With an average of just ten professional dancers contracted for each performing season, Ballet 5:8 is a small company - but with no small aspirations. Under the creative direction of Artistic Director Julianna Slager, we constantly strive to create, produce, and perform new works that "celebrate the exchange of ideas in the creative realm." The result? Breathtaking performances that engage audiences in genuine, meaningful discussion of life and faith topics that are relevant in today's time and culture.


Founded in 2012 by Julianna Slager and Amy Kozol Sanderson, Ballet 5:8 is a 501-(c)-3 nonprofit organization partially supported by donor funding and private and public grants. The professional company performs over 40 times each season in both traditional and nontraditional settings ranging from Chicago theaters to school gyms. The company's dance education center, Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts, further extends the accessibility of dance through high-quality training for over 150 students each year. 

Our Mission

The mission of Ballet is 5:8 is to employ artistic ingenuity, innovation and excellence as we celebrate the exchange of ideas in the creative realm. Our ongoing commitment is to the creation and performance of new, abstract and narrative works from the unique basis of our Christian faith, and to the development and creative exploration of the dancing artists, choreographers and composers of our day. Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for genuine discussion of life and faith with audiences and artists alike, in the context of breathtaking dance performance

Our Location

Ballet 5:8′s first passion is for its city, Chicago, third largest city in the United States. The city of Chicago has a population of nearly 2.7 million inside city limits, or nearly 9 million including nearby suburbs. Ballet 5:8's goal is to perform all over the city and surrounding areas, sharing dance and discussion with all kinds of people in all kinds of neighborhoods and communities, spanning all kinds of social, economic, cultural and other divides. 

Ballet 5:8's second passion is for our nation and the world. Each season, Ballet 5:8 expands the reach of its mission to new cities, communities and people in the Midwest, in the nation and wherever there are opportunities to go.

Ballet 5:8′s studio and rehearsal space is located in the southwest suburb of Frankfort, Illinois. Though not in the heart of the city or its neighborhoods, the studios serve as a central location for the company and for the many students in the school. 

Our Commitment

Performances You Can Get To

Ballet 5:8's passion is for creating and producing honest, relevant, breathtaking dance performances, but those performances are meaningless if no one is able to experience them. We firmly believe that the arts, if accessible, can truly make a positive difference in the lives of those who experience it. In fact, we believe that sharing the beauty and joy of dance in a way that transcends cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds is a vital part of fulfilling our mission. 

To make this possible, we:

  • Keep our ticket prices low when compared to industry standards, ranging from $10-$30
  • Participate in free-to-the-public performances such as in collaboration with schools, libraries, local park districts, and nonprofit and community organizations
  • Bring ballet performances to underserved areas of Chicago 

Performances You Can Understand

Ballet 5:8's performances combine the athleticism and beauty of professional dance with a commitment to practical communication and understandability. This brings our performances out of the abstract, elitism of some art forms and into the hearts and minds of everyday people. We create art that requires no prior experience or special knowledge to enjoy, appreciate, and understand. Our performances present moving, living pictures that allow the audience to engage with the work by seeing themselves in it. This makes dance captivating, and it can fill us all with an empowering sense of wonder and possibility.