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Dancer Training

ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Children's Division

ABT JKO School Children's Division

The ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, named after the former First Lady and longtime ABT Honorary Chairman, is a ballet training program for young dancers that promotes creativity and discipline, enabling children to reach their highest potential. Not only do students receive the best technical training with ABT’s National Training Curriculum, but they are guided by caring instructors who nurture their students’ love for dance.

At its inception, the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School had only 10 students and has since grown to enroll over 350 dancers per academic year. Under the direction of former ABT Principal Dancer and current ABT JKO School Artistic Director Stella Abrera, the Children’s Division focuses on building a solid foundation in ballet technique with an emphasis on proper placement and safe progressions of movement while remaining sensitive to the developmental needs of younger dancers.

The Children’s Division is subdivided into Primary Classes (ages 3 to seven) and Levels 1A-3B (ages eight to 12). To learn more about the School and how to enroll your young dancer, please browse our Children’s Division class information.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Primary

ABT students ages three to seven are introduced to music and movement in our Primary Levels. The emphasis in these courses is on rhythm, dynamic, and placement, so that students graduate from Primary with an understanding of spatial awareness, correct alignment, teamwork, and focus. Each level is divided by age in order to accommodate the developmental needs of every student. No auditions are necessary for Primary classes.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Levels 1A-3B

Serious ballet students ages eight to twelve may audition for Levels 1A through 3B to continue their training at the ABT JKO School. ABT faculty follow a specific graded curriculum designed to strengthen technique, stamina, and discipline through practical training and lessons in theory. Girls and boys have separate classes once a week Levels 2A-3B to address the specific techniques and physical strength of each individual dancer.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Curriculum & Schedules

At the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, our students are trained with ABT’s National Training Curriculum, which combines scientific principles with elements of classical French, Italian, and Russian schools of ballet. The goal of our Curriculum is to train students to use their bodies correctly by educating them on anatomy, kinetics, coordination, and alignment. Artistically, the ABT National Training Curriculum strives to provide for students both a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to all styles of dance.

As each level follows our carefully planned Curriculum throughout the year, students are expected to attend all their assigned classes. Students enrolled in the Children’s Division are not permitted to seek outside ballet training or private lessons.

Pre-Primary for 3's

Tuition: $1412

Age: 3

Students must turn 3 years old by September 1, 2024.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Thursday 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Section 2

Saturday 9:15 am - 10:00 am

Pre-Primary for 3'sPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Pre-Primary for 4's

Tuition: $1412

Age: 4

Students must turn 4 years old by December 1, 2024.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Wednesday 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Section 2

Saturday 10:30 am - 11:15 am

Pre-Primary for 4'sPhoto: Richard Corman.

Primary A

Tuition: $1622

Ages: 5 - 6

Students must turn 5 years old by December 1, 2024.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Tuesday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Section 2

Thursday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Section 3

Saturday 9:15 am - 10:15 am

Primary APhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Primary B

Tuition: $1622

Ages: 6 - 7

Students must turn 6 years old by December 1, 2024.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Monday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Section 2

Saturday 10:45 am - 11:45 am

Primary BPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Primary C

Tuition: $3040

Ages: 7 - 8

Students must turn 7 years old by December 1, 2024.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Monday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Thursday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Section 2

Tuesday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Saturday 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Primary CPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 1A

Tuition: $3670

Ages: 8 - 10

An audition is required for Level 1A.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Monday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Section 2

Tuesday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Friday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Level 1APhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 1B

Tuition: $3670

Ages: 8 - 10

An audition is required for Level 1B.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Students may enroll in one of the following class sections.

Section 1

Monday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Section 2

Tuesday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Friday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Level 1BPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 2A

Tuition: $5245

Ages: 9 - 11

An audition is required for Level 2A.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Monday 4:45 pm - 6:15 pm Ballet Technique

Monday 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Character Dance

Wednesday 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Ballet Technique

Wednesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Girls' Pre-Pointe *

Wednesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Intermediate I Boys’ Class +

Saturday 9:00 am - 10:30 am Ballet Technique

* Girls in Level 2A attend a mandatory one-hour pre-pointe class in addition to their technique and adjunct classes to help prepare them for pointe work.

+ Boys in Level 2A attend a mandatory one-hour boys' class, in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

Level 2APhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 2B

Tuition: $5245

Ages: 9 - 11

An audition is required for Level 2B.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Monday 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Character Dance

Monday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Ballet Technique

Tuesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Intermediate II Boys’ Class +

Wednesday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Ballet Technique

Saturday 9:00 am - 10:30 am Ballet Technique

Saturday 10:30 am - 11:30 am Girls' Pre-Pointe *

+ Boys in Level 2B attend a mandatory one-hour boys' class, in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

* Girls in Level 2B attend a mandatory one-hour pre-pointe class in addition to their technique and adjunct classes to help prepare them for pointe work.

Level 2BPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 3A

Tuition: $6380

Ages: 10 - 12

An audition is required for Level 3A.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Monday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Modern

Monday 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Ballet Technique

Monday 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Pointe *

Tuesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Intermediate II Boys’ Class +

Wednesday 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Character Dance

Wednesday 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Ballet Technique

Wednesday 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Pointe *

Friday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Ballet Technique

Friday 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm Pointe *

Saturday 9:15 am - 10:15 am Pilates

Saturday 10:15 am - 11:45 pm Ballet Technique

* Girls in Level 3A attend three mandatory half-hour pointe classes in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

+ Boys in Level 3A attend a mandatory one-hour boys' class, in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

Level 3APhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Level 3B

Tuition: $6715

Ages: 11+

An audition is required for Level 3B.

Please keep in mind that the age range is given as a guideline. Students will be placed by the ABT JKO School artistic faculty in the appropriate level based on technique demonstrated at the open audition.

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Students must attend all classes listed for their level.

Monday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Ballet Technique

Monday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Modern

Tuesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Intermediate II Boys’ Class +

Wednesday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Ballet Technique

Wednesday 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm Pointe *

Wednesday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Character Dance

Thursday 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Ballet Technique

Thursday 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm Pointe *

Thursday 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Pilates

Saturday 9:00 am - 10:30 am Ballet Technique

Saturday 10:30 am - 11:30 am Pointe *

+ Boys in Level 3B attend a mandatory one-hour boys' class, in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

* Girls in Level 3B attend two mandatory half-hour pointe classes and one full-hour pointe class. in addition to their technique and adjunct classes.

Level 3BPhoto: Rosalie O'Connor.

Bridge Class

Ages: 8 - 10

The Children’s Division Bridge Class provides a bridge from ABT to the New York City community and also serves to identify and train talented young students with potential for careers in dance.

Students who train at one of our Project Plié Partner Schools are eligible to audition for this program. Students can also be nominated to audition by an ABT Certified Teacher or an ABT Teaching Artist. For more information about the Bridge Class and our Project Plié Partner Schools, please click here.

Bridge ClassRichard Corman

Enrollment

American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Children’s Division classes take place at ABT’s Studios located at 890 Broadway, New York, NY.

ABTots participants
Photo: Emilia Stuart.

ABTots

Share the magic of American Ballet Theatre!  Join us this year for a unique parent/child engagement program for 2-year-olds and young 3-year-olds.

From the four little swans of Swan Lake to the sailors in Fancy Free, the repertoire of American Ballet Theatre has inspired children and their families for generations.  This 10-class series is designed as a parent and child or caregiver and child engagement program.  Spark your child’s interest in ballet and prepare them for a future of ballet enjoyment and participation.

Join ABT dance educators and ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School faculty to learn ballet fundamentals, explore musicality, and foster your child’s creativity and imagination through the world’s most iconic ballets at ABT’s Studios at 890 Broadway!  The ABTots program prepares students for entry into the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Children’s Division.

ABT Teaching Artists complement ABT’s movement experience with unique arts and story time activities that allow for ballet friendships to blossom. Join us today for this truly immersive experience.

For 2-year-olds who turned 2 by September 1, 2023, and 3-year-olds who turned 3 after September 1, 2023.

Spring 2024 ABTots

March 8 – May 17, 2024 

Fridays 10:00am – 11:00am

ABTots Enrollment Instructions

Spring 2024 ABTots

March 8 – May 17, 2024 

Fridays 10:00am – 11:00am

10-class series tuition: $650

 

REGISTRATION STEP 1: Register for the ABT Student Portal

ABT Portal: https://americanballettheatre.my.site.com/Portal/s/

Chrome is the recommended browser for completing the steps below.

  • If your student has previously registered for or attended an ABT program:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Enter the student’s name and date of birth to lookup your account.
    • Verify the information listed and add any additional information required.
    • Submit your registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.
  • If your student is new to ABT’s Training Programs:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Complete all required fields for your student and household. The email listed for the student will be used for all primary communication.
    • Submit your portal registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.
    • Email portal@abt.org if you have any trouble with your portal registration.
  • If you have multiple students in your household that you would like to enroll, please email portal@abt.org for further instructions.

REGISTRATION STEP 2: Complete ABTots Enrollment Form

ABT Portal: https://americanballettheatre.my.site.com/Portal/s/

  • Log into your ABT Portal account and navigate to the ‘Upcoming Programs’ page
  • Scroll down to navigate to the upcoming 2024 ABTots program then click the circle next to the listing and click the ‘View Sessions’ button
  • Click the circle next to the ABTots session then click ‘Enroll’
  • The portal will ask you to confirm the student you are enrolling, then it will bring you to the enrollment form to complete your registration and submit tuition payment. Tuition is non-refundable once submitted.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and a receipt email upon successful registration.
  • Upon your successful registration, your enrollment will also appear under ‘Enrollments’ on your portal account as ‘confirmed.’ Your student is not officially registered if your enrollment is listed as ‘preliminary.’
  • Email portal@abt.org if you experience any issues with the enrollment process.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Pre-Primary & Primary Levels

For students ages 3-7 (students must turn 3 years old by September 1, 2024 and must remain 7 through December 1, 2024)

Pre-Primary and Primary levels in the Children’s Division at the ABT JKO School require no prior dance experience. Enrollment in each level is based solely on the child’s date of birth.

Enrollment for Summer 2024 classes and the 2024-2025 school year for new students is now open! All enrollment in these levels is first come, first served. Interested students will need an ABT Portal account to access enrollment. Please find portal registration and enrollment instructions below.

New Summer Class Series!

A 3-week class series for new and returning students ages 5-7. Students may sign up for multiple weekday sessions. Tuition: $150 per session.

Open Primary Summer Class (Ages 5-7) – Tuesday Session

July 9, July 16, July 23

10:30AM-11:30AM

Open Primary Summer Class (Ages 5-7) – Wednesday Session

July 10, July 17, July 24

10:30AM-11:30AM

Open Primary Summer Class (Ages 5-7) – Thursday Session

July 11, July 18, July 25

10:30AM-11:30AM

Children’s Division Pre-Primary & Primary Levels:

Level Age Group Cutoff Dates
Pre-Primary for 3’s Age 3 Students must turn 3 by September 1, 2024
Pre-Primary for 4’s Age 4 Students must turn 4 by December 1, 2024
Primary A Age 5 Students must turn 5 by December 1, 2024
Primary B Age 6 Students must turn 6 by December 1, 2024
Primary C Age 7 Students must turn 7 by December 1, 2024

Note: Students who turn 8 by December 1 must attend an Open Audition for Level 1A+

ABT Portal Registration & Primary-Level Enrollment Instructions

STEP 1: Register for the ABT Portal

ABT Portal: https://americanballettheatre.my.site.com/Portal/s/

Chrome is the recommended browser for completing the steps below.

  • If you already have an ABT Portal account, please log in using your credentials (username is always an email address).
  • If your student has previously attended an ABT program prior to 2023:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Enter the student’s name and date of birth to lookup your account.
    • Verify the information listed and add any additional information required.
    • Submit your registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.
  • If your student is completely new to ABT’s Training Programs:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Complete all required fields for your student and household. The email listed for the student will be used for all primary communication.
    • Submit your portal registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.
    • Email portal@abt.org if you have any trouble with your portal registration.
  • If you have multiple students in your household that you would like to enroll, please email portal@abt.org for further instructions.

STEP 2: Register for our 3-Week Summer Class Series! (July 2024)

Chrome is the recommended browser for completing the steps below.

ABT Portal: https://americanballettheatre.my.site.com/Portal/s/

  • Log into your ABT Portal account and navigate to the ‘Upcoming Programs’ tab
  • Select your desired 2024 summer class session by clicking the circle next to the listing and clicking ‘View Sessions’
  • Click the circle next to the listing then click ‘Enroll’
  • Complete the enrollment form and submit tuition payment. Tuition is non-refundable once submitted.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and a receipt email upon successful registration.
  • Upon successful registration, your enrollment will appear under ‘Enrollments’ on your portal account as ‘confirmed’ or ‘registered.’ Your student is not officially registered if your enrollment is listed as ‘preliminary.’

STEP 3: Enroll for 2024-2025 (September 2024 – May 2025)

Chrome is the recommended browser for completing the steps below.

ABT Portal: https://americanballettheatre.my.site.com/Portal/s/

  • Log into your ABT Portal account and navigate to the ‘Upcoming Programs’ page.
  • Select the 2024-2025 level for your student’s age (following our guidelines above) by clicking the circle next to the listing then scrolling to the bottom to click ‘View Sessions’
  • Choose your desired session (class section) by clicking the circle next to the session listing then clicking ‘Enroll’
  • If a session is at capacity, you will receive a message asking if you would like to join the capacity wait list. If one session offering for your level is at capacity and the other session offering has available spots, you may join the wait list for the full session and enroll in the other session by navigating back to ‘Upcoming Programs’ after joining the wait list.
  • If a session has available spots, when you click the circle next to the listing and then click ‘Enroll,’ it will ask you to confirm the student you are enrolling, then it will bring you to the enrollment form to complete your registration and submit tuition payment (either 50% or 100% of yearly tuition). Tuition is non-refundable once submitted.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and a receipt email upon successful registration.
  • Upon your successful registration, your enrollment will appear under ‘Enrollments’ on your portal account as ‘confirmed’ or ‘registered.’ Your student is not officially registered if your enrollment is listed as ‘preliminary.’
  • Email portal@abt.org if you experience any issues with the enrollment process.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Open Auditions

For students ages 7-12 (*students must turn 8 years old by December 1, 2024, and must remain 12 through December 1, 2024)

Auditions are required for new students who wish to enroll in Levels 1A through 3B of the ABT JKO School. These levels are for students ages seven to twelve* with previous ballet training. Upon acceptance, students will be placed into the appropriate level by the Artistic Faculty.

The ABT JKO School Children’s Division will hold one additional open audition for 7-9 year old students:

Thursday, August 1, 2024

 Ages 7-9

Check-in 4:30-5:00PM

Audition Class 5:00-6:00PM

Audition pre-registration via the ABT Portal is required

 

Audition Registration Information

ABT JKO School Children’s Division Open Audition

Thursday, August 1, 2024

Ages 7-9

Check-in 4:30-5:00PM

Audition Class 5:00-6:00PM

Audition pre-registration via the ABT Portal is required

 

Audition Registration Process:

ABT PORTAL

Chrome is the recommended browser for completing the steps below.

Students who participated in a 2023 ABT JKO or Summer Intensive audition should use their previously-created login credentials to log into the ABT Portal and proceed to Step Two

Step One:  Register for the ABT Portal 

  • If your student has previously auditioned for or attended an ABT program prior to 2023:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Enter the student’s name and date of birth to lookup your account.
    • Verify the information listed and add any additional information required.
    • Submit your registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.
  • If your student is new to ABT’s Training Programs:
    • Click ‘Register as a Student’
    • Complete all required fields for your student and household. The email listed for the student will be used for all primary communication.
    • Submit your portal registration.
    • Check your email for login instructions and to set your password.

Step Two: Register for an Audition

  • Once logged in, navigate to the “Upcoming Programs” page.
  • Select the audition class by clicking the circle next to the listing then scroll to the bottom to click “View Sessions”
  • Select the session and click “Enroll” to complete your registration and pay the audition fee.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and a receipt email upon successful registration.
  • Following successful registration, your audition registration will be listed under “My Enrollments” with the status of “Confirmed”. (Please note that the status of Preliminary does not qualify as a successful registration.)

For any issues with your audition registration, please contact Portal@abt.org.

Please keep in mind the following for the day of the audition:

  • Check-in on the day of the audition will begin 30 minutes prior to the audition class.
  • Students will be assigned an audition number upon arrival.
  • Please bring printed versions of the dancer’s informal headshot and first arabesque photo to submit upon check-in. (Preferred sizes: 4×6 or 5×7)
  • The audition will be in the format of a ballet technique class. It will begin with barre, followed by center work.
  • All students are considered for merit-based scholarships at the time of audition.

Students are to abide by the following dress code for their audition:

  • Female identifying dancers must wear black leotards, full-length pink or skin tone colored tights and matching ballet slippers.
  • Male identifying dancers must wear white t-shirts, full-length black tights, and ballet slippers.

Faculty & Musicians

American Ballet Theatre strives to provide educational programming of the highest quality, and it all starts with our faculty. ABT JKO School faculty includes members of the ABT Artistic Staff, ABT Alumni and graduates of the ABT/NYU Master’s Program in Ballet Pedagogy.

All Children’s Division faculty members are certified in each level of the National Training Curriculum.

Photo: Fabrizio Ferri.

Susan Jaffe

Artistic Director, American Ballet Theatre

View Susan's Profile

Photo: Sophie Elgort, courtesy Lafayette 148.

Stella Abrera

Artistic Director, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

View Stella's Profile

Faculty

Photo: Chris Hardy.

Rubén Martín

Principal Teacher, ABT JKO School Pre-Professional Division

View Rubén's Bio

Photo: Michael Cairns.

Yan Chen

Principal Teacher, ABT JKO School Pre-Professional Division

View Yan's Bio

Photo: Hanna Bass.

Franco De Vita

ABT National Training Curriculum Artistic Associate

View Franco's Profile

Photo: Hanna Bass.

Raymond Lukens

ABT National Training Curriculum Artistic Associate

View Raymond's Profile

Musicians

The ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is supported by our accomplished musicians.

Michael Cherry, Stephanie Chun, John Epperson, Ayako Hirasawa, Shimako Horii, Sofiya Leavsie, Renne Ong, Benjamin Pawlak, Alex Perry, Dmitry Polischuk, Victor See Yuen, Mihoko Suzuki, Laura Tishchenko, Mira Tsidulko, Raisa Umanskaya, Tracy Yang

ABT JKO School Children's Division Online Community Classes

In the Spring of 2020, @ABTSchool launched virtual classes taught by former ABT dancers, ABT JKO School faculty and ABT teaching artists – all certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Recommended for ages 2-4 and 5-8, these classes engage ABT’s youngest students and their families, as well as the global community at large, by exploring musicality, fostering creativity and imagination, and teaching ballet fundamentals.

View the full series on @ABTSchool IGTV or ABT’s YouTube Channel.

YouTube

Photo: Richard Corman.

 


ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School students wear Capezio leotards.

Contact Us

If you require further assistance or have any questions regarding the Children’s Division of the ABT JKO School, please contact us.

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FAQs

Explore frequently asked questions for the ABT JKO School’s Children’s Division.

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