About Charlottesville Ballet

Charlottesville Ballet is a professional ballet company, dance academy, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Charlottesville, VA.

Founded in 2007 with a unique mission for dancer wellness, Charlottesville Ballet is the only full time professional dance company in the Charlottesville area. Co-Directors Sara Clayborne and Emily Hartka are committed to elevating professional ballet with a healthy working environment for the artists.

• The professional company is comprised of dancers from all over the United States and abroad– from Virginia to California, Brazil to Japan. Charlottesville Ballet has no rigid physical aesthetic for its dancers and all body types are celebrated. Charlottesville Ballet’s Trainee Program welcomes dancers as they transition from advanced students into professional artists.

Charlottesville Ballet Academy (CBA), the official training school of Charlottesville Ballet, opened in July 2011 and is a nonprofit center for dance education serving over 600 students throughout the Charlottesville area. CBA offers training in all dance genres for ages two through adult and offers performance opportunities for young dancers alongside the professional company.


To elevate the art of dance through wellness, performance, education, and community outreach.

Core Values

  1. Well-Being: with attention to the individual’s physical & mental wellness through personalized training & support that is safe and effective, we actively seek to contribute to the community well-being through acceptance, equity, and connection.
  2. Inclusivity: we embrace the unique complexity & beauty of all individuals, each with different experiences, cultural and racial backgrounds, citizenship, creed, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, marital/family status, and/or ability/disability. Together, we enhance the Charlottesville Ballet family, the Central Virginia community, and the far-reaching world of dance.
  3. Accessibility: for participants, we commit to high quality dance education for all those willing to learn regardless of age, gender, physical ability, or economic privilege. AND for patrons, affordable access to performances will enrich our community as well as foster a love of the art of dance to ensure its sustainability for future generations.
  4. Innovation: with performances showcasing the versatility of our artists & choreographers, and in various settings & venues, we creatively explore and encourage the expression of life, emotion, and experience.

CB Moves, our community engagement programming has expanded to create access to dance for all in our community. It includes the following programs:

Chance To Dance (C2D) is an after-school outreach program for grades K-5 that gives underserved children a hands-on experience with the arts. The Ballet partners with local public schools in both Charlottesville and Albemarle County and students are selected to receive lifetime scholarships to train at CBA.

Movement for Parkinson’s, our weekly class is open to anyone without cost and has a special focus on creating community for people with movement disorders and their care partners.

Silver Swans, a collaborative program with The Center that’s just for seniors. This free class incorporates classical ballet principles with a focus on flexibility, strength, and conditioning, but mostly on fun!

Once Upon A Ballet and other free programming for schools, libraries, and the community

Providing these CB Moves community programs at no cost is key to promoting wellness — physical, mental, and emotional — and furthers the mission of Charlottesville Ballet by expanding access to dance for all in our community.

Charlottesville Ballet’s professional company presents performances and events in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and throughout the Central Virginia area. Look for programming designed just for children in the Family Series, eclectic mixed-repertory performances, and the annual holiday production of The Nutcracker. Charlottesville Ballet carries out its mission through eclectic live performances, educational children’s events, collaboration with local artists, and community engagement throughout the region of Central Virginia.