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ABT News

February 11, 2021

American Ballet Theatre to Host ABT RISE Weekend Workshops, April 10 And 11, 2021

Virtual Two-Day Workshop Open to 2nd and 3rd Grade Public School Children Across America

ABT RISE Weekend Workshop. Photo: Dennis Walters.

In keeping with its commitment to fostering inclusion and increasing diversity in ballet, American Ballet Theatre will host ABT RISE Weekend Workshop, April 10 and 11, 2021, a series of dance classes for 2nd and 3rd grade students across the United States, offered free of charge.  The two-day weekend workshop, conducted virtually and taught by ABT dancers, faculty, and teaching artists, will introduce children to classical ballet and offer classes in character dance, jazz, modern, acting, and mime.  Students will also have a special opportunity to learn an excerpt from ABT’s expansive repertory and participate in a “Meet the Artist” discussion with an ABT dancer.

ABT RISE Workshops thrive on the support and participation of ABT Company dancers who serve as ABT RISE Ambassadors.  “I am honored to be an ABT RISE Ambassador and to share my passion for classical ballet with future generations of dancers and ballet lovers,” said ABT dancer Courtney Lavine.  “Our goal is to provide a ‘day in the life experience,’ while showing the students that ballet is for everyone.”

ABT RISE Workshops provide access to training for students from populations historically underrepresented in classical ballet. Eligibility is limited to 2nd and 3rd grade students in the United States, with a goal of enrolling students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The April 10 and 11 workshops will be held from 1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. ET.  Commitment for the entirety of the weekend is required and space is limited.

ABT RISE, Representation and Inclusion Sustain Excellence, is a reinvigorated institutional commitment to increasing diversity throughout American Ballet Theatre.  Through initiatives existing and growing under the ABT RISE umbrella, ABT will champion, enhance, and support inclusion and diversity on its stages, in the studios and classrooms where ABT operates, behind the scenes in ABT’s administrative staff and creative teams, as well as in the audiences and communities ABT serves in New York City and around the world.

To apply for the ABT RISE Weekend Workshop, please click here. Applications must be received by March 11, 2021 to be considered. For more information, please email


American Ballet Theatre recognizes with deepest gratitude the dedication and dynamism of the ABT RISE Advisory Council, co-chaired by ABT Trustees David Rabkin and Shari Siadat. The Council’s championship of ABT RISE strengthens all our DEI initiatives.


ABT Trustee Education and Training Committee guides with bold and steadfast engagement, advancing excellence in all our dancer training and education endeavors: Co-Chairs Carrie Gaiser Casey and Karen C. Phillips; Members Amy R. Churgin, Susan Feinstein, Suzanne Hall, Christian Keesee, Paula Mahoney, Nancy McCormick, Kara Moore, and Shari Siadat.


ABT RISE is growing and expanding thanks to the generosity of numerous individuals, foundations, and corporations who help make possible ABT’s Education and Community Engagement programs. Major support provided by:

The Hearst Foundation Inc., The Hope Foundation, Dmitri Potishko and Heidi Ho, Marguerite D’Aloia, and

The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Inc.


ABT’s Choreographic Innovation and Inspiration and Inclusion programs are generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.


Special thanks to Denise Littlefield Sobel for her leadership gifts to: ABT’s Media Fund, advancing the Company’s digital endeavors; and ABT RISE, fueling the Company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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