American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is enrolling students for the 2020 Fall semester now. Classes will be September 8-December 19. In keeping with safe practice guidelines and mandates from the governor’s office and state and local departments of health, all classes will be live virtually.

The Gillespie School introduced virtual learning classes in March 2020 and has adapted and strengthened its virtual and online teaching practices to provide quality experiences that are consistent with the ABT National Training Curriculum.

  • Limited class sizes to ensure individualized faculty feedback.
  • Live piano accompaniment at all levels.
  • Students’ ability to un-mute to ask questions.
  • Class administrator will coordinate between faculty and participants as well as providing real-time technical support.
  • “Waiting Room” feature to allow only ABT Gillespie students to enter classes.
  • All classes password protected.
  • Opportunities for weekly coaching, optional Saturday classes, virtual Meet-the-Artists with ABT personnel, wellness lectures and seminars.
  • Students will be encouraged to maintain friendships, share experiences and discuss lessons by talking and messaging during breaks.
  • Teachers will chat with students before and after classes to create that essential community feeling.

Complete information regarding registration, tuition, class schedule, auditions  and other important details are available on the Segerstrom Center website. You can also email the school at

Segerstrom Center has also renamed its School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities to Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities.

The School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities performance on November 11, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in in Santa Ana, CA.
Photo by Paul Bersebach

Center President Casey Reitz said, “We wanted to create a name that would be symbolic of the diversity of the children in our school and, especially, honor children and young adults with physical and cognitive disabilities and their families. We have expanded our adaptive classes to include more artistic disciplines, such as musical theater, to compliment the dance and music classes”.

Fall Semester registration is open now.

September 16 – November 21

  • All classes will be virtual with live and pre-recorded components.
  • Classes available for children and young adults ages 4–22 with physical and cognitive disabilities such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, hearing and visual impairments and other complex needs, as well as siblings and individuals without disabilities.
  • Curriculum encourages students to explore their full physical and creative potential through dance, music, and self-expression.
  • Social skills are also incorporated in the classes and the students build new friendships with their peers.

A safe and inclusive environment where competition does not exist, and everyone shines a bit brighter.

For more information, email