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ABTKids Daily

Week of February 15-19, 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 5-19, 2021

To Read

To Watch

To Do

Black History Month - Mentorship

A Welcome from Principal Dancer Misty Copeland

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

Desmond Richardson and Calvin Royal III

In January 1997, Desmond Richardson joined American Ballet Theatre as the Company’s first Black Principal Dancer in its 57 year history.  This fall we celebrated the promotion of Calvin Royal III who began his ABT journey in the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and completed the journey to Principal Dancer!

ABT JKO School -> Studio Company -> Apprentice -> Corps de ballet -> Soloist -> Principal Dancer

These dancers have broken barriers at American Ballet Theatre and today we are excited to have them in conversation for the first time talking about the important role mentorship has played in their careers and transition to becoming mentors themselves!

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: Aubrey Lynch, former dancer at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, original cast member of The Lion King on Broadway, and Chief Education and Creative Programs Officer at Harlem School of the Arts (an ABT Certified School).


What’s up Wednesday 

The Start of a Mentorship

"I met Troy Brown when I was eight years old. He was the first ballet teacher to see potential in me when others didn't. Having one person believe in me gave me more confidence than I can ever explain. He helped me navigate the ballet world and always led me in the right direction. He is the reason I became a professional ballet dancer."

- Courtney Lavine

Today we are proud to reunite ABT dancer Courtney Lavine with her earliest mentor, Troy Brown!

Throwback Thursday

Misty Copeland and Her Mentor, Raven Wilkinson

Funtime Friday

Mentorship Quiz

Now that you’ve become the expert on mentorship, take the following quiz to see how well you can match these famous characters with their mentors!

My Mentor and Me!

Click the image to download the worksheet.

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.