Sierra Griffith, fifteen-year-old McKean student of the Patterson School of Ballet, has been invited to attend the School of American Ballet’s year-round program for the 2020-2021 academic year. The School of American Ballet (SAB) is the official school of the New York City Ballet located in the famed Lincoln Center. Sierra Griffith has been a student at Erie’s Patterson School of Ballet for the past five years under the direction of Michael Patterson, formerly of the Pennsylvania Ballet. 

The School of American Ballet, founded in 1934 by George Balanchine, one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th Century, trains a vast majority of the New York Ballet Company’s dancers as well as dancers for companies around the globe. The School of American Ballet is an audition only school. Admission is highly competitive and deeply coveted by dancers all over the country. “Of the 2,000 students that audition for the summer program, only 200 are invited to attend; and from those, only a handful of students are chosen to stay for the year. This year, since fewer students have been invited to attend due to the pandemic, it is a huge honor for Sierra to have been chosen and a testament to the training our students receive,” according to Artistic Director Patterson.

“When I found out that I was accepted into SAB, I was really excited and surprised,” said Griffith. “I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to train there for the year. It feels good to know that my hard work is being recognized. I am thankful for the training that I have received from Michael Patterson that has helped me to get to this point.


Following his career with the Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia), Michael Patterson founded the Patterson School of Ballet.  His students have danced with or are currently dancing with Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Netherlands Dans Theater. The mission of the Patterson School of Ballet is to enrich children’s lives and provide opportunities for personal growth and achievement by utilizing the skills developed in the studio.  


The Patterson School of Ballet currently offers a Pre-Professional Program for Ages 3 and Up, Open Division, Adult Classes, as well as Virtual Classes. For more information about our programs, please contact us at: or (814)833-3919