HistoryStatia Sublette: Founder
Statia Sublette founded Erie Civic Ballet in 1956 (Lake Erie Ballet), Youngstown Civic Ballet in 1962 (Ballet Western Reserve), Buffalo Ballet and spent 22 years as Head of Chautauqua Dance Department. Moving to Germany in 1971 Statia started touring with United States Information Department and created a multi media project “Ballet In America” performed in 27 countries over 3 years. In 1989, Sarasota Ballet in Florida hired Statia to create their startup plan.
In May of 1956, Erie Civic Ballet gave its initial performance at the Columbia Theatre in Erie under the artistic direction of Statia Sublette. During the 13 years of Ms. Sublette’s directorship, the Company presented over 50 works at the Chautauqua Institute, and with several orchestras and opera companies.
In 1987, the organization changed its name to Lake Erie Ballet. Artistic Directors Robert Steele, Jeff Satinoff and Robert Vickrey carried on the tradition of excellence begun by Ms. Sublette and established Lake Erie Ballet as a professional company whose home base is the tri-state area comprised of northwestern Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio and western New York.
Since then, the organization has taken what can only be described as a series of “quantum leaps.” In 1996, after dancing with the company for seven seasons, Christina Maria Adelhardt was appointed as head of the organization. Under her direction, Lake Erie Ballet was able to combine its rich history in classical ballet with cutting edge new work. Repertoire included classics as The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella as well as contemporary masterpieces by George Balanchine, Bruce Wells and Donlin Foreman.
From 2007 to 2015 Alethea Bodine, Principal Dancer with Dafmark Dance Theater (1991-2000) and PA Roster Artist (2000-2006) served as the school director. During this recent chapter, Lake Erie Ballet augmented programming to include a larger audience of dancers, ranging from pre-school to the elderly and special needs populations.
Mrs. Lesley Bories-Scalise served in various roles at the Lake Erie Ballet from years 2003-2008 including ballet instructor, Executive Director, and Artistic Director, during which time she choreographed an extensive repertoire of ballets and contemporary works including the full-length production of The Nutcracker. Mrs. Bories-Scalise is excited to return to the Lake Erie Ballet as Artistic Director in the fall of 2016!
Lake Erie Ballet has made its permanent home in the heart of downtown Erie’s cultural district. The complex also houses Lake Erie Academy of Dance, training more than 150 students from beginner (age 3) through advanced pre-professional levels. With classical ballet serving as a core curriculum, the academy also offers classes in Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Character and Improvisation while providing workshops for better health, focus, stamina and performance.