One of our contributors brought this subject up in a comment, and I think it’s worthy of exploration.
Certainly the NYCB dances (at least in Balanchine ballets) differently from any other classical ballet company in the world, and students at the feeder school, SAB, are specifically taught Balanchine technique during their training.
I seem to recall Gelsey Kirkland saying at one point that she felt this technique was unhealthy. I don’t think she teaches it at her school, but I’m not sure. I know she has for decades been searching for a safer way of dancing.
Other ex-NYCB dancers worship the technique, however, and have created academies that teach it in various parts of the U.S. For a while, Maria Tallchief operated the Chicago City Ballet, a training/feeder company for the NYCB, and actually produced one future NYCB ballerina from among her students.
But I know little of the Balanchine technique except for some specifics that are obvious to everyone. Although I enjoy some of his work (Serenade comes to mind), I have never particularly enjoyed the Balanchine concept, nor bothered to learn much about it. It may be true, however, that he contributed toward bringing us the very tall, skinny, hyper-flexible and athletic ballerinas so much in favor today. Back in my day, had I been more gifted, I probably would have been prodded to apply at SAB, given my height and perpetual lack of fat (anywhere, except between the ears). It would have been the only place I could have gone. In fact, years later someone actually asked me if “in a former life” I had been an NYCB dancer. By that time I had already not taken a class in a decade, and I burst out laughing. Not even in my dreams, I remember thinking.
Anyway, here is an article written by an actual ballet teacher that gives a bit more detail: