Dance and music are some of the most dominant and pervasive social forces that influence and shape community culture. Yet, by many accounts, performance art has lost its footing as the imperative has become only to entertain, to sell, or to win; with little patience for developing traits to round out the whole person. BDC therefore, has the greatest opportunity and obligation to dedicate its proven capabilities to lifting the sights of many more young people to inspire them to strive and to provide the tools and means to succeed. It is with this goal that we MUST THINK BIG AND BE BOLD as we launch our $7,000,000 capital campaign to create Ballethnic Way: The Campus. The new renovated home of Ballethnic will be a place to learn, grow, serve, and inspire students, teachers, and community alike. Our new facilities of updating teaching facilities, community outreach zones, and campus as a whole will match the heart of our program and enable everyone to speak the ‘Ballethnic Way’. Partner with us today by donating to the Phase I: $850,000 Goal



Ballethnic continues to create its cultural legacy, its desire is to have the future generations reside in a remarkable space. Ballethnic Way the Campus will now be an attractive destination that it deserves, one that is accessible, flexible, and adaptive, where community is key, where the energy and purpose are evident in the atmosphere, and where Ballethnic can give back to others. Ballethnic will be a beacon of hope and a safe haven for future generations.


A new main lobby becomes the hub of Ballethnic, sharing both lower level studio entrances, reception and concessions, and an open stair and elevator to connect to two more dance studios above. All dance studios are enhanced and enlarged, with the main studio pushing further into the existing exterior space, creating a glass box that is reminiscent of an Urban Nutcracker snow globe. An audience may sit within the enlarged studio, or outside in the flowing terraced landscape, to view Ballethnic performances.

View of the lobby

View of the lobby

The three smaller studios allow for daily practice and education, as does the new resource space and lighting booth introduced on the second level. Just at the top of the stairs will be Ballethnic HQ offices away from the main entry but truly just steps away from the community that Waverly and Nena love so dear. The exterior is no longer a metal box, but transformed with more glazing, a more defined entry, and exterior spaces to anchor the building with purpose. The new space shines like a visual beacon to the surrounding neighborhood and is a visual demonstration of the instructional and creative excellence of the Ballethnic Brand.


There is no greater inspiration for intelligent, creative Black students—those predisposed to becoming key contributors in society, highly valued employees, and future business owners— than to have exposure to purveyors of design-thinking, entrepreneurial possibility, and creative business instincts. The programming for the Ballethnic theatrical performances includes public speaking, ballet, ethnic dance, physical movement, physical expression, and innovative productions; a combination of arts, discipline, and physical challenges that drive creative outcomes in ascending students and young people.

View from the entry to the outdoor amphitheater and gathering area

View from the memorial garden to the gathering area

The future aim is to build modules, products, and coursework to leverage Ballethnic’s Arts, and Creative Innovation—underscoring methodology for business thinking, business, vision, and honing an ability to spot opportunity. “Grow & Inspire” allows Ballethnic to evolve into its true potential. This design pushes and pulls the existing structure forwards, backwards, and upwards: a choreographed set of moves that improve how Waverly and Nena share Ballethnic with the world. This space gives the students a place to come and download what they have learned and explore their own creative abilities. Rather than rushing out to make space for the next group, they will have a place where they can go and sit, process, share, grow, and inspire one another.


With your help, Ballethnic will reflect the creativity, spirit, and joy of Ballethnic. Warm tones welcome students, staff, and visitors alike as soon as they walk in the door. It is immediately evident that you’ve entered a place that feels like home!

With a great plan in hand from the great team of Perkins & Will to reflect the vision of our 21st century home base, we are asking for the help of our community of supporters. To fully renovate our space and to create Ballethnic Way the campus we anticipate needing $7,000,000. The capital campaign will roll out in phases. In the first phase due to the global pandemic and the need to gather – Ballethnic’s plan is to enhance its outdoor space for outdoor performances as phase 1 – The goal is to raise $850,000 for the initial outdoor renovation and entry area. 


To assist us with the opportunity cost of empowering unmet human potential, we respectfully request of you a tax-deductible investment. In turn, we offer the opportunity to make an enduring and substantial difference now and for generations to come. It is backed by our pledge of continued long days of hard work in support of a belief and in pursuit of the dream, on which all those who are willing to struggle and strive in service of others, can prevail. We invite and encourage you to partner with us in inspiring students through the stories we will all tell about how people everywhere banded together to build Ballethnic Way: The Campus.