Stella Abrera. Photo: Sophie Elgort, courtesy Lafayette 148.

Stella Abrera Named Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Stella Abrera, former Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, has officially been named Artistic Director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School as announced by ABT Artistic Director Susan Jaffe.

Following a 24-year performing career with American Ballet Theatre, Abrera served as Artistic Director of Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York. Most recently, she was appointed Acting Artistic Director of the ABT JKO School.

Now, as one of three women leading American Ballet Theatre, Abrera will continue to oversee all artistic aspects of the ABT JKO School Children’s Division and Pre-Professional Division, as well as the ABT National Training Curriculum. Abrera will work closely with Jaffe, as well as CEO & Executive Director Janet Rollé and ABT Studio Company Artistic Director Sascha Radetsky.

Jaffe said, “Stella’s experience in training and teaching has provided a deep knowledge of the skills and strengths a dancer needs to succeed in a major ballet company. This knowledge and her long-standing history with ABT make her perfectly suited to lead the ABT JKO School into the future.”

Abrera was born in Manila, Philippines, and grew up in South Pasadena, California. She began her ballet training with Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young at Le Studio in Pasadena. Joining American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet in 1996, Abrera was promoted to Soloist five years later. In 2015 she was appointed Principal Dancer, appearing in leading and title roles across major classical ballets and working with leading choreographers of the 20th and 21st centuries throughout her career.

On her appointment, Abrera said, “I am honored by Susan’s trust and inspired by the bright new era dawning at ABT. As I collaborate with Susan, Janet, and Sascha, I am deeply committed to supporting and guiding young dancers and to developing them into professional artists of excellence, imagination, and character.”