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Charlottesville Ballet

The Charlottesville Ballet welcomes two new dancers, Emily Oppelt and Rachel Terry, to the company this season. We also welcome our first apprentice, Heather Lively, as part of our newly-created apprentice track to help young dancers to transition into the professional realm. With these additions, the size of the company has now increased to eleven dancers.

Our artistic staff is also expanding. Keith Lee, Director of Dance Theater of Lynchburg, join Charlottesville Ballet as an Associate Director. We are honored to have his support and to perform his beautiful creations for audiences in both Charlottesville and Lynchburg, VA! Nicole McGurn joins us as an Artistic Associate. Her experience and extensive professional background will help promote the quality of the dance that you see when you enter the theater.

As you look over the 2009-2010 Season, you’ll see collaborations with artists like Richmond-based jazz musician Roddy Barnes. Kelly Silliman, our Choreographer in Residence, collaborated with musician Andy Waldeck to produce her witty piece called Dancer Blues. We’re also expanding our performances this season to offer a special Children’s Ballet Series for our youngest audience members. Don’t miss A Fairy Tale Gathering, an enchanting afternoon tea party featuring all of your favorite whimsical characters!

Our shows will also expand geographically to include a performance in Greene County, VA. Kelly Silliman of The Dance Barn graciously donates her studio space in Stanardsville, VA and Charlottesville Ballet is pleased to not only rehearse, but also perform for our audiences in the surrounding Charlottesville area.

For those who would like to experience professional dance first-hand, join us for a "Matinée Master Class." Participants will take ballet class on stage with the company dancers as they prepare to perform. In addition, students will have a unique opportunity to learn an excerpt from the repertory being performed in the matinée show. An excellent experience for the aspiring dancer!

We're also delighted to support JUMP, a new program for at-risk girls through the nonprofit organization Abundant Life. Charlottesville Ballet will host a free workshop and performance to help young participants build confidence and foster creativity through dance.

As you can see the company is growing by, well, leaps and bounds! We are so grateful for the continued support we received during our first season and we look forward to expanding our role in the Charlottesville community.


Charlottesville Ballet seeks to create a holistic space for our dancers and choreographers to grow, both as individuals and as a group. We hope to become an integral part of the Charlottesville community by giving ecclectic live performances, collaborating with local artists, and offering community outreach throughout the region of Central Virginia.


Charlottesville Ballet was founded in order to provide an environment of wholeness, balance, and freedom-- for dancers, choreographers, musicians, and all who are a part of the organization. We strive to create a setting where each participant is an individual, yet an integral part of the whole. We've gathered an exceptional ensemble of artists that come from a variety of backgrounds, but are united by the common passion of dance.

Many young girls dream of being a ballerina, but visions of tutus and tiaras can often be tainted by the elite ballet world. Within the inner circles of professional ballet, it is commonplace for men and women to push their bodies beyond the point of health. Dancers often acquire eating disorders in order to maintain a competitive body weight and dance on preexisting injuries in order to keep their jobs. Although many of these issues are hidden behind the beauty of the art form, we feel that there is a better, healthier, and more effective approach to professional ballet. Few ballet companies consciously wed health and professionalism, yet we feel these two ideas are not mutually exclusive. When directors Ariadne Conner and Sara Jansen began the idea of a ballet company in 2007, they hoped to create a holistic, professional environment to showcase both the emotional expression and technical prowess of talented dancers.

School name:Charlottesville Ballet
Address:Charlottesville Ballet P.O. BOX 5292.
Zip & city:22905 Virginia

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