More on Misty Copeland Visit as Columbia City Ballet & Columbia Classical Ballet Join Forces for Ballet Fundraiser

Brooklyn Mack and Misty Copeland Columbia City Ballet and the Columbia Classical Ballet have joined forces to bring Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack to the City of Columbia for a special fundraising luncheon that will work to benefit both ballet companies.

The two companies have a long history with the region and each other, and before now haven’t been known to work together this formally or prominently.

“This fundraiser is about the impact the Ballet has had on our community over the years.” says William Starrett, Executive and Artistic Director for Columbia City Ballet.  “Both of us have had significant funding losses over the past years and we are struggling to continue the tradition of ballet and the standard our audiences have come to cherish and expect here in Columbia.”

Columbia Classical Ballet has had a particularly difficult season.  The October floods hit them hard with the total loss of their home dance studio.  On top of that, Pavlovich has experienced some health issues, has Jasper reported in the September issue of the magazine.

In an effort to help, Brooklyn Mack reached out to Misty Copeland to see if there was an interest in helping support the company where he began dancing at the age of 12 before leaving two years later to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet on a full scholarship.  Without hesitation, she wanted to help, but there was one stipulation; she didn’t want to leave Columbia City Ballet out of the mix because of previous discussions about their commitment to diversity and how combined efforts can have a positive impact on the community. Copeland proposed the idea of a joint venture.

“We felt we would have a bigger impact working together, and only together could we bring Misty and Brooklyn here for one event, to benefit us all,” says Starrett.

Both companies are hosting the joint fundraiser and will split the costs and proceeds 50/50.  The luncheon will be held on March 15, 2015 and though still in the planning stage, will feature a Q&A with Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack and a VIP reception.

“We are excited to be working together to help promote something we both love so very much,” says Starrett.  “We couldn’t be happier or more excited to be able to bring this event to our region.”

If you are interested in a sponsorship or table at this event, please contact Alana Jordan at or Alexandra Cebry at


Misty Copeland Heading to Columbia to Benefit Columbia City and Classical Ballets - A Jasper Exclusive

When the 75 plus attendees at Columbia City Ballet's Uncorked Ballet Preview on Saturday night first arrived at the CCB Studios at Taylor and Main we knew we were in for a dance treat. Much of the choreography for the company's upcoming performance of Aladdin comes from challenging classical ballets with time-tested variations such as La Bayadere. Seeing the dancers perform the difficult movements on stage comes complete with a required finesse suggesting a certain ease of performance. But witnessing the dancers in the glaring lights of the studio gives no such illusion. The difficulty, and sometimes danger, of the choreography is plain to see as the dancers pant and grunt and sweat and almost fall then regain their footing, before collapsing at the sides of the studio, exhausted and exhilarated.

No make up, no costumes, no nets.

But before the backstage preview even got underway CCB executive director William Starrett shared an exciting announcement. In conjunction with Columbia Classical Ballet, who suffered tremendous studio losses last fall during the October floods, Columbia City Ballet will be bringing American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland,  to Columbia on March 15th for a luncheon to benefit both Columbia City and Classical Ballets.

"We are thrilled to make this announcement and looking forward to sharing more details as they become available," Starrett said.

Misty Copeland is known throughout the dance world for her athletic dance style as well as for being the first African American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre's 75 year history.  She performed the lead role in Washington Ballet's Swan Lake last spring with Columbia native Brooklyn Mack who is in his fifth year as principal dancer with Washington Ballet.

ABT principal dancer Misty Copeland

Brooklyn Mack & Misty Copeland

Following the announcement, the dancers of Columbia City Ballet continued to take our collective breath away.

principal dancer Claire McCaa

Soloist Autumn Ingrassia

Soloists Bonnie Boiter-Jolley and Maurice Johnson

Soloist Claire Richards



The gentlemen of Aladdin for Columbia City Ballet