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 attack of the virus has meant cancelling our spring performance, closing our school, ending our community programs and rethinking future programming and performances. Basically, all earned revenue generating activities stopped in mid-March.
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 be able to re-open.
While we cannot gather in-person yet, we are reinventing ourselves for the 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 grit and passion reminded me of a conversation I had with a volunteer at our joyful Nutcracker 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!”
I replied that this is the nature of ballet training — 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 taught to be so aware of those around them that they are in sync without seeing each other. And talk about delaying gratification—dancers are masters at investing in returns that come far in the future; from your 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, these skills are just the thing we need to build a bright future.
With your help we can be here for another 22 years and beyond. It may not look exactly like it has in the past, but it can be even more inspiring and life-giving. We will not give up on this generation or future generations.
Please give so we can create together.
We can’t wait to see all of you again in a class, at a performance or an event. We do not take for granted how you sustain our community.
Thank you for all you do for St. Paul Ballet.
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.
Engagement and Outreach
There is no substitute for actively participating in art. At first glance the biggest barriers to participation seem to be location (transportation) and cost. At St. Paul Ballet we have the good fortune of residing just three blocks off the Greenline LRT in St. Paul. We hold recreational classes and offer the first class free with subsequent convenient drop-in classes at affordable rates. 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.
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.