Ballet 5:8 was founded as a publicly supported nonprofit organization by Julianna Rubio Slager and Amy Kozol Sanderson in 2012. Starting out with just six dancers - three professional artists, two apprentices and a trainee - the company spent its first season performing wherever there was an opportunity, in venues ranging from Links Hall in Chicago to schools all over the city and suburbs.
Today, Ballet 5:8 has a growing roster of professional dancers and an expanding repertoire of original, innovative works created by Slager and other contemporary creatives. The company shares the beauty, power and inspiration of professional dance with thousands of audience members each season across Chicago, the Midwest, and the nation through over 40 performances in settings ranging from professional theaters to school gyms.
Ballet 5:8's multifaceted dance education center, Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts, extends the company's mission to over 250 students each year at campuses in Frankfort, IL, Chicago (Beverly), and Valparaiso, IN. The school includes a nationally-recognized classical ballet training program, a range of recreational dance classes for all ages and levels of ability, and a uniquely nurturing environment where students thrive. Ballet 5:8 is passionate about training and equipping the artists of tomorrow and investing in local communities through accessible, high-quality dance education.
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