American Ballet Theatre®

ABT National Training CurriculumABT’s National Training Curriculum is a program for the development and training of young students that embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training. Under the direction of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s National Training Curriculum was designed and written by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens in collaboration with ABT’s Artistic Advisors and the Medical Advisory Board. ABT’s National Training Curriculum aims to assist beginning through advanced teachers in training dance students to use their bodies correctly, focusing on kinetics and coordination, as well as anatomy and proper body alignment. Artistically, the National Training Curriculum strives to provide dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance.

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

Fulfilling a Mission

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.