FRIDAY, Aug. 12 — After almost 40 years of operation, Lansing’s volunteer-run Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan has decided it’s time for a change. The group recently announced that it has changed its name to Capital Ballet Theatre.
“We’ve been mulling it over for the past couple of years,” said Erin Van Haaren, chairwoman for the Capital Ballet Theatre. “We said, ‘This is the year we were going to do it.’ We can still keep our logo, and we all loved ‘capital’ because we are in Lansing.”
According to the group’s artistic director, Gregory M. George, the new name was a better representation of what the nonprofit dance company stood for.
“Capital Ballet Theatre reflects who we are and the community we proudly serve,” George said. “Many dancers train exclusively at CBT, then continue their ballet studies at universities all over the United States or pursue their professional career at the age of 18. Our alumni now exceed 500 dancers. CBT’s performances are some of the best Lansing has to offer.”
Though dancers admitted into the pre-professional company have to be between the ages of 8 and 18, ballet instruction and classes at the group’s dance academy welcome virtually all ages, admitting children as young as 3.
The Capital Ballet Theatre continues to host its annual “Nutcracker” performances, as well as a variety of shows throughout the year. This year’s schedule includes dates with Michigan State University’s Symphony Orchestra during the holiday season.
Capital Ballet Theatre, located in Lansing’s Old Town at 1235 Center St., is holding auditions Sunday for dancers interested in joining the company. Auditions are at 4 p.m. for ages 8 through 12 and at 5:30 for ages 12 through 18.