Ballet Tech


Choreographer Eliot Feld founded the tuition-free Ballet Tech School in 1978. The School’s purpose is to develop new generations of dancers drawn from the New York City public school system, whose diversity reflects the full spectrum of the American community.

In 1996, Ballet Tech entered into a unique partnership with the NYC Department of Education to launch the New York City Public School for Dance, a.k.a. Ballet Tech. The Department of Education administers the academic coursework; Ballet Tech provides the dance classes, dance attire and supporting programs, integrating rigorous academics with intensive ballet training.


During 2008-09, Ballet Tech will audition 42,000 children, up from 25,000 in recent years, at hundreds of public elementary schools in all five boroughs. At the auditions, Ballet Tech seeks children who possess such essential qualities as long limbs and flexible joints, and who take joy in dancing.


Approximately 800 of the 42,000 children who audition are enrolled in Ballet Tech’s 6-week Beginner Program. Beginners are bused from their local elementary schools to Ballet Tech one morning each week. Children from Staten Island attend Ballet Tech on Saturdays. Select students return for a second 6-week session.

The Ballet Tech School

Every May, 50 of the most promising beginners are selected to enroll as full-time students at the Ballet Tech School the following fall. The School provides a full-time course of study for students in grades 4-12. Students in grades 4-8 receive their academic studies and dance training on-site, while students in grades 9-12 attend a nearby high-performance high school during the early part of the day and come to Ballet Tech in the afternoon for dance classes. Each week, students take as many as 12 dance classes, including ballet technique, pointe, modern, character, and repertory. Ballet Tech students also attend a 4-week session of intensive dance training in July.

Kids Dance

Kids Dance is Ballet Tech’s student performance group. Eliot Feld creates new ballets specifically for Ballet Tech students, highlighting the exuberance and discipline of these young dancers.

Supporting Programs

For 4th and 5th graders, Ballet Tech subsidizes an after-school program and assists with bus service when required. Ballet lets you go into another world and lets you be free. –Isiah, 5th grade

At a Glance

Number of children who have auditioned since 1978: 629,569 • Number of children who have enrolled since 1978: 16,906 • Number of beginners who enrolled in 2007-08: 778 • Number of full-time students who enrolled in 2007-08: 169 • Percentage of students who are nonwhite: 87% • Percentage of students who are male: 52% • Number of loads of laundry washed each week: 37 • Number of dance classes each year: 1,585 • Annual operating expenses: $2,340,750 • TUITION INCOME: $0

Ballet Tech Foundation • 890 Broadway • New York, NY • 10003 • T: (212) 777-7710 • F: (212) 353-0936