The certification comes from American Ballet Theater, the national ballet company based in New York City. The Dance Center will achieve the first level of certification in spring, said Jane Vorburger, the school’s director.

“There are three separate levels of certification,” Vorburger said.

“Levels primary through three will be complete in March, four and five will be done in April and five through partnering will be completed sometime before the beginning of the fall 2014 term.”

The levels are based on dance skills and movement from the curriculum of the American Ballet Theater.

ABT was founded in 1940.

Since then, it has developed a reputation as one of the world’s premier ballet companies. It teaches and performs works of classical dance and contemporary pieces.

Curriculum is based on elements from the French, Italian and Russian schools of training.

“The curriculum and standards of ABT provide a high, high level of consistency when transitioning from one level to the next,” Vorburger said. “The curriculum also provides standardized exams so that students can actually track their progress.”

Teaching strictly by ABT curriculum means that students and teachers will share the same standards, she said. Students experience a consistent, standardized program that focuses on foundational ballet techniques, including placement and the safe progression of movements.

“The curriculum is age-appropriate and takes seriously safety [and] child development, including physical and emotional development and maturity,” Vorburger said.

Students of all ages
Shane Jewell, executive director of Oklahoma City Ballet, said that the Dance Center’s instructors will have ABT training and that ABT faculty will fly in to OKC to test and evaluate students so the Dance Center becomes a potential farm school for professional ballet companies.

“With ABT’s training and curriculum, we will be able to provide a dance education program that is unrivaled in our state and region, and one that is based on the most rigorous standards of dance,” Jewell said. “If I was a parent of a child who was interested in dance in Oklahoma, the ABT curriculum and faculty would be a strong reason to choose this school.”

The school works with children ages 3 and older, but adult students also are welcome, Vorburger said. There are currently 180 students between ages 3 and 18 enrolled, as well as 50 adult students. There are 15 faculty instructors, and Oklahoma City Ballet board members have committed to provide oversight for the school.

Terms will coincide with academic schedules. Programs run from mid- August to the end of May, and a summer session runs through June and July. The center is located at 7421 N. Classen Blvd. Call 843-9898 for more information.

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