Every day at the American Ballet Theater is bring-your-dog-to-work day
When you hear the word “ballet,” dogs aren’t exactly the first things that spring to mind. Especially not when we’re talking about the American Ballet Theatre, one of the most prestigious dance companies in the country. Based in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, ABT has been around since 1937. It’s been home to some of the best ballet dancers in the world, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland, and Misty Copeland. Apparently, ABT is also home to some adorable dogs. A lot of them, actually. So many in fact that they have their own hashtag on Insta.
You see, every day at ABT is bring-your-dog-to-work-day. The company allows dancers to bring their dogs to the studio, even when on tour. The tradition dates back to the 1980s when Baryshnikov was the company’s artistic director. Tina Escoda, ABT’s artistic administrator, told the Wall Street Journal, “I danced with the company in the ’80s when [Mikhail] Baryshnikov was our director. There were golden retrievers, Dalmatians. They were all big dogs, and we toured with them. It was quite a scene.” Of course there was no social media back in the ’80s (but we believe you, Tina!). Today ABT dancers are still bringing their dogs to work, and they love to share pics of their furry friends in the studio under the hashtag #dogsofabt.
Escoda explains that the dogs are great stress relievers in a line of work that can be quite physically and mentally draining. “Because it’s a very stressful work environment, there’s so much competition — it’s friendly competition — it’s very exhausting, emotionally and physically. The dogs provide such a great relief.”
We love these dancers and their dogs! But whoa, look out #dogsofabt…there’s another hashtag on the horizon! #catsofabt
Something tells us there’s room in this ballet company for both dogs and cats, so long as they can rock a tutu.