BALLET PETIT was founded in 1962 by Aline Solomon Martin and performed for two seasons sponsored by the Westover Hills Womens
Club. Mrs. Martin next combined talents with area dance teachers Julia Mildred Harper, Corlese Wells, Eleanor Frye, Marion
Mease, Marjorie Faye Underhill and James Lowell to establish the Richmond Ballet.
Reviving her mother's
interest in providing performance opportunites for dance students, Shannon Martin Howell re-established BALLET PETIT in August
of 1989. The company's goal is to create an educational experience that balances professionalism, responsibilty, focused
effort, and fun! Integral to this goal is the belief that children's creative talents are best nurtured in an atmosphere that
is supportive and noncompetitive.
Company members are selected on the basis of enthusiasm, maturity, and talent.
Members are expected to attend weekend rehearsals, maintain their academic studies at a "C" average or better, and participate
in company fund raising efforts. During the rehearsal period, members support and encourage each other through the company's
"Secret-Dancer" program. BALLET PETIT's activities are supported through private and business contributions and fund raising
activities. As a self-supporting organization, the company's financial goal is to meet production expenses. Residuals, if
any, are targeted for expanding the company's activites.
BALLET PETIT's board and staff contribute
their time on a voluntary basis without compensation.