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ABT News

December 5, 2007


Specialized Training Initiative to Include Teacher Training Intensives, Teacher Certification Program and Student Examinations

Capezio® Named Official Uniform of ABT's Training Programs

American Ballet Theatre has announced the introduction of its National Training Curriculum, a program of ballet technique combining artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development. Under the direction of Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s National Training Curriculum was devised by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens in collaboration with an artistic advisory panel and a medical advisory board. The Curriculum will be implemented through a series of teacher training intensives and a teacher certification program to be conducted throughout the United States. In support of the National Training Curriculum, Capezio¬Æ has been named the official uniform of American Ballet Theatre’s Training Programs.

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, ABT’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 will become standard at all of ABT’s pre-professional training programs, including ABT II, Summer Intensives and outreach programs.

Guidelines for Dancer Health

In creating its National Training Curriculum, American Ballet Theatre assembled a Medical Advisory Board to provide medical guidelines for the healthy and sound training of dancers. The advisory board, headed by Gary I. Wadler, MD, FACP, FACSM, FCP, FACPM, includes world-renowned medical professionals from the fields of sports medicine, nutrition, physical therapy and orthopedics. The panel gathered to discuss the most prevalent topics in dance training today. Subcommittees in orthopedics and injury prevention, health and wellness, and facility standards provided recommendations for teachers that have been integrated into ABT’s National Training Curriculum.

American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum consists of the following components:

Teacher Training Programs: ABT believes the key to raising the quality of training nationwide is to provide teachers with the tools they need to implement the Curriculum, as well as the information needed to more fully understand the best practices in pedagogy, child development, sports psychology and anatomy. The following is a timeline of ABT’s Teacher Training programs:

Spring 2008 – ABT will host a series of introductory Teacher Training weekends in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. These weekend workshops will provide teachers with an overview of ABT’s training method and its applicability for training both professional and recreational dance students.

Summer 2009 – ABT will begin offering Teacher Training Intensives, focusing on the eight levels of training which comprise the National Training Curriculum. Certificates will be awarded to teachers successfully completing a training program; these teachers will be eligible to become Registered Teachers of ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Registered Teachers will be officially recognized on ABT’s website as teachers that provide high-quality training.

Student Examinations: Registered Teachers in ABT’s National Training Curriculum can present their students annually for ABT’s National Training Curriculum examinations. Students who successfully pass the exam for their level of training will receive a certificate of accomplishment and will be listed on the ABT website. Students who participate in the examinations will also benefit from special ABT membership programs including early notification of ABT Summer Intensive auditions and other ABT events.

NYU Masters Degree in ABT Ballet Pedagogy: ABT and New York University have partnered to offer the first-ever graduate degree in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy. The NYU/ABT 36-point Master of Arts, which incorporates ABT’s National Training Curriculum, prepares teachers for studios, conservatories and company schools, as well as for further doctoral study in dance education and teaching in higher education. The degree program, which welcomes its first class in Fall 2008, can be completed in three semesters of full-time study.

The National Training Curriculum fulfills ABT’s mission as America’s National Ballet Company¬Æ in bringing dance to the widest possible audience. While several training methods are soundly in place within the United States, ABT’s National Training Curriculum can be used to enhance an existing syllabus and to assist teachers in working appropriately with young dancers. Through this effort, ABT aims to provide dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to multiple styles and techniques of dance. ABT’s National Training Curriculum will be available to dance teachers and studios nationwide.

In support of American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, Capezio¬Æ has created an all-new ABT Academy Collection, which will serve as the official uniform of ABT’s National Training Programs.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum and the 2008 Teacher Training weekends, please contact Jenna Bitterman, National Training Curriculum Coordinator, at 212-477-3030, ext. 1169 or

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