Children’s Ballet of San Antonio to perform in front of live audience since start of pandemic

The company will perform “Swan Lake” at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

SAN ANTONIO – So much repetition and attention to detail is put into rehearsing every move for a performance.

It’s why when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it was such blow to performance artists like the dancers with the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio.

”A lot of these dancers were wondering when they were going to be able to dance again,” Vanessa Bessler, artistic director & founder of the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio said. “Not just in studios, but on the big stage.”

Bessler said last March, everything came to a halt for their dancers. They had to learn to train over Zoom, to socially distance on the floor and dance with a mask on.

”At first it was pretty difficult to breathe with a mask, but I think once you get used to it, it becomes a lot easier,” Arabela Alvarado, 13, with the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio, said. “And I think it’s also important in ballet because it helps you build up your stamina.”

After over a year of having to practice virtually and then transitioning into performing virtually, the dancers will finally be back in front of a live audience.

The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will be performing “Swan Lake” at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on May 21st and 22nd. Dancers ages three to 21-years-old will finally be able to showcase all their hard work and the hours they have put into their art.

”In the studios, you teach them to dance, you teach them technique but it’s only on the stage where they become artists,” Bessler said. ”It’s more of an artistic experience and when you have a camera in front of you, you can take multiple takes and re-do it,” Kate Thomas, 16, with the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio, said. “But when it’s live, it’s one shot and it’s definitely more fun.”

More fun, not just for the audience to get back into those theater seats, but more importantly for these young dancers.

“I hope that we can go back to normal and continue to do our seasonal performances because I really enjoy them and love the experience,” Alvarado said.

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About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.