Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Photo: Matthew Murphy.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Photo: Matthew Murphy.

© Copyright 2015
Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the ABT JKO School located?
A: The ABT JKO School is located at American Ballet Theatre, 890 Broadway between 19th and 20th streets at The Lawrence A. Wein Center for Dance and Theater. An elevator will take you a receptionist on the 3rd floor upon your arrival.

Q: What qualifications are necessary to register for Children’s Division classes?
A: Our goal is to create engaging, appropriate and challenging classrooms for all students in the program while adhering to the guidelines for age and the development of students in ABT’s National Training Curriculum.

Primary classes (ages 3-8) are open enrollment and no prior experience is necessary. When registering a first-time student for the Primary levels, we ask that you contact our staff prior to registration. Based on the student’s date of birth and previous experience, our staff will recommend the most appropriate level for the student to enroll in.

All students interested in enrolling in Level 1A and above (ages 8-14) must participate in one of the Children’s Division open auditions. Students will be placed by the faculty into the appropriate level of the program upon acceptance to the program.

Students will be evaluated at the end of the school year, at which time they will be pre-placed for the next school year. In our experience, many students need to stay at the same level for as many as two years in order to achieve the proficiency needed to move on and thrive in the next. Additionally, students may be moved to a higher or lower level at the discretion of the faculty at any point during the year.

Q. How is the school year organized for the Children’s Division?
A. The Children’s Division has both a fall semester and a spring semester. The fall semester begins in September shortly after Labor Day and ends in December for winter recess. The spring semester runs from January to the end of May. Students must enroll for the entire year (September-May); students may not register for only one semester.

Q: Can students still register once the school year begins?
A: No. Registration for the 2014-2015 school year (September-May) for new students will begin in June 2015. Given space availability in the program, parents are encouraged to enroll their dancer during the summer registration period. January/mid-year enrollment is not a possibility for the Children’s Division as students spend all year preparing for their end-of-year examinations.

Q: Is there a dress code?
A: Yes. There is a strict dress code for each level of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. In order to accurately instruct students in executing proper classical ballet technique, the positions of the legs, feet, and torso must be visible. The physical transition of changing into dance clothes assists students in making the mental transition to focusing on the body that is essential to a successful learning environment. The uniform now includes leotards from International Dance Supplies.

IDS leotards can be purchased at the ABT JKO School and on Dance and Shop through the ABT Gift Shop on the ABT website. Tights, shoes, and character skirts can be purchased at any local dancewear store, and are not carried/available for purchase at the JKO School.

For the safety and etiquette of the ballet class, only small pierced earrings may be worn. No other jewelry including necklaces, watches, bracelets, and rings may be worn during class. Girls’ hair must be secured in a neat bun for ballet class. The bun will keep hair out of their eyes and off of the neck, and will allow for proper spotting technique during turns.

Q: How are students in the Children’s Division evaluated?
A: Every student will receive a written evaluation following the fall semester. For our young dancers, this process provides an opportunity to receive the acknowledgement of their physical efforts and feedback from an ABT master teacher. A second evaluation report will be given at the end of the spring semester in the form of an end-of-year examination. Based upon examination results and faculty recommendations, students are pre-placed for the next school year. Students can spend as many as 1-2 years per level based on progress.

Q. Are classes open to observation throughout the school year?
A. No. Unfortunately, parents and outside guests cannot observe weekly classes as it’s disruptive to both the teacher and the students. One week in each semester is set aside for parent observation.

Q: Do students participate in a final performance?
A: All ABT JKO School Children’s Division Students have the option of participating in a Spring Performance during the second semester. Pre-Primary through Level 1B perform at the end of the semester at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens and Levels 2 and above are invited to perform alongside the ABT JKO School’s Pre-Professional Division and ABT’s Studio Company at their major spring performance mid-semester.

Additionally, students may have the opportunity to audition for ABT’s production of The Nutcracker and other productions throughout ABT’s performance season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Q. Is financial aid offered?
A. No. There is no financial aid offered for the Children’s Division. Scholarships are awarded based on merit only. Scholarships are awarded at the time of acceptance to the program at the discretion of the Artistic Faculty. All students are taken into consideration for scholarships, so it is not necessary to apply.

Q. How do I make a tuition payment?
A. Secure online tuition payments can be made using major credit cards through the online student site. Details about the student site will be emailed to accepted students only. Tuition payments can also be paid via check made payable to American Ballet Theatre. All questions regarding tuition should be directed to the Training Programs Bursar at bursar@abt.org or at 212-477-3030 ext.1060.

Q. Who do I contact if I have any questions?
A. Email jkochildren@abt.org or call the ABT JKO School Hotline at 212-477-3030 ext. 3339. All current students should also report their absences here.