The School of the Atlantic City Ballet now known as the ACBT Performing Arts Academy started in 1982 in Northfield, NJ. Phyllis Papa founded the school, to support the company. She wanted to develop professional dancers. Dancers from the school are now in many major companies around the world including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, The Israeli Ballet and so many more. Many have performed on Broadway, in Films, and television. Other students are making their living on cruise liners as well as Vegas shows.
Many of the students got scholarships to major universities and quite a few students have their own dance schools and professional companies. Some became ballet masters to professional schools and companies. Others are choreographers. Miss Papa is very proud of her students accomplishments and loves when they come back to visit.
When asking her about her students she says” My students are all incredible dancers. They are just at different levels.”
Miss Papa is very attached to her students and the academy is a major part of her life.
1999 Miss Papa was able to acquire the wonderful facility that the academy is now in. Nestles on 7.2 areas in the woods the Academy has two studios and an Olympic pool with beautiful landscaping including a pond with live fish and a stage on the property. The facility houses the summer camps and is a perfect place for students who are really interested in a life of ballet and art. Te camps include the International summer intensive, the youth summer camp, the swim academy and the winter camp.
The Acbt Performing Arts Academy is the official school of the Atlantic City Ballet, which means that students from the school are chosen to be in productions that have children. Acbt Academy students are given high priority for acceptance as apprentices for the professional company.
The academy is an educational facility for dance, voice, acting, musical instruction and swimming. Miss Papa is the director and the main teacher. The faculty also includes some of the professional dancers from the Atlantic City Ballet.