About the Greensboro Ballet

 

Greensboro Ballet & the School of Greensboro Ballet

Our Faculty, Staff and Board of Directors

To contact our staff and faculty, call us at 336-333-7480 or click their email link. 

Jessica Fry McAlister, Interim Artistic Director   artisticdirector@greensboroballet.org

Nina Bass Munda, Interim School Director   schooldirector@greensboroballet.org

Jennifer Savage Gentry, Int Executive Director  executivedirector@greensboroballet.org

Lisa Sheffield, School Registrar/Administrative Asst.   registrar@greensboroballet.org

Gary Core, Financial Administrator/CPA   finances@greensboroballet.org

Instructors:  Elisa Arauz, Kira Arauz, Kaitlynn Gruchacz, Dom Alexis

For a current contact listing of our Board of Directors, click HERE.

Our History

The history of Greensboro Ballet begins with the regional dance movement of the 1960’s. Prior to that, ballet training was primarily available in New York and San Francisco. But, when many Ballet Russe-era dancers relocated to communities across the United States, the regional dance movement was born.

The movement represented a sea change in dance education. Regional dance organizations focused on decentralizing ballet education to establish an expectation of finding legitimate training anywhere in the country. The movement launched a network of artistic directors, helped them learn how to run not-for-profit ballet organizations, and gave students opportunities to take master classes and perform for their peers.

Out of this movement came Greensboro Civic Ballet in 1964. Initially, the organization was informal. There was no official school, but rather a focus on providing local dancers an annual performance. The school came later, in the 1970s, when former dancers in our community identified a need to provide consistent, structured training and renamed the organization Civic Ballet Theatre (CBT). Organizers approached the United Arts Council of Greensboro for membership, funding and space in the Greensboro Cultural Center.

In 1980, Maryhelen Mayfield, an alumnus of Kansas City Ballet, was hired. Enrollment in the school grew rapidly and quickly surpassed the goal of 75 students. Public performance followed soon afterward. Within 30 days of opening its doors, the Ballet performed at the first annual City Stage arts festival. Later that year, CBT first performed The Nutcracker with North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet). Rapid growth in school enrollment—overseen by School Director John Dennis—followed, as well as membership in Southeast Regional Ballet Association (SERBA). CBT was the first SERBA Honor Company (the highest level of membership) from North Carolina.

The organization’s evolution brought two further changes: A new name, Greensboro Ballet, and the addition of professional dancers in 1995. Although the financial downturn of 2003 was a difficult time for the Ballet, the company forged ahead and made decisions that put the organization on a better financial footing.

In October 2019, a new leadership model was formed with a trio of new Interim Directors were hired to move the Ballet into a new and modern era, while holding on to the valued tenets of the classical ballet tradition. This trio of leadership includes Jessica McAlister - Interim Artistic Director of Greensboro Ballet, Nina Munda - Interim School Director of the School of Greensboro Ballet and Jennifer Savage Gentry - Interim Executive Director of Greensboro Ballet, Inc.

Greensboro Ballet remains not only a vibrant member of the local arts community, but stands among its peers in regional dance.

Outreach - YOUR CITY, YOUR BALLET

It is very important to Greensboro Ballet that it give back to the community in which it makes its home. Our various outreach programs include:

- Dancing Above the Barre, a program for students with various disabilities that in the past have kept them out of dance class. This popular program has grown and now these dancers have done their own Outreaches with Kernersville's Fourth of July Playground and UNITE in downtown GSO;

- Our Dance in the Schools program and our School Shows (Nutcracker, Cinderella, etc.) allow us to educate the students of Guilford County about the athletic and beautiful art of dance;

- Participation in Downtown Greensboro’s free First Friday events and numerous community and arts and cultural events held at LeBauer Park, Greensboro Children's Museum, the Central Library,  and for local fundraising events (EMF, Carolina Theatre, GSO Guild, Big Hair Ball, etc.) and much more;

- Providing free Summer camps or complimentary tickets to other non-profit organizations  (through donations for auctions/raffles) in order to expose more members of our community classical dance while supporting our community!

To be added to our EMAIL List, click HERE.