beginning ballet Tag

New Haven Ballet is introducing pointe class to its open division drop-in schedule. The class will be held on Friday mornings following the beginning technique class. Participation in the technique class is required. Click here for more information or contact New Haven Ballet at 203-782-9038 or email:

New Haven Ballet has announced that registration for its 2024 Children’s Division Fall Semester has opened. Classes are offered at studios in New Haven, Hamden, Bethany, and Branford starting on August 26, 2024.

The Gentle Syllabus

The Children’s Division is a special segment of the school that caters to young students ages 3 through 2nd grade. According to Artistic Director Lisa Kim Sanborn, what sets the program apart is that “[w]e begin training by using our gentle approach syllabus, which introduces our youngest dancers to the joys of music and movement through a system that gradually adds structure as students mature.” Sanborn adds, “Classes are filled with laughter and held in spacious, sunny, state-of-the-art studios by the region’s best instructors. Dancers in Creative Ballet and higher are also invited to audition and perform in our large productions at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven.”

Sanborn refers to the carefully constructed syllabus she created, which was later supplemented by Children’s Division Director Timothy Fountain. The syllabus uses age-appropriate exercises and stretches while gently introducing students to classical dance and musical tenets. For example, in First Steps, students in 3-K pre-kindergarten use their creativity to learn the fundamentals of musicality, while in 4-K pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten, students participate in Creative Ballet, focusing on motor skill development and musical awareness. Pre-ballet students are in 1st grade, and Primary students are in 2nd grade. These students begin formalized classical ballet training and learn more advanced vocabulary and movement.

Students who successfully complete New Haven Ballet’s Children’s Division enter the Student Division ready to join Level 1, where they continue building a clean classical foundation. As the standard for classical ballet training for over thirty-five years throughout greater New Haven, the school is known for producing dancers with excellent technique and beautiful artistry.

But the journey doesn’t end with classes. Dancers in Creative Ballet and higher are not just learning; they perform. Dancers in 4-K pre-kindergarten and older are invited to audition and showcase their skills in New Haven Ballet’s large productions at the prestigious Shubert Theatre in New Haven. The next grand performance will be The Nutcracker, starring guest artists from New York City Ballet.

Parents often enroll children to participate in the arts because they wish to support better academic achievement and the gain of critical skills for their children. These skills might include discipline, fine motor skills, physical strength, critical thinking, coordination, and confidence. However, according to Sanborn, the best reason to join is because “New Haven Ballet’s trained instructors teach using our highly sought-after gentle approach, allowing children to build these skills without them knowing. Over time, students acquire the foundation for a beautiful classical technique and embrace discipline, learn to listen and follow instructions, and the rigors ballet presents. And they make friendships and memories that last a lifetime, too.”

New Haven Ballet is at For more information about classes, call 203-782-9038 or email

About New Haven Ballet

New Haven Ballet is led by Artistic Director Lisa Kim Sanborn and Children’s Division Director Timothy Fountain. As a community-based ballet school in New Haven, Connecticut, it offers dance classes in state-of-the-art studios to dancers ages 3 to adult. Regarded as the standard for classical ballet training throughout Greater New Haven, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offers classes to the Children’s Division at studios in New Haven, Bethany, Hamden, and Branford. In addition to performances, New Haven Ballet’s outreach programs, including DanceAIR, which offers free training to New Haven Public School children in traditionally underserved communities, and Shared Ability, which provides weekly dance workshops to disabled artists, are made possible through the generosity of Stonesthrow Fund, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, City of New Haven Creative Arts Advancement Program, Anna Fitch Ardenghi Trust, State of Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Jordan Fund, NewAlliance Foundation, Ethel & Abe Lapides Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Bank of America, City of New Haven Creative Sector Relief Fund, the Zayas Law Fund, and the Branford Community Foundation.


Photo: (c) 2024 Kelsey Paff Photography. If you want more information about New Haven Ballet, please call  203-782-9038 or email

New Haven Ballet returns to ECA ACES Arts Hall on Friday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate young dancers participating in this year’s DanceAIR program.

New Haven Ballet’s DanceAIR program offers free in-school ballet classes to young children at New Haven public elementary schools. Through partnerships established with New Haven public schools and LEAP (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc.), New Haven Ballet provides high-quality arts education, expands students’ understanding and appreciation of dance and the performing arts, teaches basic dance technique and choreography, and allows children to express themselves artistically by combining musicality and rhythm. Students experience the artistry and musicality of dance, which emphasizes self-discipline, athleticism, coordination, creativity, strength, balance, and flexibility.

The recently established offerings at the Dixwell Community House (Q House) grew out of interest when New Haven Ballet offered a free performance of Nutcracker excerpts at the Q House, which serves families in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods of New Haven. “The performance attracted a standing-room-only audience, which led New Haven Ballet and Q House to develop a long-term partnership with free weekly dance classes at Q House,” notes Artistic Director Lisa Kim Sanborn.

Sanborn states, “We began last spring, and the program has now expanded to three classes held each Friday evening, with sixty-seven students enrolled.”

A testament to the program’s growing popularity and the joy it brings, twenty-seven DanceAIR and Q House students performed with New Haven Ballet’s student Company last December to showcase their talent in the Q House holiday dance concert, once again attracting a full house. According to Sanborn, “Seven DanceAIR students had the opportunity to perform in our public performances of The Nutcracker on stage at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theatre, where over 4,000 audience members shared in nurturing our young talented dancers, witnessing their excitement and passion for dance. New Haven Ballet is proud of the success of DanceAIR, which is a testament to the support and involvement of our community. This year, we are offering free in-school ballet classes to over forty-five young children at five New Haven public elementary schools,” which Sanborn continues is “a significant increase from last year,” where ninety percent of the students are children of color and approximately seventy percent are eligible for free/reduced-price meals.

New Haven Schools offering DanceAIR training include Fair Haven School, Truman School, Edgewood Creative Thinking through STEAM Magnet School, Lincoln-Bassett Community School, and Barack H. Obama Magnet University School. These students will be joined by Q House students and New Haven Ballet Company dancers for a one-hour performance at ECA ACES Arts Hall, 55 Audubon Street, New Haven, on Friday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The performance is one hour long and FREE admission.

New Haven Ballet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This performance is made possible through the generosity and support of our partners, ECA ACES, the City of New Haven Department of Arts, Culture, and Tourism, the Anna Fitch Ardenghi Trust, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and our valued partnership with the Dixwell Community House. We are deeply grateful for their contributions and belief in our mission to provide high-quality arts education to young children in New Haven.

New Haven Ballet offers classes to students ages 3 years to adult and Fall 2023 Class Registration is open. New students to the school should contact NHB School Administrator, Ruth Barker, at Tel. 203-782-9038 or Email: to set up a placement class. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure their preferred class selections are available. Once classes are full waitlists will form.

Click Here for Class Schedule

Click Here for Programs and Tuition

New Haven Ballet’s Monday morning 10:00 a.m. beginning ballet class will be offered through November 28. This one-hour class is perfect for beginners, those who may have taken a long hiatus away from ballet, and those recovering from an injury who are reintroducing a slower paced, lower impact class as they return to full capacity. If you are interested in trying ballet for the first time we encourage you to attend our Monday morning class taught by Kelsey Paff in our beautifully appointed studio in downtown New Haven. Email: for more information.

Welcome back students!

Registration for Fall 2022 classes is open. If you are a new student ages 10-18 years, please contact: to arrange for a placement class.

We have exciting events planned this year and cannot wait to welcome students back.

Fall 2022 Classes start August 29. Click Here to Register

Student Division

Widely regarded as the standard for classical ballet training throughout the Greater New Haven area, New Haven Ballet offers students an opportunity to improve their technical skills and artistry through a premiere summer ballet intensive experience. Learn More

Children’s Division

For those completing 4K Pre-kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3, New Haven Ballet offers summer ballet classes. No placement class is needed to register for Children’s Division classes. Learn More

Students register by the week to accommodate summer schedules. Classes begin July 5.

Summer ballet at New Haven Ballet has begun! Through June, pay a flat fee each week for students in the Children’s and Student Divisions (ages 3-19 years). Morning ballet classes are also offered on a drop in basis in the Open Division (12+ years). New and returning students are welcome. For more information email:


To provide the greater New Haven Community with exceptional classical ballet training, performances, and outreach programs, that nurture appreciation of ballet and foster the joy of dance.

On October 31, 2020, NHB’s Board of Directors adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

New Haven Ballet celebrates those who aspire to excellence in classical ballet. A culture of creativity is the core of our work and diversity promotes innovation. The arts can provide powerful life-changing experiences that prepare students and impact audiences to lead more successful, meaningful and culturally rich lives. The arts can also prove to be an important platform for social change. At New Haven Ballet we are passionate about creating an inclusive dance environment and performances that promote and value diversity and inclusion. We will continue to strive to increase diversity in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective, which will improve and strengthen our work.

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