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Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

School News

SAB's Executive Director Marjorie Van Dercook Announces Plan to Depart in Dec 2014

Executive Director Marjorie Van Dercook
Photo by Erin Baiano

Marjorie Van Dercook, who has served as the School of American Ballet’s Executive Director since June 2004, has announced that she will conclude her tenure at the end of 2014. For over ten years, Ms. Van Dercook has presided over all administrative and fundraising capacities while working hand-in-hand with Artistic Director Peter Martins to ensure the continuing success of the School.

In making the announcement, Ms. Van Dercook said, “It has been a great privilege to serve this organization for the past decade. I am so proud to have worked with SAB’s talented students and their families as well as our dedicated staff, faculty, and board of directors. While the decision to leave in December has been difficult for me to make, I feel that with this year’s 80th anniversary celebration complete, it is the ideal time for new leadership to carry the School into the future and a good time for me to look for new challenges.”

Responding to Ms. Van Dercook’s announcement, SAB’s Chairman Max Shulman commented, “Margie has been an exceptional executive director and has made numerous--and important--contributions to the School. During her tenure, SAB has seen significant growth in enrollment, including formation of an entirely new Prep Division for six and seven year olds; geographic expansion with the institution of our California Workshop for Young Dancers; a major increase in diversity within the student body, spurred in substantial part by new community outreach efforts; a deepening and broadening of our Student Life programs; and a major renovation of our facilities, including the addition of two architecturally stunning ‘floating studios’. Most importantly, Margie’s excellent guidance has ensured the crucial support and resources necessary for the artistic staff to fulfill SAB’s mission to train the nation’s most promising dancers for careers at New York City Ballet and companies around the globe.”

Peter Martins, SAB’s Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty, added, “I will sorely miss working with Margie. I have relied upon her insight and judgment and upon her keen sense of what is right for the School, and I have truly valued her unconditional commitment to advancing the values and aesthetics that SAB was formed to promote.”

Mr. Shulman has announced that he will form a search committee comprised of various SAB constituents, including members of the board of directors, faculty and staff, to seek a successor for Ms. Van Dercook.  On the search, he commented, “Margie's shoes will be difficult to fill, but, thanks to her leadership, SAB has never been in a stronger position and we are confident that we will attract many exceptional candidates.”

Ms. Van Dercook is a graduate of Vassar College (B.A. Political Science and Art History), Columbia University (M.A., Political Science), and Fordham University School of Law (J.D., cum laude).  She held several legal and corporate positions before starting her family. She is a former member of New York City Ballet’s board of directors, where she served on the executive committee and co-chaired the development committee. Prior to joining NYCB’s board, she created and then co-chaired that organization’s junior committee. Since 1994, Ms. Van Dercook has been an active supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a Trustee of the Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York. She has three children and currently resides in Manhattan with her husband Charlie Van Dercook.