When Cooper blows Jody off after the performance and walks off with another girl ( leaving Jody standing alone by the door) the "other girl" is played by Ethan Stiefel's real-life fiancée, ballerina Gillian Murphy.
There is a subplot in which Cooper Nielson, played by Ethan Stiefel, attracts the financial support of a wealthy philanthropic benefactress. A 15 August 2004 New York Times article entitled "How Much Is That Dancer in the Program?" revealed that Stiefel has a very similar real-life sponsorship relationship with a philanthropist named Anka Palitz.
In the opening sequence there is a shot of the exterior of the fictional American Ballet Academy. The top floor with the dance studio in it was added to the top of the building with digital special effects.
The American Ballet Company does not exist. There is, however, the American Ballet Theater (ABT), where Ethan Stiefel (Cooper Nielson) was a principal dancer until 2012. He is now the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet
After Jody tells her parents she has been accepted into the ABC, her mom suggests she could still go to college, and says, "Indiana has a great dance program." Amanda Schull, who plays Jody, actually attended Indiana University for two years.
Sergei, played by Ilia Kulik, is headed for the San Francisco Ballet after his stint at the American Ballet Company. Amanda Schull, who plays Jody, actually danced with the San Francisco Ballet for several seasons.