Metropolitan Ballet Academy
Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA), founded in 1996, is a classical ballet school in Jenkintown (Abington Township), Pennsylvania serving children ages 3–18 and many adult students. Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic was for ten years a dancer and Ballet Mistress with the renowned Pennsylvania Ballet. Through her professional dance career exceeding three decades, Vidnovic offers a wealth of teaching and performance experience to her students, who also benefit from the school’s access to choreographers, master teachers, costume and lighting specialists, and the international dance community.
The MBA curriculum combines professional expertise with a genuine sensitivity to children and an appreciation of the special needs of the young dancer. Lessons in Classical Ballet technique are combined with exercises designed to foster musical awareness. Within a positive and encouraging atmosphere, children are taught to develop their unique artistic qualities.
Metropolitan offers all students high-quality, professional training with our outstanding faculty. Aspects of many schools (Vagonova, Bournonville, Balanchine) are incorporated into the more advanced lessons and supported by the teaching of actual repertoire. Serious students and advanced dancers are supported with additional opportunities, including work with nationally-recognized choreographers, performances with Metropolitan Ballet Company and other regional arts companies, participation in Regional Dance America Festivals, and more.
Through year-round classes, our summer intensive program and master classes, MBA dancers are exposed to technique and teaching by some the dance world’s most illustrious artists, including Pennsylvania Ballet’s Martha Chamberlain, William DeGregory, Jeffrey Gribler, Alexander Iziliaev, Riolama Lorenzo, and Arantxa Ochoa; Ballet Chicago Artistic Director Daniel Duell, The Ailey School’s Carlos dos Santos and American Ballet Theater/ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Principal Franco De Vita.
MBA students are also recognized in the wider community. For each of the past nine years, our students have been invited to participate in Pennsylvania Ballet’s performances of The Nutcracker. In 2008, 57 students performed: eleven boys, from our boys’ scholarship program, including four in the featured roles of the Little Prince and Fritz, and 46 girls, including six in the company roles of Tea and Hot Chocolate. When Pennsylvania Ballet presents the Washington, DC premiere of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” in November 2009, three MBC students will dance the lead children’s roles: Peter Weil (Prince), Maria Santangelo (Marie), and Lucas Tischler (Fritz).
MBC dancers are regularly accepted for study at numerous professional programs including American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Ailey School, Boston Ballet, Juilliard, Kirov Academy, Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Additionally, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Austin, Richmond Ballet, American Repertory Ballet and State Street Ballet have accepted MBA graduates for their company, apprentice, and trainee programs, and several dancers currently continue to train at the college level at Adelphi, Bard, Butler, Marymount, NYU, Point Park, SUNY Purchase and University of Richmond.