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ABTKids Daily

Week of February 1-5, 2021

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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 February 1-5, 2021

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Black History Month

This February, ABTKids Daily is proud to celebrate Black History Month and pay tribute to the generations of black dancers, composers and artists who have made transcendent contributions to American Ballet Theatre.

Black History Month Fun Facts

  • The origins of Black History Month can be traced to 1915.
  • In 1926, the second week of February was chosen as national Negro History week to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  • In the 1950’s and 60’s mayors of cities across the country issued proclamations bringing the celebration into the nation’s consciousness.
  • In 1976 the celebration was expanded to the full month of February by President Gerald R. Fold who urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area and endeavor throughout our history.”


In 2020 American Ballet launched ABT RISE (Representation and Inclusion Sustain Excellence).

ABT RISE is built upon the efforts of the generous and dedicated champions who did groundbreaking work to launch Project Plié in 2013, which was ABT’s industry-leading initiative to advance diversity in the training pipeline for ballet students, teachers, and administrative interns. ABT RISE consists of a series of programs, initiatives, and activities embedded across all aspects of America’s National Ballet Company® – in our education programs, our artistic and administrative endeavors, and in the fabric of ABT’s corporate culture. ABT RISE supports and assures inclusivity in all that we do.

Meet A Dancer Monday

ABT RISE Workshops

Today we introduce you to young dancers that have attended ABT RISE Workshops, a series of complimentary dance classes offered to students that have historically been underrepresented in classical ballet.

These workshops align with ABT’s mission to bring classical dance to the widest possible audience by supporting students of all abilities and skill levels in their quest to engage in the performing arts.

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 and ABT RISE Weekend Workshop faculty member Iris Wilson.

Afro-Caribbean Dance

What’s up Wednesday 

Pas de Deux

This fall, Gabe Stone Shayer became the seventh Black dancer to be promoted to the rank of Soloist at American Ballet Theatre. In the past few months Gabe has created a number of exciting projects including Pas de Deux, sponsored by CHANEL, in which he collaborated with Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and actor, Alicia Keys.

Throwback Thursday

Calvin Royal III

This fall saw the promotion of Calvin Royal III, who became the third Black male Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. In May 2020, Misty Copeland and Calvin were scheduled to perform the title roles in Romeo and Juliet, which would have marked the first time in ABT history that two black artist would have danced these iconic roles together.

Today we rewind the clock five years for an interview with Calvin as a member of the corps de ballet from ABT’s 75th Anniversary in 2015!

Funtime Friday

Style A Romantic Giselle Bun!

Today we join ABT dancer Erica Lall as she demonstrates how to make the quintessential romantic ballet bun. This beautiful hairstyle is most commonly recognized from the ballet classic Giselle, which was originally choreographed in 1841!

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.