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Daily PArent Update 

Ballet Chicago will remain on hiatus through April 30, 2020.



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

Last night we successfully filed our Cares Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP) application with the federal government (literally within minutes of the application becoming available). This makes us eligible for funds to cover payroll, rent and utilities, should we need them. On Monday we will be filing the Arts Illinois grant application. As we discussed in our parent update yesterday, we are protecting the solvency of Ballet Chicago and preparing for the return of our students, and all of you!

We also want to let you know that we have enlisted our Wardrobe Master, Claire Lyons, to spend her time making masks for medical workers. This idea was inspired by none other than our Marketing Manager, Margaret Najarian, who reached out to me and told me that she was making masks for medical professionals, and needed more elastic to finish them. We then reached out to parent and ER doctor, Peter Thompson, and shared with him the patterns she had been using, provided by Chicago doctor Lauren Streicher, former BC parent and board member - see how amazing the BC family is!

Dr. Thompson weighed in, selected the one they needed most, and now Margaret and Claire are making masks in addition to their already massive responsibilities - BRAVISSIMO!! Yesterday I ordered 4 bolts of elastic and 80 yards of 100% cotton fabric so that Margaret and Claire may continue this most important work. We are so proud of them, and we are so honored to be helping our healthcare workers and first responders across our city. If any of you can contribute to making masks, please let us know. Those of you at home, wanting to make your own, please see the link below that our Aunt Allice set to us for how you can make masks out of cloth napkins.

And now to today’s roll-outs!
-Creative Movement
-Introduction to Ballet
-Center Barre
-BC Performance - Celestial Rites 2013

BC Kids - Keep those photos, videos, and time sheets coming - we miss you and want to hear from you. And above all stay home, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay healthy! We love you all so dearly.

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞Ms. Blair (and Mr. Duell)


Creative Movement: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1H2uc4vL73NJ8vTS0rhSOEj


Pre-Ballet: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GOfPk7rOrgUBtzQ3ejbDa9


Intro to Ballet: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Fl-ciUpcDJo37T6ddeYx47


Center Barre w. Ms. Wright & Casey Cross: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1F2w4TcyOzbWmA55Tvu6Ssh


Ballet Chicago Performance, "Celestial Rites": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyz7w3jy-ZM&list=PLOWoHf56bP1HjkhhUZEQ1Vynbip5SlpyV&index=2&t=0s


No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie: http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie





Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

How is everyone doing?  You are all in our hearts and our prayers, and we hope you are healthy.

We have been incredibly busy, not only with our daily roll-out of classes and activities, but also with filing for all the local, state and federal relief programs that will assist in sustaining us through and beyond this pandemic.  You can trust that Ballet Chicago will be ready to go when the shelter-in-place orders are lifted!

Today’s features are:

- A message from Mr. Seymour to the Bravo Boys contingent
- A Pointe Barre from Ms. Green - look for a wonderful surprise message in her into
- A Cardio Barre from Logan Hutt

In addition to today’s roll out of At-Home Class Curriculum, we offer a special first installment of a new feature, “Ballet Chicago Parent Heroes on the Front Lines”. We thank the school parents, and our Development Associate Megan Sindelar, for the wonderful idea, and for compiling the stories.

Please stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands…

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Pointe Barre w/ Mrs. Green: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GGOnrEVbJTlz6gMQCq2ZgX


Cardio Barre w/ Logan Hutt: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FofRMe8TGeIcx_ow52FHrA


A message from Mr. Seymour to Bravo Boys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCcKFCNwLaI&list=PLOWoHf56bP1F8Ff_HQrFMANjkz6p-EqgO&index=2&t=0s


Ballet Chicago Parent Heroes on the Front Lines: https://www.balletchicago.org/so/17N4i_ZHs?cid=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000#/main





Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

“Throwback Thursday” - On Thursday, March 12, a mere three weeks ago, we were all at Ballet Chicago, taking classes and anticipating a busy weekend of classes and rehearsals. The COVID-19 crisis had not yet been called a national pandemic.

That day seems like three months ago!

By the following Thursday we were rolling out a comprehensive daily “Class at Home” curriculum, which we continue with today’s offerings.

The first is a Pilates class from Logan Hutt, and the 2nd an Advanced class from Mr. Seymour and Maestro Mannos. See Mr. Seymour’s note to you below.

Keep your at-home videos coming! They are a wonderful means of staying connected. And please maintain all best practices to stay healthy and safe.

As we go dancing on*,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell

Hello Dancers and BC families! Mr. Seymour here. 

Missing you all very much and thinking of you all daily. It was such a pleasure to create a first “at home” class for you all with beautiful music from John Mannos. Staying active is quintessential at this time. I love seeing all the videos and pictures of you dancing at home! Keep it up and continue sending them in. The energy through our entire organization is inspiring and is motivating for us to push for more every day. I’ve been making costumes for, what someday will be, the premier of “Stravinsky Miniatures” and it has led me to imagine a number of ideas for ballets we will dance in the future. As dancers, you hold the physical, emotional and creative resilience to power you through the ups and downs of this time. Sending so much love out to all of you! 

Until soon, 
Ted Seymour 

*PLEASE NOTE - In case you didn’t see the update on the BC website, Ballet Chicago will remain on hiatus through April 30, 2020. 


Logan Hutt's Pilates Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FofRMe8TGeIcx_ow52FHrA


Advanced Ballet w/ Mr. Seymour and Maestro Mannos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Gr6qzJEjjzK9yyWsRJTPU5



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We all know the extraordinary joy and love that pets bring into our lives. Our black Lab mix Gabe is that pet for us. We rescued him eight years ago today at an adoption event near our home. Actually, he rescued us! We call this day our “Gabe Gotcha Day”. Since that day he has never looked back, and neither have we. We lost our hearts to him the moment he crawled onto Miss Blair’s shoulder at the adoption event, and he has blessed our home and our lives in countless ways ever since.

And now to today’s rollouts! Ms. Vondeer Haar and pianist Greg Smith have prepared a Level 1 and 2 class for you, and Logan has provided another Yoga class. The yoga video is taking a long time to upload – our amazing marketing team has been working on it since 9am – but you should have access to it by 7pm.

We hope you enjoy your new lessons, and the photos and videos of our beloved Gabe. We also pray that you are all staying healthy.

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Ballet 1 & 2 Class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9KF6m29UTE&list=PLOWoHf56bP1FTkLyRVs_NzKyLHv3kZDQW&index=2&t=1s




Gabe Gotcha Day: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1G6l01tp7DYYH6sgIDgxegg






Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We are grateful that you all love your online curriculum, and in this difficult time, that you are keeping up with your tuition. It enables us to keep our amazing staff, faculty, and accompanists employed, and allows us to bring you all of the lessons that are caringly prepared for you every single day. We realize that it is not the same as being together in person, and we all miss you as much as you miss us, but we have found a way to continue our work together – this is of paramount importance.

As we find our way through this pandemic, our hope is that if may teach us, teach our world to be kinder, more encouraging, more compassionate. These are the human guiding principles with which we founded Ballet Chicago, and it is the reason you all love it so much, why it truly is a family, and why it is so very special.


BC Dancers – doing the next right thing is a moral choice. As we face each day, and we make the choice to stay home for the good of all, also make the choice to stand by each other - we are not only helping others, but are strengthening our own moral compass. THAT, dear students, just like the self-discipline you learn each day in your ballet classes, is a character trait that will stand by you throughout your life.

We will get through this, and when this most challenging time is over, we will join together, we will celebrate our strength, our humanity, and be grateful for the choices we have made. And we will delight in dancing together again!

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Ms. Wright Center Barre: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1F2w4TcyOzbWmA55Tvu6Ssh


Step of the week: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FgPdD9u-h1gsq06KbFJP5z


PS - Here is our "At-Home Class" overview that we put together for the Harris Theater at their request. This will be shared with the Harris Theater Community. Enjoy! 


At home class overview: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GVCpIWkFONBhzGgvI9qWyV



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We hope you enjoyed your weekend BC Performances, your Annual School Performance music and the surprise, revised Beatles tune ”I gotta wash my hands”!  Today’s At-Home-Class additions include Ms. Green sending you class from her home, and another isometric workout provided by Emma Wittig.

We are quite excited to tell you that we will be expanding our At-Home Class Curriculum through an enhanced collaboration between teachers and pianists. As this will all be done via technology, no one will be traveling or in the same space. We hope to get this to you by the middle to end of this week - the plan for daily rollouts is as follows:



Ballet 4B and 5B Technique - Ms. Green and Kyle Kunkler

Isometric Workout - Emma Wittig


Ballet 3A and 3B Technique: Ms. Vonder Haar and Greg Smith

Step of the Week: Ms. Blair or Mr. Seymour


Ballet 1 and 2 Technique: Ms. Vonder Haar and Greg Smith

Yoga: Maggie Vannucci



BCSC Technique: Mr. Seymour and John Mannos

Pilates®: Logan Hutt



Pointe Barre: Ms. Green and Kyle Kunkler

Bravo Boys: Mr. Seymour and Greg Smith

Cardio Barre: Logan Hutt



Creative Movement : Ms. Hurst, Ms. Heavisides and John Mannos

Pre-Ballet: Ms. Alvarado and Casey Cross

Introduction to Ballet: Ms. Heavisides and Jeremy Harris

Int/Adv Center Barre: Ms. Wright & Casey Cross

BC Performance 



Music Theory: Jeremy Harris

BC Performance



This is the first time we are trying this, so please be patient with us. That said, we feel this will bring you an experience that feels more like taking your classes at Ballet Chicago. 

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands!

As we go dancing on,


🤗💞 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Emma Wittig: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GinruvUSUfq4yVWKOpfZPD


Mrs. Green's class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FFWiXKOGnUQ3BhUk7XsXz5





Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We hope this day finds you able to rest, and join together to enjoy the fourth installment of “Ballet Chicago At-Home Performances”.

Today’s video is my five-part work, “Ellington Suite”, set to a wide-ranging score by the great and inimitable Duke Ellington. His Symphonic jazz score, “The River“, is the only work he wrote for full orchestra.

A bit more history here: when I was performing the role of Albrecht as a guest artist for Richmond Ballet‘s “Giselle” in 1986, I attended a live performance of the Richmond Symphony led by the distinguished conductor Akira Endo. “The River” was on the program. I had never heard it before, and was immediately entranced by its charm, character, power, and changing moods. I knew right then and there that one day I would choreograph this music.

That chance came in the summer of 1987 as part of a choreography project I directed that year at Jacob’s Pillow involving dancers of the New York City ballet. Yes, this ballet had its debut as “River Suite”, performed by dancers of the New York City Ballet!  

A mere few weeks later the ballet was performed by the dancers of Chicago City Ballet, and staged by none other than Patricia Blair, our very own Miss Blair! (How that happened is quite a story in itself, to be told at another time). The work was part of a full evening danced by Chicago City Ballet on the stage of the iconic Chicago Theater.

After opening our school in January 1995, I revived the Ballet in 1998, re-titled it “Ellington Suite”, revised the choreography, and in 1999 or 2000 added a Men’s Dance.

An audience favorite ever since, the Ballet’s five movements evoke the changing moods and character of Duke Ellington‘s inspiration for this music, the mighty Mississippi.

I hope you enjoy it!

As we go dancing on,

Mr. Duell
(and 🤗💞 Ms. Blair)


Ellington Suite: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1HjkhhUZEQ1Vynbip5SlpyV

PS - We wanted to share with you a beautiful letter that we received from BCSC dancer Mia Thompson’s mother. It deeply impacted us and shored us up as we are also finding our way through each day - figuring out how to keep Ballet Chicago present in your lives, figuring out how to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. It greatly moved us. Here is what she wrote:

Dear Ballet Chicago directors,

As I write this, I am sitting in my living room watching two of your dedicated studio company dancers doing an abdominal workout and stretch. They just completed technique and center with (if I may say so) a very entertaining playlist of music. They have coated our wood floors with rosin, moved our furniture around, and looked after one another's safety as they attempt to pirouette in a less than ideal environment. Our home has been filled with the beauty of dance and music during a time of tremendous uncertainty, stress and honestly, yes, some fear.

Good leadership willingly takes risks and makes tough choices when faced with challenge. Ballet Chicago demonstrated that kind of leadership this past month of March 2020. Closing the studio the weekend before even the public school system in Chicago officially closed their classrooms was a swift and confident display of the concern that Ballet Chicago has, not only for the dancers and staff, but for Chicago's general public. Your decision to continue to pay your faculty and staff again reiterated the forethought required in a decision of this gravity. As a family with an emergency physician working on the front lines and two members of the family with health risks, we cannot possibly underscore the level of trust this has given us in you.

So many joys have come to us through Ballet Chicago, and during this pandemic, with all the overwhelming news coming through social media and even from the front lines at the ER, the home ballet resources have unexpectedly been a source of happiness for all of us! The dancers were discouraged by being quarantined. Their anticipation of the spring show and all that they have worked hard to achieve is postponed. We also know that they are longing for connection with other dancers and the faculty. They are pressing on even faced with this obstacle, as ballerinas do and as you have trained them to do. With your online resources, video classes, and the accountability of your emails, they simply will not give up. In the meantime, our family is reaping the benefit of being quarantined with two ballerinas. I've even taken class with them, and NO, the video of that class will not be posted.

With Peter seeing more cases of COVID-19 everyday in the ER, we are counting on every single person to do their part. Please make masks the fashion and stay six feet apart - a grand battement or a fouette! From our family to yours, to the faculty, and to all the other Ballet Chicago families, we say, "Thank you!" You've done your part. Stay the course so that this pandemic can be overcome swiftly and lives saved.

With deepest gratitude,

Rosana Thompson



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

On a normal Saturday we would be sharing the beautiful space at Ballet Chicago with you, busy with classes for training, and with rehearsals preparing for Ballet Chicago’s Spring Repertory and Annual School Performance.

Speaking of the Annual School Performance, attached is the music for your dances! Now you can practice at home, and we can’t wait to see your delight as well as your progress. In addition to the music for your dances, we added a surprise, “revised” Beatles tune. Please let us know what you think of it!

And Parents, if you have videos from last year’s Annual School Performance, please forward them to us at balletchicago@balletchicago.org. We would love to share the full program with our entire school!

In our temporary “new normal”, sequestered at home with lots of time on your hands, we thought you’d enjoy spending some of that time watching our beautiful young artists in performance. Today’s performance video is Mr. Seymour’s captivating “Danzon!”, to the delightful music of the Mexican composer Arturo Marquez. As you watch, take note of how Mr. Seymour’s choreography captures the Latin flavor and rhythms of the composer’s music. This ballet is a lot of fun - you’ll all be saying, “Me gusto mucho!”

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


Annual School Performance Music: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FpBYbhHkRMWqCyjt1ltCsM


Danzon!: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1HjkhhUZEQ1Vynbip5SlpyV



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


Another day, another rollout for you! Today’s ”at-home-class” additions are wonderful!


The first is a video of Ms. Green, sending you class from her home.  Her adorable little boy, Arthur, joins in!


We also have a full barre recorded by our wonderful Principal Pianist John Mannos. You can practice your written class plan to his beautiful music, or you can simply turn it on and do all of your most favorite combinations.  We think everyone, even our littlest ones, will enjoy dancing to his fun and inspired melodies. It can even bring moments of joyous listening to our parents.


BC kids - a reminder to keep track of your attendance sheets.  Ms. Rosenfeld will be contacting you to collect them!


Blessings and hugs to you all.


As we go dancing on,


Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Mrs. Green's Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Ez9-BOLC_RNN2LJMFhaTSK


Mr. Mannos Barre music: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1H3ZliAD9gZpu4jJ75jLqK- 




Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

Today’s ”at-home-class” additions are videos of “The Long One” and a Pilates® session!

We know how much you all LOVE doing The Long One, so we are very happy to be able to bring it to you. Many of you may not know the history of The Long One, so we thought we’d share it with you. Back in 1984, when I (Ms. Blair) was still performing and also newly taking on the responsibility of being one of the company’s Ballet Masters, I made the very first Long One. It was a way to get us going during extensive touring. Making bus, train, and air trips all over the country, it was no easy feat to get our bodies malleable for long days of classes, rehearsals and performances. Given our grueling travel schedule, it became a tool we all relied on. The Long One has morphed over the years. Mr. Duell added the Gyro stretch in the 90’s, and what was originally a side-to-side pulling barre stretch was replaced by Ms. Rozann’s grand plié in 2nd stretch – that happened after the pulling stretch broke a few studio barres!

And here’s a fun fact - several years back, former BC dancers around the globe held a Long One conference via Facebook, showing the version known to them from their time at BC. We suspect that in the future, you’ll all still be doing the Long One too!

We also have class footage from our Pilates® teacher, Logan Hutt. Did you all know that Logan is Ms. Vonder Haar’s daughter? Pilates® improves flexibility, promotes increased muscle strength and tone in the core muscles of the body, and enhances muscle control of your back and limbs. It is a health regimen for everyone, helps boost your mental health, and improves focus and concentration. We know you all will benefit from the Pilates® classes!

Stay healthy, and keep those photos and videos coming to us – they brighten our days and keep us all connected!

As we go dancing on,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



The Long One: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1EBACsc9Y7YKor6ygP27aQi


Pilates®: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FofRMe8TGeIcx_ow52FHrA




Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


The Preparatory Division videos are here!  We can’t wait to see photos and videos of our Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, and Introduction to Ballet students enjoying their Ballet Chicago classes at home! 


We also have class from our yoga teacher Maggie Vannucci. Those of you who take the yoga classes know the benefits, but for those who don’t, this might be a good time to start. Yoga builds strength, increases flexibility, and improves posture. It also reduces stress, increases blood flow, and boosts your immune system.  At this challenging time, we could all avail ourselves of these benefits - we hope your entire family can yoga together.


We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the doctors, nurses and first responders in our BC Family.  You are in our prayers; we are so very grateful for your courage and your care. 

And to our full BC Family, we hope that you are safe and healthy.  We miss all of you so much, and can’t wait to be together again.  


As we go dancing on,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


PS - BC Students, we are hearing from parents that quite a few of you are persistently petitioning to go out and get together with your friends.  Please don’t! We all miss each other, miss our friends, our family members, but we need to do this. All of us appreciate your cooperation.



Prep Division videos:


Creative Movement: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1H2uc4vL73NJ8vTS0rhSOEj


Pre-Ballet: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GOfPk7rOrgUBtzQ3ejbDa9


Intro to Ballet: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Fl-ciUpcDJo37T6ddeYx47


Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1HeKE7tdrI6NtqWE8J4Tpxe



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

As we write this, the sun is shining, the skies are clearing, and it has been wonderful to receive so many comments, photos and videos from you! It keeps us all connected in the most wonderful way. We are grateful for all that our staff, faculty and pianists are doing – working hard every day to bring you the lessons and fun supplements that you are receiving. And we are so very grateful for the support and encouragement from our Ballet Chicago Families!

Preparatory Division Student and Parents, we thank you for your patience - your class videos are being finished and are on their way to you!  

Today’s additions to your at-home training includes Ms. Wright’s Floor Barre, and a new element called “Step of the Week”.  This week we’ll be focusing on glissade (phonetic pronunciation - glee SOD). We want all of our beautiful students to practice and hone their glissades every day!

BC Students, we do hope you are all settling into your new routine, and that you are doing all of your classwork.  AND perhaps your parents would like some help at home. Maybe you can make a “Daily Chores Chart” to show how you are contributing - keeping up with tidying your rooms, house cleaning, dishes and laundry. 😉

We hope you enjoy today’s rollouts, and stay tuned for what’s coming tomorrow…

As we go dancing on,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


Step of the Day: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FgPdD9u-h1gsq06KbFJP5z


Floor Barre: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GpyKvHGFbl3V9tmmfCy644




Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


We hope you had a good weekend!

Yesterday, we took a walk with our pup Gabe. We went to a deserted soccer field near our apartment and Gabe spent ½ hour jumping and fetching, tearing around the field in joyous abandon. Then when we got home, who should walk by but Ballet 2 Mathilda and her dad! We shared a full “social distance’ conversation as the snow began to fall. It sure was great to see one of our students – we miss you all so much…


Today’s additions to your at-home training includes the following:

  • A full isometric workout by BCSC Studio Company member and certified personal trainer, Emma Wittig

  • Photos and videos of BC dancers sharing their at-home training


We have also added more coloring pages and crossword puzzles, as well as a “Dancer Goal Sheet” sent in by Ms. Vonder Haar.  


Finally, we greatly encourage you to comment on the videos and other content we are sharing. We want to keep our community connected and supportive, and your feedback will help us to navigate this new way of reaching our students.


As we go dancing on,


🤗💞 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


Isometrics: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GinruvUSUfq4yVWKOpfZPD


Dancers at home: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1EV-m4OxHcgBnQK-mXTsXlH






Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


On the first full day of “shelter-in-place”, we have already received warm and enthusiastic feedback in response to the At-Home Lesson Plans and Videos we have sent to you. We are so very grateful that you feel good about what we’ve put together!


Materials in the works:

  • Creative Movement Class Video

  • Pre-Ballet Class Video

  • Intro to Ballet Class Video

  • Ms. Green giving class from her home

  • Maggie Vannucci guiding us through her Yoga classes from her home

  • BCSC member and personal trainer, Emma Witting providing isometric workouts; she’s sending them to us from her family home in Wisconsin

  • Principal pianist John Mannos recording music for our Prep Division Students to dance to.

  • And, our “Step of the Week” to be sent each Tuesday

Below is the video link of our second installment of “Ballet Chicago At-Home Performances”, and your weekly attendance sheets. You can print the sheets, or make your own chart to fill out. Please record how much time you spent daily on each of the activities we have provided for you. 


Attendance sheets are “greatly encouraged” for several reasons:

  • Parents can use them as a tool to help keep their children focused on fulfilling their daily goals, enhancing structure in this time of extended home confinement.

  • Students can develop discipline and a sense of pride in producing their own record of fulfilling a regimen on the honor system.

  • Day-by-day tracking can be fun.

Ms. Hurst and Ms. Rosenfeld will be following up with you to collect and record your work. 


Parents, please feel free to take advantage of the isometric workouts, yoga, stretch, and of course, the BC performances! We all need tools to help cope with our temporary new normal.


And BC students, don’t forget to take photos and record videos of you doing your BC lessons and activities. We are very much looking forward to seeing your photos and videos, sharing how you are all “Ballet Chicagoing” at home


We hope you are all safely ensconced, that you are healthy, and adjusting to our new normal with peacefulness and purpose. We also hope you have time to relax a bit.


As we go dancing on,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell

Secrets de Printemps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABBtFK8VzSg






Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

As promised, below is the video link of our first edition of “Ballet Chicago At-Home Performances”.

We are happy to say we have another fun project for you!

We’d love you to share short videos or photos of you, our beautiful Ballet Chicago dancers, participating in the lesson plans! It would be so much fun to see all of you working hard at home, and will warm all of our hearts to share among our Ballet Chicago community, keep us all connected, spread morale, and keep us all motivated!

Please send all content to balletchicago@balletchicago.org with the subject line "At home lessons" and let us know in the body of the email that we have your permission to share with our Ballet Chicago community.

We look forward to seeing all of our dancers in action!
And hopefully some parent workouts as well.

As we go dancing on,

🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell

Hansel and Gretel: https://youtu.be/EIeXkD_ek94




Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


Happy chilly first day of Spring,

 ❄️ 🌷 🌸 🌺 ❄️


By now you will have all received the first roll-out of Ballet Chicago’s At-Home Classwork that we sent out last night. Today’s additions include a pointe barre and a stretch class, links below, and this weekend you will receive videos of Mr. Duell’s Hansel and Gretel and Mr. Seymour’s Secrets de Printemps.  We hope you will all have a moment to curl up together on the couch to watch these beautiful ballets.


To all our beautiful students:

How are you?

Are the lesson plans easy to understand?  

Have you done class with the videos?

Did anyone complete the crossword puzzle?


And while you are waiting for us to get the attendance sheets to you, we’d love you to write down how much time you are spending on your barre, your isometrics, and your stretches each day!  We want you all to come back healthy and strong and stretched!


As we go dancing on,


🤗💞 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell

Stretch Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1GGOnrEVbJTlz6gMQCq2ZgX

Pointe Barre: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Fayw3ZLu8HRty--dWCEFTz



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,




Here are your written lesson plans and the first of your videos to dance along with. 

The video links are at the end of this message, and the written lesson plans can be found on the parent portal as well in the "At Home Ballet Resources" quick link. 


We have an exciting full plan in place, including attendance sheets, that we will be sharing with you in the next days!


And parents, we haven’t forgotten you! We know that none of can go to the gym or swim, or even attend your weekly classes at Ballet Chicago.  So, we’ve included all of you in our at-home class plans as well.


Stay healthy, stay tuned…


Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


PS - And kids, wash your hands, practice your plies, tune-up your tendus, and stay home!!!!


Ballet 1 & 2 Barre: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1FTkLyRVs_NzKyLHv3kZDQW

Ballet 3-5 Barre: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1EnANJP7VOsNXjf4XHm4qcW

Ballet 6 & 7 World Ballet day Barre: https://www.facebook.com/74657227712/videos/1304893583023527/  





Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


Today we are hard at work in the studio putting together the videos for you to dance at home! 


Myself, Mr Duell, Mr. Seymour, pianists John Mannos and Casey Cross, Marketing Manager Margaret Najarian and dancers Kat Alvarado and Hayley Lampariello assembled this morning and have been filming all day.


We are very excited to get these videos to you; we think you will greatly enjoy them!


Don’t worry, we are following all health and safety measures, washing our hands a lot and social distancing in the extreme.


Please stay tuned for more information and content to be released!


 Ms. Blair






Dear Ballet Chicago Families,


Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🌈


Yesterday we met, all six feet apart, to put in place our plan to make videos for our students to dance at home. Tomorrow we plan to spend the day filming. If that becomes not possible due to safety concerns, we will find other ways to reach you through sharing Ballet Chicago performance videos and a private channel of classes and workout routines. 

In the meantime, please enjoy this video that we put together for our Illinois Arts Council grant application.  It features “Highlights of Balanchine and Beyond 2019”.

Video link here

Password: 2020IACA

We hope you are all safe and healthy  🤗💞,

Patricia Blair and Daniel Duell




Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

At Ballet Chicago, there is no higher priority than the health and well-being of our employees, students and their families. Our commitment to the entire Ballet Chicago community remains steadfast. To that end, all staff, faculty, and accompanists will remain employed during this period. This is important to ensure that the teachers and the pianists that you all love so much will remain intact and will be there to welcome you back when this break is over. We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support from our Ballet Chicago families and our board during this difficult time. With your commitment, alongside ours, we will ensure the financial health and longevity of the Ballet Chicago we all love so much.

We will be meeting on Monday to put in place the lesson plans and videos that we will be sending to our beautiful students. We will update you all when they will be sent, and when each subsequent at-home lessons will be coming your way.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support as we continue to navigate this challenging and rapidly changing situation. Thank you very much for your continued loyalty and support. By pulling together, we will all come out of this healthy, strong, and ready to resume our beloved in-studio activities!

With our very best wishes,

Patricia Blair and Daniel Duell





Dear Ballet Chicago Community,


Out of an abundance of caution, and with the safety and health of our entire community at heart, we have decided to accelerate and extend our Spring break, beginning Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, April 12, 2020. We will continue to communicate with all of you as the Coronavirus situation evolves and will be in touch about at-home lesson plans.


Our commitment to inspiring and training our students is ongoing, and with moving to weekly lesson plans, we feel we can keep everyone safe and moving forward.


We will also be sending updates on plans for our 25th Anniversary Balanchine + Beyond Season and our Sterling Gala as we are working with the Harris Theater and the Chicago Yacht Club to put in place alternate dates should they be needed.


Please continue to monitor our website, our Parent Portal homepage, and the new COVID-19 section for updates and supplementary information. We wish continued health for all of you; you are all in our prayers. Please keep us in yours as well.


With all best wishes,


Patricia Blair

Associate Artistic Director and School Director


Daniel Duell

Founder and Artistic Director



For more information, and to stay-up-to-date on the evolving COVID-19 situation, see these sites:

The World Health Organization

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health Seattle and King County

Washington State Department of Health

Guidance for Travelers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We hope you enjoyed the photos we sent yesterday of our flowering geranium and last year’s summer garden.  Seeing those photos reminded us of our work last summer, sitting in our garden, reading The Secret Garden, and beginning to lay the groundwork for this year’s new ballet.

I know you are all wondering what will happen with Spring Rep, the Annual School Performance, and what the next month or months will bring.  The truth is, we don’t yet know. It is not in our control when we will be able to return to the studio, but you can trust that we are preparing for all contingencies, and when the stay-at-home order is lifted, we’ll be ready.

What is in our control is this:

- Stay home, wash your hands frequently, and if you do have to go out, be diligent in practicing social distancing.  By doing so, we can all help flatten the curve, which ultimately will allow us to return to our more-normal lives. 

- Keep up with your daily lessons, not only your ballet lessons, but all the additional training we are providing for you. You too will then be ready – strong, stretched, and raring to go!

- Get up every day, get ready, make a schedule and stick to it, talk or face-time with friends and family, keep your spirits up.

Now, to share with you some of the things that are in place.  We currently have dates on hold at the Athenaeum Theatre for the first weekend of June, and the Harris Theater for the 2nd and 3rd weekends of June. This gives us flexibility for both Spring Rep and the Annual School Performance, and when we know the paths our city and state decide to take, we will make the best decisions for Ballet Chicago to take.  Also, Wardrobe Master Claire Lyons has done such beautiful work on our costumes for The Secret Garden – please see the butterfly and lobelia photos attached.  Mr. Seymour has also continued to work on costumes for Stravinsky Miniatures, dying leotards, tights, and making some really lovely headpieces – Look for those photos in a future update.

At this time, we are planning to go ahead with all of our summer training programs, and we have some really fun new Gala plans in place – more on that tomorrow!

Today’s rollouts include Ballet 1 and Ballet 2 with Ms. Vonder Haar and Jeremy Harris, and Wednesday Yoga with Maggie Vannucci.  And remember, ALL previous lessons are in the portal.

Stay safe, and please keep those photos and letters coming our way!

As we go dancing on,

 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Beginner Ballet (1 & 2) w/ Ms. Vonder Haar, music by Greg Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T1wGMCY8HM&list=PLOWoHf56bP1FFWiXKOGnUQ3BhUk7XsXz5&index=2&t=0s


Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z3YotBJcLU&list=PLOWoHf56bP1HeKE7tdrI6NtqWE8J4Tpxe&index=2&t=0s


Please find all at home ballet resources on our parent portal. Please note, our Youtube class videos are unlisted. You will only be able to access them through the links that we provide, not by navigating our Youtube channel.

Past Ballet Chicago Daily Parent Updates



Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

What a beautiful day! 

The increasing warmth of the weather reminds us that spring is here with its resurgence and renewal, and that winter is truly behind us.  We fervently hope that this pandemic will also move onward as soon as possible, and that the pattern of our daily lives will find a vital, refreshed new normal. 

Last night we were looking through some quotes, and we found this: “Sometimes we are tested, not to show our weakness, but to discover our strength.” As we face each day and navigate our way through, we are discovering strength. One strength that we are all finding is that we can do more than we might have imagined with our “At-Home” class curriculum, and that your growth can continue as the beautiful dancers and human beings we know and love. 

Like flowers that go dormant in the winter and emerge again in the spring, we have faith that you, our beloved dancers, will emerge from this period of time, this unusual test, return to our studios, and continue the miraculous growth we experience each day with you. 

You may not know this, but we plant a three-tier porch garden in the spring, and each fall, we bring most of the plants inside.  All winter long, our home is filled with many different kinds of plants - ivy plants, palms, prayer plants, spider plants, herbs, lilies, ferns, shamrocks, aloe, and geraniums – almost thirty in all! 

Yesterday one of our geraniums flowered. It lives in our den window and we photographed it against the night sky yesterday evening. After a winter of only showing leaves, its flowers burst forth – it was a delight to see.  We’ve attached the photo, and also images of our garden in full bloom. We love sharing these with you, and so hope you enjoy them.

And now, for today’s rollouts, we have an Intermediate 1 Class with Ms. Vonder Haar and Greg Smith, and our “Step of the Week” is arabesque, five of them to be exact!  We can’t wait to quiz you all on them when we get back to BC!

We love you.  Be mindful of your social distancing, do your classes and practice every day, and keep thinking of ways you can help out at home.


As we go dancing on,

Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


Step of the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VSbH80lqUY&list=PLOWoHf56bP1FgPdD9u-h1gsq06KbFJP5z&index=2&t=0s



Intermediate 1 (3A/3B): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdE0B8HrReQ&list=PLOWoHf56bP1Ez9-BOLC_RNN2LJMFhaTSK&index=2&t=1s


Please find all at home ballet resources on our parent portal. Please note, our Youtube class videos are unlisted. You will only be able to access them through the links that we provide, not by navigating our Youtube channel.





Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

We thought we’d start out today’s message with a beautiful, inspirational quote from Martha Graham. She said “Stand up! Keep your backs straight! Remember this is where your wings grow.” We can all benefit from being reminded to stand up for ourselves and for our community, both here at-home and around the globe. And we think sprouting wings, wings of hope, creativity, and compassion, is a mighty fine idea!

We hope you enjoyed your Music Theory lesson, the Performance of “Serenade”, and the Ballet Chicago Studio Company’s “At-Home Serenade.” Wasn’t that just breathtaking? Truly inspiring beyond words.

Today’s new classes include Ms. Green and Kyle Kunkler’s Intermediate class, and another isometric workout from Emma Wittig. Emma is getting stronger by the day, and wasn’t it wonderful to receive the news that Ms. Green and her husband Danny Shapiro, are going to have another baby!  We know their little boy Arthur, cute and sweet as can be, is just going to love having a little brother or sister.

We also wanted to ask if you saw the video on how to make masks out of cloth napkins, and to let you know that the crossword, word search, and coloring pages on the portal have been updated. Enjoy!

We love you all. Stand tall, wear your masks, and let’s all practice kindness.

As we go dancing on,

 Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell



Advanced Isometrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gP8qNWvF1Q&list=PLOWoHf56bP1GinruvUSUfq4yVWKOpfZPD&index=2&t=17s


Ballet Chicago Intermediate Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1Ez9-BOLC_RNN2LJMFhaTSK


Please find all at home ballet resources on our parent portal. Please note, our Youtube class videos are unlisted. You will only be able to access them through the links that we provide, not by navigating our Youtube channel.

Past Ballet Chicago Daily Parent Updates






Dear Ballet Chicago Families,

On this Sunday afternoon, we hope you are all nestled in and reveling in spending time with each other. The challenges of this pandemic have afforded us all the luxury of spending more time with each other than we ever have. It has also forced us to stretch in new directions on sudden notice, with no previous road map to go by. For us as a ballet school, this applies especially to teaching dance when the physical space it requires isn’t available for a period of time.

But, invoking the notion that unusual problems bring unusual opportunities, we have fast-tracked our learning curve to deliver as much content as we could on such short notice, and are finding that the operating culture of Ballet Chicago is beautifully reflected in the many positive responses we have received from dancers and parents alike. A creative response that emerged just yesterday is a beautifully constructed video conceived and executed by BC dancer Dana Coons. It makes a compelling lead-in to today’s installment of “Ballet Chicago At-Home Performances”, Mr. Balanchine’s full “Serenade”, performed by the Ballet Chicago Studio Company at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Enjoy!

We have another very special addition for you today – a Music Theory lesson from our own Jeremy Harris. Mr. Balanchine said “Music is the floor upon which we dance”. Think about that for a moment. The music we dance to defines the mood and the character of each ballet we perform.  And think about how much inspiration you get each day dancing to live music from our highly skilled pianists. Music and ballet are inseparable, and we felt that it would be most valuable for our beautiful students to have a better understanding of the sibling relationship between the two art forms.

The Learning Curve of Virtual Ballet Education is inspiring us to stretch in different ways, and the effort we put out each day reminds us that we can find a silver lining in every situation if we look with our hearts.

Many blessings to you all. We very much look forward to hearing your feedback regarding today’s roll-outs.

As we go dancing on,


🤗💞Ms. Blair and Mr. Duell


Serenade: www.bcadmin.org/portal/pages/?p=200405093010


At-Home Serenade: www.bcadmin.org/portal/pages/?p=200405111518


Music Theory w/ Jeremy Harris: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOWoHf56bP1F_H0-LCJh6w2D-K80wRP2c