"I have found my home in Aaron Jackson's ballet classes. Throughout the many years I have spent dancing, he is the only ballet teacher that has genuinely and consistently demonstrated care for my training. He is generous, encouraging, and creates a beautiful, positive, and supportive environment for learning and growth. I always feel seen and understood- he knows what challenges me and is able to offer guidance that is both constructive and informative, helping me improve. In each class, I learn to dig deeper, find strength when facing challenges, take up space, and be fearless. These lessons transcend beyond the walls and windows of the dance studio. His classes and outstanding teaching philosophy and method empower me and make me a better, stronger person (physically, intellectually, and emotionally)."
― Raina Lucas, July 2022
"Over 10 years ago, I wandered into Aaron Jackson’s class curious to see if it called me back to my study of ballet. As an older student, I was not sure I was up for the challenges I had welcomed as a younger dancer. I knew from the first exercises at the barre that I had found something very special and unique. Aaron truly teaches his classes, instead of just setting a series of exercises for students to execute. His classes are full of a great love of and respect for the art of ballet. While his classes emphasize proper technique, they also stress the importance of artistry, musicality, and the flow of movement. In his classes, I feel that I dance, rather than just execute steps. The atmosphere in Aaron’s classes is always positive and supportive, and he encourages all his students to explore their artistic expression and to challenge themselves. I feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to study with such a wonderful artist and inspiring teacher."
― Eleanor Young, July 2022
"I am truly blessed to be able to learn, practice, and enjoy the art of ballet - thanks to the amazing AARON JACKSON! Like so many fans of the performing arts, I've had a special love of ballet for as long as I can remember. Yet, I had never taken a ballet class as a child - never learned the art of ballet. At the age of 42, I decided to take a ballet class and am forever grateful to have found Aaron's Adult Ballet Classes. Ballet is HARD but when learning from Aaron even a novice like myself can learn correct ballet language and form - regardless of natural ability. Now at age 55 I have come to love ballet even more because of Aaron's stellar teaching methods. Aaron's sincere investment in teaching and his investment in each student is unmatched. This higher level of teaching is special because adults are coming to class from so many different experience levels and ages. Aaron sets the tone from the minute he steps into the studio - in person and even via ZOOM! This tone is one of honest and sincere teaching and learning. Aaron gives all students the proper atmosphere to learn because he expects the best from himself and from each student. He cultivates an atmosphere of respect and love of learning. There are no limits to learning ballet with Aaron Jackson! "
― Claire Munter, July 2022
“I relocated to the Washington, DC area from Chicago almost seven years ago, 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 holistic approach was exactly what I had been searching for. In addition to working with him privately, I now find myself in Aaron’s classes most days of the week. My technique is reaching levels I had never thought possible before; I love the trajectory he has me on. Aaron strikes the perfect balance between supportive, encouraging, and tough, always demanding my best work, but in a loving and joyful way. Over the years he has also become more and more specific in the precise message that he is sharing. Aaron is such a pleasure to explore dancing with, and is a perfect companion for my ballet journey.”
― Sara Bradna, July 2022
"Aaron is a gifted artist, dancer and teacher who blends these strengths into a magical approach to ballet class that is unique and inspiring. His technique is meticulous, but accessible to dancers with a range of abilities because Aaron possesses the rare ability to teach complex material tailored to the individual dancer. He is an inspiration to his students and teaches us each to reach for milestones and abilities we did not know were possible. Even when working with students virtually, Aaron does not miss a thing! His class is endlessly challenging but so much fun! I feel grateful to be a part of his creative and meaningful approach to ballet."
― Elisabeth LaMotte, July 2022
"Through Aaron Jackson’s extraordinary teaching, I have developed a deep dedication to our class and love for ballet in general. (I have also progressed considerably from the adult newbie that I was!) Aaron embodies high expectations, professionalism and rare talent. He is a gifted teacher and is able to foster our development as individuals - at different levels, and as a group. Aaron is a very active, observant teacher who communicates immediately about specific technique, artistry and musicality. He also creates an exhilarating sense of group dynamics, and we always leave class looking forward to the next."
― Libby Martin, July 2022
"Aaron is an amazing teacher. Having the opportunity to train with him in his intermediate level adult class at The Washington School of Ballet has been a true gift. His method of teaching and attention to every detail helps develop technique, strength, musicality and style for his ballet students to evolve. I have seen it and experienced the journey. Ballet is an art. Aaron Jackson is an artist. We show up for his class ready begin the challenge of working towards physical perfection and grace and we embrace his beautiful artistry so that we all can pursue our passion as artists.
Thank you, Aaron!!"
― Lauren VanderVeen, July 2022
"If you have the will, Aaron Jackson will help you find the way. He challenges, encourages and guides each student. Whether you’re seventeen or seventy, Aaron will bring out your personal best. Point your toe straight down Aaron’s path!"
― Leanne Boland, July 2022
"As a professional dancer in a variety of styles, I was on the hunt for a challenging, engaging ballet class in DC where I could train. And one snowy Thursday morning a few years ago, I luckily walked into Aaron's class on a whim. Immediately, I could tell this class would be different than any other I'd taken in years. Aaron's energy filled the room - warm, inspiring, yet demanding. From the first exercise, I was hooked, as he provided corrections, knowledge, and encouragement throughout class. And I was thrilled to find out he taught more than one day a week!
Aaron gives his students both the space to find each of our paths in ballet, but also the guidance and skills to grow and improve in our practice. His consistency, focus, generosity and knowledge is unparalleled and he has an innate ability to know what his students need each class. Even through COVID, Aaron continued to push his students in the best, safest ways possible. Since working with Aaron, I have not only gained strength, skill and trained at a higher level than I thought possible, but my confidence and performance quality is flourishing, allowing me to explore more movement styles. Aaron's classes provide the technique and foundation that enables me and all his students to find artistry, creativity, and growth. A teacher, a coach, an inspirational human. Aaron is truly a gift to us all."
― Lori d'Orazio, July 2022
"Aaron Jackson took the place of my Russian ballet teacher, who had seen the beginning of the Russian revolution. She passed away in 2012. Like Aaron, she was a professional ballet dancer, but a bit of a Russian General, unlike Aaron.
Aaron’s teaching style encompasses technique with compassion, knowledge with precision, and humanity. He makes one feel special, motivated, and challenged. His extraordinary personal attention is evident in every class.
He has become an important mentor to me as I try to age gracefully through my seventies. Be it virtual or in person, Aaron always exudes respect for his craft and joy in his vocation. He is a wonderful example of what a teacher should be, no matter what your level of attainment. He is there for you to improve and grow. Exercising with Aaron has enabled my resolution to stay fit, especially in these challenging times"
― Bette Alberts, July 2022
"I arrived at Aaron’s class with a lifelong passion for ballet, but an equally long-lasting sense of insecurity about my dancing. As soon as I finished the barre of my first class with him, I knew I had found an exceptional teacher I wished I had met before. At 30, with a full-time job and hyper-aware of my limitations, Aaron made me feel I could continue to grow as a dancer. His intense and rigorous classes have helped me build strength, stability and stamina; polish my technique; and improve my retention. His detailed individual and group corrections are a constant reminder of how demanding he is, yet he always comes across as encouraging and has never been mean nor made me feel inadequate or insufficient for dancing. His teaching philosophy has helped me to better understand and welcome where I am in my ballet journey and how to dance safely. Most of all, Aaron’s acknowledgment and respect have helped me build my confidence and artistry. I no longer shy away in the back of the classroom, but allow myself to take up space and enjoy my dancing (which I’m doing more of)!"
― Tatiana Brofft, July 2022
“Aaron's classes are the foundation for my week. Not only is he an incredible ballet master, his encouragement and inspiration power me through my career and personal endeavors. I started Aaron's class with just over a year of informal training. He welcomed me into his class as an adult trainee and made me feel that I deserved to be in that space. He encouraged me to "take [my] place at the front of the class" - a lesson that has transcended ballet and guided me through career and personal challenges with grace and confidence. Aaron gives each dancer the specialized attention they need to thrive. He knows my body, its potential, and its limitations, and he pushes each of us to our personal ceilings. Aaron's dedication and professionalism are exemplary. He shows up early to welcome us into the studio and starts class exactly on time each day, he's attentive and laser focused for the entirety of our 90-minute training, he's disciplined and makes sure to fit in each class component, and I always leave feeling satisfied and challenged. I can't say enough about Aaron Jackson and the impact he's had on my life inside and outside of the studio. He is a light and I am grateful to have found him.”
― Dawn Myers, December 2019
“I had always been interested in the connection between drawing and dance, the way in which dancers/choreographers create lines in space using the body as an integral component in creating art. Retirement gave me an opportunity to explore in a more direct manner the basic vocabulary of that expression. I was extremely fortunate to find Aaron’s class. He has a gift for teaching and his classes draw a wonderful mix of students from various age groups, ranging from the relative beginner to those with professional experience. He teaching method is highly structured and there is a strong continuity from one class to the next. He constantly provides specific images to help visualize the dynamics of a particular movement. His individualized corrections and encouragements allow for concrete improvement within the framework of one’s own abilities As someone with a very limited knowledge of dance vocabulary, that rigor was important for me. But beyond his teaching of technique, it was his ability to instill a joy for the music itself (facilitated by the master pianists who accompany his class) that made my learning experience with Aaron so meaningful. He challenges the dancer to find the musicality in the steps and the sequences, to understand the line as it relates to the music, and to strive to mirror the music in the line, no matter how imperfect the technique and the physical limitations imposed by age. What I thought would be a brief exploration of dance’s classical vocabulary has become, through Aaron, a discovery of the music of dance as an integral part of everyday life.”
― Maria Leyva, January 2020
"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 a 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
“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
“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
“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 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 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
“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
Press Release from Berrend Dance Center