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New Haven, CT, July 5, 2024—New Haven Ballet has announced that registration for its

2024 Children’s Division Fall Semester has opened. Beginning on August 26, classes

will be offered at studios in New Haven, Hamden, Bethany, and Branford.

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 prekindergarten

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 more 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, listening to and following 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


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