Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet


Founded in 2010 by Artistic Directors Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, Gelsey Kirkland Academy (GKA) offers multiple ballet training programs for your child. Our mission is to foster a rebirth of dramatic storytelling in ballet through our academy programs that provide specialized training for gifted students. Located on Broadway in downtown New York City, GKA has created elite training programs aimed at the full cultural development of the young artist. Multiple performance opportunities include the debut of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.

Ms. Kirkland’s personal experience in bringing the great classics to life, as well as working with some of the great choreographers of the 20th century, choreographers such as Tudor, Balanchine, Ashton, MacMillan, Robbins, etc, brings a unique sensibility to the syllabus, focusing it towards her belief in storytelling on stage. Her training with teachers such as Stanley Williams, David Howard, Maggie Black and Pilar Garcia, as well as her training as a teacher with Robert Ray and Nina Osipyan also informed the academy’s syllabus.

Children's Program

The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet Children’s Program was created for aspiring children ages 3 – 11 who want to experience the joy that comes from dancing.  Our goal is to have our young students develop creative movement skills, musicality, rhythm, coordination, expression, character, and confidence.  The classes foster a nurturing environment that enables each child to learn life skills and form a lifelong love of ballet and the arts. Registration is for the year with pro-rated tuition for students beginning after the start.  We offer free trial classes for first time students. There are five levels in the Children's Program:

Pre-Ballet 1 - for students 3-4 years of age /
Pre-Ballet 2 - for students 4-5 years of age
Children in the Pre-Ballet levels learn coordination and rhythm, and are introduced to
dance in a structured and nurturing environment. Classes meet once per week.

Ballet 1 – for students 6-7 years of age
Young dancers learn ballet technique and vocabulary, while improving on the basics of ballet. Classes meet twice per week.

Ballet 2 – for students 8-9 years of age
Dancers continue to build on a solid foundation of ballet technique and begin to expand on their expression and musicality. Classes meet three times per week.

Ballet 3 – for students 9-11 years of age
Dancers combine their technique, vocabulary, musicality and expression to begin to become young artists. Classes meet three times per week.

Pre-Professional Program
Our Pre-Professional Program is for students (11 & Up) who wish to advance in the art of ballet with professional training, while taking traditional academic classes during the day. Classes are instructed by some of the ballet world’s most acclaimed master teachers. The GKA training system is built around three major areas of study: ballet, core dynamics, and dramatic development. It integrates technique, style, mime, acting, character dancing, and historical dance, with a commitment to develop classical dancers with the ability to advance the art form of classical ballet, and who are capable of expressing powerful theatrical ideas in ballet through a rich understanding of multiple artistic disciplines, cultures, and traditions.

Professional Program
Our Professional Training Program is for students (12 & Up) who are looking to pursue a career as a professional ballet dancer. The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet's Professional Training Program provides the most innovative and comprehensive ballet training in the world, recognizing the need for new methods of instruction to cultivate and inspire the next generation of ballet dancers. GKA has built a uniquely focused curriculum led by some of the ballet world’s most acclaimed master teachers. Curriculum rooted in European traditions with influences from both Vagonova & Bournonville styles of ballet training.

Performance Opportunities

GELSEY KIRKLAND BALLET’S Inaugural Production of THE NUTCRACKER December 12 – 15, 2013 Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts as part of Pace Presents. Dates and Times of the performances: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:30pm/Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:30pm/Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2:00pm/Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 7:30pm/Sunday December 15, 2013 at 4:00pm. Make us a part of your holiday festivities as Gelsey Kirkland Ballet and dancers from the Gelsey Kirkland Academy bring this perennial holiday classic to Downtown NYC. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic and emotional score, the Nutcracker is a richly symbolic story about a young girl’s journey through fear and darkness to the light of love, guided by her godfather, Drosselmeyer. Marie’s transformation from child to princess to marriage with the ideal prince begins with an unlikely gift from her godfather at a Christmas Eve party: an ugly doll that cracks hard nuts. Follow Marie as she is menaced by dark forces and ultimately rescued by the Nutcracker who leads her up the Christmas tree, into the land of snow, and beyond… into his kingdom.

Also look for our Spring 2014 performances.


Gelsey Kirkland Academy’s Children's Program is for students ages 3-11 who want to experience the joy of dancing; get a FREE tutu from for full-year enrollment. The Pre-Professional Program is for students ages 11 and older who wish to advance in professional training. The Professional Training Program is for the student ages 12 and older looking to pursue a professional career. Multiple performance opportunities for all levels! Make Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s inaugural production of the perennial holiday classic, The Nutcracker, a part of your own family festivities. Performances Dec. 12-15, 2013.