Our mission and history.

Our Story

City Ballet Raleigh was founded in 1991 by Sandra Zellinger. Located in North Raleigh, City Ballet Raleigh provides quality training to a variety of young dancers, whether they are pursuing professional goals or enjoying the benefits of a dance education. The School offers students the opportunity to perform in a full-length Nutcracker, a full-length spring performance, and presents numerous workshops to expose students to different dance genres beyond the classical curriculum. In addition to its annual production of The Nutcracker and a recital, City Ballet Raleigh performs at numerous community events including the Holiday Tree Lighting at Lafayette Village, presents programs at libraries and Marbles Kids Museum, as well as performs at the Festival of NC Dance presented by the UNC School of the Arts ~ From its inception, City Ballet Raleigh trained students in the Cecchetti Syllabus of classical ballet. Beginning in 2017, the school transitioned to the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum. Classes are offered in ballet, pointe, variations, modern, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. City Ballet Raleigh’s philosophy encourages musicality, fosters creative expression, and teaches an appreciation of dance’s form and aesthetic; its goal is to enable all students to experience the joy of dance and performance while attaining professional technique and style.

Our Studios

City Ballet Raleigh is invested in providing an environment that supports and enriches the experience our students have while taking classes. We make full use of three studios, allowing us to provide convenient class times while keeping class sizes small enough to give personal attention to each student. All studios are mirrored and equipped with sprung wood or Marley flooring. For student convenience, we have a carpeted dressing room with cubbies for belongings and two large ladies’ rooms and a men’s room. We also offer a quiet, brightly lit homework area for our students with demanding school responsibilities. Seating for waiting parents and siblings is available in our lobby and elsewhere. ~ Peachtree Market offers additional amenities and dining options.

Sandra Zellinger | Director Emeritus

A native of Miami, Florida, Sandra began her training with Thomas Armour at the Miami Conservatory, performing with the Miami Ballet. After graduating from Duke University she began her Cecchetti teachers’ training with Sylvia Hamer and Marjorie Randazzo in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a certified member of the Ceccehtti Council of America presenting students and teachers for examinations. Upon moving to Raleigh, Sandra taught for John Lehman and performed with the Ballet Theatre Company of Raleigh, opening City Ballet Raleigh in 1991. In addition, she was a member of the Fine Arts Department at Ravenscroft School for 15 years. Ms. Zellinger has over 30 years experience in teaching classical ballet. ~ Sandra was director of City Ballet Raleigh from 1991-2013.