Ballet company moves into the center of art hub - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Ballet company moves into the center of art hub

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An old building on Main Street in Peoria used to show off car parts. 

Now it highlights Central Illinois Ballet's hard work

After countless hours at the barre practicing technique, these ballet slippers are worn down.

Most of the eight dancers in the Central Illinois Ballet Company were twirling their way through life before they reached middle school.

It's a spark of passion that is burning bright in Peoria's art community.; 

"It's a really exciting time in Peoria I think. I've had a really fun time while I've been here while we grow and it's really nice to see so many kids interested in dance," said Assistant Artistic Director, Jessica Smith. 

"The arts are flourishing here and there is possibilities for collaboration in the future.," said Eureka native Rhea Keller. 

Rebekah Von Rathonyi left Peoria Ballet to give dancers another choice.

Competition can also give dancers an edge. 

After bouncing from different locations they finally settled on Main St. 

"Ballet companies and schools are in the city. In the center of the city. We wanted to follow along with those same lines," said Von Rathonyi.

"It's good to have different options for training. In ballet everyone trains differently and everyone teaches a little bit differently," said Smith.

The city has tried turning Main Street into an arts hub and it just might be working. 

The ballet company holds small intimate shows in their unique black box theater and the support spreads along the street. 

"One World was slammed and some other stores were slammed. So I hope people frequent our black box shows and then it will result in an increase in business everywhere," said Smith.

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