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AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Frequently Asked Questions

National Training Curriculum

How do I become an ABT Certified Teacher?

To become an ABT Certified Teacher, candidates must complete intensive training in the ABT National Training Curriculum and successfully pass comprehensive examination(s). ABT Certified teachers are permitted to teach the ABT National Training Curriculum only to the levels in which they have successfully completed the training intensive and required examination.

There are three levels of certification, which must be obtained in succession:

Pre-Primary – Level 3
Pre-requisite: Candidates must have reached an advanced or professional level of ballet training. While there is no maximum age limit, the minimum age for candidates applying for the teacher training intensive is at least 17 years old by the start of the first training session, with the further pre-requisite of having reached an advanced/professional level of dance training.

This is the foundation of the curriculum and prepares teachers to instruct ballet students ages 3+. Course length is nine consecutive days.

Level 4 – 5
Pre-requisite is certification in Pre-Primary – Level 3.
This continuation of the course prepares teachers to instruct intermediate and advanced ballet students age 11 – 13+. Course length is six consecutive days.

Level 6, 7 & Partnering
Pre-requisite is certification in Pre-Primary – Level 5, along with a 1500-2000 word essay on one of four topics, which will be available upon registration; additionally, teachers must successfully present a minimum of 12 students for ABT Student Examinations prior to attending the Level 6, 7 & Partnering course.

This further continuation of the course prepares teachers to instruct advanced and pre-professional ballet students ages 14+. Course length is six consecutive days.

What is the cost of the teacher training sessions?

The cost of each session varies. Below is a breakdown of the cost for each session:
Training Session #1: Pre-Primary Level – Level 3: $1700 + $150 materials fee
Training Session #2: Level 4 & 5: $1550 + $50 materials fee
Training Session #3: Level 6, 7 & Partnering: $1550 + $25 materials fee

The cost of completing the entire program, though a teacher could not complete the whole training in one summer, would be $4800 + $225 for materials.

Please note that candidates registering for both training sessions 2 & 3 together will receive a $100 tuition discount.

Is housing provided?

No. Teachers are responsible for finding their own accommodations during the teacher training sessions. A housing resource list is provided by ABT to all participants.

What can I expect during the certification exam?

The written section of the exam has multiple choice questions, true/false questions, matching questions, open-ended questions, and Health Guideline questions, and will be based on material covered during the training. There is also an oral exam which is given by an adjudicator with an observer in the room.

What happens if I do not pass the exam?

Participants who do not pass are encouraged to continue to study the curriculum and repeat the training at their earliest convenience. There is a consecutive two-year time limit to repeat a teacher training session. The second time registering for that course, there is a retake fee in place of tuition. If the candidate does not pass the exam for a second time, they are no longer eligible to register for that course due to the level of proficiency required as an ABT Certified Teacher.

Can I become certified in all levels during one year?

Yes, however teachers are not allowed to take all three sessions back to back during the month of June. Candidates must pass their qualification exam in Pre-Primary to Level 3 before attending the Levels 4-5 training. Before attending the training for Levels 6, 7 & Partnering, candidates must pass their qualification exam in Levels 4-5, write a 1500-2000 word essay on one of four topics, and successfully present a minimum of 12 students in ABT Student Examinations.

What benefits are there to becoming an ABT Certified Teacher?

ABT Certified Teachers are provided with the latest curriculum updates, listings of special opportunities, and networking connections with other teachers. They are able to use the ABT National Training Curriculum logo on their websites and in promotional material and to list their credentials in bios and programs. ABT Certified Teachers are listed on ABT’s own website and receive an official certificate listing their levels of certification. There is also an opportunity to become an ABT Affiliate Teacher.

What should I bring/wear to the training?

We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing that you can move in. Dance clothing is optional. Proper teaching attire and footwear are required for the oral portion of the certification exam.  Laptops and digital notebooks are welcome, but video- and audio-taping are not allowed.

Is there an age requirement to attend the training?

Yes. While there is no maximum age limit, the minimum age for candidates applying for the teacher training intensive is at least 17 years old by the start of the first training session, with the further pre-requisite of having reached an advanced/professional level of dance training.

Is the ABT National Training Curriculum incorporated into the training programs at ABT?

Yes. All of the training programs for dancers offered at ABT, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and the ABT Summer Intensive Program, are utilizing the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Is there a cost to maintain certification?

There is a $100 fee per calendar year to cover administrative costs, National Training Curriculum updates, NTC website maintenance and invitations to events exclusive to NTC Certified Teachers. This fee is waived for teachers that have already paid to attend a teacher training, a refresher course or presented students for ABT Student Examinations during that year.

I am a current or former ABT dancer. How can I become certified?

ABT Dancers and alumni are offered the opportunity to become an ABT Certified Teacher and attend the trainings on full scholarship. Alumni are welcome to attend the regularly scheduled trainings, but need to register.

Why are teachers required to successfully present a minimum of 12 students for ABT Student Examinations before they are allowed to attend the Level 6, 7 & Partnering course?

ABT’s Artistic Staff, led by Kevin McKenzie, are eager to see the work of our ABT Certified Teachers as it allows them the opportunity to understand what aspects of the ABT National Training Curriculum are most successful and what needs to be revised and improved. The ABT Student Examinations are the best assessment of the merits of the ABT National Training Curriculum and a vital part of keeping the dialog open between ABT’s Artistic Advisors and our network of talented ABT Certified Teachers.

Our NTC Staff is eager to work with ABT Certified Teachers to make this requirement attainable, successful and part of the learning process for both the teacher and the students. The students can be presented in any level that the ABT Certified Teacher has completed their certification.

Student Examinations

Is there a minimum number of classes my school should present?

ABT recommends that you present a minimum of three classes in any level. Presenting teachers will be contacted by the ABT Student Examinations Coordinator to organize the details of the examinations. Please be aware that examination scheduling is subject to the availability of the adjudicators.

How can students prepare for the examinations?

The examination class is a culmination of the training the students have received throughout the school year and a way for the students to demonstrate their dedication. Students can best prepare for the examinations by:

  • Regularly attending their ballet classes
  • Adhering to the rigor and ritual required by their program
  • Committing to learning and memorizing the work presented by their ABT NTC Certified Teacher (the examination class must be memorized)
  • Demonstrating a joy in dancing and artistic presentation.
What uniform should the students wear?

The International Dance Supply will no longer continue to supply the Official Academy Uniform of American Ballet Theatre Training Programs to customers. IDS Uniforms are no longer required for students being presented for ABT Student Examinations. As an alternative, please email [email protected] for current uniform guidelines.

Is the $100 deposit for the Student Examination request refundable?

The $100 deposit is required for all ABT Student Examination requests. If ABT can accommodate your request, this deposit will be applied to your examination fees. If ABT is unable to accommodate your request, the deposit will be refunded. If you choose to withdraw your request once it has been approved, you will forfeit the deposit.

Who can present students for the ABT Student Examinations?

Only ABT Certified Teachers can present candidates for the ABT Student Examinations, and only up to the ABT NTC level in which the teacher is certified.

Can I take photos or videos of the master class?

Video and/or audio recording of master classes is not allowed. Photos are allowed with prior permission from the Examiner and must be sent to [email protected] for approval before publishing for any promotional purposes.

Can I advertise the master class?

Press and marketing materials are available upon request.