Metropolitan Ballet Academy, named by Pointe Magazine (October/November 2011) as one of “seven local studios in America cultivating top talent,” is a classical ballet school founded in 1996 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Metropolitan provides performance training for students ages three through adult and pre-professional dancers, nurtures the artistic abilities of each individual, and through performances, community outreach and scholarship programs, promotes a love and appreciation of dance in our community.
Prior to founding Metropolitan, Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic danced for 10 years with Pennsylvania Ballet, where she also served as Ballet Mistress. Throughout a professional career that spanned four decades, Vidnovic performed many leading roles in the classical and contemporary repertoire and worked with some of the world’s preeminent choreographers. Metropolitan students benefit from her wealth of teaching and performance experience, and her long relationships with choreographers, master teachers, costume and lighting specialists, and guest teachers from the international dance community who often participate in the school’s performances and training.
The Metropolitan curriculum combines professional expertise with genuine sensitivity and an appreciation of the special needs of the young and aspiring dancer. Lessons in classical ballet technique are combined with exercises designed to foster musical awareness. Within a positive and encouraging atmosphere, children learn to develop their unique artistic qualities.
Metropolitan offers high-quality, professional training with an outstanding faculty. Aspects of many schools, such as Vaganova, Bournonville, Balanchine, and Cecchetti, are incorporated into the more advanced lessons and supported by the teaching of actual repertoire. Serious students and advanced dancers are nurtured with additional opportunities, including work with nationally-recognized choreographers, performances with Metropolitan Ballet Company and other regional arts companies, and more.
Metropolitan students also excel at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), the world’s largest international student ballet scholarship competition. Since 2002, our dancers have often won First, Second and Third Place awards at the Regional Semi-Finals, and Metropolitan students regularly advance to the YAGP New York City Finals. Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic received YAGP’s Outstanding Teacher Award in Philadelphia in 2011, 2013, and 2016. Recognizing the exceptional performances of her pre-professional level students, Metropolitan received YAGP’s Outstanding School Award in 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018.