City of Lubbock names downtown street in honor of Ballet Lubbock founder Suzanne Aker
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Suzanne Aker pioneered ballet in the Lubbock community, impacting every student that danced in her studio.
On Jan. 25, the city honored her legacy by naming the stretch of Avenue L from Marsha Sharp to 9th Street, Suzanne Aker Avenue.
Artistic Director of Ballet Lubbock, Yvonne Racz Key, says, “Someone who was a pioneer, she truly was because this amazing building that we are in wouldn’t be here without her life’s work.”
The journey began in 1969 when Aker founded the Lubbock Civic Ballet in a one-room studio on Boston Avenue. Racz Keys says that is where she met Aker.
“That is where me and several others were taught by her, and from there she established the first teaching of ballet curriculum at Texas Tech University,” Key said.
Key says Aker dedicated her life to ensuring the art of ballet was alive and well in the Lubbock community.
“She kept it alive; it wasn’t something that was just a passing phase. She kept dance education alive and vibrant in Lubbock,” Key said.
Now, years later, Ballet Lubbock stands on the northeast corner of Buddy Holly Hall. Key says Aker got to see her dream come true before she died.
“Being in Buddy Holly Hall, her life’s dream, has come to fruition,” Key said.
Key says Aker’s name deserves to be on the street to watch over Ballet Lubbock for years to come, thanks to the legacy that she crafted for every dancer that stepped into her studio.
“Having a street named after her is absolutely necessary because it honors her legacy and the legacy we want to continue,” Key said.
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