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Ballet Theatre of Maryland finds a new home in Annapolis

Ballet Theatre of Maryland Inc., the state’s only professional ballet theater, has moved into new space in Annapolis to give its performers a little more room to dance.

Having spent the past several years in a smaller studio with a low ceiling, Ballet Theatre of Maryland moved into the new space largely with the help of community donations. The new location opened April 6 for dance classes, along with holding some classes at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis.

Merritt Properties LLC contributed in-kind services to build out the 5,500-square-foot space, which was secured through the help of Adam Cole, treasurer of the theater’s board. Cole is also owner and CEO of ABTech, an Annapolis-based VOIP and communications services firm.

The project investment totaled nearly $70,000, most of which came from community donations.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto said that the company only will pay about $9,000 in costs for the move.

“The exceptional ‘quality of life’ businesses such as the [Ballet Theatre of Maryland] bring to Annapolis is just one of the many reasons other businesses and residents choose to locate in the city,” said Lara Fritts, CEO of the Annapolis Economic Development Corp., in a statement.

The new location at 1981 Moreland Parkway features two sprung-floor studios, locker rooms with showers, a lobby and offices — some of which are amenities the former location lacked, Cuatto said.

For the past seven years, the theater was in the Conte/Lubrano Annex at 128 Lubrano Drive in Annapolis, but because the ceilings were low the dancers couldn’t practice jumping and the space couldn’t have sprung-floor studios, Cuatto said.

“When our dancers would be doing jumps, they were hitting their hands on the ceiling,” she said. “It was apparent to the board that we needed to move, especially as the company got bigger and the dancers got better.”

The professional company includes 35 dancers, and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s school of dance houses more than 400 students with a faculty of eight to 10 professionally qualified teachers.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s new home has natural lighting, high ceilings, and was an opportunity for the theater to integrate its colors and branding with decoration, Cuatto said.

To get involved with local businesses, the theater will host a wine tasting in July. Cuatto said she hopes to use the space for more networking events to get the community more involved with the theater.

The theater’s grand opening will be held in September.