Hours of operation:
Offices 9-4 Mon through Fri
Studio/Classes 4 – 9 pm Mon – Fri Saturday 10 – 2:30 pm
The Charleston Ballet, Official West Virginia State Ballet, was formed in 1956 by Andre Van Damme. Mr. Van Damme achieved great success in his native Belgium as the first star dancer with Brussels Royal Opera. After making his home in Charleston, his vision was to provide dance training and performance experience in a professional atmosphere for West Virginia dancers and to create a greater appreciation in the community for the art of ballet. The company has been a pioneer among regional ballet troupes in the United States. For more than 50 years, the civic company has enriched the cultural life of the state with hundreds of traditional and original ballets. In 1989, Kim Pauley was appointed Artistic Director, becoming one of the very few women directors nationally of a regional company. Known for its artistic integrity and discipline, the ballet has also been one of the most socially responsible groups in the community.
The Charleston Ballet’s official school, the American Academy Ballet, is committed to training and educating students in the classic tradition and promoting the interest of the art of ballet and other dance forms to the highest artistic standards.
The school provides a wide range of dance education including classes in creative movement, ballet, modern, and Pilates open to children ages 4 and up. A Summer Dance Intensive offers master classes with many nationally known guest teachers and a variety of additional classes including seminars in nutrition, dance history and music, Irish, Character, Jazz and Musical Theater. The school provides the best training available for those who want to pursue a professional career and those who want to enjoy the benefits of dance for pleasure, recreation and exercise.