Learning from the Masters — and from their Program

Ashley dances a beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy with Cavalier Norbert Nirewicz in Classical Ballet Theatre's 2014 performances of The Nutcracker.

Ashley dances a beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy with Cavalier Norbert Nirewicz in Classical Ballet Theatre’s 2014 performances of The Nutcracker.

We’re sure it has been a big week for our student Ashley, who has been performing in American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Cinderella at the Kennedy Center. This was quite an honor; not only because ABT is one of the world’s finest performing arts organizations, but also because Ashley was able to learn from two internationally acclaimed Principal Dancers, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes, both of whom are planning retirement in the near future.


How did Ashley earn such an honor? First, she is a hardworking and talented dancer who has trained and performed with us for years. Second, she has earned coveted summer intensive opportunities with ABT – New York. Third, she has been exposed to the ABT-developed National Training Curriculum, right here at Classical Ballet Theatre in Herndon!

We are one of the few area performing arts organizations that train students using the ABT National Training Curriculum, considered the gold standard in the United States today. Incorporating elements of the Russian, Italian, and French schools of training, the curriculum embraces sound ballet principles and helps ballet instructors to teach students proper body alignment and technique as well as to give students the ability to adapt to various dance styles. Our Ballet Mistress, Dubraskha Arrivillaga, is fully certified in the curriculum. By using this curriculum, we are ensuring that we are safely working with the young people whose training has been entrusted to us, and, at the same time, we are teaching them skills that help them become successful!