The School of American Ballet (SAB) is widely regarded as America’s leading ballet school. It is the official academy of New York City Ballet, trains almost all of New York City Ballet’s dancers (as well as many dancers who join dozens of other U.S. and international companies), and is world renowned for the excellence of its classical training as established by the School’s founders—the legendary teacher and choreographer George Balanchine and the visionary arts patron and writer Lincoln Kirstein. SAB is a 2011 recipient of The National Medal of Arts, our nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence and achievement.
Before enrolling at the School, every student must first audition and demonstrate the potential to succeed at the focused training offered by SAB’s artistic director Peter Martins and his faculty of 15 acclaimed instructors, almost all of whom are former or current members of New York City Ballet. The School’s younger students (starting at the age of 6) live in the New York metropolitan area and commute to SAB’s studios for ballet classes at Lincoln Center on Manhattan’s upper west side from two to six days per week. Older students (between the age of 14 and 18) are some of the most talented and promising young dancers from all over the world. Sixty four of the over 400 students attending the School for the September-to-June Winter Term live in SAB’s on-site residence hall at Lincoln Center as they pursue their goal of becoming professional dancers.
New York audiences receive several annual opportunities to see SAB students perform. Younger students dance in all New York City Ballet productions that feature roles for children—most notably the beloved holiday classic George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™—at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater; and older students perform annually in spring Workshop Performances at Lincoln Center’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The 2011 Workshop Performances will take place on June 4 and June 7.