American Ballet Theatre holds master class for Lincoln teenagers at Lied Center

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The American Ballet Theatre is considered one of the world’s best dance companies. It’s now on an 8-city tour and made its first stop in the Capital City. On Wednesday, the company held a master ballet class for Lincoln students at the Lied Center.

The master class was the first in-person one held at the Lied Center since the start of the pandemic. For many of the student dancers selected to take this class with a trained professional, they told 10/11 it was a dream come true.

“Ballet is like my first love,” said 18-year-old ballet dancer Anna Johnson.

For most of these middle and high school students, their love for dance started around three years old. “I was really grateful,” said Lincoln Southeast student Avery Bauereis. “I was so happy to get this opportunity because I got the email that I would be able to go, and I was just so excited.”

Roughly 30 students were chosen from Lincoln dance schools to take the master class held by the American Ballet Theater and taught by professional ballet dancer Keily Groenewegen.

“We have to keep teaching the younger generations how to dance and how to move, so that they can take it and run with it how they want to,” Groenewegen told 10/11. “I will do the exercise with them as many times as I possibly can because I know that feeling. It’s like you’re just wanting to do your best, and you want to be improving.”

Students said they’re grateful to have a chance to get better in something they truly love. “I took away how to manage my body and how to actually move across the space,” said 13-year-old Phoenix Decker.

Being able to step in the shoes of a professional ballet dancer students tell us helps them chase their dreams.

“It’s extra special because you know the hard work and the long hours that go into it,” said Johnson. “It’s really motivating just to know that’s what I can do if I keep working hard and keep putting in the work.”

Groenewegen told 10/11 she taught the class to help move the ballet world forward. “It’s really easy, especially with ballet to get caught up in the technique and trying to make it perfect, but the audience is going to see your love for it, your passion for it and the emotion that comes out with it.”

The American Ballet Theatre will host a free performance outside in Pioneers Park Thursday at 8:15 p.m. To reserve tickets, visit the Lied Center’s website HERE.

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