In 2012, Julianna Rubio Slager and Amy Kozol Sanderson founded Ballet 5:8. As they finished their dancing careers, they saw a lack of innovation and meaningful storytelling in the dance community. As leading companies cycled through the same classic works, they saw this beautiful artform becoming stagnant and in danger of missing the next generation. The founded Ballet 5:8 to tell stories of the 21st century while retaining the classic beauty of ballet. 

New work is the lifeblood of Ballet 5:8. In 10 years, their repertoire has grown to 45 original ballets created by Slager and guest choreographers. As a Latina, Slager is breaking new ground in representation at the highest levels of leadership and artistry. Slager tells the stories of diverse communities across the country through a unique combination of physical embodiment and on-stage representation.

For Ballet 5:8, faith is an important aspect of meaningful storytelling. Drawing from inspiration from Christian belief, each Ballet 5:8 performance wrestles with themes that portray both the darkness and hope of life in the modern context. 

“It’s easy to feel the heart of this company and the passion that resonates from its mission. These are serious, talented dancers, and their director is not holding back”.
- Lauren Warnecke, See Chicago Dance