Grand Jeté

This year’s program in Toronto has been cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and health/safety concerns. We look forward to bringing this program to Toronto in the Summer of 2021. If you have any questions, please email Thank you for your understanding.

The Preseason Ballet Immersive
with Francisco Gella & Gerard McIsaac

~ August 20-23, 2020 ~

Watch this video to learn more about Grand Jeté from its co-directors, Francisco Gella and Gerard McIsaac


Ticket Type Price Cart
Grand Jeté 2020: Teacher Observation and Development Program $195.00 USD $165.00 USD

Select options

  • Early bird pricing ends March 31, 2020.
  • If enrolling with a 50% deposit, the balance is due prior to July 15, 2020.
  • Any studio or conservatory with 10 or more dancers attending, is eligible for a group rate discount. Please contact us in the chatbox below or email us to make arrangements.


For Dancers ages 9 – 22

Please see Petit Jeté Ballet Club below for details about dancers ages 6 – 8.

  • Dancers ages 9-12 must have a minimum of 2 years of ballet training with at least 2 classes per week.
  • Dancers ages 13 and up must have at least 3 years of ballet training with at least 2 ballet classes per week. 
  • All students must understand at least basic ballet vocabulary. 
  • Any dancer who has the passion and drive to improve! Any dancer who wants to take their training to the next level.
  • Any dancer who enjoys collaboration, connection challenges, and an exhilarating dance experience!
  • You do not need to consider yourself as primarily a ‘ballet dancer.’ We are looking for dancers with primary strength in a variety of genres, but who all value the important role of ballet in their training.


Teachers who are involved in a dancer’s training experience at an intensive are able to better integrate learning that takes place outside of the studio within their own classes and curriculum. In this spirit we are offering a program at Grand Jeté and Petit Jete for teachers to take part in observing classes throughout the four days. We will begin with a luncheon hosted by the artistic directors on the first day to discuss the curricular philosophy for the program and discuss what will be taking place.  Teachers will be able to choose any of the classes they would like to attend on any of the four days. Midway through the four days, we will arrange for teachers to connect with each other by hosting a guided discussion on their own challenges and opportunities as educators. Lastly, the directors will reconvene with the teachers on the last day to debrief on the Grand Jeté experience, with a particular focus on next steps for continued student progress. We invite you to join our community of learners!  


A limited amount of scholarships are available for especially deserving dancers. Scholarships will be allocated according to the combined consideration of both merit and financial need. Decisions on scholarships will be made on a rolling basis and a limited amount of scholarship awards will be offered, so it is best to apply early. Please click HERE to learn more about this opportunity and to apply.


2/1 –  Early Deadline for Summer Programs

1st round review and priority in awarding scholarships

5/1 –  Late Deadline for Summer Programs

2nd round review and awarded from any remaining scholarship funds


As the name of the program indicates, our exceptional faculty will be closely guiding you for four exciting days to take a ‘Big Leap’ in your training, education, and understanding of your future possibilities as a dancer. This one-of-a-kind collaboration between American Francisco Gella and Canadian Gerard McIsaac, two widely-respected former professional dancers who come from similar, yet diverse dance backgrounds, will motivate and inspire you for the whole dance season to come! Having both been grounded in excellent technical and artistic training, these two renowned master teachers understand the value of instructors who focus on much more than just technique and steps. Without the mentorship they received from those who trained and educated them as young students, they wouldn’t be where they are today. They are ready to share with you all of the lessons and wisdom that helped them succeed – the same way that others did for them.

With a diverse collective of talented dancers from Canada and beyond, you’ll find yourself in a safe and artistically stimulating space at Grand Jeté! The beginning of a new dance season is an ideal time to evaluate where you are in your dance training and education, where you’d like to be by the end of the year, and to set clear goals to get there. Although the program is not for beginners, you don’t need to be at an advanced level to participate. If you are hungry to learn, willing to take goal-driven risks, and want more for yourself, we want you to join us. As a community of dancers, we will travel together to the next level. With the unique ability of Francisco and Gerard to accelerate your learning curve through their highly inspirational and motivational teaching style, you’ll look at yourself differently, with a new level of confidence and belief in your own potential. 

Grand Jeté! is more than an intensive. We call it an immersive. Here’s why: you’ll take a deep dive into the technical and artistic elements of dance, and, for four days, you’ll live and breathe it with a teaching faculty, and other dancers, who love it as much as you do.

We have designed the experience to be different than any other program. Although Francisco and Gerard are known for their mastery of ballet, they are so much more than just ballet technique, and so is Grand Jeté. To be sure, you’ll find the curriculum to be grounded in leading-edge ballet training as well as other techniques, such as modern and jazz. But as the hours and days progress, you’ll be challenged in additional classes and workshops, which will explore how to take your training into learning and performing choreography, and in developing your own artistic voice. You’ll learn original new choreography, and repertory previously performed by dance companies. In every stage of the curriculum, you’ll be coached and mentored by an experienced and knowledgeable faculty who are committed to your personal growth. By the end of the immersive, we are sure that you’ll be inspired to continue learning, and to be challenged throughout the year ahead. And, you might just decide to make this your lifetime calling!


  • The importance of the transition from barre work into centre practice in ballet class.
  • Self-care of your body, mind, and spirit through preparation before class, wind-down after class, injury prevention strategies, mindfulness activities outside of class, and learning to listen to your body.
  • The vital role of musicality in strong performance quality, and in all aspects of technical training.
  • Conditioning your body properly with leading-edge exercises designed to improve core strength and endurance in class and on-stage.
  • The role of ballet training in developing strength, flexibility, and attention to detail in performance.
  • How to fully use and draw upon your technique in executing choreography efficiently, effectively, and organically.
  • Nurturing your own unique artistic voice through developing courage, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.
  • Current ballet strategies and tools to improve pirouettes, dynamic arabesque and developpé lines, adagio to allegro transitions – to name just a few.
  • Preplanning strategies for those who are considering a career in dance, or already know that they want to have a long and successful career.
  • How to enjoy the process of becoming a strong technical dancer, while honoring the innate challenges and crucial work involved. 
  • The proper mechanics and technique of partnering and group work. 
  • New original choreography and existing repertoire from professional companies. 
  • Classic jazz techniques and styles, and modern dance techniques, which are the foundation for much of what we call contemporary dance.
  • The value of learning in a non-competitive, challenging, safe, and invigorating environment. 
  • The usefulness of setting technical, artistic, and personal goals on a daily, weekly, and long-term basis to steadily progress your development.
  • How to become empowered to make smart choices for your training and educational journey that are aligned with your personal goals and aspirations.


  • Classes will include ballet (classical and contemporary), stretching and conditioning, modern, contemporary, improv, jazz, pilates, and more.
  • Workshops will also include topics based on professional dance career preparation and success, as well as self-care of the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Time will be set aside to learn and explore choreography for the purposes of applying what is being learned in class.


  • Students will take classes with those in their age groups, and broken down as follows:
    • With total enrollment under 120 students, groupings will be ages 9-13 and 14-22.
    • With enrollment exceeding 120 students, groupings will be ages 9-11, 12-14, and 15-22.


  • On day one, which is Thursday, August 20, check-in will start at 8:00am.
  • Orientation will begin at 9:00am with students and their parents, then we jump into classes from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • Days two and three will begin at 9:00am and end at 7:00pm. 
  • Day four, the final day, will begin at 9:00am and will end by 8:30pm.
  • A closing presentation for students’ families, which will include a showcase of choreography and classwork, will begin at 7:00pm.
  • A full schedule of all the exciting activities, including post-class group outings and get-togethers, will be posted here closer to the date of the event!


The Petit Jeté program will definitely bring out the “ballet-best” in your dancer!

It is common dance knowledge that ballet training is the technical root for many other dance genres. Therefore, we feel it is critically important to pass on to our Petit Jeté dancers The Foundations of Classical Dance – within a positive, nurturing, and fun environment! 

Program objectives will primarily center around ballet education, technical form, and creative self-expression. And with Francisco and Gerard involved, there will definitely be a strong emphasis on bringing out the FUN in ‘FUN’DAMENTALS! For all our Peit Jeté dancers out there, this promises to be an exciting immersive experience. 


Our main learning objectives for the Petit Jeté Ballet Club dancers are clear: To provide inspired ballet-based education, artistically enjoyable classes, and to jump-start the early stages of development of our talented dance tykes  – as this is where it all begins!

Francisco and Gerard are well known for inspiring our younger generation – many have grown up in dance and continue to be inspired by these master mentors, even years later. We want your child to take ballet class, as well as classes in other genres, in a setting that motivates them to continue learning throughout the year!


  • Any dancer ages 6 – 8. 
  • A passion for technical information and creative self-expression!
  • Petit dancers should ideally have a minimum of one year of ballet training, with at least one class per week. All petits should ideally recognize basic ballet vocabulary appropriate to their age range. However, this is not a requirement to join this awesome club! 
  • Any Petit who wants to participate in a program geared towards their technical advancement while enhancing their joy of ballet!


  • Keeping in mind the Petit Jeté age range, classes will take place from August 21-23, from 9:00am – 1:00pm. This way you may enjoy the rest of your day with your child as you see fit.
  • Age-appropriate, ballet-based classes focusing on form and technique, musicality, pirouettés, and allegro, to name but a few highlights.
  • Other dance genres will also be explored during this three-day immersive experience.
  • Our Petit Jetés will also have the opportunity to learn a short ballet-based choreography as an augmentation to their program, and will have the chance to perform this for their families on their final day, from 12:00pm – 1:00pm, in one of the beautiful and spacious studios at Canada’s National Ballet School! 
  • A full schedule of Petit Jeté activities will be posted here closer to the date of the event.




Teaching:  Classical and Contemporary Ballet, Stretch and Conditioning, Modern Dance, Improvisation Techniques

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, ChoreographerImprov

Francisco Gella’s distinguished 25-year career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely recognized dance educator, began when he took his first formal dance class at the University of Washington at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools, conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe.

Francisco’s choreographic commissions include Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet Pacifica, California Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut-Up and Dance Production, PHILADANCO’s Danco on Danco program, Laguna Dance Festival, Tucson Regional Ballet, University of Utah Ballet Ensemble, University of Washington Faculty Concert, Irvine Valley College, Ballet East, DANCO/II, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Orange County School for the Arts, and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. His commission Between the Lines, set on PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company), premiered at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and was selected by PHILADANCO’S Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown as the company’s sole performance at the opening of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in 2016.  

Among the recognition he has received includes numerous choreography awards at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition including Outstanding Choreographer, and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the 2007 National Regional Dance America Conference. In 2013, Francisco premiered Concentric Harmonies at Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles, a work that went on to receive the Grand Prize at the 2014 McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival. In 2014 and 2015, his work ‘Solstice’, performed by the Phoenix Ballet had its world premiere at the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Beijing Dance Academy and its European premiere at Poland’s prestigious Lodz International Ballet Festival. In May 2016, his work ‘Souvenirs de Mouvement’ was selected as a featured performance at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing & Visual Arts’ annual Flying Horse Gala. In 2018, Francisco’s work Timelapse, performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was selected for the gala performance at the National High School Dance Festival.  Most recently, Francisco was invited to be the resident artist at the Palm Springs Dance Festival, where he will be premiering a new work.

Francisco is the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As founder of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous educational programs: Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the New Century Dance Project (a youth dance festival), the College Prep program, and Dance 360, an online educational community that provides ongoing knowledge and support for students, parents, and teachers. Additionally, Francisco is the ballet and modern faculty member for the 24 Seven Dance Convention and founding director of ARIA Ballet Intensive produced by Break The Floor. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Francisco now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.



Teaching: Classical and Contemporary Ballet, Stretch and Conditioning, Repertoire

A double alumnus of Canada’s National Ballet School (Professional Ballet Program/Teachers Training Program for Former Pros), Mr. Gerard McIsaac is a highly regarded/accredited Professional Dance Educator/Master Class Facilitator, and one of Canada’s leaders within the dance community at large. 

His vast experience as a professional adjudicator (currently in his 20th year, at both Regional and National levels), his unique ability to inspire dancers to achieve their highest technical and performance potential is well respected and sought after.

Mr. McIsaac has taught Classical Ballet and Theatre Jazz at prestigious institutions, such as Canada’s National Ballet School, and is grateful for his continued affiliation with NBS. He is also in high demand as an Intensive/Convention facilitator for such prestigious events as the Canadian Dance Expo (Teachers/Students Experience), RAD World Convention En Avant, RAD USA Dance Challenge, Dance Masters of America, World Performers Canada, On the Floor, Rock the Rythym, Dance Quest Canada.

Mr. McIsaac is the resident ballet master for numerous competitive dance studios within the Toronto area, instructing students from ages 6-18. He also mentors Youth American Grand Prix participants, and boasts an impressive roster of private clientele under his company, Dance Direction. Mr. McIsaac also facilitates a variety of teacher-training seminars, and is thrilled to be partnering, in August/2020, with Francisco Gella (24/7, The Dance Awards, Francisco Gella Danceworks) to launch the Canadian-based Dance Immersive Project, GRAND JETÉ! – a four-day ballet immersive experience, held at Canada’s National Ballet School.

Certifications include: Diploma with Distinction from the NBS Teachers Training Program for Former Professionals (TTPPD, Dip), Mutually Recognized Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD, MRT), ballet faculty member with Dance Masters of Canada (DMC) and International Dance Teachers Association of Great Britain (IDTA) ,and Professional Adjudicators Alliance (PAA). He was also the recipient of the 2013 Carole Chadwick and 2014 Sylvie M. McPhee Awards, presented by NBS ballet faculty for Outstanding Teacher Recognition.

During his teacher’s training at NBS, Mr. McIsaac had the privilege of being mentored by renowned Ballet Masters, such as Mr. Sergiu Stefanschi, Ms. Debra Bowes, Ms. Laurel Toto (head of NBS Professional Junior Ballet Program), Ms. Teresa Randall, and Ms. Anuschka Roes (head of NBS TTP Program), among others.

Mr. McIsaac also boasts an extensive professional performance career, including Broadway musicals such as CATS and Mr. Mistoffelees (Original Can. Cast/Nat. Tour); Miss Saigon, Dragon Acrobat & Ensemble (London, Eng. – West End); Home and Away: The Musical, UK Tour; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Napthali (London, Eng. – West End); Showboat, Assistant Dance Captain/Ensemble (Toronto/US Nat. Tour/London, Eng. – West End); Beauty and the Beast, LeFou (US Nat. Tour); The Handmaid’s Tale and Death in Venice, Dance Ensemble (Canadian Opera Company); Hairspray: The Movie!, Dance Ensemble; Canadian Idol (Season 3), Ensemble; Synchronicity, Dance Ensemble (Japan Tour).

More Teaching Artists and Mentors will be announced soon!


Grand Jeté and the Petit Jeté will be held at Canada’s National Ballet School located at 400 Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto.

All classes and workshops will be held at the world-class facilities of Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, Ontario. NBS is home to one of the world’s preeminent professional ballet training programs, as well as teacher training and weekly classes for children, youth, and adults. 

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto with access to hotels, public transportation, parking, shopping, and a multitude of restaurants, the school’s large studio spaces are equipped with state of the art equipment on all levels. Throughout the course of the program, our students and faculty will have use of the entire 4th floor of studios. 

Scenic views of the city can be seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows in many parts of the building, including the classrooms, which all have a grand piano for musical accompaniment. In addition to the teaching areas, the school offers a huge gathering space, the beautiful Mona Campbell Square, on the main floor for eating and relaxing during meal times and scheduled breaks.

The inspiring and sacred atmosphere created by the facility’s architectural excellence and spacious studios creates an environment that is second to none in the world of professional dance. Just like the students in the Professional Ballet Program who call this place home, you’ll be motivated to realize your full potential and reach for your own greatness. 


We try to arrange for a limited number of discounted hotel rooms for dancers and their families traveling from a distance. You’ll want to make your reservation early since there is a limited number. Please check back closer to the program dates for more information and discount links.o.  

We suggest booking at these hotels because of their proximity to the National Ballet School of Canada. We have provided lodging options at a variety of price points. 


  • Address: 475 Yonge Street Toronto, ON M4Y 1X7
  • Phone: 1-416-977-6655
  • Walking Distance to NBS: Approximately 5 minutes.
  • General Description: Popular luxury accommodation, close to all amenities.
  • Click HERE to learn more about the hotel.


  • Address: 33 Gerrard St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z4
  • Phone: 1-416-595-1975
  • Walking Distance to NBS: Approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • General Description: Popular luxury accommodation, close to all amenities.
  • Click HERE to learn more about the hotel.


  • Address: 30 Carlton Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2E9
  • Phone: 1-877-660-8550
  • Walking Distance to NBS: Approximately 3 minutes.
  • General Description: Close to all amenities.
  • Click HERE to learn more about the hotel.


  • Address: 300 Jarvis Street Toronto, ON M5B 2C5
  • Phone: 1- 416-977-6655
  • Walking Distance to NBS: Approximately 5 minutes.
  • General Description: Close to all amenities.
  • Click HERE to learn more about the hotel.


Pearson International Airport

  • Address: 6301 Silver Dart Dr, Mississauga, ON L5P 1B2
  • Click HERE to learn more about the airport.

Transport from Pearson International Airport:

Taxi, Limo, or Uber Service

  • 45-minutes to Downtown Toronto
  • Approximately $45-$65 one-way

UP Express

  • Train Service from the airport to the downtown Toronto Union Subway Station
  • 45-minutes to Downtown Toronto
  • Approximately $15 one-way

Billy Bishop Airport

  • Toronto Island Airport, downtown Toronto
  • Address: 2 Eireann Quay, Toronto, ON M5V 1A1
  • Click HERE to learn more about the airport.

Transport from Billy Bishop Airport:

Taxi, Limo, or Uber Service

  • 45-minutes to Downtown Toronto
  • Approximately $45-$65 one-way

Billy Bishop Shuttle Bus to Downtown

  • Bus Service outside the airport to downtown Toronto
  • 20-minutes to Union Station
  • Free

CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up forty-five days prior to the start of the program.  An exception will be made for documented medical or health reasons due to an unforeseen injury or illness. For dancers with an injury or illness, 100% of the tuition will be refunded up to thirty days prior to the start of the program. If the illness or injury reported to the program director under 30 days, a 50% refund will be issued by check no more than five business days after the completion of the program and the other 50% may be used as a credit for another program in the next twelve months that is produced and owned by Francisco Gella Dance Works. In the case of any injury or illness, a documented note or letter from a licensed physician must be submitted before a refund will be considered.

Feel free to contact us in the chatbox below or email us if you have any questions.