Under the direction of Principal Alaine Haubert, the ABT William J. Gillespie School at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California currently has 273 students enrolled –approximately 100 more students than when the School opened in 2015. Now in its fourth year, the School offers 83 classes per week in ballet technique, pointe, character dance, pas de deux, body conditioning, and men’s classes between their Children’s and Pre-Professional Divisions. The School’s location at the Segerstrom Center provides unparalleled access to world-renowned companies and experiences including master classes, artist receptions, ticket offers, and lectures by visiting artists. Students have also benefitted from the opportunity to work and perform with American Ballet Theatre in recent productions of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker andHarlequinade during their tours to Costa Mesa.
According to Haubert, who has been associated with American Ballet Theatre since 1965 as a dancer, coach, Ballet Mistress, adjudicator, director of Summer Intensives, and advisor for the ABT National Training Curriculum, her goal for the ABT Gillespie School and as a teacher is to “share Ballet Theatre’s history and her experiences with Lucia Chase, Antony Tudor, and Agnes de Mille.” She believes firmly in having “the theater in the School” and considers it her job to “share the musicians and the choreographers, not just the vocabulary and technique…to pass on a torch to future generations.” Haubert has chosen her faculty carefully, and credits all teachers at the ABT Gillespie School on their passion for teaching; “there are so many good ballet teachers, but you need to have passion to make a difference.”