Le Ballet Petit (LBP School of Dance) is a neighborhood dance studio that has offered dance lessons and performance opportunities to dancers of all ages and skill levels since 1954. It began more than 60 years ago by Kitty LaPointe, a Ravenswood Manor mom and professional ballerina, who offered ballet lessons to neighborhood children in her basement. LBP remains an organization with strong ties to its history and to its community.
LBP now offers classes in multiple dance disciplines for girls, boys and adults: ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, and more. Dancers can begin as early as age 3, and dance until they are 93. Though the typical entry point tends to be 3 – 6 years old, LBP offers a vibrant dance education for all ages.
One of LBP’s core values is the belief that everyone can dance and everyone can perform. In addition to a typical year-end “recital,” LBP offers unique performance opportunities through two annual full-length, high production value, “semi-professional” classic story ballets: LBP students perform The Nutcracker every December and another ballet each spring (such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, etc.). These performances are optional for LBP dancers, but everyone who auditions gets a role regardless of skill level or body type. As students grow and develop as dancers, they progress through the roles; that is students “grow up” on stage in The Nutcracker as mice, gingerbreads, child guests, angels, etc., until they become eligible to be corps dancers and leads.
Le Ballet Petit is also home to the Living By Performing Dance Company, which performs competitively around the region and nationally.