Letters to the Editor

Letter | Youth ballet buoyed by MI Community Fund

Island Youth Ballet, a nonprofit, in residence with the Children’s Dance Conservatory of Mercer Island, was founded in 1998 to underwrite and promote quality performance opportunities for the children and youth of Mercer Island aspiring to learn the art of classical ballet.

Ideally situated in the picturesque red schoolhouse on Mercer Island’s South end, IYB currently is preparing for its premiere of “Excerpts From Cinderella,” to be presented at the Mercer Island High School Performing Arts Center on June 10, 2012, at 2 p.m.

To launch a new ballet and present it within a fairly short timetable is no small feat. This is reflective of a well-trained student body and parents who share the same vision for achievement and excellence for the arts within their community. This process demands commitment and sacrifice, which are put to the test in a myriad of ways. Ballet training is expensive and never-ending. Siblings groan at the mention of yet another rehearsal or class that may threaten and stifle their life interests, and the age-old adage, “you can’t do it all,” is challenged time and again. But, somehow, the show manages to go on!

After five years of preparation in the studio, IYB first presented “Excerpts From The Nutcracker,” held at Youth Theatre Northwest in 2003. This ongoing collaboration with YTN and the support of the greater Mercer Island community is not only fulfilling but is now proving to be the opportunity to add Cinderella and another ballet to its repertory. With a generous grant from the Mercer Island Community Fund, a gift of $2,000 for the project, “Excerpts from Cinderella” is now underway. IYB and Cinderella, it seems, share bits and pieces of the age-old rags to riches story.

Island Youth Ballet is grateful for this opportunity to enliven and enrich the cultural experiences of all Mercer Island residents, and at this time it is especially grateful to the Mercer Island Community Fund for making this project possible.

Susan Valencia

Executive and Artistic Director

Island Youth Ballet


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