AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Like many organizations and non-profits here on the high plains, the Lone Star Ballet has had to adjust to figure out a way to perform and entertain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been on stage since I was five years old and I am now 20. So 15 years,” said Matthew Miller, Lone Star Ballet Performer.

“My first performance was in 2007. So that would be 14 years now,” said Alyssa Seaton, Lone Star Ballet Performer.

Miller and Seaton are veterans of the Lone Star Ballet, which has been around since 1975.

“Neil and Camille Hess actually started it out at Tascosa High School and WT. It started with The Nutcracker performed at Tascosa High School and it has grown to where we do shows, obviously Nutcracker at The Civic Center now instead of a high school auditorium,” said Roxann Seaton, Lone Star Ballet Academy Director & Ballet Mistress.

It’s now spread all across the panhandle with academies in several different cities.

Due to COVID-19, the ballet was limited to just a handful of performances last season.

But now, they’re back to in-person performances and that means practice, practice, practice.

“We have been rehearsing non-stop weekly. We have huge, big rehearsals every single Saturday all day long,” said Miller.

“It’s been really nice to prepare for it and know that we’re actually going to have a show, be able to have people come out and watch us and perform for them live and be able to interact with them for the first time in quite a while,” said Miller.

But they’re going to be doing it without their long-time Artistic Director Vicki McLean.

McLean announced her retirement last year but her impact is still felt.

“She watched a bunch of them grow up and graduate and move on either into dance careers or other things within their life,” said Seaton.

“There’s just this sense of almost respect when you say you dance with Lone Star. You mean with Vicky McLean? But growing up under her, she held us and had us hold ourselves to a certain standard of respect and it just kind of carries over without her. It’s just a tradition of excellence,” said Seaton.

The Lone Star Ballet just wrapped up their performances of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and are now preparing for their upcoming performances of The Nutcracker.

If you’d like to check out times and tickets for The Nutcracker, click here: https://lonestarballet.org/performances-tickets/