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ABTKids Daily

Week of November 2-6, 2020

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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.


Watch ABTKids 2020: B is for Ballet!
Presented in partnership with Random House Children’s Books,
the program is inspired by B Is for Ballet: A Dance Alphabet.

Week of November 2-6, 2020

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Election Week!

Meet a Dancer Monday

First-Time Voters

This week, Americans will vote in the 59th presidential election. At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington unexpectedly declined to be the first King of America. He was greatly influenced by Thomas Pane’s Common Sense and strongly felt that the American people should get to choose who represents them in their newly formed government. In the 1788/1789 election (the only to span two years), General Washington unanimously become President Washington.

Since this inaugural election, American’s have voted every four years to elect the representatives they feel will best govern the nation.

In 1971, Congress passed the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age.

Today we meet the young dancers from ABT Studio Company that are participating in the electoral process for the first time.

Teaching Artist Tuesday

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

Up this week: ABT Teaching Artist Carmela Gallace!

Stars and Stripes

What's Up Wednesday

Create Your Own Survey!

While most Americans only get to vote once or twice a year in the electoral process, that doesn’t mean that they don’t vote in other ways. Every week millions of American’s cast votes for their favorite contestants in television shows such as American Idol, The Voice, The Masked Singer and So You Think You Can Dance. Additionally, sports fans can vote for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the World Series and NBA Finals.

Americans love to vote and you can really learn a lot by taking a survey of your friends and family!

At ABT, we always hear the students talking about their favorite ballets. To learn which ballet is the most popular, we polled (or asked) a class of 15 students to pick their favorite ballet.

Once we collected everyone’s responses, we can take the data (ballets) and chart everything on a bar graph.

(Click the images below to get a better look at the data.)

It’s official – The Nutcracker narrowly beats out Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty for the top spot.

Now it’s your turn! Is there something you have always wondered but have never been able to find the answer? Sometimes conducting a survey can help. The great thing about surveys is that you can use them for anything! Have you ever wondered what your friends’  favorite animals are? Or what movie theater snacks they like? What their least favorite food is? Favorite dinosaur?  All you have to do is conduct a survey to find out!

Sick of mom cooking brussels sprouts for dinner? Survey your family and discover what they’d rather eat instead.  Deciding what should be the next family pet? Poll your family and show them your graph!

Follow these steps to conduct your own survey and create a bar graph with the results. Use our templates below and our example as a guide. Good luck!


Step 1

Decide what question you want to ask (e.g. “What is your favorite color?”).

Step 2

Decide who you want to ask (e.g. family members, friends, classmates, teachers).

Step 3

Ask them your question and record their answers on our “Survey Results” sheet.

Step 4

Tally up the number of votes for each answer and fill in the bar graph using the template provided.

(Click the images to view and download the templates.)

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!

Gillian Murphy
Principal Dancer
Joined ABT 1996 / Principal since 2002

“As I mail in my ballot for this year’s election, I’m reminded of all of my previous voting experiences.

Even before I could vote, I remember wearing a button for months in the 4th grade pronouncing my pick for that presidential election. I grew up in a small town, and I only ever saw endorsements for the main opponent. My parents encouraged me to watch the news and form my own opinions and that making my voice heard was a civic duty. I think those months wearing my button toughened me up a bit and also taught me the importance of exchanging ideas while taking criticism in stride.

Ever since I was old enough, I have exercised the right to vote in every presidential election. I believe wholeheartedly that every person should grow up with clean air, water, and food and access to the best possible health care, education, and art. I have strong views regarding international human rights and that every person should have the utmost opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive. Over the years I’ve been elated, depressed, perplexed, you-name-it by the outcome of primary and general elections in the USA, but I’ve always been grateful that I contributed in some way to the process.

I’d like to add that so much meaningful change can happen in smaller elections as well, and I regret skipping voting in several local elections until more recently. I didn’t make those elections a priority because I was too focused on heading off to class or off on tour. But what could be more important than making my voice heard in regards to who forms policies, both locally and nationally?

Finally, I hope the time comes when there are several candidates to choose from with nuanced, informed, and diverse perspectives, rather an increasingly divisive choice between two established parties. In any case, I want my vote to go towards electing a leader who is intelligent, effective, and compassionate – a candidate who believes as strongly as I do that we are at our best when we take care of each other. But no matter what, I will exercise my right to vote, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. ”

View More Photos of Gillian!

Writing Prompt

Write about a time that you voted on something important.

Funtime Friday

Your Turn to Vote!

Now it’s your turn to step up to the voting booth and cast your vote. This Fall, ABT dancers and staff have shared the issues that are most important to them this election.

Isabella Boylston Herman Cornejo Calvin Royal III Connor Holloway Chloe Missledine Carlos Lopez

Take a look at each of the posters and then VOTE for the one that speaks to you the most.

ABT JKO School Children's Division Online Community 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.

Recommended for ages 2-4 and 5-8, these classes 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.

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

@ABTSchool IGTVYouTube

Photo: Richard Corman.