Tiktok-ing on her toes: Houston native ballerina turns to social media after COVID-19 closes curtains on NYC performances

HOUSTON – An American Ballet Theater dancer from Cypress is back home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and using social media to keep sharing her craft.

Erica Lall trained at the Houston Ballet Academy and was just 15-years-old when she moved to New York City to pursue a professional ballet career with ABT.

"I never thought I would leave Texas so to end up joining a major company such as ABT was just a dream," Lall said.

She was living that dream up until two months ago, when coronavirus shut down NYC and all of its arts.

“We had plans to tour in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Detroit, our eight-week season that we train all year for at the Metropolitan Opera House was cancelled. It was a little sad not getting to perform but I know it’s the best thing for the health of everyone,” she said.

Now the 22-year-old is back with her family in Cypress.

"It was a bit of an adjustment to come home, I haven't spent this much time here since I was 15," Lall said.

Her schedule in NYC meant she was teaching or taking classes or rehearsing all day every day.

Now the railing of her parents’ balcony is her ballet barre where she takes ABT’s daily technique class via Zoom. On Instagram she offers free ballet lessons to her nearly 20,000 followers.

TikTok is her stage to showcase her talent.

"TikTok keeps me dancing, it keeps me sweating, it keeps me open minded to what other types of dance I can do," she said.

Staying on her toes and keeping her spirits high for what she hopes will be a much-needed return performance.

"Ballet and the arts is sort of an escape from the everyday life and for people to not have that I think they're going to be so much more appreciative of that. And I think we're going to be giving 200% more on stage because we've been so confined in our own homes and apartments trying to keep up with the ballet. I think we're just going to go out and give it all to our audiences," Lall said.

Her next free Instagram Live ballet class is Saturday May 9 at 2 p.m. You can follow her on Instagram @Erica_Lall.

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