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JKO School at ABT

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre

“American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School strives to produce superb dancers who have no technical limitations and are sensitive to different qualities of movement necessary to correctly execute the classical, neoclassical and contemporary vocabularies of dance; dancers who are strong, supple and dance without affectation.”

Franco De Vita, Artistic Director

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre aims to provide the highest quality ballet training, consistent with the stylistic requirements of American Ballet Theatre, and to provide dancers with a rich knowledge of classical technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance. The curriculum of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is ABT’s National Training Curriculum, which combines scientific principles with elements from the classic French, Italian, and Russian schools of training.

© Rosalie O'Connor

© Rosalie O’Connor

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School serves approximately 300 students and encompasses a pre-professional division for dancers ages 12-18, and a Children’s Division for dancers ages 3-14. Classes include classical ballet technique, pointe, partnering, men’s class, character, modern technique, variations and Pilates. In addition, students participate in the JKO School Wellness Lecture Series, designed to educate students and their parents on subjects facing aspiring professional dancers. Lecture topics include Nutrition, Women’s Health, Stress Management, Men’s Strength Training, Injury Prevention and Resume Writing/Audition Preparation.

The faculty of the JKO School is made up of ABT alumni as well as current ABT artists including Franco De Vita, Artistic Director; Melissa Allen Bowman, Director of Children’s Division and Artistic Director of Summer Intensives; Kate Lydon, Studio Company Director; Raymond Lukens, Artistic Director of ABT’s National Training Curriculum; and special guest faculty from American Ballet Theatre, Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie and Ballet Master Clinton Luckett. Full time faculty includes Richard Bowman, Rodica Bordeianu, Harriett Clark, Olga Dvorovenko, Adrienne Hurd, Allegra Kent, Jessica Lang, François Perron, Lupe Serrano, and Martine Van Hamel.


© Rosalie O’Connor

Alumni of the JKO School have gone on to join many prestigious ballet companies including American Ballet Theatre, ABT Studio Company, Alberta Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Cincinnati Ballet, Boston Ballet, Het National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Orlando Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Ballet, The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Tulsa Ballet, Washington Ballet, The Juilliard School, and more.

Currently, twenty plus dancers working at American Ballet Theatre have trained with The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The JKO School is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary in 2015 and is honored to be a partner school of the Prix de Lausanne.