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ABT Jackie Onassis School

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Hey-- I thought this was hilarious. ABT is customarily unresponsive, however, a dancer who signed up to audition but couldn't make it also received notification that she was not accepted. I guess she lacked "presence". The only thing better would have been that she was accepted to attend.

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Talk about identity theft! This sounds like identity misplacement!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My daughter is at ABT NY's summer intensive and she let me know that everyone at the intensive who expressed interest in the associate program was given their acceptance/nonacceptance letters last week. She is in the 2nd to lowest level there and no one in her level was accepted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to e-mail the school to find out I got in. Only 3 of us were accepted from the audition and the other 6 were asked from their summer program.

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  • 7 months later...

Just curious, is this a sought after program by dancers who are recieving good, quality instruction at their home schools, and perhaps are attending top SI'S every year anyway? Or is this just a school in NY for locals interested in training with ABT?


Please forgive me for my ignorance about this program in advance.

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I can tell you that we know one dancer who has traveled far from home (and good home training) to attend this school. Her younger sister hopes to follow her there. Perhaps someone with kids in the program (or a dancer) will come on and enlighten us first-hand!

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Through this year (the 2nd year of the program) it is a very small-exclusive program - 20 dancers in all, male & female. My daughter knows two dancers in the program and they were already high-level dancers to begin with. There have been some rumors and an article in one of the "dance" magazines that I read that they hope to expand the program, but it wasn't clear if that was something happening for the 2005/2006 school year.


I personally have a problem w/ ABT calling this a school at this point in time when it's really more of a stepping stone to the Studio Company. Although it is made clear that it is not a guarantee to one even being advanced to the Studio Company. When something is labeled a "school" I envision more than students and different levels. This program is one level -- although since the age range is 14/15- 17/18 there are of course degrees of ability within the group.


My daughter auditioned for the program the past two years, was not accepted, but is still interested in the program. Unfortunately this year she will be unable to attend the audition so she will try again next year.


Also last year and I would assume this year also, dancers were told that decisions would not be made until after the ABT-NY SI had begun as dancers attending the New York SI would automatically be considered for a spot in the program.


I do hope that they can and do eventually expand the program.

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ABT does not have a great track record with having a school, it has been tried in the past and never held steady. Maybe the new school will be different. They seem to know what to do with high level dancers once someone else has trained them but if my career was at stake I would want a school with more than 2 years of history to look back at to see what the results were like. Personally although I love ABT, the company and the calibre of dancers that they have in their company I would be very waryl. Do they have ex dancers teaching classes there or do they have experienced "teachers" training the young dancers in a curriculum with long range goals, follow through, coordination between the teachers, unity in teaching philosophy, knowlege of child psycology and development? Also does anyone know what the fees are for this "school". I hear they are very high. I would ask the same questions as I would ask of any school I was considering, just because it has the ABT name on it is not enough reason to intrust training at the very critical point in a young dancers development :shrug:

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I am a student at the JKO school of American Ballet Theater. Our teachers are very qualified and even though there is not housing provided, students from all over the country and even Australia have found housing in the city to attend the school. Yes all of our teachers are ex-dancers, but if they werent, how would they know what they're talking about? However this is not a first time job for any of them and they are extremely qualified. Some of our teachers are Clinton Lucket, Susan Jaffe, Steven Hyde, Lupe Serrano, Ethan Brown, Cynthia Harvey, Martine Van Hamel, John Meehan, occasionally Kevin Mckenzie and many other guest teachers. Even though the program is one level this year, there are only 18 of us and the youngest students deserve to be in the class. We like to be considered a school because those of us who are there every day working hard in class are not there as some second level of studio company. Many dancers in our class have contracts to other companies all over the country and do not plan on being in ABT. We are at the JKO school for amazing training, which I believe we receive.

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Are the students on scholarship, or is this a tuition base program, or both? How strict are they on the 2:30 arrival time. Can you give an example of your daily schedule. You always hear different things about the program, it is good to hear it from someone first hand.

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Tuition depends..some pay full tuition, some pay partial, and some have a full scholarship. This year the schedule isnt too intense, class starts at 2:30 monday - friday and ends at 5:30. Because of our end of the year performance, tuesday and friday we go until 6:30 to rehearse for Raymonda and our performance with studio company at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Saturdays we have class from 11:30 to five and that includes, pilates, technique, pointe, mens class, and partnering. the rest of the week we have technique class usually for two hours and then rehearsal, pas de deux, character, pointe, or modern. Students are expected to be at class unless it is not possible

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Welcome to Ballet Talk! I hope you will take a look at the many forums available and become a regular contributor here.


Thanks so much for sharing your experiences at the Jacki Onassis school. I know many here have been wondering about it and it is great to get some first-hand information!

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