The ballet company is choreographing a production celebrating Kingsport’s history to be performed in March 2017. The community has various physical activity options from the littlest ballerinas to adults looking for specialized group fitness classes. Businesses and individuals are offered several different ways to sponsor not only the performance season, but also to provide under-served youth the chance to grow as dedicated dancers. Dance enthusiasts in the Tri-Cities now have a boutique to have dancewear personally fitted to them.
Kingsport’s centennial will be celebrated by Kingsport Ballet with a performance called “Seeds of Change,” which draws inspiration from 1917.
“We’re looking at the huge impact that the time of history of 1917 with World War I had on society and the arts,” said executive director Bertina Dew. “One of the reasons Kingsport grew was largely as a result of the repercussions of World War I, so Seeds of Change comes from that pivotal time in our country’s history which happens to be when Kingsport was founded. The impact of the changes in society around the world was felt in every art form. Visual artists and dance artists rejected the traditional standards because it was a huge disappointment. Reality for them was death, destruction and war. Artists of all kinds started exploring the breaking of rules. The impact of World War I on the arts and society is where we’re drawing our inspiration for new choreography for ‘Seeds of Change.’”
Kingsport Ballet offers more than ballet classes for the area’s youth. They also offer adults fitness classes ranging from low-impact, freestyle classes, such as adult ballet, yoga and pilates to high-impact body weight premium classes, such as P90X, Insanity and Les Mills’ Bodycombat. The drop-in rate for a single class is $7. Unlimited freestyle program membership is $35 a month. Unlimited premium program membership is $45 a month. Or, $55 a month for both programs.
Businesses and individuals can support different aspects of the ballet company’s season depending on the level of sponsorship chosen, from the entire season’s production to individual performances, and from the group of underserved youth brought from The Boys and Girls Club to the individual dedicated dancers who’ve chosen to continue their ballet career.
“We recently created a new category of giving that was a hole before in what we made available to sponsors,” said Dew. “We’ve created the Berezova Scholarship Fund for dancers that come to us as at-risk youth through a partnership we have through The Boys and Girls Club. After the first year of introductory classes, the outreach program participants have the option of staying with the program as a curriculum student.”
Dew said it’s harder to find funding for those dedicated long-term ballet students after they’ve graduated out of the yearlong introductory classes. So, they’re asking for sponsors to help the students who have the necessary dedication and family support to continue dancing through this “adopt-a-dancer” program.
In addition, dancers and performers in the Tri-Cities now have a boutique to purchase dancewear and have their attire fitted in-store. Kingsport Ballet renovated its waiting room in the front of the studio and expanded the merchandise to create the kb Boutique.
“(It is) one of the many ways we’re looking to be sustainable and expand our sources of revenue for Kingsport Ballet. We are a nonprofit and must raise over half of our operating budget,” said Dew. “There aren’t any other ballet boutiques in the Tri-Cities.”
For more information about where to purchase performance tickets, the group fitness schedule, sponsorship opportunities and directions to kb Boutique, visit the Kingsport Ballet website.