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Frequently Asked Questions

ABT JKO School Children’s Division

Where is the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Children’s Division located?

The ABT JKO School at The Lawrence A. Wein Center for Dance and Theater is located at 890 Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets in New York City. After checking in with building staff, an elevator will take you the receptionist’s desk on the 3rd floor. Enrolled ABT JKO Students may take the elevator directly to the 4th floor.

What are the prerequisites to register for Children’s Division classes?

Our goal is to create engaging, appropriate, and challenging classrooms for all students in the program while adhering to the guidelines for age and student development in ABT’s National Training Curriculum.

Auditions are not necessary for our Primary Levels (ages 3-7). All placement in our Primary Levels is based on student date of birth. Space is extremely limited.

All students interested in enrolling in Levels 1A through 3B (ages 8-12) must participate in one of the Children’s Division open auditions. Faculty will place students into levels upon acceptance.

How are students in the Children’s Division evaluated each year?

The ABT JKO School Artistic Faculty takes placement very seriously. Every school year, each student receives two written progress reports: the first is a mid-year evaluation from his/her faculty member and the second is a National Training Curriculum assessment class.

Students do not automatically progress from one level to the next each academic year; remaining in one level for more than one year is common. Placement and promotion decisions are based on the student’s age, stage of emotional and physical development, technical ability, facility, and potential, observations during assessment, faculty recommendation, and the Director’s discretion.

What happens at the completion of a Children’s Division student’s Level 3 training?

Students who have completed their Level 3 training and are ready to graduate from the Children’s Division can audition for the Pre-Professional Division at the end of the school year. The auditions are evaluated by ABT Artistic Staff. Due to the program size, physical intensity, and technical strength required for the Pre-Professional Division, we cannot guarantee acceptance to the Pre-Professional Division for all former Children’s Division students.

How is the school year organized for the Children’s Division?

The Children’s Division school year runs from September to May and is divided into two semesters. The fall semester begins in September shortly after Labor Day and ends in December for winter recess. The spring semester starts in January and ends in late May.

Can students still register for the Children’s Division once the school year begins?

Registration for each school year (September-May) for new students begins in June. If spaces in our open enrollment levels becomes available mid-year, selected students on our waitlist would be given the opportunity to register.

Are Children’s Division classes open to observation throughout the school year?

Parents and outside guests cannot regularly observe classes. One week in the Spring semester is reserved specifically for parent observation.

Do Children’s Division students participate in a final performance?

ABT JKO School Children’s Division students may participate in the annual spring performance during the second semester. School performances are optional and do not affect the student’s assessments, classes, or progression through the ABT Training Ladder.

Additionally, students may have the opportunity to participate in supernumerary roles (“supers”) in productions throughout American Ballet Theatre’s spring performance season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Casting decisions are made with considerable thought and care and many factors go into the selection of students including height, technical ability, movement, spatial awareness, and behavior.

Is financial aid offered for the Children’s Division? Are there JKO School scholarships?

There is no financial aid offered for the ABT JKO School 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 and there is no formal application process. Scholarships are extremely limited.

Whom do I contact if I have any questions about the Children’s Division?

Email or call the ABT JKO School Hotline at 212-477-3030 extension 3339. All current students should also report their absences here.

ABT JKO School Children’s Division Auditions (Levels 1A - 3)

Do I need to pre-register for the Children’s Division open audition?

Pre-registration is required.

What will be required of me at the Children’s Division open audition?

The open audition will include a full ballet technique class (barre, center and across the floor). Students in this age group are expected to have previous ballet training and knowledge of basic ballet vocabulary.

When will I be notified of acceptance to the Children’s Division?

Students who audition for Levels 1A through 3 of the Children’s Division will be notified within two to three weeks of the open audition via email. Upon acceptance, students will also be informed of their level for the upcoming school year. All results are final.

Can I submit a video audition for the Children’s Division?

Students requiring an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination should reach out to to submit a video audition.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about the Children’s Division?

Email or call the ABT JKO School Hotline at 212-477-3030 ext. 3339.