Aaron Jackson

Teacher Coach



"Aaron Jackson is a one of a kind human being, friend, and a ballet master.  His dedication to the art of ballet and the impeccable energy he brings to his classes are unprecedented.  When I enter the studio at the Washington Ballet, where he teaches, I feel at home.  This feeling is cultivated by knowing that I will receive the gifts of his attention, never-ending energy, and thoughtful approach to movement. Aaron has a very structured and disciplined teaching style.  The structure of his movement allows for building strength, artistry, and solid ballet technique.  His barre warm-up helps me focus and develop not only proper technique, but also the ability to look inward and forget about the outside world.  This, to me, creates a sanctuary space, much like one would feel at home. Aaron is able to focus on everyone’s personal journey in the art of ballet and provide feedback and constructive advice. He teaches people of all levels and ages. He is always attentive and provides helpful corrections to everyone in class. He emphasizes technique and injury prevention.  He encourages breath, creation, freedom of movement.  Aaron never sits down.  His seemingly endless energy and the enthusiasm he exudes when teaching is contagious.  Even on days when I feel down, or tired, or I am simply having a bad ballet day, he lifts me up and makes me smile. He gets me moving physically and emotionally. I am so grateful to have that experience with him. In Aaron Jackson I found a friend, a wonderful human being, and an inspiring artist.Aaron’s classes make me feel free. I feel that freedom in movement comes from a stable technique.  Strong technique allows for a dancer to lose control whenever he or she chooses to and just be, live in the moment of movement, and create. Arron’s classes are just that – creation built on strong technique and artistry.  Freedom. 

Thank you, Aaron Jackson for sharing your art with the worldand with me! Your gift means more that you will ever know! "

        ―  Venelina Stephens, October 2018

“Three years ago I relocated to the Washington, DC area from Chicago, leaving behind my ballet family and all that I was familiar with. I took class here and there, but nothing really satisfied me dance-wise. After about a year, I found myself in Aaron’s class, and it just felt “right.” The level of intensity, attention to detail, and wholistic approach was exactly what I had been searching for. I now find myself in Aaron’s classes most days, in addition to working with him privately. My technique is reaching levels I had never thought possible before. Aaron is such a pleasure to explore dancing with, and is a perfect companion for my ballet journey.”

         ―  Sara Bradna, July 2018

“Aaron's warmth, personal beauty, and ability to see what is best in every dancer made it possible for me to come back to ballet after twenty years away. Aaron teaches the whole person, inner and outer, a very rare and special quality. His classes are strenuous, musical, and systematic. I am always glad that I came.”

        ―  Judy Shapiro, October 2015

 “I had a chance to visit Washington, DC and take Aaron's classes  again! I had a great time with him and dancers in his class.  Aaron always makes me feel free and pure. And he  encourages me, so  I can dance in a relaxed way and enjoy dancing , which is my big happiness.  Every time after I am in his classes , I love ballet more and more than before. I learned a lot from him.  I' m so happy to meet  Aaron in my ballet life.  I' m missing everything at Washington ballet. I' m looking foward to be in Aaron ' s class again. 

        ―  Chieko Suehiro, October 2015

"It was clear from my first class with Aaron  Jackson that I had happened on something remarkable.  Aaron is a gifted ballet teacher who has developed a unique curriculum that offers classical ballet training to adults of all levels.  Aaron's standards are high and his class is rigorous, yet the atmosphere in his studio is respectful, joyful, encouraging and positive.  If you are willing to put forth the effort, Aaron will meet you where you are and advance you farther than you thought possible."

        ―  Julie Uhar, January 2016

“I rediscovered my own journey the minute I stepped into Aaron Jackson’s class. What an absolutely amazing experience that made me instantly fall in love with classical ballet again and again.

His approach is far more than just a dance lesson, it is truly a life lesson. Every class is inspiring and not only because of his grace and meticulous teaching style but also because of his famous quotes that leave you thinking when you step out. His energy, enthusiasm, discipline and passion are all packaged together to enlightens you long after the class have culminated to its end.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” (Albert Einstein)… Well, Aaron has that little extra that makes him an extraordinary teacher. I am grateful that our paths have crossed and honored to know such a unique, kind and beautiful soul."

        ―  Micky Farivar March 2016

“I have studied ballet under Aaron for over 3 years at the Washington School of Ballet. I throughly enjoy it, and even at this point I still continue to improve. His direction and instruction have worked well for me, and my technique has improved dramatically. Ballet is now playing a tremendous role in my life. At this point, I can't imagine living without it - All thanks to Aaron. HE IS THE BEST!"

        ―  Michele Hayter, January 2016

  “I came back to ballet class after a 20 year hiatus and love being in Aaron's class. He understands my body and mind, respects both and allows me to enjoy my time in class as well as be challenged to rebuild my technique in an adult context. He remarkably addresses the various student levels in the class. Also, the pianist is a fabulous gift.”

        ―  Lauri Fitz-Pegado, October 2015

 “Very few teachers have the ability that Aaron Jackson does.  I have had the greatest experience with him as not only my daughters' teacher but also as my own.  Mr. Jackson actively shows how much he cares for each student to strive for their best effort.  Additionally, he has the unique ability to push each student forward to a higher level of performance  and depth of expression, than they thought they could achieve.  He does all this while maintaining a fun and enjoyable classroom environment.  As a student, he makes me want to push myself to be better, move smoother and more controlled.  I have seen the results of his teaching on both of my daughters as well.  With his instruction as well as through his choreography, they have each achieved new levels of strength, grace and feeling in their ballet.  We are grateful to have Mr. Jackson as a teacher." 

        ―  Carey Wheatley, October 2015

“Eine Stange, die mich hervorragend auf die Mitte vorbereitet; damit beginnt Aaron Jacksons Training. Für mich als zwanzigjähriger Tänzer, der seine Technik weiter verbessern will, ist das ein grosses Geschenk. Jede seiner Übungen hilft mir, meine Körperachse zu finden. Dass er verlangt, die meiste Zeit nach vorne zu schauen, erschien für mich (nach der russischen Ballettmethodik ausgebildet) zunächst etwas komisch. Heute weiss ich es zu schätzen. Dabei ist seine Stange alles andere als steif: Viele Port-de-bras und fragile Epaulements machen Aarons Unterrichtsmethode unglaublich tänzerisch. Diese Fragilität zieht sich bis über die Mitte hinweg, alternierend mit schneller und dennoch präziser Beinarbeit. Jenewird bei den Sprüngen benötigt. Das lebendige Petit Allegro ist das Herzstück von Aarons Stunden und die hier gefragte Geschwindigkeit immer wieder eine willkommeneHerausforderung. Beendet wird jede Lektion mit einem energetischen Grand Allegro, also mit den grossen Sprüngen, die den Balletttanz für Männer ausmachen.
Neben diesem technischen Aufbau legt Aaron grossen Wert auf den künstlerischen Ausdruck. Seine Stunden werden für mich so auch zur Wohltat für Herz und Seele!"

      ―  Thierry Jaquemet, November 2015

  “Aaron has been a remarkable ballet master/ teacher for me at the Washington School of Ballet. His kindred spirit and ballet techniques are always cherished by heart...thanks to Aaron, I've learnt to speak to my beautiful ballet feet! ♡ Dance to life, with passion for flight of ballet."

        ―  Lady R, October 2015

    “  I met Aaron Jackson in December 2014. At first it was quite difficult to follow his instructions, because the Balanchine method was completely new for me. In that time I was very afraid to open up and to try out new things.

Mr. Jackson has offered me private lessons for the summer, because he saw potential in me. His words have given me so much joy and courage, because they provided me with new motivation to continue with ballet. The private lessons in the summer have helped me to come out of me and to be open to new ideas.

When I told him that I was already seventeen years old, he was surprised at first, but he believed in me and the fact that I can make it as a dancer. Mr. Jackson offered me to go to Washington for my ballet training.

I am now already two months in the US and I love it. I had ups and downs but Mr. Jackson has always reminded me that I'm here for a reason and that I am not alone. He challenges me and I achieve things of which I had only dreamed about two months ago.”

        ―  Camilla Quintana Gallardo, November 2015


    “I love coming to Aaron's adult ballet class! Aaron is a true professional but makes class fun, inspiring us to work hard and focus on how we can improve individually. He knows that each person comes to ballet with a different history, intensity and set of goals, and he always appreciates the quality and the spirit that each of us brings. I always leave class feeling uplifted and positive about my efforts during that hour and a half.”   

        ―    Olivia Sargon-Glasgow, October 2015

 "It is often said that folks over the age of 40 can't really "do" ballet.  Well, I can turn that silly remark on its head if you will only meet AARON JACKSON, the master teacher of adults.  Not only is Aaron's class filled with good cheer and positive, can-do energy, but he also is meticulous about his adult students demonstrating correct technique.  Lounging on the barre, yawning, laziness just isn't a part of an Aaron Jackson class.  He has high expectations and he helps his adult students - meaning myself - fully believe that they can meet his goals.  He never "dumbs down" a class and always presents challenging - but within reach - combinations that stretch you physically and mentally.  He is highly musical and urges us to hear and feel the lovely live piano music as we move.  I, for one, have always been inspired in his class despite my many decades of ballet training and ebbing physical talents.  Aaron is an extraordinary (in the true sense of that word) "teacher" and he imbues his every word with the love of classical ballet."   

        ―    Eve Lilley, November 2015

 “Ich besuche Aarons Ballettlektionen mit grosser Begeisterung, weil neben dem Spass auch grosse Disziplin und technischer Aufbau dafür sorgen, dass wir Tänzer Fortschritte machen. Mit seiner grossen Tanz- und Unterrichtserfahrung vermittelt Aaron Details, welche mir immer helfen, bei anderen Lehrern schneller zu verstehen, was von mir verlangt wird und wie ich es am effizientesten umsetzen kann. Mit seinem charmantn Charakter sorgt Aaron dafür, dass jeder Schüler beim Verlassen des Tanzsaales auch etwas von ihm gelernt hat und mit Begeisterung wieder zurückkommt.

        ―    Kri Rajic, November 2015

 “Aaron Jackson is a gifted ballet teacher and an inspiring person.  His classes reflect his sincere desire to share his love of and immense talent in classical ballet.   Aaron is eager to see his students develop as dancers, treating each student as an individual.  As he likes to say, "everyone is on their own personal journey."   His corrections reflect that philosophy and he celebrates each student's progress.   Aaron's classes are challenging and structured yet infused with joy & humor.  Whether a more beginner student or a lifetime dancer returning to regular class, one cannot help but leave the studio inspired, motivated and looking forward to the next class.  Aaron prefers commitment.  Students who make the commitment to 'show up' regularly are rewarded with real progress in their dance over the course of weeks, months and years as Aaron structures his class syllabus to deliberately build week to week.  Come to Aaron's class for a reason (for fitness, to get back to dance, to try something new), stay for a season and it may turn into a lifetime love.”

        ―      Ginny Wydler, October 2015

 “Schon nach wenigen Lektionen mit Mr. Jackson erzielte ich durch die richtige Koordination der Muskeln und präzise Ausführung der Schritte eine verbesserte Kontrolle über meinen Körper. An der Stange aktiviert Mr. Jackson beispielsweise die Bauchmuskultur, so dass man in der Mitte alle Kombinationen mithilfe dieses Stützpunktes leistungsstark durchführen kann. Er legt auch Wert darauf, dass jedes Tendu richtig plaziert ist, sodass die Technik schlussendlich durch seine Klarheit glänzt.
Darüberhinaus schätzte ich die Gelegenheit die Balanchinetechnique kennenzulernen sehr. Ich erhielt dank seinem Unterricht die in der Schweiz aussergewöhnliche Einsicht in George Balanchines Kunst vom port de bras bis zu den allegro Kombinationen"

        ―      Daniel Kubr, November 2015

  “Aaron Jackson’s teaching is a revelation. He has helped me strive for, truly experience and “own” ballet in a special way - something that now brings me great joy.  Earlier in my life, I was always too shy to set my sights on ballet. But Aaron’s teaching has helped me erode that barrier. Aaron embodies incredible talent, high expectations, professionalism and an absolute love for the art of ballet. He is also extremely perceptive about his students and understands our strengths and weaknesses. He encourages us and celebrates our progress as individuals and as a group.  He is a very active teacher who hones in immediately on proper technique and makes corrections so that we will learn the right way. With Aaron, I am discovering the satisfaction that comes from digging in and learning and improving, despite the difficulty! His approach towards building our skills is a wonderful mix of technical rigor, “tough love”, newness and passion.  In each and every class with Aaron, I am amazed by his fresh and eager attitude, which comes from the excitement he truly radiates in us.”

        ―        Libby Martin, October 2015


“I really love your workshops because they give me the opportunity for an intensive work on myself. You create an atmosphere of deep concentration with focus on the core which allows me to get in a deeper touch with my body and my bodys possibilities of tension, strength, and force. Until now, I always felt great changings at the end of the week; more consciousness, more sensibility and more strength...it always feels great, the reward for hard working! I love the way how you leed through classes, you seem to be relaxed, always with a sense of humour, but still focused on the important things and never loosing the concentration that helps me/us to keep on working...

        ―        Annina Castellano, October 2015

“I have danced on and off for 50 years.  In the distant past, I thought of pursuing ballet as a career. More recently, I have pursued it as a serious adult student.  I wandered into Aaron’s class 3 years ago, and have stayed ever since.   I stayed because Aaron actually teaches his class, as opposed to simply giving a class. He teaches both technique and an approach to ballet as an art form, helping students of all levels appreciate and respect the ballet.   He stresses the musical aspect of ballet as much as the development of technique.  He acknowledges each student’s gifts and challenges in a class, so the atmosphere in the class is always positive and supportive.  All of these are rare in adult classes.  I feel very fortunate to be taught by Aaron.” 

        ―        Eleanor Young, October 2015

"I had wanted for years to study ballet. After a failed attempt in my 20s I gave up; it was impossible having not learned as a child. Over a decade later, I tried again, and was incredibly fortunate to have walked into Aaron's class. The consistency, attention to proper technique, repetition and beauty of his teaching method makes it possible to learn--a dream come true!"

        ―          Heather Hughes, October 2015

“Aaron Jackson is a master ballet teacher who creates a Zen environment perfect for learning. His expertise commands the room, and you realize “you have landed” as you focus 100 percent on classical ballet technique, the sound of his voice, and your own improvements.  Aaron was trained in the Balanchine style and his students benefit from that precision and focus.  As he walks through the class, he never takes his eyes off his students.  He applies corrections on the spot, constantly pushing all of us forward and providing an unparalleled level of instruction.  I am so grateful that I walked into his class at the Washington School of Ballet two years ago. He is a gift to the ballet world.”

        ―          Kimberly Pyle, October 2015

“The moment you walk into Aaron’s class you know you are in a special place.  Aaron makes a point of welcoming and learning the names of each new student.  If you are lucky enough to take a class with Aaron, you will no doubt be inspired to "open your heart and mind"!  This is one of my favorite Aaron sayings and even the way he says it makes the room light up.  Aaron’s positive attitude is contagious!  I had no previous ballet experience yet Aaron makes me feel like I have been dancing my whole life. He is an incredibly gifted and encouraging teacher.   He is able to unite veteran and novice dancers within one class – no small feat.  He encourages his students to keep learning regardless of skill level.  Anyone who steps into his class can see that Aaron is beloved and respected by all his students.”

        ―            Claire Munter, October 2015 

“Aaron Jackson is a gifted teacher, who never for a moment “phones it in” but is always fully present and inspirational with each and every one of his students! His classes are always focused on classical ballet philosophy and techniques and they are never easy. Aaron has the remarkable ability to challenge all of his students, whether they are advanced ballet dancers or beginners like me! He learns everyone’s names on first meeting and manages to give individual instruction even when his classes are packed. Although I started training with Aaron as a middle-aged adult with no ballet training beyond a year of instruction as a child in rural Vermont, I have been amazed by the progress I’ve made in 2 ½ years. I enjoy watching the remarkable progress of all of the dancers in Aaron’s classes, from beginners to the most advanced. He creates a safe and inspirational learning environment for all of us."

        ―            Melanie Choukas-Bradley, October 2015  

Article in the Washingtonian from October 2013