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ABTKids Daily

Week of May 25-29, 2020

Scene from Romeo and Juliet. Photo: Gene Schiavone.
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Experience the excitement of classical ballet at home with ABTKids Daily!

Welcome to ABTKids Daily, American Ballet Theatre’s new home for families and educators to discover digital content for their virtual classrooms.  Join us each day to Meet an ABT Dancer, engage with an ABT Teaching Artist, learn fun facts and enjoy ballet-themed activities from the comfort of your own home.

As America’s National Ballet Company®, ABT is dedicated to preserving and extending the great legacy of classical dancing, through exciting performances and educational programming of the highest quality, presented to the widest possible audience.

Join us each Monday morning to bring the joy of classical ballet to your family. A weekly curriculum will be posted for your discovery!


ABTKids Daily is generously supported by
Bloomberg Philanthropies


Explore this week’s materials below or view the archive here.

Week of May 25-29, 2020

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Meet a Dancer Monday

This week meet Soloist Arron Scott!

The ballet Romeo and Juliet follows the story of the Montagues and the Capulets, two families that are engaged in a feud that has lasted for many years. It is not an uncommon sight to find these two rival groups sword-fighting in the streets of fair Verona, Italy.

This week Soloist Arron Scott shares his experience playing the role of Romeo’s friend Mercutio and the process of learning how to wield the sword for one of Romeo and Juliet‘s most exciting scenes!

Teaching Artist Tuesday

Join one of ABT’s Teaching Artists as they introduce you to one of ABT’s fabulous ballets. Learn a dance, stop and sketch, and don’t forget to have fun!

Up this week: Mr. Richard!

Romeo and Juliet: The Dance of the Knights

Photo courtesy of Gillian Murphy.
Photo courtesy of Gillian Murphy.

What's Up Wednesday

Spelling Bee: Juliet vs. Juliet

This week the best spellers in America were scheduled to compete in the 93rd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. While you won’t be able to tune into ESPN for the finals, you can join us for a “Juliet vs. Juliet” spelling showdown featuring two of ABT’s finest ballerinas: Stella Abrera and Gillian Murphy.

Enjoy this friendly competition as they attempt to spell words from William Shakespeare’s iconic play, Romeo and Juliet.

ABTKids Spelling Quiz

Now take your turn and see how many of these ballet related words you can spell!

Throwback Thursday

Every Thursday we pull a photo from our archives and share it with one of our ABT dancers. You never know what stories may come from a single snapshot!

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Duncan McIlwaine
ABT Apprentice
Joined ABT 2019

“This photo was taken during ABT’s New York Summer Intensive after my first year at the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis school.  I had just moved from a small rural town in Vermont to New York City, so that I could train at one of the best schools in the world.  It was such a big and scary step in my life but I’m so glad I took it.  JKO and NYC were so exciting!

In Vermont, where I was from, I was the only boy at my studio.  When I first came to the JKO School I was so nervous to see the other guys dance and to know they would be watching me as well.  Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to realize how cool and inspiring it is to have other guys to watch and learn from.

For me, this was a time of breaking out of my comfort zone.  So much of my life had changed and it was terrifying.  At the same time, it was so fun and so rewarding that those fears were easily overcome. I will never forget this time in my life and how lucky I was to have the opportunities I had.”

View More Photos of Duncan!

Writing Prompt

Write about a time that you turned something that scared you into an opportunity.

Funtime Friday

Design a Family Crest and Coat of Arms!

Family crests and coat of arms are powerful symbols commonly used throughout the 11-17th centuries by families to show off their achievements and social status. These symbols were often passed from generation to generation. Ask your mom or dad if your family has a family crest!

If not, then today is your family’s lucky day because you get to be the designer of a new family crest for your entire family. Choose carefully between the two crest templates and use the chart below to determine what are the colors, symbols and animals that best represent your family!

Don’t forget to have fun!

Sample Crest

Click on a Template to Select

ABT JKO School Virtual Classes

@ABTSchool offers virtual classes taught by former ABT dancers, ABT JKO School faculty and ABT teaching artists – all certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.

These classes will engage ABT’s youngest students and their families, as well as the global community at large, by exploring musicality, fostering creativity and imagination, and teaching ballet fundamentals.

Mon & Wed @2:00pm: Primary (Ages 5-8)
Tue & Thu @10:00am: ABTots (Ages 2-4)

Live @ABTSchoolYouTube Archive

Photo: Richard Corman.