St Paul Ballet

A nonprofit organization

In over 22 years, we have never faced a challenge that threatens the very essence of dance—the movement of bodies in community.

For St Paul Ballet, the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice has meant cancelling our spring and holiday performances, closing our school, pausing our community programs and rethinking future programming and performances. Basically, all earned revenue generating activities paused or stopped.

Yet, expenses such as rent and utilities that keep the “lights on” continue to mount until we can return. Each month these expenses alone cost the ballet more than $10,000.

Please consider a gift now to help us stay strong and continue the reinvention of our future. We have launched online classes and are learning a lot as we go. Our dancers “gather” for classes and rehearsals multiple times a week with the same dedication they have always shown. Their passion and grit reminded us of a conversation with a volunteer at our joyful Nutcracker Story performances last December.

She exclaimed, “You hardly need me…every student from the youngest
to the oldest knows where they need to be, what they need to do
and the older dancers help the younger dancers.
You’re not training dancers, you’re making leaders!”

This is the nature of ballet— building one lesson on another, devoting a mountain of time and energy, and truly letting your actions speak louder than words. Right now, these lessons couldn’t be more important. Dancers are masters at investing in returns that come far in the future; from a few minutes on stage as a child to the possibility of the corps de ballet or a featured role when you are at the top of your training. In this unprecedented time of the pandemic, art lifts us, helps us heal and gives voice to our struggles. 

Please give so we can create together.

With your help we can be here for another 22 years and beyond. We will not give up on this generation or future generations!

We can’t wait to see all of you again at a performance, in a class, or at an event. We do not take for granted how you sustain our community.

Thank you for all you do for St. Paul Ballet.

Be well,
Lori Gleason, Executive Director and
Christina Onusko, School Director

Saint Paul Ballet’s vision is to lift the human spirit through the art of ballet.

Saint Paul Ballet’s mission is to perform a vibrant repertory with a passion for the highest level of excellence, provide the finest dance education and reduce barriers to involvement in the art of dance.

We strive to create a nurturing environment in which the student’s individual development is supported. The pre-professional program provides students with exceptional clarity and strength while encouraging a life-long love of dance and healthy body image. Live accompaniment, enrichment in modern and character dance along with promotion of health and well-being complete the training.

Students enrolled in the pre-professional program build the foundation for college-level programs, conservatory or a professional career. Over 100 students each year are trained in the Vaganova-based progressive curriculum augmented by modern dance and other genres to create the well-rounded dancer. The training is divided into levels appropriate to the age, maturity and dance expertise of each student. Auditions are required for placement and progressive advancement is based on strength, physical development and mastery.


From ballets in the classical style to original contemporary works, St. Paul Ballet has performed in most of the major theaters across the Twin Cities. Resident choreographers, Lirena Branitski and Helen Hatch bring a wealth of experience and creativity to the stage. Professional dancers, costumers, designers and other artists collaborate in productions that thrill, delight and entertain. 

There is no substitute for actively participating in art. But we have found that a welcoming, non judgmental atmosphere is the most critical factor in participation. St. Paul ballet celebrates inclusiveness and values all body types. At St. Paul Ballet we are just three blocks off the Greenline LRT.  

The recreational program at the School of SPB serves an additional 300 students and their families in our community through music and movement programs for young dancers ages 4-6, beginning ballet for ages 7-11 and ballet on a drop-in basis for teens and adults who enjoy exercise in its most elegant form.
SPB also serves the broader population of St. Paul and Minneapolis through Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education.

Saint Paul Ballet is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Organization Data


Organization name

St Paul Ballet

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Children & Family

Significantly impacted by pandemic

Significantly impacted by pandemic


655 Fairview Ave. N.
St Paul, MN 55104



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