What is ABT Curriculum?

Frequently Asked Questions

Virtuosity Performing Arts Studio is proud to include The American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 8 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development.

While participation in the ABT® program is through student evaluation and invitation only, Virtuosity also offers recreational ballet classes, taught with elements of French, Russian and Italian technique.

American Ballet Theatre® is recognized as America’s National Ballet Company, delivering the highest caliber of ballet to the world stage. Through a collaboration of dedicated, passionate individuals, ABT® is able to present the finest in classical and contemporary dance to audiences in New York, around the country and the world!

The ABT® National Training Curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age- appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill. Miss Diana Alcomendas and Miss Michelle Lee are ABT® Certified Teachers who have successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive, in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

When can a student enter the program?
Dancers must participate in an ABT® evaluation for placement, and are then able to enroll in the program. Evaluations are held in June, September and February. If a dancer is interested in enrolling but was unable to attend a published evaluation, the dancer may be personally evaluated at the instructor’s discretion.

What is to be expected at the evaluation?
Depending on the age and skill level, dancers will be in the evaluation 30 – 45 minutes. During this time, they will be evaluated on barre work, centre work and across the floor work. Dancers must wear a black leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes, with hair in a secured bun. Boys must wear proper ballet attire, or a form fitting top and bottom. All dancers participating in an evaluation will be placed in the level most appropriate for their success.

How are students placed in levels?
Students must meet a minimum age requirement for each level. Once the minimum age requirement is met, dancers are placed in the appropriate level according to skill. Dancers are not placed in levels based on their number of years in ballet. Each student must be evaluated for placement.

How long does a dancer remain in each level?
Progression is based on skill level, and not on time spent in each level. Depending on the student, some may progress through a level quickly, and others may remain in a level for an unspecified length of time. Students may be placed in the next highest level at any time throughout the year, as deemed appropriate by the instructor. In this case, the instructor will have a conversation with the parents, before approaching the student.

What is the attire?
Once a dancer is placed into a level, he/she must wear the ABT® specifically assigned ballet uniform, available in our pro-shop. Female students must wear pink ballet tights and pink, split-soled ballet shoes. Males students must wear black ballet shoes. Hair must be pulled back securely in a proper ballet bun.

What is the time commitment?
Primary levels practice once weekly for 45 minutes.
Level 1a practice twice weekly for a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes weekly.
Level 1b practice twice weekly for a total of 2 hours weekly.
Level 2a practice twice weekly for a total of 2.25 hours weekly.
Level 2b practice twice weekly for a total of 2.5 hours weekly.
Level 3a practices three times weekly, for a total of 3.25 hours weekly.
Level 3b practices three times weekly, for a total of 4 hours weekly.
Level 4a practices three – four times weekly.
Level 4b practices three – four times weekly.
Level 5a practices three – four times weekly.

Can I watch the classes?
ABT® classes are closed to observation. This maintains the integrity of the classroom environment. Parents do have the opportunity to view classes during the viewing weeks scheduled throughout the year. These dates are published in September, and occur approximately once per Semester.

Is there a year-end recital?
Virtuosity Performing Arts Studio produces a Winter Ballet each year for the students of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. The Winter Ballet will be held on February 3, 2018, and is mandatory for all ABT® students Level 1 and up. All ABT dancers will be participating in the Year End Recital held June 8-10th, 2018. Dancers also participate in summer showcases, which are held at the end of each summer intensive. (Thursday, August 31st, 2017)

When can a dancer go on pointe?
In the ABT® curriculum, dancers are placed on pointe once they have sufficient technique and skill to be placed in Level 3b. Typically, students are a minimum of 11 years old. Just as with all progression in the ABT® curriculum, placement is based on skill level, and not on age or the number of years they have been in ballet. If your dancer aspires to dance on pointe, the ABT curriculum is the proper path for her ballet education.

What’s the difference between the ABT® classes and your other ballet classes?
Virtuosity’s recreational ballet classes are perfect for those who are looking for one class per week, one hour per week. Often, dancers start here to discern if they would like to take the next step and participate in the ABT® program. The ABT® program is appropriate for students who would like to attend class more than once weekly, and is especially appropriate for dancers who aspire to one day be on pointe.