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Diversity & Inclusion

Project Plié

Project Plié

In 2013, ABT launched the Project Plié initiative to further expand its diversity and inclusion efforts and bring greater awareness to the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the classical ballet community. Through concerted outreach efforts, ABT has identified promising young dancers, dance teachers, and emerging arts administrators of color to participate in high-quality training programs.

 

Talent has no ethnicity and no skin color,

but it needs to be discovered and nurtured.

 

ABT JKO School Children’s Division Bridge Class

The Children’s Division Bridge Class, under the direction of former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Cynthia Harvey, is a two-year program that identifies young talented dancers of color, ages 8-10, for the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The class provides a ‘bridge’ from ABT to the New York City community and also serves to identify and train talented young students with potential for careers in dance.

Classes are held weekly at the ABT studios, allowing students from the NYC area to train with ABT JKO School faculty while maintaining strong ties to the schools and/or community programs in which they are currently enrolled.

Students who train at one of our Project Plié Partner Schools are eligible to audition for this program. Students can also be nominated to audition by an ABT Certified Teacher or an ABT Teaching Artist. Those accepted into the two-year program are provided with a tuition scholarship, ABT JKO School uniform, ballet slippers, and travel assistance.

Twenty-two students participated in the inaugural ABT JKO School Children’s Division Bridge Class from 2015-2017. At the completion of year two, eleven students matriculated into the ABT JKO School Children’s Division and Pre-Professional Division for full-time study.

ABT JKO School Children's Division

Boys & Girls Club of America Partnership

Project Plié, in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of America, introduces ballet to a broad array of children by conducting educational and activity-based master classes in member clubs across the United States.

These classes serve to identify gifted children and connect them with ABT Project Plié Partner Teachers, schools or companies in their community to receive world-class training.

In 2014, the pilot program was launched in 27 Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation. Since its inception, ABT has reached 3,500 kids in 79 Boys & Girls Clubs in 35 cities across America, and introduced these children to the magic of ballet.

American Ballet Theatre thanks the following ABT National Training Curriculum Certified Teachers for participating in our national 2017 Master Class Series.

Expand to view ABT NTC Certified Teacher participants in our 2017 Master Class Series

Jamie Kilgore
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Birmingham, Alabama

José Carayol
RC Dance Center
Burbank, California

Sarah Jones
ABT William J. Gillespie School
Costa Mesa, California

Kim Maselli
California Dance Theatre
Agoura Hills, California

Dalia Rawson
The New Ballet School
San Jose, California

Robin Stuyverson
Wildwood Ballet
Tallahassee, Florida

Randee Workowski
Orlando Ballet School
Orlando, Florida

Daniela Malta Sabbath
Portland School of Ballet
Portland, Maine

Kristen Stevenson
Ballet Nouveau
Baltimore, Maryland

Karen Carberry
Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios
North Andover, Massachusetts

Karen Mills Jennings
Flint School of Performing Arts
Flint, Michigan

Olga Olson
Ballet Detroit
Detroit, Michigan

Sonia Jones
Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York

Paige Levine
Putnam Dance Center
Mahopac, New York

Charlotte Perebinossoff
Teaching Artist
New York, New York

Richard Toda
American Ballet Theatre
New York, New York

Carolyn Zettel-Augustyn
Classical School of Ballet LI
North Valley Stream, New York

Angie Wells
Brevard Ballet School
Brevard, North Carolina

Camille Izard Morris
Oakwood Ballet
Dayton, Ohio

Julie Sunderland
Cincinnati Ballet
Cincinnati, Ohio

Walker Martin
The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kari Gonthier
Ballet 180
Paoli, Pennsylvania

Lori Lahnemann
Philadelphia Dance Academy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ballet Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

Briona Richardson
Nashville Ballet
Nashville, Tennessee

Yvonne Guajardo
Dancentre of Edinburg
Edinburg, Texas

Danielle Campbell Steans
San Antonio Ballet School
San Antonio, Texas

Allison Wolsey
Wasatch Ballet Conservatory
Provo, Utah

Tara Penick
Richmond Ballet
Richmond, Virginia

Richmond Ballet
Richmond, Virginia

Sally Tierney
Just Dance
Alexandria, Virginia

Rachel Cutforth
Vibe Dance Studio
Everett, Washington

Angela Robinson
Dance Premier
Issaquah, Washington

Summer Logan
Jeslyn Performing Arts Center
Huntington, West Virginia

Teacher Training

Project Plié is a national recruitment initiative that seeks to identify teachers of color and teachers who are committed to furthering the mission of the initiative. ABT provides scholarships for ABT’s National Training Curriculum courses and materials at our United States locations.

Teachers may elect to apply themselves, or be nominated by an already ABT Certified Teacher.

To apply for a scholarship, please submit a Scholarship Application Form, cover letter, current resume, and letter of recommendation.

To nominate a teacher, please submit a Nomination Form.

National Training CurriculumScholarship Application FormNomination Form

Administrative Internships

ABT is committed to identifying, training, and supporting emerging arts administrators from underrepresented communities.

Selected Project Plié interns will be eligible to receive a scholarship so that they may travel to and live in New York City for the duration of the internship with limited financial constraint. The scholarship may include:

  • Round trip transportation
  • Housing assistance
  • A monthly MetroCard for travel

In order to apply, students must submit the ABT Intern Application form, a resume, a cover letter indicating which administrative areas of interest, a letter of recommendation, and the Project Plié Scholarship Application form, and an essay no more than one page, answering the following question: As a person of color, why do you believe diversity is important in arts administration and why are you drawn to this field?

Apply Now

Partner Companies

To increase the dialogue about diversifying America’s ballet companies, ABT has established partnerships with professional companies around the United States that have embraced the goal of diversity.

Partner Companies collaborate on the identification and development of effective strategies for working with communities of color and create a mentoring network for professional dancers and teachers of color to share information on professional opportunities.

Current partner companies include:

Contact Us

For more information regarding Project Plié, please contact us.

Contact Us