Honest, Relevant, Breathtaking Dance

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 like the Athenaeum to school gyms. The company's diverse and flexible repertoire speaks to one of our core values, accessibility, and enables us to share the joy and beauty of dance with many people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it. 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. The school offers a range of classes and residency programs at two locations in Frankfort Illinois and the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. 


Our Location

Ballet 5:8′s focus is Chicago, third largest city in the United States. The city of Chicago, with a population of nearly 2.7 million, has a vibrant arts community and a variety of dance companies and dance venues. 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 

We believe that arts are a vital part of a healthy community

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. As part of this commitment to accessibility, we:

  • Keep our ticket prices low when compared to industry standards, ranging from $10-$30,
  • Work to make free-to-the-public programming and performances possible by participating in collaborations with organizations like the Chicago Park District, Harold Washington Library, Audience Architects, Chicago Public Schools,
  • Bring ballet performances to underserved areas of Chicago, such as the residents of the South and West neighborhoods, through our performances at the Beverly Arts Center and National Museum of Mexican Art, and
  • Perform work that is heavily communicative, with an emphasis on honesty and relevancy toward our audiences. 

we believe that Dance is a wonderfully communicative art form 

Our emphasis on combining athleticism and communication 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.

Will You Join Us?


Board & Staff
Company Artists
Guest Choreographer Preston Miller


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.