Dayton is rich. Not sure if you knew that or not, but we are extremely well off when it comes to the arts. With venues ranging from the Schuster Center, The Victoria Theatre, as well as the Loft Theatre, the Dayton Area is extremely blessed.
Fun fact: Did you know that the Dayton Ballet is the second oldest ballet company in the nation? Not the city, not the state — the nation. The Dayton Ballet is made up of 18 extraordinary dancers from all over the country. With Artistic Director Karen Russo at the helm, The Dayton Ballet has brought to life a number of amazing performances, such as Cinderella, The Nutcracker and upcoming performances of February Fantasy & Romeo and Juliet.
Growing up I thought the ballet was awful and had no point. I would groan when my friends or family spoke about the ballet because it added no interest or excitement to my life. Last year, I made one of the best decisions of my life: I joined The Dayton Ballet Barre and went to my first-ever ballet performance.
The Dayton Ballet Barre’s mission is to support The Dayton Ballet through audience development, fundraising, community outreach, volunteering and creating a sense of community for the dancers new to our city. This organization is open to anyone who enjoys the Dayton Ballet and wants it to continue to be a world-class performing arts organization. All ages and professions are welcome.
I was blown away by my first ballet performance. It was beautiful. I hung upon every step that was executed as well as every note played. I was speechless. How could I have missed out on this for so many years? My stubbornness once again made me realize how much of a donkey I truly had been all these years.
Being a part of The Dayton Ballet Barre has allowed me to gain a new respect for ballet. It is fun to be able to converse with the dancers and hear their passion for the art. Some of the events The Barre helps plan and execute are socials for the dancers, welcome events for all new dancers, Pre-Show networking parties with folks from other arts centered support groups such as Encore, and of course our Sugar Plum Tea that we hold before The Nutcracker performances.
I asked Libby Ballengee, current President of The Dayton Ballet Barre why she liked being apart of the organization. She had this to say…
“There are many reason I like being a part of the Dayton Ballet Barre. For the city, the performing arts is what gives this town heart. No, we don’t have an ocean or mountains, but we have an incredible cultural diversity that makes our city extremely appealing to both live in and visit. Supporting those art forms is critically important to the overall success of the city, especially one as historically relevant as the Dayton Ballet.
Why did I pick ballet? I studied growing up, and had the little girl fantasy of being a professional dancer when I grew up. Just like little boys who want to be pro football players, that’s not realistic for all of us. It gives me a personal sense of satisfaction to help other people attain that same dream. When the dancers hug me, and send me thank you cards for all the work I do, it gives the ballerina inside of me a huge thumbs up!”
If you are looking to connect with The Dayton Ballet Barre, be sure to follow them on social media or reach out with how you would like to get involved.
Be sure to use our hashtag: #RaiseTheBarre