Support America’s National Ballet Company® DONATE NOW

ABT News

May 7, 2013

ABT and the Harlem School of the Arts Announce Ballet Training Partnership

Harlem School of the Arts to Implement ABT's National Training Curriculum

New York, NY – American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) Dance Department have formed a unique training partnership, which will incorporate ABT’s National Training Curriculum in HSA’s dance curriculum. Beginning Fall 2013, ABT will train HSA’s dance faculty in the principles of its National Training Curriculum. The establishment of an ABT Certification for HSA will provide a comprehensive training program in ballet for all HSA dance faculty, including student exams to evaluate teachers and students, refresher courses and mentorship. The partnership will be introduced to the Harlem School of the Arts community of dance families and students on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 pm at HSA’s Theater, 649 Saint Nicholas Avenue with a lecture-demonstration presented by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre.

As part of the training partnership between American Ballet Theatre and the Harlem School of the Arts, JKO School Principal Franco De Vita will conduct master classes at HSA throughout the year and serve as an advisor to HSA faculty in order to effectively integrate the new ballet curriculum into HSA’s diverse offering of dance techniques including jazz, tap, modern, African and hip hop.

"Over the past few years, the Harlem School of the Arts has experienced a rebirth, returning to the core values instilled by its founder, Dorothy Maynor, offering its students access to world-class training in the arts. To that end, this alliance with American Ballet Theatre will further enhance the quality of dance training provided at HSA for the future
dancers of the world’s stages," said Yvette L. Campbell, President and CEO of the Harlem School of the Arts.

"The Harlem School of the Arts’ outstanding reputation of excellence is very much in keeping with American Ballet Theatre’s mission of bringing excellence in dance to America," said Rachel Moore, CEO of American Ballet Theatre. "We are so pleased to collaborate with an organization that has made a difference in the lives of so many young people."


American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines, consistent with the best practices in the fields of sports psychology, child/adolescent development, nutrition and training. The teaching methods of ABT’s National Training Curriculum incorporate elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training and are currently in place at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The Curriculum is standard at all of ABT’s pre-professional training programs, including the ABT Studio Company, Summer Intensives, UNCSA Affiliate School, outreach programs and NYU Masters program in ABT Ballet Pedagogy.

Under the artistic direction of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, the curriculum was written and designed by Franco De Vita, Principal of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and Raymond Lukens, Artistic Associate of the ABT/NYU Masters program, in collaboration with a national artistic advisory panel and a medical advisory board. The Curriculum is implemented through a
series of teacher training intensives and a teacher certification program conducted
throughout the United States. Since the program’s inauguration in 2008, more than 900 teachers have been certified in ABT’s National Training Curriculum.


For nearly a half-century, the Harlem School of the Arts has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people through world-class training in the arts. HSA’s mission empowers young people mainly from under-served communities in Harlem to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves. HSA’s environment teaches
discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence and adds a dimension of beauty to the lives of each student. HSA accomplishes this through on-site instruction, partnerships with NYC schools, community performances and family programming and by providing workspace for aspiring artists. HSA stands apart among the premier arts institutions in New York City, as the sole provider of quality arts education in five distinct disciplines ƒÅ‚Ǩ” music, dance, theatre, visual arts and musical theatre. HSA boasts an impressive alumni base of Tony-award winning actors, celebrated operatic voices and jazz musicians, visual artists, dancers, and inspired citizens who cite HSA as the platform from which they launched careers in law, business and other professional fields.

Back To ABT News >>