Our Mission

The Charlotte Youth Ballet, the premier youth ballet in the Southeast, enriches the community through a non-profit, innovative regional ballet company that provides student dancers an opportunity to perform in professional level productions. CYB introduces ballet to diverse audiences to foster a lifelong support of the arts.

Our Vision

The Charlotte Youth Ballet is known for our community outreach, the versatility of our repertoire, and the excellence of our performances. We want to continue to attract, develop and encourage student dancers while growing our committed base of volunteers and patrons so that we can give our community more.

Charlotte Youth Ballet (2023-24) Senior company/Company/Apprentice Dancers

Get to know us

The Charlotte Youth Ballet provides ballet students from all across the greater Charlotte area the opportunity to experience being a part of a ballet company.  CYB also utilizes regional and international professionals for principal and solo roles.  In addition, the most talented student company dancers may be asked to perform solo roles. We welcome all experience levels of dancers that are currently enrolled in at least one dance class per week at the school of their choice.  For all the Charlotte Youth Ballet dancers, it is an extraordinary, unforgettable one-of-a-kind experience to be able to dance alongside our professionals in full length ballet productions.

CYB’s commitment to inclusion serves our mission and the community simultaneously by giving dancers from across the region access to participate in professional level productions.

With a legendary Artistic Director and a repertoire including works like The Nutcracker, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and Coppélia, CYB provides the area’s best environment to magnify and nurture your young dancer’s performance experience.

Board of Directors

The Charlotte Youth Ballet is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of professionals and leaders from all across the greater Charlotte area. Board members serve up to two consecutive 3-year terms.  While the Executive Officers focus on the day-to-day operations of the Charlotte Youth Ballet, the Directors as a whole address such challenges as long-term planning, development, marketing, and social media, as well as growth and fundraising.

Executive Officers

  • Chair – Kim Ellison (Southern Stoneworks)
  • Chair-Elect – Donna Gruber (Community Leader)
  • Treasurer – Paula Buhrer (Community Leader)
  • Secretary – Alisha Gale (Community Leader)


  • Paula Buhrer (Community Leader)
  • Kim Ellison (Southern Stoneworks)
  • Alisha Gale (Community Leader)
  • Donna Gruber (Community Leader)
  • Michelle Hodgkins (Community Leader)
  • Mary Darrenkamp(Community Leader)

Are you interested in joining the board and be part of CYB Leadership team? Click here learn  more.

CYB’s commitment to inclusion serves our mission and the community simultaneously by giving dancers from across the region access to participate in professional level productions.

With a legendary Artistic Director and a repertoire including works like The Nutcracker, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Coppélia, CYB provides the area’s best environment to magnify and nurture your young dancer’s performance experience.

Is your dancer interested in performing with CYB? Find our FAQs below.

Join us! To get to know our current company dancers-click here.

Want to learn about our Artistic Leadership team and Guest Artists? click here

CYB auditions are open to any dancer enrolled in at least one classical ballet class at any local dance studio in the Charlotte area. We love contributing to Charlotte’s rich ballet tradition and actively encourage dancers from all area studios to join us. In our 2019 The Nutcracker, we had 22 local studios represented in our cast.

Membership in the CYB Company is not required to be cast in shows.

Yes. Dancers must be in 3rd grade in school through age 26.

No. Charlotte Youth Ballet is a performance organization for area ballet students to work alongside professional dancers. Student dancers still attend classes at their home studio while participating in CYB productions.

In addition to performing in The Nutcracker and our spring storybook ballets, company members enjoy masterclasses, team-building events, and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Company members receive a company jacket. There are also outreach performance opportunities.

By auditioning for the CYB Company, dancers are committing to performing in both The Nutcracker and the spring storybook ballet.

For more information about joining the CYB company, please see our company page.

Auditions are held in-person, usually in mid-September on a Saturday at CPCC’s Halton Theatre. Dancers audition for Company membership, The Nutcracker, and our spring storybook ballet. In December, there is a call back for spring storybook casting, and dancers new to CYB are welcome to audition at this time. Audition information and required forms can be found on our audition page.

Dancers are grouped for auditions by age/school grade and pointe ability (for girls) into three groups:

  • Age 11 and under (3rd and 4th grade in school)
  • Age 12-14 (boys) or age 12+ non-pointe (girls) (5th grade in school and up)
  • Age 15+ (boys) or age 12+ with at least 2 years of pointe experience (girls) (5th grade and up)

Non-pointe auditions are judged by our artistic team. CYB engages a third-party adjudicator to judge our pointe auditions. Our artistic team casts pointe parts based on demonstrated technique during auditions and the scoring recommendations of the adjudicators.

There is both a pointe audition and a non-pointe audition for dancers in 5th grade at school through age 26. Dancers must have a minimum of 2 years on pointe to take the pointe audition and demonstrate proficiency to be awarded a pointe part. Dancers cast in a pointe role that cannot maintain dancing on pointe during rehearsals will be reassessed. There are roles for non-pointe ballet dancers at any age.

At CYB, we respect the art form! Girls should dress in a solid black or dark-colored leotard and pink tights for auditions. The dress code for rehearsals is a black spaghetti strap leotard, pink tights, and pink leather ballet flats with one elastic. Pointe dancers are always encouraged to have a backup pair of pointe shoes sewn and ready to wear. Dancers’ hair should be pulled back in a bun without whisps and with a hairnet. A nude leotard for costume changes is also necessary. Boys should be in black legging or tights and a white shirt.

Yes. Each dancer is expected to have a parent/grandparent/relative volunteer for the show, especially during the performance weekend. We are firm about this commitment because CYB is run exclusively by volunteers. Without volunteers, we simply couldn’t function. There are a wide variety of volunteer options (including some at-home options) to suit nearly any interest and schedule. Our volunteers are fabulous, and have a great time! All volunteers must complete a background check prior to volunteering.

We charge an audition fee, which must be paid (online or in-person via check) before auditioning. There is also a performance fee for The Nutcracker and a separate fee for our spring storybook ballet. Fees cover a cast t-shirt and cast party, but not tickets to the performances. Company Members will pay an additional fee for the year. Current fee information can be found on our audition page. Cast members are also required to sell a minimum number of tickets to friends and family.

Rehearsals for The Nutcracker begin in late September and continue until the performance weekend, which is historically the first full weekend of December, with a break for Thanksgiving. Rehearsals for our spring storybook ballet begin in January and continue until performance weekend in early March.

Rehearsals will be Friday evening, Saturday afternoon (typically at or after 2 pm), and Sunday afternoon (typically after 12:00pm). Younger dancers generally have one rehearsal slot per weekend. Older dancers may have more than one role and thus require additional rehearsals on the weekend. Adults and professionals typically rehearse on Sundays.

Mandatory dress rehearsals are held the weekend before Thanksgiving, and on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings immediately preceding performance weekend for theatre move-in.

Rehearsals take place at our host studio, Charlotte School of Ballet, in the Cotswold area. Our performances are at the Halton Theatre at CPCC.

The Nutcracker is usually the first weekend of December: two school shows on Friday and public performances are on Friday (evening only), Saturday (matinee and evening), and Sunday (matinee only). Our spring storybook ballet is usually performed on the second weekend of March: a school show on Friday, public performances on Saturday (matinee and evening), and Sunday (matinee only).

Yes. Dancers miss one day of school to perform in our school show on the Friday of show weekend. We provide each dancer with a form to give to their school ahead of time for the absence.

If missing school will prevent your dancer from auditioning, please contact cyb@charlotteyouthballet.org.

Yes! Contact cyb@charlotteyouthballet.org to find out about adding your school to the potential ticket list.

Yes! We have many volunteer opportunities in our shows. We use adult performers in our production of The Nutcracker and spring storybook ballet. Parents, friends, and grandparents are welcome to join in our shows.

Tickets are sold exclusively through the box office at CPCC. [Check back for ticketing link]

Yes, we love ads from local businesses in our playbills. We also have opportunities to partner with us on social media. Contact cyb@charlotteyouthballet.org for pricing.

Thanks so much for asking! We are a 501-C nonprofit, and we depend on donations from our community. We offer employer matching as well. Donate Here

Yes! We are proud to offer Lasting Impressions, an after-school ballet class to dancers at a local elementary school in Charlotte. Lasting Impressions is funded in part by our Pointe Shoe Project.

We have a long-standing relationship with Girl Scouts. CYB has a special pre-show event for  Girl Scouts only. To get your child’s troop involved, please click here.

We bring title I schools to see our productions. These students love seeing a classical ballet performance and discussing the arts in the classroom. Title I teachers, principals, and theater/music teachers are welcome to contact us for more information to connect your school at cyb@charlotteyouthballet.org.