Charlottesville Ballet Outdoor Series

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Charlottesville Ballet Outdoor Series

portable outdoor stage

October 28, 2022

Charlottesville Ballet (CB) is a professional ballet company, dance academy, and 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving Central Virginia. Founded in 2007 with a mission for dancer wellness by Co-Directors Sara Clayborne and Emily Hartka, CB has three pillars: 

The professional company, which celebrates artists of all body types and backgrounds hailing from across the US and abroad.

Charlottesville Ballet Academy (CBA), which serves 650+ students annually and provides extensive scholarships and financial aid. 

CB Moves, which includes five free community engagement programs: “Chance To Dance” (C2D) for underserved children grades K-6; “Adaptive Dance” for people with physical/intellectual disabilities; “Silver Swans” for seniors; “Movement For Parkinson’s” for people with movement disorders and their care partners; and “Once Upon A Ballet” lecture-demonstrations for schools, libraries, and community centers. Providing this FREE programming is key to promoting wellness and access to dance in our community.

Their mission is to elevate the art of dance through wellness, performance, education, and community outreach.

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with co-founder Emily Hartka about the new staging they purchased in 2020 and have continued to use since then for their different events.

What led CB to seek out a new stage?

“During the pandemic, we were all thinking about creative ways to engage our audiences and to continue putting on performances — which was only safe to do outdoors for the wellness of our dancers and patrons. We had a generous donor pledge seed money in 2020 to start the process, then we approached our season sponsor to pitch the idea of purchasing this portable stage that could be used by other nonprofit partners in the region (Charlottesville Opera, Charlottesville Symphony, the Oratorio Society of Virginia, etc.).” 

The specific products were the Z-800 Supports, 4X8 Reversible Decks, and a variety of accessories.

What features were most important in the buying process?

“Stability for dance was key for us, since so many outdoor stages are not safe enough.” 

How did you find out about StageRight?

“You popped up in the initial Google research, and we liked the informational videos online.”

What was the most important factor in choosing StageRight?

“Confidence in quality, modular nature (can be configured any way you want with the 4×8 structure) – could be used for risers for singers or make a giant stage for dance! Honestly, our StageRight representative Chris was the reason we went with StageRight – he was so helpful every step of the way and guided us through all the questions (eg: how do we make sure the Z stand feet don’t sink into the grass when we put construct our stage and put it up in a field in the middle of a winery?).”

Earlier this year, CB launched their Outdoor Series with five different nonprofit partners and over 100 performers on the stage in a single weekend. Check out a few of the photos below!

We here at StageRight are so excited that we’re able to support Charlottesville Ballet and all of their events! We’d like to thank Emily and the rest of the team at CB for allowing us to be part of their success!

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