June 25 – August 9, 2023
5 or 6 weeks Summer Ballet Intensive Program
Belvoir Ballet offers a unique summer intensive training program taught by renowned ballet teachers–Dena Abergel, Jennifer Polyocan, and Pascale van Kipnis. Focus on advancing your ballet technique, strength, and creativity with classes in technique, pointe, variations, and collaborative choreography along with opportunities to study modern, hip-hop, tap, and jazz. Join Belvoir’s supportive community, improve your skills, build confidence as a dancer, and enjoy performance opportunities in our beautiful facilities. Students are encouraged to explore other performing arts opportunities at Belvoir: musical theater, visual arts, private music lessons, sports, and more. Your summer program will be personalized to meet your interests and satisfy your curiosity.
Artistic Director Dena Abergel
We are excited to announce that Dena Abergel will continue as Artistic Director of Belvoir Ballet. Currently featured in the Disney Plus series On Pointe, Dena danced with New York City Ballet for 18 years before bringing her passion and artistry to teaching. As New York City Ballet’s Children’s Repertory Director, Dena trains students from the School of American Ballet to perform in all NYCB performances that involve children: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Coppélia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others. She is on the faculty of the School of American Ballet and has taught for ballet schools across the country and internationally. Mother of two, Dena believes in educating children in a nurturing and inspiring environment.
Jennifer danced ballet professionally for over ten years, with Miami City Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Throughout her career, she experienced mind-body techniques as an important and valuable measure for preventing injuries. In addition to a career in ballet, Jennifer is also a graduate of New College of California with a degree in arts and social change. She has taught ballet for over 20 years to both children and adults at ODC, UC Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco. Jennifer acquired a certification in the Vaganova method of levels 1-3 from the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, and training in RPM. Jennifer has completed a teacher training course at The Alexander Technique Center and is ATI-certified. She teaches private Alexander Technique lessons in San Francisco. She firmly believes that body awareness and curiosity create an intelligent dancer, performer, and artist. Jennifer, a mother of twin girls, attended Belvoir as a camper, counselor, and faculty. She has been a part of the Belvoir family for over 30 years.
Pascale Van Kipnis
Pascale Van Kipnis spent 15 years dancing with New York City Ballet, rising to the rank of soloist dancer. Pascale trained at the School of American Ballet from the age of eight and performed as a child with New York City Ballet and New York City Opera. She spent her summers here at Belvoir studying ballet, art, and theater.
Pascale performed leading roles in many Balanchine ballets and was hand-picked by Jerome Robbins to perform leading roles in a wide variety of his works, originating roles in NYCB’s premiere of 2&3 Part Inventions, Brandenburg Concerto, and Riff’s girlfriend “Graziella” in Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. Pascale was a favorite among new choreographers at NYCB, including Christopher Wheeldon, Peter Martins, and Melissa Barak. She was filmed for the Balanchine Foundation Video Archives working with Fredrick Franklin on Raymonda Variations and Violette Verdy in Emeralds. Mother of four, one plus triplets, Pascale enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with the younger generation. She is currently teaching at Miami City Ballet, the Mandelstam School after-school dance program, and private students in Miami.
Sabrina Jaafar graduated Cum Laude from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program in Dance Performance where she was a Jerome Robbins Scholarship recipient. She was awarded the prestigious Heather Watts Scholarship to earn her MA degree in Dance Education K-12 at Hunter College and is an ABT curriculum-certified teacher. Sabrina is the program founder and director of the Joffrey Ballet Academy at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn NY and auditioned in the performing arts public school high school dance program. She has been the modern dance faculty at Belvoir Terrace and Chair of the dance program since 2017. Sabrina has also taught for schools such as Alvin Ailey, The Friends Seminary School, and has been on staff at the Joffrey Ballet School since 2009. Prior to full-time teaching and directing, she danced professionally for companies such as Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, Yaa Samar! Dance Theater, The Dance Now Ensemble!, and has performed a wide range of works by notable choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Doug Varone, Robert Battle, Ronald K. Brown, Pedro Ruiz, Helen Picket, and Sidra Bell. She believes that dance education creates a learning environment that supports student-centered refined creative expression, develops problem-solving skills, creates risk-takers, and embraces individuality.