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hi my DD is 10 and is kind of of inbetween level 1 and 2 by her studios methods. This week is parent week and her teacher said that the New York City Ballet has been named the Offical ballet company in the US. and that they have been given the task of developing a nation wide format for studios to follow. Up until now her studio has taught a veriaity of different styles depending on the teacher. She probably has a couple of more years before she goes en pointe. has any one else heard of this and if so what standards will they be following for each level.

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I think her teacher meant American Ballet Theatre. They are called 'America's Ballet company', and they are developing a syllabus that will be consistent within the teachers who take their courses, but they were not commissioned to develop the curriculum; they just decided to do it.

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There have been a lot of "sense of the Congress" resolutions passed over the years which congratulated various companies for "a good job well done" on State Department-coordinated foreign tours, but none of them has had the effect of making any particular company a National Company, which would have some pretty profound political implications. Besides, I don't know that having such a company would be Constitutional, as the arts are a Reserved Power to the States and to the People. Just imagine declaring the Los Angeles Dodgers the "Official Baseball Team of the United States". LA would love it; every other place with a baseball team would hate it. Suit would inevitably follow.

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That actually is a terrifying though! I don't think any country has a 'National' company even if National is in it's name. What a slap in the face for all other companies and the dancers in them. As far as having a syllabus to train dancers by, I don't think that's a nationalized thing anywhere either. Maybe under the Soviets that developed but was their consistency between the Bolshoi and the Kirov? I have no idea! Having dancers trained by a syllabus though is an excellent idea. The logic of developing the whole dancer systematically is beautiful and it helps in consistency. Even countries like France, Australia and the UK have various methods of ballet taught, but these countries do seem to have a lot more schools that teach recognized syllabus programs. I wish more school here taught by a developed and written syllabus.


I look at European dancers and see the beauty of the arms and upper body and so often feel it is lacking in American dancers even in the big companies. At a recent performance of one the the top companies I was disappointed with the upper body work presented. I actually cringed a few times which is very sad. Beautiful feet and legs and that was about it. In particular the women with lovely upper body work are rare and so beautiful to watch. We really drop the ball in this area, it's sad because the Europeans do a pretty good job with it. I put it down to solid syllabus training. So, no to a national company or syllabus but a strong yes vote for total dancer training which I believe is achieve through a strong syllabus!

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It's a matter of charter. Some countries have National companies. Some have State companies. Britain is a good example, with the Royal Ballet being the State company, and the English National Ballet being the National Ballet. Various other companies have charters reflecting their sponsors and/or constituencies. The US is not used to the idea of a Government/State distinction, because we are set up with a head of Government who is also head of State.


Compulsory speech is not free speech, and a national curriculum for ballet would have to dodge a lot of tacklers on its way to the Congress or to the White House for an Executive Order. But I think that there are many, many other matters that the Feds have to attend to in regard to education before they get to standardizing ballet! :wacko:

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Mel, I'm not sure the Royal is the state company, it just acquired a Royal charter. Lots of food companies get those and the recognition can be seen with the coat of arms on the label. No one claims a certain marmalade is the state marmalade or even a can of paint is the state paint. It is just an honor and a sign pf recognition.


The English National Ballet started life as the Festival Ballet, then went to the London Festival Ballet and is now the English National Ballet but again, I'm not sure it's the 'National' ballet of the country. The same in Scotland with the Scottish ballet. They have other companies north of the border such as Ballet West in Oban and all companies in the UK get government funding. We in the US just see the big ones and presume the name says it all and I'm just not sure that is the case.

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You're not getting it. A Royal Charter is not a Royal Warrant, which is what you see on the Cadbury bar, or the Dundee marmalade label. A Royal Charter is the same sort of "seal of approval" that was issued to the Articles of Incorporation of the Virginia Company, the Massachusetts Bay Company, the Pennsylvania Company, the India Company, et al. It made them an arm of the State of England, or on the last-named, Great Britain. A Royal Charter is rarely revoked, except for treason. (James I dissolved the Virginia Company in 1624 for committing a massacre of the Powhatan Indians!) A Royal Warrant may be withdrawn at any time, at the pleasure of the Royal Family. They did that a few years ago to several of their old customees and boy, did that ever raise a Royal Stink!


The ENB is Chartered by the Government of the United Kingdom, under the Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport. As such, it is ultimately reportable to the Nation, but except for actual misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance as decided by law, that kind of charter is good until the company dissolves. It must be periodically renewed, much as broadcast media in the United States do. As there are several companies in the UK Chartered by the Government, they may all be considered National Companies, in one form or another.

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  • 1 month later...

Following is the information directly from ABT's website. I have read many, many books on teaching ballet and even reviewed the entire RAD curriculum. I have personally read through ABT's cirriculum book this past August and was extremely impressed by it. I particularly found the medical guidelines for dancer health outstanding and refreshing as they take an age/physical growth-appropriate approach to training. Now, here's the quote:





Specialized Training Initiative to Include Teacher Training Intensives, Teacher Certification Program and Student Examinations

Capezio® Named Official Uniform of ABT’s Training Programs



12/5/2007 - American Ballet Theatre has announced the introduction of its National Training Curriculum, a program of ballet technique combining artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development. Under the direction of Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s National Training Curriculum was devised by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens in collaboration with an artistic advisory panel and a medical advisory board. The Curriculum will be implemented through a series of teacher training intensives and a teacher certification program to be conducted throughout the United States. In support of the National Training Curriculum, Capezio® has been named the official uniform of American Ballet Theatre’s Training Programs.


Written and designed by Franco De Vita, Principal of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, and Raymond Lukens, Artistic Associate of the ABT/NYU Masters Program, in collaboration with a national artistic advisory panel, ABT’s National Training Curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines, consistent with the best practices in the fields of sports psychology, child/adolescent development, nutrition and training. The teaching methods of ABT’s National Training Curriculum incorporate elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training and are currently in place at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The Curriculum will become standard at all of ABT’s pre-professional training programs, including ABT II, Summer Intensives and outreach programs.



Guidelines for Dancer Health


In creating its National Training Curriculum, American Ballet Theatre 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 world-renowned medical professionals from the fields of sports medicine, nutrition, physical therapy and orthopedics. The panel gathered to discuss the most prevalent topics in dance training today. Subcommittees in orthopedics and injury prevention, health and wellness, and facility standards provided recommendations for teachers that have been integrated into ABT’s National Training Curriculum.



American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum consists of the following components:


Teacher Training Programs: ABT believes the key to raising the quality of training nationwide is to provide teachers with the tools they need to implement the Curriculum, as well as the information needed to more fully understand the best practices in pedagogy, child development, sports psychology and anatomy. The following is a timeline of ABT’s Teacher Training programs:


- Spring 2008 - ABT will host a series of introductory Teacher Training weekends in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. These weekend workshops will provide teachers with an overview of ABT’s training method and its applicability for training both professional and recreational dance students.


- Summer 2009 - ABT will begin offering Teacher Training Intensives, focusing on the eight levels of training which comprise the National Training Curriculum. Certificates will be awarded to teachers successfully completing a training program; these teachers will be eligible to become Registered Teachers of ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Registered Teachers will be officially recognized on ABT’s website as teachers that provide high-quality training.



Student Examinations: Registered Teachers in ABT’s National Training Curriculum can present their students annually for ABT’s National Training Curriculum examinations. Students who successfully pass the exam for their level of training will receive a certificate of accomplishment and will be listed on the ABT website. Students who participate in the examinations will also benefit from special ABT membership programs including early notification of ABT Summer Intensive auditions and other ABT events.



NYU Masters Degree in ABT Ballet Pedagogy: ABT and New York University have partnered to offer the first-ever graduate degree in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy. The NYU/ABT 36-point Master of Arts, which incorporates ABT’s National Training Curriculum, prepares teachers for studios, conservatories and company schools, as well as for further doctoral study in dance education and teaching in higher education. The degree program, which welcomes its first class in Fall 2008, can be completed in three semesters of full-time study.


The National Training Curriculum fulfills ABT’s mission as America’s National Ballet Company® in bringing dance to the widest possible audience. While several training methods are soundly in place within the United States, ABT’s National Training Curriculum can be used to enhance an existing syllabus and to assist teachers in working appropriately with young dancers. Through this effort, ABT aims to provide dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to multiple styles and techniques of dance. ABT’s National Training Curriculum will be available to dance teachers and studios nationwide.


In support of American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, Capezio® has created an all-new ABT Academy Collection, which will serve as the official uniform of ABT’s National Training Programs.


For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum and the 2008 Teacher Training weekends, please contact Molly Schnyder at 212-477-3030, ext. 3012 or mschnyder@abt.org.

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