The American Ballet Theatre Company Comes to Lincoln, Bringing Education and a Free Show

July 1, 2021, midnight ·

Carlos Gonzalez Leads a Master Class at the Lied Center. Photo by William Padmore

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Carlos Gonzalez with American Ballet Theatre poses. Photo by William Padmore

Young dancers from various Nebraska ballet companies piled into the Lied Center's main stage Wednesday morning, in preparation for a class with a Master of Dance. The session was taught by Carlos Gonzalez, a dancer with the prestigious New York-based American Ballet Theatre company, which is in town this week to kick off its ABT Across America Tour.

“I mean, I've always loved teaching and I feel like after my career (hopefully I still have many years of dancing) I would love to keep teaching." said Gonzalez. " I always like was interested even in high school ... I just like really appreciate the job that they do and how much they give for people. So, I want to become that person... if  I have enough knowledge I can give it to other people, you know, and like pass it on to generations.”

12-year-old ballet dancer C.J Cooling was the only male dancer present for the first round of classes taught by Gonzalez. He said he was grateful for the opportunity to work with longtime dancer during the hour-long session and learned a lot; including some things that have nothing to do with technique.

“He gave great advice about taking rejection, which happens a lot in the ballet community, and just working during the pandemic. And that was great to hear from someone like Carlos.” Cooling said.

Kyle Pickles is the Associate General Manager for ABT and said the company is glad to teaches lessons to young dancers in every location they tour to. He said he's glad to see the company on the road again after a year of lockdowns..

“It really was getting back to what we were born to do. I mean, ABT is a touring company. It started in the 1940s on a bus and so we wanted to sort of return to our roots and take it to the next generation.”

ABT’s "ABT Across America!" tour officially starts Thursday at 8:15pm Central in Lincoln’s Pioneer’s Park with a free performance.

For details on the performance, including how to get tickets, click here.

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Carlos Gonzalez answers students' questions. Photo by William Padmore