Master. She has choreographed several ballets for the company and been a teacher for the Summer Intensive Program for several years.

Gary McKenzie is one of the founding dancers of State Street Ballet, and currently a Ballet Master with the company. He has choreographed ballets for numerous companies, including State Street Ballet. Mr. McKenzie received his training in part at the Harkness House in New York, and danced professionally with Ballet Florida, Santa Barbara Ballet and San Diego Ballet.

Autumn Eckman received her classical training from the Houston Ballet Academy and Atlanta Ballet. She is a former member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, and State Street Ballet. Autumn has created original works for many contemporary and classical dance companies nationwide, and in 2014 she was State Street Ballet’s Artist-in-Residence, creating a reimagined version of Scheherazade. In 2017 she received her MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, and is now currently on the dance faculty at the University of Arizona.

Special Guest Faculty

Monique Meunier trained at the School of American Ballet and rose through the ranks to Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet. She has also danced with American Ballet Theatre and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, staged Balanchine repertoire for the Balanchine Trust, served as Ballet Master for the Washington Ballet, and is a permanent adjudicator for Youth America Grand Prix. She is currently on the dance faculty at the University of California – Santa Barbara.

Contact Information

State Street Ballet
2285 Las Positas Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Telephone: 805 845 1432