The esteemed Princeton Ballet School is 65 years young and going strong. Classes for this landmark season are starting September 9.
Founded in 1954 by Audrée Estey, Princeton Ballet School is known for nurturing developing dancers in a safe and progressive way and is recognized as one of the nation’s finest nonprofit dance schools. Its philosophy, outstanding faculty, affiliation with a professional ballet company (American Repertory Ballet), its dedication to live music in the classroom and state-of-the-art facilities are just some of the features that distinguish Princeton Ballet School from other dance schools.
Julie Diana Hench, Executive Director of Princeton Ballet School (PBS) and American Repertory Ballet (ARB) points out, “Princeton Ballet School nurtures the student in an age and developmentally appropriate way. Our classes allow younger students more time for movement exploration while providing advanced students with the tools to become professional dancers, if they so choose. As a result, students develop self-esteem, self-discipline, and a strong fitness level that will provide a powerful edge in any future endeavor.”
Under the inspiring direction of Aydmara Cabrera, formerly a principal dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba, the school serves approximately 1,000 students. Age appropriate classes begin for students at age three, and include a large open enrollment division for adults.
“Princeton Ballet School has a long history of providing high quality dance instruction to adult students, where people of all ages from all walks of life enjoy dance class as their chosen form of exercise or artistic pursuit,” Hench comments. “We welcome everyone!
“After 65 years, we know multiple generations who have been our students.” Hench says proudly. “In fact, one of our teachers, Shari Nyce, was a Princeton Ballet School student and a founding member of Princeton Ballet Company, which was later renamed the American Repertory Ballet. Shari’s mother Kathryn worked with Princeton Ballet School founder, Audrée Estey, as wardrobe supervisor, and Shari’s own daughters, Keiran and Finlay, are Princeton Ballet School conservatory students.”
The school has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick and Princeton and offers classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, CardioBallet, and CoMBo (Conditioning for the Mind and Body). Students have gone on to dance in professional ballet and contemporary dance companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp, and on Broadway.
“This fall, we’re excited that our New Brunswick studio location will become part of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC). The NBPAC consists of two modern theaters, dedicated rehearsal studios, academic and office space. This new venue will enable us to offer even more diverse and expanded programming,” says Hench. “We will continue to offer the same wide range of classes and programs at our Princeton and Cranbury locations.”
Now is the time to indulge your passion for dance, regardless of age or experience. Explore the wide range of classes and become part of the Princeton Ballet School family.
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