Oklahoma City Ballet To Become a Certified School of American Ballet Theatre

September 18, 2013

Press Releases

Oklahoma City Ballet To Become a Certified School of American Ballet Theatre


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Oklahoma City Ballet is proud to announce a new partnership between its school and American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company®.  Oklahoma City Ballet School will become the sixth certified school of the ABT® National Training Curriculum – joining the Ballet San Jose School, Orlando Ballet School and others.

Through the generous support of Oklahoma City native and American Ballet Theatre Trustee, Christian Keesee, the first three years of the collaboration will be completely underwritten.  The ABT® National Training Curriculum is a breakthrough 9-level program which consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines that provide the highest quality ballet training.

The partnership will begin in the spring of 2014 with faculty training. Each faculty member of Oklahoma City Ballet School will become certified in all levels of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  “This collaboration squarely places Oklahoma City Ballet School in a position to become the most outstanding school in the region.  I’m very proud of the possibilities”, says Christian Keesee whose grandfather, John E. Kirkpatrick founded the first professional ballet company in Oklahoma City, the predecessor of Oklahoma City Ballet.

The ABT® National Training Curriculum embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of ballet. Under the direction of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s National Training Curriculum was designed and written by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens in collaboration with ABT’s Artistic Advisors and a Medical Advisory Board. “I am delighted that Oklahoma City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre are starting a partnership on dance education. It gives me great pleasure to work again with Jane Vorburger and I consider it a privilege to come to Oklahoma City Ballet to work with the faculty”, says Raymond Lukens, Artistic Director of the National Training Curriculum. “I cannot begin to express what this means for our company, it is an incredible milestone that will help solidify our company as a regional force.  Mr. Keesee has been integral in this process and we are extremely grateful for his gift to help elevate the caliber of our school,” says Shane Jewell, Executive Director.

Oklahoma City Ballet School students will participate annually in ABT® Affiliate Examinations, demonstrating that they have attained a high standard of training in ballet. The results of the exams will be issued officially after an ABT Affiliate Examiner assesses the students of the Oklahoma City Ballet School and will be helpful to students applying to colleges or pursuing a professional career in dance.  “ABT Exams will set a high standard.  By participating, we will be held accountable for the performance of our students. We desire to provide the best possible classical dance education and exams aid us in facilitating that,” says Jane Vorburger, School Director for The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet. It also allows Oklahoma City dancers a unique opportunity to be seen outside of this region by teachers from New York and all over the world.  This is a part of our larger mission to become more than a statewide ballet company but a strong regional force.”

For enrollment information, visit the website or call (405) 843-9898


One Response to “Oklahoma City Ballet To Become a Certified School of American Ballet Theatre”

  1. Ballet News Says:

    Ellen Cartsonis commented : Not sure that I like this trend. It must make financial sense…