The 1950s

Important additions to the School’s faculty in the late 1940s and early 1950s include two former soloists from Russia’s Kiev State Theater of Opera and Ballet, Antonina Tumkovsky and Hélène Dudin. The pair establish the syllabus for children’s division classes still in place at SAB today and become institutions at the school, each teaching for 45 or more years. Also new to the faculty during this era is Felia Doubrovska, former star of the Ballets Russes, who will strongly influence scores of young advanced female students at the School for the next three decades.

With the creation of The Nutcracker for New York City Ballet in 1954, Balanchine introduces the use of SAB’s younger students in age-appropriate but sophisticated choreography on the professional stage. SAB’s children have appeared in NYCB’s Nutcracker annually ever since as well as a number of other ballets containing roles for children. In early 1956, the School relocates to larger studios at Broadway and 82nd Street on Manhattan’s upper west side.