Class with Carlos: Students’ Thoughts on Instruction From an ABT Star


I could feel the awe, admiration and excitement in the airwaves. From my front row seat in the corner of the Cleveland Ballet Conservatory studio, I watched young dancers get the opportunity of a lifetime: intimate instruction from ballet great Carlos Lopez of American Ballet Theatre. Carlos visited the North Royalton ballet school April 27 to teach master classes in boys’ technique and partnering, the classes presented by Ballet in Cleveland, were open to all dancers.


 In the first class, a Guys Dance Too class (these classes are just for guys and are always led by male dancers), boys received instruction and learned skills perfecting their classical ballet technique. They stood strong and tall at the barre and on the floor as they eagerly looked to Carlos for instruction and intently watched their own reflections in the floor-to-ceiling studio mirrors.


“At first, I was nervous, but as class went on, I got more comfortable and more interested in learning the right way to do the combinations,” said Kian Kischke, 8, of Jackson.


Kian, and the other boys, learned a very important tip for form: “If a drop of water landed on your shoulder, it should drip down your arm all the way down to your wrist,” Carlos said on numerous occasions. He corrected students on their overall form and the importance of turnout, and in the second class teaching partnering, the correct distance and collaboration with their female dance partner.


Jasmine McDonough, 20, of Kent, and a Ballet in Cleveland intern, said she found the partnering class very exciting.

“It was amazing to receive instruction from Mr. Lopez,” Jasmine said. “To have this opportunity, and for Ballet in Cleveland to be able to have master classes is incredible for us.”


Every student I spoke with used the same adjective to describe their experience: “Awesome.”

Awesome it was for these young dancers to learn from a former ABT soloist, and how truly awesome it is to have to have Ballet in Cleveland hosting these inspirational events!

Carlos Lopez is an ABT Certified Instructor. Follow this link to learn more about the

ABT National Training Curriculum:

The next Ballet in Cleveland Guys Dance Too event is set for Aug. 23 featuring Aaron Ingley formerly of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and CEO of Real Food Barre. Stay tuned for more details! You can read more about Aaron below: 


Written by Ballet in Cleveland Social Media Consultant Sara Macho Hill. Some of Sara’s best memories are of her days as a ballet student. She is absolutely thrilled to be back on Euclid Avenue supporting Ballet in Cleveland by assisting with social media and ballet-themed events.


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