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September Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to a new Academy year and to our magnificent new Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance here at 1801 Gilbert Avenue. We’re thrilled to have students from our Preparatory, Young Dancer, Advanced, Community, and Professional Training Divisions back in class, and we can’t wait to welcome our Children’s Division and CB Moves students back soon as well! 

Academy newsletters will be delivered to your inbox at the beginning of each month, and they’re a great way to stay up to speed on all things happening at Cincinnati Ballet and with our Academy community. Read on!

Academy Open House

In celebration of the grand opening of Cincinnati Ballet's Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance, we're thrilled to open our doors to the community on Sunday, September 19. This free event is a chance to show off our new space and to introduce potential new dancers to all the Academy has to offer. 

The day will include:
Free sample classes for prospective new dancers
Family activities
and much more!

As current and returning families, we hope you'll join us to explore our new space, learn more about our diverse offerings, and act as ambassadors of the Academy. You're invited to attend with a friend, to share your Otto M. Budig Academy experience with neighbors, family and colleagues you think may be interested in learning more about being part of the Academy community.

Introducing New Academy Team Members

We’re kicking off this new Academy year with some new faces in the Academy, including three new full-time staff members. Please join us in extending a warm welcome!

Mike Krauss
Director of Academy Operations
Originally from Northern California, Mike has been involved in the performing arts since a young age and began his professional career as a cast member and staff with performing arts company The Young Americans, including touring nationally and internationally. He later spent time in the Education Department at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and as Dean of Administrative Services at the newly founded Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. In addition to his professional career in arts management and education, he continued to perform in community theater productions throughout Southern California. Mike and his family relocated to Cincinnati earlier this year when he joined the Otto M. Budig Academy team.

Ihaiah Miller
Principal Faculty, Contemporary & Choreography
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Ihaiah trained at the Douglas Anderson School for the Arts and Jacksonville University’s Dance with Distinction program. As a professional dancer, Mr. Miller has performed with Eugene Ballet, Ballet Idaho, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Coastal Arts Project, the Florida Ballet, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and has toured nationally and internationally. Ihaiah danced principal roles in multiple classical ballets along with lead roles in the Spring Waters pas de deux, Arthur Mitchell's Fete Noir, Septime Webre's Shoogie, and Peter Anastos's Go for Barocco. Ihaiah’s choreography has been showcased through their company, Diesel | Fusion Dance Theatre, and at festivals, benefits, concerts, and music videos in Florida and New York. They also choreographed a ballet, Les Plaisirs Suite, for the Manhattan Youth Ballet.

Jennifer Rutherford
Principal Faculty, Professional Training Division Coordinator

At the age of 14, Jennifer (Porteous) Rutherford was invited to train at The School of American Ballet in New York City with a full scholarship, and she was asked to join the New York City Ballet at 17 years old. While in NYCB, Jennifer performed in many different Balanchine ballets, as well as Jerome Robbins ballets, and was hand chosen by Robert La Fosse for his ballet Concerto in Five Movements. Jennifer received stellar reviews by The New York Times, singling her out for her performances in the company. Since retiring as a performer, Jennifer has been the Children’s Nutcracker coach at Cincinnati Ballet and has taught ballet for over 15 years. She was also a resident choreographer with Exhale Dance Tribe, based out of Cincinnati.

Staying Connected

Absence Reporting and Make-up Class Scheduling
We look forward to seeing students in the classes they're registered for. However, in light of continued COVID-19 precautions, it is especially important for students to stay home if they are sick, exhibiting symptoms, have fever, or have been exposed or suspected to be positive for COVID-19. Should a student need to miss class for any reason, please complete the absence notification form or contact the Academy Administrative Office via the channels below so we can alert their instructor and make a note on attendance sheets.

Students who need to be absent for any reason are welcome to request a make-up class during another class time in their same level or a level lower. Because class sizes are limited, students should request to participate in a make-up class and receive approval prior to arrival to ensure the class size allows for them to participate. Please contact the Academy Administrative office at 513.562.1111 to schedule a make-up class for your student.

For absence reporting, please connect with the Academy Administrative Office through one of the following channels:

Absence Notification Online Form
By phone: 513.562.1111 (Option 1)

The Academy will continue using Remind this season in addition to regular email communication to send families reminders, emergency alerts and other notifications via text, push notification or email. Accounts are in the process of being created for this year. If you'd like to change your notification settings, learn more HERE. If you'd like to change who receives these notifications, please contact the Academy Administrative Office.

CB Moves Placement Day

CB Moves, formerly Ballet Moves, is a dance and creative movement class for students with specific needs, presented in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s and Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. With this rebrand and refresh in our new Center for Dance, we’re excited to introduce NEW styles of dance to our students alongside ballet technique, and to expand classes to a more diverse array of students in the years to come. In particular, we were honored to partner with 101 Mobility and Human Care in the design process of our new facility to install a lift system that lifts students out of their mobility devices to experience the feeling of weightlessness and freedom of movement. Students who use mobility devices will now have opportunity to dance utilizing their device as well as the lift system. When in use, students can stand at the barre, go across the floor, be lowered to the floor for stretches, and even partner with other students. We are the only professional ballet company to have this type of system, and we’re thrilled to share it with our community.

This year’s CB Moves program will run from October to April, and we invite new and returning students to join us! We will be placing students in class with others who share the same resource needs, including visual supports, volunteer support, and access to our state-of-the-art lift system. To register for the free CB Moves placement class on Sunday, September 12, interested students should complete the form via the link below. We can’t wait to welcome CB Moves dancers to our new home very soon!

King Arthur's Camelot Auditions

Young Performers Auditions for Cincinnati Ballet’s King Arthur’s Camelot will be held this month. Dancers must be 12 or older and fully vaccinated to be eligible. Please visit the links below for more information about time and location, who’s eligible, and how to prepare for the audition.

Auditions for Male Roles: Sunday, September 12 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Auditions for Female Roles: Wednesday, September 22 from 4:00 - 6:00 PM

New Academy Classes

Our move to the Center for Dance offers not only expanded space but also increased opportunity to serve our students and community in incredible new ways. From the brand new Community Division (diverse class options available as add-ons or a la carte registration for ages 10-17) to electives in our Preparatory, Young Dancer, and Advanced Divisions, to Children’s Division Tap, this year’s schedule offers all kinds of new and exciting class options.

It’s not too late to add classes to your dancer’s schedule for the year! Reach out to our team at 513.562.1111 or to discuss any schedule adjustments. 

Adult Dance + Fitness Division

Cincinnati Ballet’s Adult Dance and Fitness Division is designed to keep you in motion with a wide variety of dance-inspired workouts. Class offerings include Ballet (Basics and Intermediate), Contemporary, Modern, and Pilates Mat. 

Parents and guardians, we’d love to see you in the studio—get up and moving while your dancer is in class, or come on by for any class that catches your eye! Adult classes are also open to teen dancers aged 16 and up, with special student rates available on single classes when checking in at the Welcome Center. Our new schedule webpage offers up-to-date information regarding class schedules and easy access to reserve your spot in class (recommended), purchase classes and manage your account. 


We’re thrilled to launch our new uniform line featuring Cincinnati Ballet’s signature logo this year, and it’s been lovely to see dancers showing off the new looks in those classes already underway! If you’ve already ordered your dancer’s uniform but not picked it up yet, check your inbox for pickup details.

Haven’t ordered your student’s uniform yet?
Visit our Academy Uniform Shop to purchase using your existing account. Should your student’s size be backordered, they are welcome to wear a leotard of similar color or a black leotard to class until your order arrives. 


August 30: Preparatory, Young Dancer, Advanced & Community Division Classes Begin

September 1: Handbook Acknowledgement Due

September 1: Tuition Payments Due (4 & 8 Installment Plans)

September 6: NO CLASSES - Labor Day Holiday

September 12: CB Moves Placement Day

September 17 - 19: NO CLASSES - Grand Opening Weekend

September 19: Academy Open House

September 20: Children's Division Classes Begin

October 1: Tuition Payments Due (8 Installment Plans)

On Stage

The 2021-2022 season will open September 23 - 26 with The Kaplan New Works Series outdoors at Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park. This “breath of fresh air” features groundbreaking choreography in a welcoming community space, including world premiers from Heather Britt, Melissa Gelfin De-Poli, Daniel Baldwin, Taylor Carrasco, and Jennifer Archibald. 

The program is free to the community (with guests invited to contribute what they wish!) but tickets must be reserved in advance and will become available September 7.

OTTO M. BUDIG ACADEMY  |  1801 Gilbert Avenue |  |  513.562.1111