Sarasota Cuban Ballet Grows Into New Location

Todays News

Photo courtesy of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

For the last 10 years, the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS) has operated out of a patchwork of retail spaces in a shopping center off Beneva Road. Though the facilities had ample square footage and a few sections of sprung floor, the space belied the level of excellence the school has achieved by way of the prestigious accolades won by many of its students in national and international competition, including the Prix de Lausanne and the Youth American Grand Prix. But on the cusp of the organization’s 10-year anniversary, a new space will help usher in a new decade of success. 

That new space is in the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida 18-acre campus located on the corner of Cattlemen Road and Proctor Road. Designed by renowned Sarasota architect Guy Peterson, the multi-volume structure houses the Gulf Coast Event and Conference Center, a high-ceilinged, brightly lit space that will allow the organization to host larger in-studio productions. “Commercial non-office space that’s suitable for a dance studio is very expensive and hard to come by,” says SCBS administrative director Barbara Worth, “but this new space was just manna from heaven.” 

The space’s flexibility and amenities also offer significant advantages over the existing one. A kitchen, nicer bathrooms and offices mean staff and students can sink into a place that feels a little more like home, and it means Worth no longer has to step outside to take a phone call during active training sessions. For the school’s pre-professional students—arguably the most visible and talented members of the school—the space also provides classroom spaces and reliable Wi-Fi so they can get their schoolwork done in the same place where they train six hours a day. “In the current space, they’d sometimes have to find a corner of the studio that had the best Wi-Fi connection,” says Worth.

And the school secured the space just in time for some sold-out Nutcracker productions tonight and tomorrow. “Normally we have our productions at the Venice Performing Arts Theatre,” says Worth, “but with COVID-19 still putting a lot of in-person events in limbo, we thought it’d be easier to use the new space.”  

“Even though we’ve achieved incredible success in modest facilities, having a new facility—aside from allowing us to expand the school numbers—also helps with our international appeal. It gives us a fresher feel to bring in more exposure.”

SCBS moves into the new space during their winter break from mid-December to mid-January. The school is currently fundraising for sprung floors.

Photo courtesy of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

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