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ABTKids Daily

Week of June 22-26, 2020

Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside in Jane Eyre. 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 June 22-26, 2020

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Meet a Dancer Monday

Jane Eyre with Principal Dancers Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland and Devon Teuscher

In 2019, ABT presented the American Premiere of Jane Eyre choreographed by Cathy Marston, making it ABT’s first full-length story ballet choreographed by a female, since Natalia Makarova staged her landmark production of La Bayadère in 1980.

Today, meet Principal Dancers Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland and Devon Teuscher, the three dancers that brought the iconic role of Jane Eyre to life on stage.

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!

In 2016, Northern Ballet in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England performed the World Premiere of Jane Eyre to critical success. Today we are joined by a special guest from across the pond: Northern Ballet Teaching Artist Philippa Ranger introduces you to some of the choreography from Jane Eyre!

Jane Eyre

Learn About Northern Ballet!

What's Up Wednesday

Celebrating Women Authors

One of the great things about the ballet Jane Eyre is that it celebrates strong, inspiring women. Not only did an admired female artist, Cathy Marston, choreograph the ballet but also the storyline follows a strong independent protagonist, Jane, during an era with restrictive gender roles. Additionally, the ballet is based on a novel written by yet another exemplary woman, Charlotte Brontë.

Female authors have faced many challenges in the historically male dominated field of literature. Women have been denied access to publishers and editors, as their work was believed to be unimportant and trivial. Women were even forced to write under male pseudonyms to be taken seriously. For example: Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were actually known as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell by the literary world. Despite the challenges, women persevered. Today many of the greatest works of literature are written by women authors including the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Agatha Christie, George Elliot and many more. Fun fact, these amazing women also have another thing in common: they’re all British!

Take The Authors Quiz!

Do you know which book in each pair was written by a British female author?

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!

Thomas Forster
ABT Soloist
Joined ABT in 2007

“I joined The Royal Ballet School (RBS) in London, England in 2003. I had just gone through a growth spurt, so I was very weak and lacked confidence in my ability. Every year there is a graded assessment class and if you don’t score a high enough grade, you are asked to leave. My first assessment class I barely passed.

The teachers at the RBS believed in my potential and kept pushing me to be the best I could be. I graduated from RBS with Honors and got a dream job with ABT Studio Company. If I could offer any advice to the younger generation it would be to only focus on your own personal journey and avoid comparing yourself to others. Work hard and really listen to your teachers. Embrace the challenge, “The mountain is the way!” Don’t be afraid of failure.

I’m so incredibly grateful to all the RBS staff that taught me during my time there. Alongside receiving amazing training at the RBS, I also formed friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m so thankful for my time there.”

View More Photos of Thomas!

Writing Prompt

Write about a time you lacked confidence in your ability.

Funtime Friday

This week ABTKids Daily featured:

  • a ballet created in England (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
  • by an English ballet company (Northern Ballet)
  • by an English choreographer (Cathy Marston)
  • inspired by the story of a strong English woman (Jane Eyre)
  • written by a famous English female novelist (Charlotte Brontë)
  • and performed to the music of German composers (Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schubert)

Well, everything can’t be British! Or can it?

Take The British Quiz!

Test your knowledge of all things British to see how well you know our friends from "Across the Pond"!

ABT JKO School Virtual Classes

In the Spring of 2020, @ABTSchool launched 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 engaged, recommended for ages 2-4 and 5-8, by explore musicality, foster creativity and imagination, and teach ballet fundamentals. These classes engage ABT’s youngest students and their families, as well as the global community at large!

View the full series on @ABTSchool IGTV or ABT’s YouTube Channel.

@ABTSchool IGTVYouTube

Photo: Richard Corman.