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Perhaps you know someone who is on the Autism Spectrum and you've seen them struggle in a way that those of us who are considered "neurotypical" don't ever have to think about. Or maybe you have a friend or family member who has lost their life to, or suffered from, an eating disorder or a drug addiction. If so, then you know us. These are the very stories that shaped the formation of this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Azara Ballet. Please take a few minutes to watch our founding story:
Our goal is to raise a start-up capital of $30,000 by the end of 2022 to support the growth of our organization as a professional dance company. This will fund our artistic team's efforts to prepare for our productions and our outreach programs leading up to the launch of our first official season in the fall of 2023.
In order to accomplish this we have to be willing to have hard conversations and address the issues that most dancers are afraid to speak up about for fear of loosing their jobs. For too long dancers have suffered silently with being chronically over-worked and dealing with body shaming, eating disorders, and even drug abuse based on the unspoken (and even sometimes outwardly addressed) narrative that they need to be ultra thin, "perfect", and obedient. Let's call that what it is; abuse.
Dance is a beautiful, unique and all-encompassing form of expression. It should be celebrated and enjoyed without harming the people who bring it to life, the dancers. But the ballet world as we know it is way overdue for an update. Therefore, in order to truly honoring this art form, a structural revolution is needed and we're here to start it.
As an arts organization our priority is to produce and perform exquisite classical and contemporary works of performing art for our local and global audiences to be moved by. Simultaneously we aim to inspire young dancers along the way as a prime example of what a healthy, professional dance company can and should look like. This representation can be transformative and even life-changing for young dancers to witness.
We are passionate about giving back to our community in every way we can. These are the three programs we have created to spread the joy and beauty of dance to those in need.
Since the start of our organization in May of 2022 we have:
- Gained traction and interest online with nearly 24,000 views on our Introduction video alone.
- Provided community ballet classes to local dancers in the Sarasota/Manatee areas of FL.
- Launched our Atypical Dance Initiative program working with neurodivergent children in partnership with The Haven, a 501(c)(3) that has been around for 68 years providing housing and education for individuals with disabilities.
- Created two local productions that featured both classical and contemporary dance performances which touched the hearts of our audience members.
- Been blessed with the support of local donors and foundations who believe in our mission and know we have what it takes to succeed.
Thank you for your generosity and support for the arts. With your help the dreams of performing artists are coming true, body positivity is being celebrated, mental health is being acknowledged and neurodivergent individuals are being given an opportunity to do something they wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to experience. We can't express our gratitude enough.
Donations can be mailed to:
Azara Ballet Inc
5020 Clark Rd STE 504
Sarasota, FL 34233