Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
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Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
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About ABT Student Examinations

In May 2006, the United States Congress officially acknowledged American Ballet Theatre as America’s National Ballet Company┬«. With this honor, ABT is committed to taking a leadership role in dance training in the United States and created the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Studies have shown that ballet training can have astonishing benefits for students, benefits that will stay with them throughout their lives, such as: improved proprioception, coordination, posture and cardiovascular health; as well as discipline and realization of the importance of fulfilling commitments and team-work. Other benefits include self-esteem, communication skills, cultural enrichment and better cognitive abilities, including reading and mathematics.    

To raise the quality of training, ABT offers teachers the opportunity to become Certified Teachers of the ABT National Training Curriculum. The ABT National Training Curriculum provides teachers the information and tools needed to implement the best practices in pedagogy, child development, dance psychology and anatomy. To this end, the ABT National Training Curriculum established student examinations that provide teachers clear models of what are suitable parameters and expectations.

What are ABT National Training Curriculum Student Examinations?

  • The ABT National Training Curriculum Student Examinations are a graded examination system.


What occurs during an ABT National Training Curriculum Student Examination?

  • An adjudicator from the ABT National Training Curriculum Artistic Board of Examiners will observe the students perform a prepared examination class. The class is prepared and conducted by the students’ ABT Certified Teacher. The students must have the examination class memorized.


What are the benefits of doing the ABT National Training Curriculum Student Examinations?

  • Examinations serve to assess students’ skill level and artistic presentation.
  • Students are offered the opportunity to have their achievements in dance recognized through entering into ABT National Training Curriculum Examinations.
  • Examinations are a tool to document progress and a way to build confidence in ability.
  • Students receive a personalized Rubric with constructive feedback.
  • Students also receive a Certificate of Participation with their name, date of the examination, Class Level and Level of Distinction.


How can students prepare for the examinations?

Since the examination class is a culmination of the training the students have received throughout the school year and a way for the students to demonstrate their dedication, students can best prepare for the examinations by:

  • Regularly attending their ballet classes
  • Adhering to the rigor and ritual required
  • Committing to learning and memorizing the work presented by their ABT NTC certified teacher
  • Demonstrating a joy in dancing and artistic presentation