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‘Youth Dance Theatre of Michigan’ changes name to ‘Ballet Chelsea’

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Patricia Marsh, marketing coordinator for Ballet Chelsea, for the information in this story.)

Local nonprofit Youth Dance Theatre of Michigan (YDT)  has changed its name to Ballet Chelsea.

The new name will debut with the 2013-2014 season, which begins with company auditions on Aug. 18.

“The change is necessary to more accurately reflect the focus of our organization,” says President Jane Thompson, in a press release.

“With its roots in classical ballet, the dance group presents two full-length ballets each season, and also includes contemporary ballet, jazz and modern works in its repertoire, community outreach and benefit performances, according to the ballet company’s information.

Long-time Artistic Director Wendi DuBois is enthusiastic about the new name, saying, “It will help audiences better understand who we are and what we do.”

DuBois says that Ballet Chelsea is compatible not only with the group’s current mission, but also with its long-term goals of expanding programming and growing the organization.

Thompson, DuBois and YDT board members say that the new name “clearly expresses the group’s purpose and eliminates any confusion resulting from the similarity of its current name with names of other performing groups.

Plus, they say, including Chelsea in the dance company’s new name shows the organization’s pride in being part of the Chelsea area’s vibrant arts community for more than 16 years.

Although most of its 60-plus dancers live in Chelsea or Dexter, members also reside in Manchester, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Stockbridge, Grass Lake, Jackson and Albion, attesting to the strength of the program and the value of Chelsea as an arts destination, according to the press release.

Founded in 1995, Ballet Chelsea builds strong individuals through high caliber training and performance excellence while giving back to the audience that supports them through arts education and community outreach.

In addition to its yearly Nutcracker, the group has performed classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Five Dancing Princesses, and most recently, Swan Lake.

As Ballet Chelsea, the group will present Don Quixote in Spring 2014.

Ballet Chelsea is proud to be supported by the Wilkinson Foundation, the Chelsea Wellness Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

To learn more about Ballet Chelsea performances, upcoming events, and auditions, visit


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