Thanks for the page @DroidsLookingFor.
@dancingboy26 – I think you have been given some good advice here!
A few thoughts to add:
SPS – would be my personal first choice if you want intense academics + very high quality ballet (not quite a true pre-pro, but in that ballpark). You might well go from intermediate to advanced if you go to SPS. (low admit rate though).
Walnut Hill – A little over a year ago, Boston Ballet took over the Walnut Hill dance program, making it a true pre-pro. An intermediate dance would not likely be admitted. (Caveat: maybe for a talented male dancer with potential it would be a possibility? I know several advanced female dancers who did not.). Academics would be much less intense than at SPS.
Interlochen – I have heard mixed reviews on the dance program, but also some really good things. (perhaps less raving reviews on the ballet front, but again – very anecdotal). But, if you aren’t planning on making ballet your career, does it really matter if the school isn’t giving you the training to go pro? I think it would be really cool to go to an Arts Boarding school like interlocken where you interface with artists of all sorts.
UNCSA – University of North Carolina School of the Arts has 2 dance programs at the HS level – a ballet and a contemporary program. Very well regarded, and I’ve know many dancers who have loved it there. (Bonus: it is very affordable!). Not sure if it’s “too serious” for your goals? But it’s definitely a great option.
Deerfield – we thought the dance program at Deerfield looked like a really solid program – probably the best “non-pro” dance program we saw when we toured a couple of years ago. (Note: I was touring with a different daughter, NOT my dancer, so I asked casually about the dance program but didn’t dig super deep.). Intense academics and low admit rates. But I think if Deerfield is a school you love, you could definitely keep up your dance in a variety of ways. (As @Golfgr8 has described. @AnonMomof2 also has a dancer there.)
Andover – another low-admit high intensity school with a solid dance program. I’ve seen a number of excellent dancers go through Andover! (again, it was a different daughter who visited Andover, so didn’t dig deep.). (I have too many kids. Correct.)
I have 2 daughters at Mercersburg and never visited before becoming a family (covid times and other logistics), so I have not yet seen the dance facilities or explored the dance faculty or program. However, it is supposed to be fantastic, and if it’s half as exciting as what I’ve seen on the theatre/performing arts front, well I believe it. Also, there is so much about Mercersburg that I love that there is no question that I would put it high on my list of schools to check out if I had a dancer looking for a boarding school.
Oh Loomis! We did tour 2 years ago but I don’t know that I remember details about their dance program. It supposed to be good. So worth checking out too! Academics probably a notch less stressful than Andover/Deerfield.
Choate – I know nothing. We did tour 2 years ago, but I have no info on the dance program.
Hope that helps a tiny bit?
ps. I just realized you said you wanted “lesser known” schools for dance. Of course, most of what I mentioned would not be lesser known. Maybe Mercersburg would be.