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Dancer Training

ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Pre-Professional Division

Pre-Professional Division

The American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is a pre-professional ballet training program for students, ages 12-18. Under the direction of Artistic Director Stella Abrera, students thrive in an elite atmosphere dedicated to the success of each student. Admission is by audition only.

The ABT JKO School follows a specific graded curriculum, divided by age, which is outlined in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. Classes include Classical Ballet Technique, Pointe, Men’s and Women’s Variations, Pas de Deux, Character Dance, Modern, Pilates, Men’s Strength Training, Music and Dance History.

The ABT JKO School is also proud to participate in a full Wellness Program as part of our Healthy Dancer Curriculum. This initiative focuses on addressing both the physical and psychological needs of our ballet students through a series of professionally run workshops. Workshop topics include Nutrition, Women’s Health, Stress Management, Strength Training, Resume Writing and Audition Preparation.

"The aim at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is to provide superb ballet training to our students. Our teaching embraces sound principles; the knowledge which the student can use towards the goal of a long and healthy career."

- Cynthia Harvey, Former Artistic Director, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School


Video by Ezra Hurwitz.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Curriculum & Tuition

Curriculum:

At the American Ballet Theatre 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, our 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.

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

Tuition and Scholarships:

Tuition is $7,950 for students in Upper 1; $9,650 for students in Upper 2; and $10,750 for students in Upper 3. Scholarships are awarded based exclusively on merit and are extremely competitive. There is no financial aid available.

Levels & Schedules

Each level of the Pre-Professional Division is designed to accommodate both the developmental needs of the age group and the academic schedules of our students. Detailed information for each level is outlined below.

Upper 1

Tuition: $7950

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Monday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Tuesday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Friday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Saturday 1:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Uniform

There is a strict dress code for each level of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Dress code details will be provided upon acceptance and enrollment.

Upper 2

Tuition: $9650

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Monday 2:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Tuesday 2:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Wednesday 2:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Thursday 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Saturday 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Uniform

There is a strict dress code for each level of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Dress code details will be provided upon acceptance and enrollment.

Upper 3

Tuition: $10750

2024-2025 Class Schedules

Monday 10:45 am - 5:30 pm

Tuesday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesday 11:00 am - 4:15 pm

Thursday 11:00 am - 4:30 pm

Friday 11:00 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Uniform

There is a strict dress code for each level of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Dress code details will be provided upon acceptance and enrollment.

Auditions & Admissions

Acceptance to the Pre-Professional Division of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is by audition only. Dancers ages 11-18 may audition for the 2024-2025 school year by attending one of the eligible cities on the Summer Intensive National Audition Tour, the Pre-Professional Division Open Audition or by submitting a video audition. Please find 2024-2025 open audition and video audition information below.

The ABT JKO School Pre-Professional Division will be holding one in-person open audition for the 2024-2025 school year on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at ABT’s Studios located at 890 Broadway, New York, NY. Pre-registration is required.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Ages 11-14 – 11:00AM – 1:00PM ET

Ages 15-18 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Dancers who auditioned for the ABT JKO School Pre-Professional Division during ABT’s 2024 Summer Intensive National Audition Tour (in one of the eligible cities below), will receive results via email by mid-March.

New York, NY (January 7 only); San Diego, CA (Saturday, January 13); Costa Mesa, CA (Sunday, January 14); Boca Raton (Sunday, January 14); Orlando (Sunday, January 14)  and San Francisco, CA (Saturday, January 27).

 

Audition Methods

In-Person Auditions

The ABT JKO School Pre-Professional Division will be holding one in-person open audition for the 2024-2025 school year on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at ABT’s Studios located at 890 Broadway, New York, NY. Pre-registration is required.

The Pre-Professional Division audition is open to dancers of all genders who have achieved an advanced level of ballet training. Applicants for the Pre-Professional Division must turn 12 by September 1, 2024 and be no older than 18 on April 1, 2024.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Ages 11-14

Check-in 10:00AM – 11:00AM ET

Audition Class 11:00AM – 1:00PM ET

Ages 15-18

Check-in 12:00PM – 1:00PM ET

Audition Class 1:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Pre-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/program 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:
    • Please 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 you are new to ABT’s Training Programs:
    • 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 based on your age at time of audition by clicking the circle next to the listing then scroll to the bottom to click “View Sessions”
  • Confirm the session information is correct.
  • 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 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 60 minutes prior to each audition class.
  • 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)
  • Students will be assigned an audition number upon arrival.
  • The audition will be in the format of a ballet technique class. It will begin with barre, followed by center work and pointe work/men’s 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 tights in pink or a color close to natural skin tone and matching ballet slippers. Bring pointe shoes for the last twenty minutes of class.
  • Male identifying dancers must wear white t-shirts, full-length black tights, and ballet slippers.

 

Video Audition

You may submit a video audition for consideration for the Pre-Professional Division for the 2024-2025 school year. The portal to submit a video audition will be open until April 15, 2024.  Please find video submission information below.

  • ABT requires specific guidelines for the content of the video audition.  Students will need to complete designated combinations for their age group.  These guidelines are available via the link below.
  • Please note that variations and performance footage are not required for video auditions. Submission of such material may negatively affect a student’s chance of acceptance.
  • Video auditions must be submitted via our ABT Portal. Please find the portal link and submission instructions below.
  • An audition fee will be required to complete your video audition (credit card only).
  • The final deadline for video auditions is April 15, 2024 at 11:59pm EST.

The Pre-Professional Division audition is open to dancers of all genders who have achieved an advanced level of ballet training. Applicants for the Pre-Professional Division must turn 12 by September 1, 2024 and be no older than 18 on April 1, 2024.

 

CLICK HERE: VIDEO AUDITION GUIDELINES

 

Instructions to Submit Video Audition

Students who participated in a 2023 ABT JKO or Summer Intensive audition/program 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:
    • Please 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 you are new to ABT’s Training Programs:
    • 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 “2024 JKO Pre-Professional Division Audition: VIDEO Submission”
  • Select the session and click “Enroll” to complete your registration, including video link, and pay the audition fee.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and a receipt email upon successful registration.

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

VIDEO SUBMISSION PORTAL

Faculty & Musicians

Led by Artistic Director Stella Abrera, the faculty of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School includes members of ABT’s Artistic Staff, alumni, graduates of the ABT/NYU Master’s Program in Ballet Pedagogy, and other prominent teachers. Learn more about our faculty by clicking on the links below.

Susan Jaffe, ABT Artistic Director

Stella Abrera, Artistic Director, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

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 Bio

Photo: Hanna Bass.

Raymond Lukens

ABT National Training Curriculum Artistic Associate

View Raymond's Bio
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Musicians

Each class at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is accompanied by one of our accomplished musicians.

Michael Cherry, Stephanie Chun, John Epperson, Misha Golubitsky, Shimako Horii, Sofiya Leavsie, Dmitry Polischuk, Tim Prepscius, Victor See Yuen, Mihoko Suzuki, Laura Tishchenko, Mira Tsidulko

Alumni

Alumni of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School currently account for 35% of the dancers in ABT’s main Company, including:

 

ABT JKO School graduates have also gone on to dance with many renowned ballet companies both domestic and international, such as the ABT Studio Company, The Washington Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and others.

 

 


ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School students wear Capezio leotards.

 

 

American Ballet Theatre – Bringing Dance to America and American Dance to the World

 

Contact Us

If you require further assistance or have any questions regarding the Pre-Professional Division of the ABT JKO School, please contact us.

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FAQs

Explore frequently asked questions for the ABT JKO School’s Pre-professional Division.

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