About the Program: History and What We Provide

A brief history

·         The Ballet Studio began in 1992 as an outreach project of the Arts Council and Service Ministry teams at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, DC and received non-profit educational corporation status in 1993.  

·         From 1992-2004, all-scholarship classes were held at Wesley UMC on Connecticut Avenue. 

·         From 2004-2013 the program primarily existed as an outreach project in residence at Brightwood Educational Campus (DCPS), serving children in Head Start through 8th Grade.    Literacy through movement and other educational programs were offered during the school day, and substantial scholarships for beginners were a feature in the after-school ballet program where dancewear was also provided at no cost.

·         In fall 2010 our Tenleytown/AU Park studio was added, offering high-quality small-group and private classes in ballet technique, as well as dance education programs for children and adults.  Selected students from the Brightwood program were invited to join this program.

·         With our residency at Brightwood ending in 2013, The Ballet Studio is now building a relationship with Brighter Day Ministries in SE DC, encouraging participation in nearby ballet classes at THEARC through various means, including field trips and attendance of live performances, scholarships for the students’ application/audition fees, and provision of dancewear.

·         And, although our residency at Brightwood has ended, our relationship with children from that neighborhood continues.  Those already on scholarship at our Tenleytown/AU Park studio continue to attend, and new children from Brightwood continue to be added.  Dancewear plus scholarships to regional ballet workshops and summer dance programs are also provided.


We provide

·         Academy quality, professional-caliber training in a smaller setting.

·         Small class size, for more individually-directed attention to each child.  (4 to 6 students most classes) 

·         A training method with a definable syllabus (Cecchetti) and clear advancement standards by level.   The Cecchetti system is used worldwide, and forms the basis of the curriculum used by the American Ballet Theatre School in NYC as well as their teacher training program.   Our students work annually toward nationally-adjudicated Cecchetti Certificates.

·         Training from beginning through professional level, for children (age 5 & up) and for adults of all ages. 

·         Experience in larger-group settings, through participation in supplementary twice-yearly two-day ballet workshops held in cooperation with other area studios, featuring prestigious faculty from professional ballet companies and schools across the U.S.  

·         Connections to a world-wide network of ballet teachers and students, through the Cecchetti Council of America and the International Society of Teachers of Dancing, as well as related programs through the American Ballet Theatre School in New York.

·         Private or semi-private coaching toward Cecchetti Certificates, for students regularly enrolled at larger studios who wish to add credentials to their dance résumé, or for Cecchetti teacher certification.

·         Conditioning for Ballet, using the acclaimed "Progressing Ballet Technique" method.

·         “Going to the Ballet?”  Educational sessions before a show, in school classrooms or for adults.

·         An extensive collection of books for children on ballet, dance and related arts. 

·         A state-of-the-art “sprung” floor (kinder to the joints!) at our Tenleytown/AU Park studio.

Barbara Gaskill,
Nov 7, 2013, 8:24 AM