American Ballet Theatre Children’s Division at the Mason Gross School of the Arts Extension Division (ages 4 – teens)
About the American Ballet Theatre Children’s Division
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Children’s Division follows a specific graded curriculum, divided by age, which is outlined in ABT’s national training curriculum. Each level is designed to be sensitive to the developmental needs of the age group. Class size is limited.
The curriculum combines scientific principles with elements from the classic French, Italian, and Russian schools of training. Students must attend all classes listed for their level. Primary classes are open enrollment, and no prior experience is necessary.
Pre-primary classes introduce our youngest dancers to age-appropriate beginning ballet exercises in an energetic, creative, and nurturing weekly class with live piano accompaniment. Students gain fine and gross motor dexterity through activities that encompass story-telling and -creating, as well as relating to children’s literature and number counting. Incorporating the use of fun colorful props such as scarves, floor dots, and flowers enhances these physical, cognitive, and creative skills. Pre-primary students do not participate in end-of-year exams but will receive a certificate of completion.
All classes feature live piano accompaniment and are taught by experienced ABT-certified instructors.
Primary A, B, and C classes continue to build students’ vocabulary of basic ballet steps and port de bras, while still incorporating creative movement ideas in every class. Ballet class protocol and traditions are introduced in these levels. Primary A, B, and C students participate in end-of-year exams adjudicated by a visiting member of ABT’s Board of Examiners.
Levels 1A and 1B introduce barre work and build a strong technical and artistic foundation by focusing on alignment, placement, balance, flexibility, musicality, and strength through age-appropriate progressions. Level 1A and 1B students participate in end-of-year exams adjudicated by a visiting member of ABT’s Board of Examiners.
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