By Kaci Demarest
After breaking ground in October 2012, Ballet Arizona is set to open its new facility closer to downtown Phoenix.
The school has struggled with space at its current location in Gaslight Square at Indian School and 36th St. Their new building is a 45,000 square foot warehouse that has been renovated to include several spacious rehearsal rooms, costume storages and lockers.
“I practically grew up in the old building,” Dancer Gina Fickera said. “The more space we have, the more magical moments we can create for the stage, the more feeling of freedom we will have to dance which will allow us to feel absolutely limitless, and just the more possibilities in general.”
Fickera has been dancing at Ballet Arizona since 2000. She is currently in the Pre-Professional division of the school.
Ballet Arizona started construction on its new location thanks to a chunk of a 2006 City of Phoenix bond that was designed to strengthen neighborhoods, improve public safety, provide educational opportunities and expand cultural and community programs. In addition to this initial sum, the school raised over 80% of the $10 million needed through their campaign, Next Step.
Next Step is the school’s initiative in order to gain additional funding to open the school.
Only a portion of the school will open this month so that the summer intensive program can operate out of the new facility. The remaining portions of the school will open in time for the 2013-2014 season, which will begin this fall.
“As we continue to grow, this major transition will help us draw in more audiences, ballet lovers and talented dancers, which brings us closer to our ultimate goal,” Fickera said. “It’s about time we’ve claimed such a beautiful home for Arizona’s top ballet company.”