Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet

Recommended Posts

I am interested in knowing about the new Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet. We’re considering it for my 9 year old DD for the fall.


When did it open? Are they planning to have a summer program? What is the schedule like for level 2 and level 3? What is the ballet method that is being taught - Balanchine, Vaganova, Cecchetti, etc. What time do those classes start in the evening? Do they have weekend hours? Are there recitals? If so, are the rehearsals during class or separate?


Are there any performance opportunities with the PA Ballet? What other performance opportunities are there?


I’d love to hear anything that you’d like to tell me about this school.


Thank you

Link to comment

Barbara Sandonato was the student of Lorna London (late Ballet Caravan) and the School of American Ballet, so Balanchine early, Balanchine middle period. She was a principal of the Pennsylvania Ballet in the 60s and the wife of the late Alexei Yudenich. Her school started up in September of last year, and has been cyber-reticent - that is, there's not much of anything on the website, but when you're starting a school, about the last thing on your mind is keeping the website up!

Link to comment
  • Administrators

When there is no website information about a school and it's program, the best thing to do go for a visit. Watch a class. Talk to Ms. Sandonato. The school is so new that we don't have any information on it, beyond what Mr. Johnson said, above. I worked, very briefly, with Ms. Sandonato, back in the early 70's, when she and her husband were guesting with National Ballet. I remember liking her very much! :P

Link to comment

I don't have first-hand experience so for what it's worth... Dd's teacher is very good. With that said, she is a good friend of Barbara Sandonato and said that Ms. Sandonato is a very good teacher and that she is quite meticulous in her training. We were strongly considering this program for the summer but decided on San Francisco.

Link to comment

Hi Let's Dance!


I don't attend the Sandonato School of Ballet, however I have a number of friends who do so I know a bit about it. She began the school in the fall with advanced to pre-professional students. I have taken both regular and private classes with her, and I can honestly say she is an excellent teacher. I last worked with her in December and the plan then was to begin adding in lower levels as soon as the end of January. However, I don't know if this did happen.


She's definitely having a summer program. I don't know what the age range will be. Last summer in addition to Ms. Sandonato, several principals and other members of the PA Ballet taught. Some principals/PA Ballet members teach during the year as well.


Students from her school performed with the PA Ballet in Nutcracker this year. I believe she is having a spring performance. Last I heard, an excerpt from Les Sylphides was one of the things planned to be on the program.


One last note, Major Mel emphasized Barbara Sandonato's strong Balanchine backround. As well she won a bronze medal at Varna and has an extremely strong classical, Russian based backround.


You should definitely give the school a call to see if they have a program for students your daughter's age.



Edited by Whitney
Link to comment

I spoke with them regarding their summer program as my dd is probably attending. They are expecting to have levels 3,4,5 - now, I have no idea what that means in real terms. They are planning on the L3/4 being together as of when I spoke with them and possibly 2 classes of L5. As of now, they are not having a boarding situation - anyone who will need to board will be put with families. The person with whom I spoke said they tare Balanchine based, but she follows her own "syllabus." Also, she said they never put more than 15 in a class. It sounds very interesting.

Link to comment

I plan to give the school a call today to find out more.


Since I had some downtime yesterday and the school wasn't open I figured I'd get a head start and see what the BalletTalk community could tell me. You have already told me 2 things that I might not have figured out by visiting the school. Barbara Sandonato is respected within the ballet community and she is an excellent teacher.


Thank you for all of the wonderful responses. Keep them coming! :)

Link to comment

Barbara taught at the CPYB summer course for years and years. She is a great teacher and showed great compassion for her students. My girls, now pros, have great regard for her.

Link to comment

My DD presently attends Ms. Sandonato's program and we are also from southern NJ. She absolutely loves it, she is 13 and in the higher levels but they do have classes for students your DD's age. The only program they were talking about starting after January was a younger, pre-ballet type class. There are definetly classes for 9-10 year olds. There are daytime classes for the highest level and these girls are homeschooled. Classes in the evening usually start between 4:30 and 5.

There are opportunities to perform with the PA ballet by audition and there is going to be a spring performance at the Prince Music Theatre. They do not use class time as rehearsal time as we have rehearsals on Saturday after regular classes and we will be adding Sundays starting this week because the show is only about a month away.


My DD absolutely loves Ms. Sandonato and has never been happier. She is very meticulous and helps each individualy dancer with their particular weakness.


They do have a summer program, however, I am not sure if your DD's level is full yet or not, I know that most levels are or are close. By the way, they are closed today for spring break but will re-open tomorrow.


If you have any other questions, please feel free to post or I will be happy to give you my e-mail since you do not have enough posts to PM yet.

Link to comment

Dduffin -


May I have your email address? I'll wait until after I've talked to the school tomorrow to contact you. I'm sure that I'll have many questions.



Link to comment



Feel free to contact me anytime.




----email address removed by moderator, once Let's Dance confirmed she had it. :P

Link to comment

Please note, I have not seen the myspace site of the school but please know that one of the students set it up, it is not done by the school itself, any particular questions, I would contact the school or I'd be glad to answer what I can

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...