Welcome to Conservatory Ballet 

Welcome to the American Conservatory Ballet 

The American Conservatory Ballet takes a whole-person approach to each of our students. We nurture each individual in class, in performance, and in everyday life to become not just an excellent dancer but a good citizen and friend. The American Conservatory Ballet’s distinguished faculty and staff prepare our students not just for professional dance companies but for their individual walks of life with good conduct, discipline, etiquette, and self confidence. Wherever their path takes them, American Conservatory Ballet students venture toward success.

The American Conservatory Ballet uses the Vaganova methodology as the foundation of its training curriculum. This method, used to train some of the greatest dancers in the history of classical ballet, is known for its clean lines, musicality, epaulement, port de bras, artistry, and athleticism. The American Conservatory Ballet combines this foundational focus with additional emphasis on neo-classical, contemporary, and modern styles to create well-rounded young artists ready for the demands of today’s dance companies.

The American Conservatory Ballet has assembled an internationally renowned faculty with broad performance and teaching experience. Each instructor is dedicated to nurturing the talents and strengths of each student, seeking to develop meaningful teacher-student relationships. The core faculty is supplemented by guest artists in both our year-round and summer programs, providing students the opportunity to work with a variety of dance artists from the United States and abroad. 

The American Conservatory Ballet’s year-round program is designed to meet the needs of the serious dance student wanting to focus on technical proficiency and developing artistry. Training for approximately six hours a day, six days a week, students have classes in classical ballet technique, pointe, men’s work, partnering, and classical, contemporary, and modern repertoire. In addition, classes are offered in pilates, character, music theory, and dance history. All students participate in numerous performance opportunities in various venues, allowing for the development and refinement of performance skills and artistry.

In addition to daily technique classes, female students are also guided in progressive pointe work according to the Vaganova syllabus, with additional emphasis on core strength for partnering, upper body suppleness, port de bras, and work in female classical and contemporary variations.

The American Conservatory Ballet men’s program aims to train young male dancers for the rigors of a professional dance career. We focus on partnering skills, jumps, appropriate strength and flexibility training, along with coaching in male classical and contemporary variations.

Students at the American Conservatory Ballet are prepared for company and university dance auditions, having cultivated artistry and confidence through repetitive focus on proper technique, partnering, repertoire, and performance. Those choosing paths other than dance find themselves well-prepared, having developed strong skills in focus, self-discipline, working with others, and setting individual goals.

Training for those six hours a day, six days a week, the faculty knows each student and provides individual attention and proper corrections. The year-round program is for the hard-working, focused student. Only a select group of students is chosen yearly for the American Conservatory Ballet’s accredited training. Standards are high, and the American Conservatory Ballet seeks candidates that are inspired to excel in both dance and academic studies.

Class attendance is regularly taken, individual feedback is given daily in classes and rehearsals, and more formal written evaluations take place at the end of each semester in January and May.

In addition, students are encouraged to seek out faculty and staff for their input in preparation for auditions and life beyond the American Conservatory Ballet. With diverse backgrounds and experience, they are excellent resources willing to support our students in their endeavors.

The American Conservatory Ballet also has a vibrant guest teacher program. Throughout the school year and during our summer programs, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of dance artists from the United States and abroad. Guest artists include well-established and recognized names such as Joan Boada, Rasta Thomas, Gretchen Patchel frequenting the American Conservatory Ballet’s studios. Through pre-planned field trips, the American Conservatory Ballet also provides opportunities for its students to see other dancers showcase their talents at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Wolf Trap, and more.

Students’ exposure to repertoire, choreography, and guest artists, as well as time spent in rehearsals each day, are all designed to culminate in specific performances. These performances provide a way for students to prepare themselves for a possible dance career by encouraging the development of stage presence, confidence, familiarity with theater protocol, etc. Performances also allow faculty to evaluate student progress outside of the studio. Beyond this, performances allow for interaction with audiences, communities, potential donors, and sponsors.

The American Conservatory Ballet believes that students must be given opportunities to perform in order to develop as artists. This philosophy, as an integral aspect of American Conservatory Ballet training, drives faculty efforts to maintain a robust performance schedule each year. The hallmarks of that schedule are The Nutcracker performances in December, a Spring Gala and Demonstration, and a graduation series. These presentations are costumed, stage-lit, and produced with a mix of elaborate or more simple but creative sets/enhancements. In addition to these performances, other opportunities are scheduled throughout the year, allowing for smaller groups to perform for various audiences.

Over decades, Conservatory Ballet students have had the opportunity to perform in major venues of notable reputation.

The American Conservatory Ballet continually seeks to provide additional resources and opportunities to its students to support their growth as artists and individuals. Among them, we offer speakers on nutrition for dancers, dancing in college, and how to effectively prepare for auditions and resume preparation. 

The American Conservatory Ballet continually seeks to provide additional resources and opportunities to its students to support their growth as artists and individuals. Among them, we offer speakers on nutrition for dancers, dancing in college, and how to effectively prepare for auditions and resume preparation. 

Children’s Conservatory Program 

& Community Programs 

See Principal Ballet ….For 50 years Conservatory Ballet has offered Reston and surrounding areas exceptional dance instruction. As the predecessor of principal ballet and the conservatory ballet foundation DBA as American Conservatory Ballet, We provide not just pre-professional training but those for our youngest students up to our adult students and for all who wish to dance. 

 

Admissions Information

American Conservatory Ballet strives to make the process of becoming a student or trainee a smooth process. We welcome and encourage prospective students and families to communicate with families of trainees and faculty. We look forward to hearing from you. 

HOW TO APPLY

 

ENROLLMENT PROCESS FOR SUMMER and YEAR-ROUND RESIDENCY PROGRAMS
STEP ONE: AUDITION 

As part of the application process, all prospective students are required to audition. There are three methods by which to audition.

 

Method 1 – At Audition Site: 

Students may arrange an on-campus audition by taking a technique class at the Conservatory. 

These are scheduled on a limited basis and only during American Conservatory Ballet’s regular year-round program.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment:

Dress in the following attire: 

Females - Simple, elegant leotard or dance dress, pink tights, and shoes. Males - white t-shirt, tights (grey, black or white), and matching shoes.

 

Method 2 – Video Audition:

If you are unable to be present at any of the auditions on the tour, or if you are applying to our Year-Round Residency Program after the audition tour has concluded, you may submit a video audition DVD or video link (YouTube/Vimeo).

Please download the Video Audition Guidelines for more information.

Payment may be submitted online here.

Include a completed Audition Registration Form and Photos (First Arabesque and head shot).

 

Method 3 – Live Virtual Audition:

If you are unable to be present at any of the auditions on the tour, or if you are applying to our Year-Round Residency Program You may select a time via….. Calendly.com/principalballet 

Payment may be submitted online here.

Include a completed Audition Registration Form and Photos (First Arabesque and head shot).

STEP TWO:
POST-ACCEPTANCE PROCEDURE

Within two weeks of your audition, students will be contacted by our Admissions Office.

Year-Round Residency Program

  • If you have been accepted into the Year-Round Residency program and are of high school age, please be aware that you must contact the Director of Academics to discuss qualifications and enrollment procedures for our academic program. 

  • For further information concerning academics. You may also contact Alexia Bartlett.

  • Congratulations, You’ve Been Accepted!

Summer Programs:

If you have been accepted into one of our Summer Programs, please follow instructions in your email

STEP THREE: Register and process tuitions