Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (ballet)

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School
New York, New York
United States of America
Type Ballet school
Director Cynthia Harvey
Campus type Urban
Website JKO School

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre (ABT/JKO School) is the associate school of American Ballet Theatre located within the Flatiron District of Manhattan, New York City. The school comprises a "Children's Division" for ages 4–12, a "Pre-Professional Division" for ages 12–18, and the preparatory program "Studio Company" for ages 16–20. It was established in 2004 and named in honor of the late, previous First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who served on ABT's Board of Trustees as "Honorary Chairman Emerita" for many years prior to her death. Besides its parent company, graduates of JKO have found employment in various companies, such as National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Dutch National Ballet.[1][2]

Education and Training

Due to ABT's vast repertoire, JKO's training curriculum aims to provide its students the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance.[3] The training curriculum combines elements from the classic French, Russian, and Italian styles of training, and it encompasses classical ballet technique, pointe, partnering, character, modern technique, variations and pilates. Students also participate in the "JKO Wellness Lecture Series", which educates the dancers on topics such as Nutrition, Women's Health, Stress Management, Strength Training, Resume Writing and Career Preparation. Each spring all ABT JKO students perform in 1 annual performance of ABT repertory and original choreography created by the faculty. Select students are chosen for other various performances throughout the year and are also given the opportunity to perform in ABT's production of The Nutcracker. The principal of the school is Franco De Vita.[4][5]

Studio Company

ABT Studio Company, formerly known as ABT II, is a small company of 14 young dancers, ranging from ages 16 to 20, handpicked by ABT. It is currently an extension of the ABT JKO school. These dancers are trained in the program to join ABT's main company or other leading professional companies, and the program is described by ABT as "a bridge between ballet training and professional performance". While the dancers study intensively and learn the company repertoire, they also gain various performance experiences via cultural exchanges, regional touring, and residencies. All of the dancer's learn Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, and a select group are chosen to perform the ballet when the company holds performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music.[6]

  • Hanna Bass
  • Aran Bell
  • Rachelle De Stasio
  • Breanne Granlund
  • Ilya Kolotov
  • Erica Lall
  • Tyler Maloney
  • Larkin Miller
  • Garegin Pogassian
  • Rachel Richardson
  • Samuel Rodriguez
  • Clara Superfine
  • Rinaldo Venuti
  • Jin Zhang

Notable alumni


Summer Intensive

ABT offers a five-week program designed to develop well rounded, versatile dancers. It combines various disciplines, with an emphasis on classical ballet and ABT's "National Training Curriculum".[7]


  1. "Pre-Professional Division". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  2. "ABT Board of Governing Trustees". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  3. http://www.pointemagazine.com/issues/aprilmay-2012/jko-abt-jko-effect
  4. "Pre-Professional Division". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  5. "Frequently Asked Questions". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  6. "ABT Studio Company". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  7. "Summer Intensive". Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.

Coordinates: 40°44′18″N 73°59′22″W / 40.73838°N 73.98939°W / 40.73838; -73.98939

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