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National Training Curriculum

National Training Curriculum

ABT’s National Training Curriculum is a program for the development and training of young students that embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training. In 2008, under the direction of then Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s National Training Curriculum was designed and written ABT’s National Training Curriculum was designed and written by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens in collaboration with ABT’s Artistic Advisors and the Medical Advisory Board. Stella Abrera, as the current Artistic Director of the NTC, continues to enhance the training offered to dance teachers and dancers around the world.

ABT’s National Training Curriculum assists beginning through advanced teachers in training dance students to use their bodies correctly by focusing on kinetics, coordination, anatomy, and proper body alignment. Artistically, the National Training Curriculum strives to provide dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance.

Photo: Emilia Stuart.Photo: Emilia Stuart.

Artistic Advisors & Medical Advisory Board

View our Artistic Advisors

ABT NTC Artistic Advisors

Franco De Vita*
Raymond Lukens*
Melissa Allen Bowman*
Susan Brooker*
Gage Bush England
Cynthia Harvey
Alaine Haubert
Virginia Johnson
Kate Lydon*
Kevin McKenzie
Rachel Moore
Lisa Slagle Nicholson
Nancy Raffa
Kirk Peterson
Lupe Serrano

*Artistic Board of Examiners and Instructors

View our Medical Advisory Board

ABT NTC Medical Advisory Board

In formulating its National Training Curriculum, ABT assembled a medical advisory board to provide medical guidelines for the healthy and sound training of dancers. The advisory board, headed by Gary I. Wadler, MD, FACP, FACSM, FCP, FACPM, includes medical professionals from the fields of sports medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, and orthopedics. ABT National Training Curriculum Medical Advisory Board Members include:

Phillip A. Bauman, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Orthopedic Surgery
College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University

Lisa R. Callahan, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Family)
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Priscilla M. Clarkson, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research
School of Public Health & Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts

Julie Daugherty, MPT
ABT Physical Therapist

Franco De Vita
ABT National Training Curriculum Associate Emeritus
Former Artistic Director, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Randall W. Dick
Associate Director of Research/Injury Surveillance System

Christa Dickey
Director of Communications
American College of Sports Medicine

James G. Garrick, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Orthopedics
University of California, San Francisco
St. Francis Memorial Hospital

William Garnett Hamilton, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University

Raymond Lukens
ABT National Training Curriculum Associate Emeritus
Former Artistic Director, ABT National Training Curriculum

Peter Marshall
ABT Physical Therapist

Kevin McKenzie
ABT Artistic Director

Lyle Micheli, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Harvard Medical School

Rachel Moore, MA
Former ABT Chief Executive Officer

Lewis S. Ranieri
ABT Chairman Emeritus

Caroline Silby, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Sports Psychologist
Adjunct Faculty
American University

Eric Small, M.D
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Angela D. Smith M.D.
Clinical Associate in Orthopedic Surgery
U of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The Children’s’ Hospital of Philadelphia
Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Virginia Wilmerding, Ph.D.
President, International Association of Dance Medicine and Science
Adjunct Professor
University of New Mexico

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

Teacher Training Intensives & Weekend Workshops

To facilitate the best teacher education nationally and internationally, ABT created the Teacher Training Intensives and Raising the Barre Weekend Workshops. In the Teacher Training Sessions, ballet teachers receive a holistic education in ABT’s National Training Curriculum. The Raising the Barre Weekend Workshops are designed to “raise the bar” of ballet training for teachers and their students, nurture emerging artists, and revive historical gems.

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Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

ABT Certified Teachers

ABT Certified Teachers have completed intensive training in ABT’s National Training Curriculum. ABT Certified Teachers are permitted to teach ABT’s National Training Curriculum only to the levels in which they successfully completed the training intensive and passed a thorough examination. Click to learn more or explore our directory of ABT Certified Teachers.

Teacher Directory

Photo: Emilia Stuart

ABT Student Examinations

The ABT Student Examinations are a graded evaluation system that enables ABT Certified Teachers to receive personalized, constructive feedback on their methods. Not only are the Student Examinations a useful tool for dance educators, but they provide feedback for participating students regarding their technique and artistry.

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Photo: Emilia Stuart

ABT Certified Schools

ABT Certified Schools are key partners in supporting ABT’s education and training initiatives around the country.  They are not only committed to teaching ABT’s National Training Curriculum in their ballet training programs with faculty that is certified to teach the ABT NTC, but also present their students annually for ABT Affiliate Examinations along with hosting ABT Studio Company performances, ABT Summer Intensive programs and auditions, ABT NTC Teacher Training Intensives and other ABT events.

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The Healthy Dancer

The Healthy Dancer enables ABT to share the best practices of healthy dance training with parents, students, and teachers around the world. This manual is the collaboration of the Medical Advisory Board and the ABT Artistic Advisors who created the ABT National Training Curriculum; a testament to the necessity of collaboration between science and the arts.

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