The most prestigious ballet school in the United States is a matter of personal opinion, however there are certain schools that stand out from the rest as being some of the most well-known and respected. Many of these schools have produced some of the world’s best dancers and have been credited with influencing generations of ballet dancers.
The first school that comes to mind when discussing prestigious ballet schools is The School of American Ballet (SAB), located in New York City. Established in 1934, SAB is the official school of the New York City Ballet Company and is headed by renowned artistic director Peter Martins.
The school offers a unique curriculum that combines classical technique with contemporary choreography. It has graduated many world-renowned dancers, including Gelsey Kirkland, Edward Villella, Kyra Nichols and Darci Kistler.
Another institution that deserves a mention among America’s most prestigious ballet schools is American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Founded in 1940 by Lucia Chase and Richard Pleasant, ABT has trained many great dancers throughout its history, including Mikhail Baryshnikov and Patrick Bissell. ABT also boasts an impressive roster of alumni such as Julie Kent, Ethan Stiefel and Carlos Acosta.
The San Francisco Ballet School (SFBS) was established in 1933 by Adolph Bolm and Irena Hultschina. Since then it has become one of the foremost schools for dance in North America, having trained many talented artists such as Helgi Tomasson, Evelyn Cisneros-Legate and Damian Smith.
Houston Ballet Academy, founded by Ben Stevenson OBE in 1969 is another highly respected institution for ballet education. The Academy focuses on maintaining a rigorous technique based on the English style syllabus while providing students with an international perspective on dance culture.
These are just a few examples of what could be considered some of the most prestigious ballet schools in America today. Each school has its own unique atmosphere and training style which offers something different to aspiring dancers looking to pursue their dreams.
Ultimately, what constitutes a ‘most prestigious’ ballet school is subjective; however it can be generally accepted that The School Of American Ballet (SAB), American Ballet Theatre (ABT), San Francisco Ballet School (SFBS) and Houston Ballet Academy can all be seen as some of the top institutions for aspiring dancers in America today.