The Joffrey Ballet revolutionized the art of ballet and paved the way for the modern ballerinas of today. The Joffrey Ballet School was founded by Robery Joffrey and Gerald Arpino in 1953 in order to create a place to classically train dancers for their professional careers. The studio is made up of three floors; it contains six studios. These studios are the second homes of hundreds of present-day students who, like many before them, aim to become professional ballet dancers. Many big names in the dancing industry have instructed in this company such as Yvonne Rainer and Rudolf Nureyev.


  • This is the Joffrey Ballet School building.
    This is the Joffrey Ballet School building.
  • Many dancers dream of attending the Joffrey Ballet School in hopes of landing professional roles and leads in ballet companies. Here four hopefuls are training in one of the six studios.
    Many dancers dream of attending the Joffrey Ballet School in hopes of landing professional roles and leads in ballet companies. Here four hopefuls are training in one of the six studios.

Early on in his career, Robert Joffrey moved to New York and began teaching at The American Ballet Theatre School. In the 60's, he and Gerald Arpino founded The Joffrey Ballet School. The school thrived, partially due to its unconventional ways. The Joffrey was the first dance studio to incorporate present-day music into its curriculum and perform "rock ballets." Many dancers fled to the school, all wanting to take part in the ballet reformation.

In the past 50 years, the Joffrey Ballet School has continued to dramatically influence American ballet. The Joffrey was one of the first places to begin to let dancers of different body types and races participate in company performances. Joffrey's goal was to inspire as many as possible with the art of dance- regardless of shape, color, or ethnicity.  Not only are the dancers of the Joffrey exceptional, but the performances staged by the Joffrey Ballet School are unique as well. By collaborating with talented choreographers and incorporating modern day music, the Joffrey has made ballet an art for all to enjoy. 

After a life full of success, Robert Joffrey passed away on March 25th, 1988. He ended his career in the same place it sprouted wings- New York City. The torch of leadership was then passed on to Gerald Arpino, as he became the next artistic director. However, Arpino resigned two years later.  Arpino died in October of 2008.

While the original leaders of The Joffrey Ballet are no more, their legacy and influence live on in both the school and in the dance world. Their influence on dance continues on. As The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation states:
"Within five decades, Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino changed the fabric of American dance with their far-reaching artistic vision. The diversity of repertory and the focus on innovation that audiences have come to expect from ballet companies today were pioneered by the Joffrey Ballet."

PBS. PBS. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. . 04, May. "Joffrey Ballet History." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 1990. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. . "About." : The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. . "Joffrey Ballet School - World Renowned Ballet Training Center - History." Joffrey Ballet School - World Renowned Ballet Training Center - History. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. .