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Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
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Ballet for the New Audience
In January 2008, ABT launched Ballet for the New Audience (BNA), a workshop series to promote, educate and develop young audiences grades Pre-K through 6 within NYC’s private schools. Through three interactive workshops, students explore dance vocabulary, choreography, music and design inspired by a piece of ABT repertoire.

Teaching Artists from American Ballet Theatre lead students to experience the seven classical movements, and learn combinations that unlock the storyline’s characters and themes. Working alone and in groups, students explore elements of time, space and energy, and respond with dance vocabulary introduced during the workshops.

The workshop culminates in a field trip to ABT’s rehearsals studios. Highlights include a dance workshop with an ABT Teaching Artist presenting their dances and exercises, a design project with a costume designer, and a performance by either the ABT Studio Company or the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Parents are invited to attend the final trip and partake in all of the morning’s activities with their child.
The goals for BNA are to:
  • Introduce classical ballet to young people grades pre-K through 6 and their families
  • Cultivate an appreciation for ballet and the performing arts
  • Foster teamwork and encourage creative thinking
  • Facilitate a parent-child viewing experience during an ABT Studio Company or JKO School performance

Participating schools of the Ballet for the New Audience program have included:
  • Brick Church School, New York, NY
  • Montclare Children’s School, New York, NY
  • Barrow Street Nursery School, New York, NY
  • Episcopal School, New York, NY
  • Garden House School, New York, NY
  • St. Bernard’s School, New York, NY
  • Buckley School, New York, NY
  • Brearly School, New York, NY
  • Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, NY

For more information, please contact Dennis Walters, Associate Director of Education and Training, at (212) 477-3030, ext. 3264, or via e-mail at dwalters@abt.org.

Ballet for the New Audience is supported by a generous lead gift from John and Paula Mahoney.


Thanks and praise for BNA:

“It was a truly wonderful experience. The workshop is by far the best I’ve seen as an educator for the past 13 years.”

Dianne Williams, M.S., Assistant Director, Claremont Children's School

“You mirror our belief that every child can find a way to succeed if we address their strengths and build on them.”

Blanche G. Mansfield, Head of Lower School, The Nightingale-Bamford School