Inspired by the regional dance movement of the 1960’s, the Greensboro Civic Ballet was born. Initially, this informal organization focused on providing local dancers with an annual performance. In the 1970’s, a school was added to the organization as the need for consistent, structured training became clear to the community. The addition of the school prompted the organization to rename itself the Civic Ballet Theater. Twenty years later, after the successful growth of the school, and enrollment in the Southeast Regional Ballet Association, a first for North Carolina, the organization was renamed Greensboro Ballet.
Since the covid pandemic started, Greensboro Ballet has been struggling under the effects. Covid-19 has shut them down completely, they've had no personal contact with each other, and they were not allowed to be in their building or use their studios, so they've been unable to hold classes or practice. This year marks Greensboro Ballet’s first time performing in National Dance Day, and they were excited to be given an opportunity to dance and perform in light of everything that’s happened. When asked what they are most excited about with being part of virtual dance day, artistic direct Jessica McAlister responded, “The two youngest performers in the group are still in high school and were heartbroken when COVID hit and they were no longer able to come into the studio every day to dance. It’s been so heartwarming to see the community come together to make this event happen. Everyone is just looking for reasons to dance, so National Dance Day, even virtually, is certainly a bright spot for our dancers and for the entire local dance community.” The ballet’s contemporary piece reflects what people everywhere are going through right now due to the pandemic - the dancers were longing to hug and comfort each other but were unable to physically touch.
Moving forward, the Greensboro Ballet is hoping to reopen the studio for classes now that North Carolina is operating under Phase 2.5. They’re also working on an upcoming benefit performance for healthcare workers to be broadcast virtually.
Your Support Means a lot
Like all of our programs at Greensboro Downtown Parks, National Dance Day GSO is free to attend every year. We're proud to put this event on, showcasing the talented performing artists of our local community. Especially this year, when the corona virus pandemic has taken an incredible toll on non-profits like us, artists, and the entire creative sector, we're grateful to have this event as a shining example of what coming together looks like, even when we have to be apart. Support from individuals and sponsor organizations is critical to bolstering the work of the local arts and culture economy. You can lend your support by donating or becoming a Friend of the Park and help us continue to bring free programs to the public.
We especially want to thank generous sponsors for helping us to put this virtual event on this year: