Sellwood ballet school reopens, in East Portland

SEE VIDEO OF GRAND OPENING | Here’s a follow-up on the story of the ‘Day Theater’ building being renovated in outer East Portland …

Students and guests arrive for the Grand Opening celebration of the Classical Ballet Academy at their new location, in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Classical Ballet Academy’s Director Sarah Rigles was all smiles during the open house on Saturday, September 9, after moving her school from Sellwood to the former “Day Music & Theater” building at 5516 S.E. Foster Road, which she had bought and extensively remodeled.

“Although our classes actually begin on September 11th, we’re holding the ‘grand opening’ of our brand-new studio space on Foster Road today,” Rigles announced.

Classical Ballet Academy Office Manager Lindsay Lichtenwalter welcomes guests, along with Director Sarah Rigles, at the front desk.

“It took a little over four months to renovate the 7,500 square feet on this side of the historic Day Theater building – it required new plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, electrical, roof, and of course making it ADA accessible,” Rigles told East Portland News.

“But, other than that, the structure of the building is solid, so we didn’t have to do seismic upgrades,” she pointed out.

Visitors take a look inside Studio 1 before classes begin at the new location of the Classical Ballet Academy.

“For me, this is a dream come true,” exuberantly remarked Rigles. “We loved our space in Sellwood, but we just outgrew it. Now we are able to offer a pre-ballet and ballet classes in Spanish, some inclusive dance classes, yoga, contemporary jazz, and hip-hop dance as well.”

Take a quick tour of their new facility, by way of our video:

“I really want to give a ‘shout out’ to my contractor, Brothers in Arms Construction; they’ve been amazing, doing great work and completing it on time,” lauded Rigles.

“It’s also been great that all of our business neighbors have been stopping by, making sure we really feel welcome here – by them, and the neighbors as well,” she noted.

Harrison Park student Zoe Sand assumes a ballet pose in a studio while her mom, Maile Sand, watches.

The “Day Theater” sign will stay up until the renovation of the “theater side” of the building is completed, in about a year. At that time, it will be renamed the “Foster Theater”.

Discover more about Classical Ballet Academy by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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