With a growing roster of 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 Rubio 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 studio and rehearsal space is located in Frankfort, Illinois, just outside of Chicago - the 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 the larger metro area. Each season, Ballet 5:8 performs not just in downtown Chicago, but all over the city, in surrounding suburbs in nearby Midwest cities, and all over the U.S.. The goal? To share discussion and breathtaking dance with all kinds of people in all kinds of neighborhoods and communities, spanning all kinds of social, economic, cultural and other divides. With each new year, Ballet 5:8 expands the reach of its mission to new communities, new cities, new states - even new countries - and wherever there are opportunities to go.

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 performances to underserved areas of Chicago and many cities and communities that have limited access to the arts

Performances You Can Understand

Ballet 5:8's work combines the athleticism and beauty of professional dance with a commitment to practical communication and understandability. This brings performances out of the abstract, elitism of some art forms and into the hearts and minds of everyday people. Ballet 5:8's goal is always to create art that requires no prior experience or special knowledge to enjoy, appreciate, and understand. 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 anyone all with an empowering sense of wonder and possibility.

Our School

In addition to creating new works and producing professional performances, Ballet 5:8 is actively engaged in the work of training and equipping the next generations of young artists. The company's multifaceted dance education center, Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts, makes high-quality dance training accessible to over 150 students of all ages and levels of ability each year in a uniquely nurturing environment where students thrive - LEARN MORE.