From the passionate fury of flamenco to tango’s forbidden heat, the polished elegance of classical ballet to the earthen power of modern dance, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture. The Latin Ballet of Virginia (LBV) combines technical excellence with a soulful depth of emotion and an unwavering commitment to education, diversity and accessibility.
The Latin Ballet of Virginia was founded in 1997 in Richmond, Virginia under the direction of Ana Ines King, a native of Colombia, South America. LBV is a professional dance company and school of dance, providing multicultural dance programs, teaching and performing for a diverse community. The Company is central Virginia’s pre-eminent Hispanic dance company, performing throughout the State and at select venues in North and South America. It was incorporated as a 501(c) 3 organization in 2000.
LBV offers a wide variety of weekly classes in 2 dance schools taught by 13 faculty members. Over the years, LBV has built a company of 11 professional dancers from around the world, featuring 6 professional musicians, and mentors 25 apprentice dancers. LBV enrolls approximately 400 students of all ages per year, conducts five professional dance productions annually, supports 85 long term residencies and 120 short residencies, and presents master classes and lecture demonstrations.
For the 2012-2013 program year, LBV touched a total of 112,000 individuals (60,000 adults and 52,000 children under age 18) through educational performances, residencies, and lectures. According to U.S Census, there are approximately 12,803 people who identify their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino who live in Richmond City. LBV performs and teaches for a diverse range of venues and audiences to ensure accessibility to a wide audience. LBV’s programs are the only ones of their kind in the area and are a natural draw to local residents of Hispanic descent. Today, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement in its many forms to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture. Bringing the culture and history of Spain and Latin America to passionate life through the joy of dance, LBV combines technical excellence with a soulful depth of emotion and an unwavering commitment to education, diversity and accessibility.
The Latin Ballet of Virginia’s mission is to create and strengthen connections to Hispanic/Latin American cultures through innovative and immersive dance-inspired education and performances that affect positive and sustainable change in people’s lives. The company fulfills this mission by increasing access to the arts for low-income families; providing culturally diverse performances and classes; helping prepare “at risk” Hispanic and minority children for success in our community; and touring our professional performances and educational programs internationally, nationally, and locally.
AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS
The Latin Ballet’s Educational programs have received two awards of distinction as Best Arts in Education Programs: The Jane Baskerville Award for the best community education program for World Languages in Chesterfield County Public Schools, Virginia, and Best Artists in Residency for Multicultural Programs, North Carolina Arts Council, Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The Dance Teacher International Magazine reported the Latin Ballet of Virginia as one of the only three arts organization in the US offering an “English as a Second Language” program. Dance Magazine recognized the Latin Ballet of Virginia as the only dance company in the USA who celebrates the annual holiday folkloric ballet, “The Legend of the Poinsettia.” In 2011, Ana Ines King and the Latin Ballet received distinguished Theresa Pollack Award of Artist in Excellence in “Dance”.
“Be Proud of Yourself” (BPY) teaches language skills, promotes self-respect and healthy lifestyle awareness, encourages students to pursue higher education, and offers guidance to students new to the U.S. as they adapt to their new environment, all while offering innovative and exciting lessons in culture.
Through BPY, LBV strives to get kids on the road to success by helping students new to the U.S. improve their language and communication skills. Additionally, this program provides positive alternatives to risky behaviors, including encouraging students to stay in school and plan long-term goals, and working to improve attention and focus skills for children with learning and physical disabilities. BPY focuses on low-income children and their families in Richmond and surrounding communities. LBV has worked primarily with this population since its inception and many of the artists, volunteers, and supporters are representative of the communities we are trying to serve.