Recruiting and Outreach
The School of American Ballet believes that it can best influence diversity in ballet through seeking and training a racially diverse student body prepared to enter the professional dance world. The Recruiting and Outreach Department works tirelessly to support this mission, and is committed to expanding access to SAB’s programs to students from all backgrounds. For the 2014-2015 Winter Term, SAB's student body is composed of 32% self-reporting students of color.
SAB’s free lecture-demonstration, The Beauty of Ballet, provides a child-friendly introduction to ballet for family audiences in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. In performances presented annually since 2009, SAB faculty member Katrina Killian and SAB’s advanced students demonstrate the principles of classical training and perform variations from well-known ballets, offering children and families the opportunity to connect with the world of ballet right in their own backyards. SAB is pleased to partner with Queen’s Theater, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, and Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture to present The Beauty of Ballet in 2015.
In 1998, SAB expanded recruiting for the Children’s Division by offering free Community Auditions to children aged 6-10 at neighborhood sites in Harlem, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Chinatown. These annual spring auditions have led to a marked increase in the diversity of the student body. In the 2014-2015 Winter Term:
- 51% of all new enrollees for the Children’s Division self-reported as being a student of color.
- 67% students of color who auditioned for SAB’s Children’s Division auditioned at a community location.
- 60% of newly-enrolled students of color auditioned at a community location.
National Audition Tour
The National Audition Tour provides SAB with the opportunity to audition serious ballet students from around the country for its five-week New York Summer course or two-week California Workshop for Young Dancers. To increase the number of applicants of color who participate at these auditions and subsequently enroll in its programs, SAB has increased communication with local teachers and schools, as well as collaborated with alumni who maintain significant ties to diverse dance communities nationwide.