ABT Takes Fans Behind the Curtain on YouTube

American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside in class

American Ballet Theatre has recently created a brand-new YouTube channel, and not a moment too soon. Other classical companies like New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet have posted dozens, if not hundreds of videos over the past few years. Fans of these companies can peruse rehearsal footage, interviews with dancers, silly behind-the-scenes moments, performance previews, clips from classes and summer programs and more. The most interesting videos are those that introduce viewers to dancers outside the context of the stage. Yes, they can talk! And they have opinions! Watching interviews and candid moments with ballet stars is one way of pulling back the proverbial curtain on a notoriously exclusive artform.

In ABT’s first few videos, we learn about life in the renowned company from stars like James Whiteside and Skylar Brandt. Whiteside says ballet is like an obsession to him, simply because it is so hard. "It's a very strange feeling knowing that perfection is unattainable. And it's strangely alluring," he says. I feel like I know him better already. Check out ABT's channel here.

Teacher Voices
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Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

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"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

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