Apprenticeship Program

“I’m so very grateful for my apprenticeship with SDW. Immersive, challenging, and truly rewarding. It contributed not only to my exploration of ShaLeigh’s work, but ultimately to the exploration of my own work as well.” – Michael Rank, 2019

“The SDW Apprenticeship made a life-changing impact on the way I view myself, dance, and its role in the community. I’m so thankful for the opportunities afforded to me by the SDW family – it was a truly magical experience.” – Drake Parrott, 2019

I recommend this program to others! It was a meaningful experience to use ShaGa to create movement that we shared and learned from each other. It was a journey of inner connecting with energies around and through you.” – Sara Adams, 2019

SDW is pleased to open our Apprenticeship Program for aspiring professionals who have significant interest in ShaGa and the Company’s mission to create dance-theatre work for social change and engagement programs with positive impact on the lives of others. 

The 6 week period of study is divided into various sections that share a constant movement research, full of searching and discovery. The flexible schedule allows for students to continue their daily lives and offers a reasonable commitment of 3 – 8 hours a week. 

The study will be done in an intimate group of no more than 4 apprentices, enabling personal dialogue and direction by ShaLeigh Comerford. 


  • Company Classes
  • Rehearsals
  • Engagement Programs
  • ShaGa Community Classes
  • Performance Opportunities
  • Mentorship

The training period is completed in 6 weeks. 


Our 6 week Apprenticeship Program aims to provide selected apprentices with training opportunities in ShaGa, artistic development through performance, and to expand growth potential with SDW. A clear schedule is designed to be attentive and sensitive to the individual needs of each dancer, and for the Artistic Director to provide 6 weeks of assistance and help that addresses each individual’s artistic growth. The Apprenticeship Program believes in research, creativity, and extensive knowledge. The program educates dancers to develop a high level of skill, curiosity, continual research, and a deep commitment to empowering marginalized communities through dance. The company’s principles are built on truth and honesty, curiosity, patience, sensitivity, listening, and constant renewal. These principles constitute the foundations of the program.

The program trains dancers according to the highest standards of excellence and cultivates an atmosphere for movers to develop themselves and enhance their talents. The program also aims to support its students after their training period.  

The program asks each dancer to develop in a unique way and honors that everyone is different and every body moves differently. The training strives to preserve the uniqueness of each dancer and to allow each student to develop their own voice as a mover through in-depth training and a deeper understanding of ShaGa. 

The program commits to providing its apprentices with a comfortable, respectful working environment and a pleasant, challenging atmosphere for learning. The program is designed to be attentive and sensitive to the individual needs of each dancer and provides assistance and help that addresses each individual’s needs and personal goals.


  • A keen interest in the ShaGa movement language
  • An interest in dance as a form of advocacy for positive social change
  • Significant prior movement training
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Must be at least 18 years old


  • Submit Application by clicking Here
  • Submit $25 Application Fee and Letter of Recommendation as described in application
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for a Personal phone interview with ShaLeigh Comerford 


  • Dedicated Personal Daily Practice of ShaGa
  • Completion of 3 ShaGa Community Classes
  • Completion of 12 ShaGa Movers Classes
  • Agreement to perform solely under SDW during the 6 week program
  • Attendance at all scheduled performances


Apprenticeship: $300 USD

Tuition is due 2 weeks before the start date of the Apprenticeship. Full and Partial Scholarships are available. See below for the scholarship application process. 


Applicants must follow the admission process listed above and include a Request for Scholarship essay stating financial need, why this opportunity is meaningful to you, and how you feel it will impact your career. Please also indicate if you are aiming for a company position and how you plan to integrate your experience after the apprenticeship period ends. This option is available through the application link above under Admission Process.

Full scholarships and application fee waivers are available to qualifying individuals who identify as queer, transgender, non-binary and/or intersex, Black, Indigenous, and other LGBTQI+ people of color (QTIBIPOC) as well as people who have disabilities.


Fall: August 15th at 11:59pm.

Winter: December 15th at 11:59pm

Spring: March 15th at 11:59pm


Successful apprentices will receive an official ShaLeigh Dance Works Apprenticeship certificate. Apprentices can expect to remain a part of the SDW Family through our private WhatsApp channel to receive exclusive invitations and opportunities to participate at community performances, events, and engagements.