AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - During the pandemic, the Lone Star Ballet has two major priorities: keeping their professional dancers employed and making sure kids get to keep dancing.
The Lone Star Ballet, like many Amarillo non-profits, is experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the postponement of the Nutcracker Ball and The Nutcracker ballet, the organization continues to find ways to keep their doors open.
“The Nutcracker is very significant to all ballets. It’s the money maker,” said Craig Henderson, executive director of the Lone Star Ballet. “Our board has done some very good planning and we have some investments we’ll have to dig into... I hate doing that but we have to keep the lights on.”
Although this may have future repercussions, the allocation of funds allows the ballet to pay instructors, pay professional dancers and keep classes going.
LSB is also relying on the generosity of their donors and tuition from families.
“We couldn’t do this without our families. We just couldn’t put on the shows that we put on, (and) we just couldn’t have what we have here in town without our families and their support and their kiddos love for dance,” said Roxann Seaton, longtime professional dancer and ballet mistress and academy director for LSB.
For families who cannot afford to dance during the pandemic, kids have gone to class tuition free.
“We opened back up in June with no tuition, let people just come to try and help out the families who are going through this,” said Henderson. “We aren’t the only people going through financial hardship, its other people too.”
In order to stay open, the Lone Star Ballet follows strict CDC guidelines.
Every dancer must wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and dance in their assigned marking in the studio, which is six feet away from all other dancers.
LSB believes this extra effort is worth it, as keeping kids dancing is more important than ever, providing them with a sense of stability during such difficult times.
“[It gives them] something to look forward to, to keep their minds off of all the crazy that’s going on in the world with the pandemic and everything else,” said Seaton. “Just to add a little bit more normalcy into their lives is beneficial.”
Seaton held back tears as she spoke about her love for the children and how much coming to dance class has helped them during the pandemic.
The Lone Star Ballet has seven locations across the panhandle, all of which are being used to keep kids mentally and physically healthy.
You can support the Lone Star Ballet by giving them a call or visiting their website.