South Carolina's Largest Performing Arts Organization Celebrates 60 Years!

Amazon Prime Day!

Did you know that Columbia City Ballet is partnered with the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, and that you can shop while also giving to a great cause?

Amazon’s Prime Day is almost here. Deals start July 16, 3pm ET and run through July 17. Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping events of the year!

Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchase towards a charity of your choice. It’s the same Amazon you love, with the same products, but allows you shop and give back! The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. Just look for products marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on the product detail page.

Take advantage of Prime Day and get all your favorite items while giving back to the Columbia City Ballet! Click the link, , and put “Columbia City Ballet” in the option for you to search for your own charitable organization.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Get shopping!


William returns to the International Ballet Competition

This week William Starrett will return to the international ballet competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

In 1979, William won the bronze medal in this competition, and now he will return as a special guest for their third round and will be attending their Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Awards Gala.

While at their competition, he will also be recruiting dancers to join the Columbia City Ballet, and will also be participating in their job forum where he will give career advice to the young dancers. 

To keep up will all of William’s adventures, follow him on Instagram @balletwilliam


Giving you something to smile about

Did you know that Columbia City Ballet is partnered with the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, so you can shop while also giving to a great cause?

Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchase towards a charity of your choice. It’s the same Amazon you love, with the same products, but allows you to shop and give back! The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. Just look for products marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on the product detail page.

Show your Dad how much you care this Father’s day by getting your last minute gifts through Columbia City Ballet and Amazon Smile. Click the link, , and put “Columbia City Ballet” in the option for you to search for your own charitable organization.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, Happy Father’s Day!


Q&A with William about his upcoming trip to NYC

Why are you making the trip to NYC?

William will be traveling to NYC June 6th-9th to catch up with many Columbia City Ballet Alumni, as well as scout for future Columbia City Ballet dancers.

I’m starting my trip to see Gillian Murphy, a former student, now a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

I’ll then attend the premiere American Ballet Theatre perform Harlequinade, inspired by Marius Petipa in honor of the 200 anniversary of Peptia. Petipa is famously known as the creator of Swan Lake, Nutcracker, and the creator Harlequinade the ballet.

While I’m there, I’m also going to Gillian about performing with the Columbia City Ballet for the 60th anniversary.  

I will also be visiting Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey and Steps on Broadway to recruit dancers since Columbia City Ballet actively searches for diverse dancers.

Are there any spots in NYC that you’d recommend for dance lovers?

While William is in NYC he will be seeing Kinky Boots and Anastasia on Broadway. He’ll also explore the Met Exhibition about Versailles and King Louis XIV- the inventor of ballet. He recommended all of these for ballet lovers, as well as lovers of the arts.

Is there any part of the NYC dance scene that you would like to see incorporated into Columbia?

“I would like to see more enthusiasm for the arts in Columbia, but I see that increasing.”

What do you think makes the Columbia City Ballet different from those in NYC and unique?

Columbia City Ballet strives to have artistic value, while also showcasing local talent- which sets us apart.


*If you want to follow more of William’s adventures, follow him on Instagram: @balletwilliam*


Meet the Columbia City Ballet Dancers

At Columbia City Ballet, we love to see our dancers grow and develop as they continue their careers with us, while encouraging new dancers to join the Columbia City Ballet family. As the 2018-2019 season approaches, we are so excited to highlight some of our dancers.

We are thrilled to have Bo Busby, Bonnie Boiter-Jolley, Camilo Herrera, Philip Ingrassia, and Claire Richards as our Principal dancers.

Happy to have Autumn Hill, Maurice Johnson, Abby McDowell, and Brandon Michaels as Soloists.

We’re also delighted to have Jordan Hawkins as a Coryphee- a premiere member of the company who usually dances as a part of a small group.

Finishing with our Company members we have Erik Anderson, Evan Ambrose, Dylan Bacon, Nicole Carrion, Jessica Cobb, Ashley Concannon, Katie Heaton, Colin Jacob, Carmie Schiano Nelson, Sakura Oka, Brandon Penn, Caleb Roberts, Nadine Tetrick, and Leonardo Victorino.

We’re delighted to have these dancer’s for the upcoming season, as well as any later additions.

Don’t forget! If you want to show your support for our dancers, Adopt them! The Adopt-A-Dancer program will allow us to retain our highly accomplished professional dancers. Principal dancers can be adopted for $2000, Soloists for $1500, Coryphee for $1200, and Company members for $1000. Your money will directly benefit a dancer of your choice, while allowing you to develop a personal relationship with one of South Carolina’s finest dancers.


Coming to Columbia City Ballet 2018-2019

We’re excited to come back for the 2018-2019 season with the classics you love, as well as a new addition! Under the Artistic and Executive Direction of William Starrett, our season will kick off with Dracula with a Bite. Tickets will go on sale later in the summer and this ballet is sure to be a Halloween favorite.

Nutcracker will return for the holiday season, with shows from December 8-9th and 15-16th. The perfect way to get in the Holiday spirit and see a production that The State called, “As close to perfect as you can get.”

A new addition for the 2018-2019 season is the world premiere of Beatles the Ballet. Honoring a legendary band in a new way. The show will take place February 2nd, and will be an event you don’t want to miss.

Finally, we’ll close out our spring season with Sleeping Beauty. A family-friendly event to help ring in spring! This show will take place on March 30th, and will be the final performance of the season.

From everyone at the Columbia City Ballet, we look forward to another great season! Interested in becoming a Season Subscriber? Save up to $22 per ticket over box office taxes and fees when you become a season member and purchase a flex-pass subscription.


2018-2019 Season Announced!

Here’s what we can expect for this upcoming season:


Dracula: Ballet with a Bite!

Based on Brahm Stoker’s classic novel, Count Dracula and his maidens return to open our 58th performance season in this dance experience as legendary as the Count himself. Exhilarating and seductive, this is Columbia’s Halloween cult favorite! Don’t miss this must-see event at the Koger Center for the Arts, October 26-27 at 7 p.m.

Gala with a Bite

Count Dracula requests your presence at his annual Masquerade Ball at Castle Dracula. Immediately following the Friday performance of Dracula: Ballet with a Bite, this gala evening will include a silent auction, musical entertainment, an open bar and much more. Purchase your tickets now for what is quickly becoming Columbia’s hottest annual event, Gala with a Bite!


Holidays are times filled with tradition and Columbia’s family holiday tradition is Columbia City Ballet’s Nutcracker. With 6 sumptuous, snow-filled performances, we can accommodate the entire family’s bustling holiday schedules. Nutcracker enjoys the distinction of being the Koger Center’s first and longest consecutively running annual arts event. This year’s production is an extravaganza not to be missed.

Nutcracker Tea

While planning your attendance for Nutcracker, mark your calendar now to include joining us for our bespoke Nutcracker Tea at 1:30 on December 8, 9 and 15, prior to the matinee performances. Enter the Land of the Sweets while enjoying a seated tea with all the trimmings, including arts and crafts and visits from Nutcracker characters. One of Columbia City Ballet’s signature events, seating is limited and in high demand, so reserve your place today. Tea tickets are $30/each and must be purchased in advance by calling the ballet office: 803-799-7605.

Sleeping Beauty

Columbia City Ballet proudly announces its third annual collaboration with the South Carolina Philharmonic in presenting The Sleeping Beauty. Featuring the magnificent Tchaikovsky score conducted by Morihiko Nakahara, the entire family will delight in this beautiful presentation of the classic fairy tale. First produced by Columbia City Ballet in 1967, this production marks the 12th time the Company has staged this tale of the beautiful Princess and her Prince Charming. “…A storybook perfect performance of the full length classic Sleeping Beauty.”- The State. Purchase your tickets now for this culturally rich, bucket list worthy event.

Beatles, the Ballet

The year was 1964 and America was about to be taken by storm. Four young men from Liverpool, England brought a phenomenon known as Beatlemania to the United States. This world premiere, multi-media ballet created by Executive & Artistic Director William Starrett will explore the Fab-Four and their impact on our culture. See how these dynamic young men helped fuel the cultural revolution of the 1960s in America and masterfully used their music to elevate social consciousness. Join us in your grooviest attire and be the first to experience Beatles, the Ballet!

Letter from the Director

Artistic Director William Starrett reflects on this season and what we can expect next year:

“Welcome and thank you for attending Cleopatra, the final ballet of our 57th performance season. We have enjoyed quite a successful season. Allow me to briefly recap some of the highlights of the season. We had record breaking sales of Dracula and Nutcracker; a tremendously exciting Gala with a Bite; another amazing joint performance with the SC Philharmonic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and, as if that weren’t enough, a packed house at the historic Township Auditorium for our presentation of Off the Wall & Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green. We also sold out our performance of Off the Wall & Onto the Stage at the Sottile Theatre in Charleston. To go one step further, we also sold out both performance of our annual Body & Movement Explored. None of this would be possible without the support of our phenomenal audiences. Thank you for continuing to support Columbia City Ballet!

With all these extraordinary successes under our belts, we now approach the end of the 2017-2018 season with one of the largest and most lavish ballets in our repertoire, and mark the retirement of our incomparable Ballerina, Regina Willoughby. Regina personally selected Cleopatra as her final stage performance. This is very appropriate since I created this ballet for Regina in 2008. At that time, I was struck by what I saw as Regina’s strong resemblance to the legendary actress, Elizabeth Taylor. I decided I just had to see her in one of Taylor’s iconic roles, and since my nature is “go big or go home,” I thought, why not Cleopatra. We last presented this ballet in 2010.

On a personal note, I want to say thank you to Regina for sharing her amazing talent and for being such an integral part of Columbia City Ballet. I certainly don’t have to tell our audiences what a one-woman tour de force Regina is. What both you and Regina may be unaware of however, is the fact that she has been an amazing gift to me as an Artistic Director. Due to her amazing confidence and her ability to abandon herself totally to the dance, I have never had to worry when Regina is on stage, I know that she is always going to deliver a memorable performance. In these, her final appearances, I say to Regina, thank you for your artistry, your beauty and your heart.

All of life is marked by passages, and as we say farewell to Regina, we are also excited to embrace the future and celebrate the incredible depth of talent of the current and future Company members of Columbia City Ballet. Already, we are turning our thoughts to our 58th performance season. In the coming weeks we will hold national auditions, bringing even more talent to the company, and we also have next season’s productions selected.

We’ll open the 2018-2019 Season in October with Dracula: Ballet with a Bite and an even more exciting Gala with a Bite! For the holidays, we will produce Nutcracker, Columbia’s oldest and largest performing arts event. While these productions are annual events, we always incorporate new elements to keep them fresh and exciting.

In January 2019, we will enter our 3rd annual joint performance with the SC Philharmonic as we present The Sleeping Beauty. With Morihiko Nakahara conducting the extraordinary Tchaikovsky score, this is guaranteed to be a ballet you don’t want to miss. Please see additional information about our Dream Team in this dancebill to learn who makes this artistic collaboration between the two organizations possible.

Once again, we will return to CMFA Arts Space, to bring you our annual Body & Movement Explored. Described as “an evening of dance where the visual and physical collide,” this presentation features original works by a variety of choreographers from across the region.

We are ending the 2018-2019 performance season with an exciting world premier ballet that will return us to the incredible world of America in the 1960s. We’ll showcase the only invasion of America since the Revolutionary War. That’s right, the British Invasion led by the Fab-Four, the one and only, The Beatles! Grab your grooviest garb, climb into your flower-power painted micro-bus, and head to the Koger Center to see Beatles the Ballet! I can assure you of an unparalleled entertainment experience in this new multi-media ballet which I am creating.

Now, allow me to invite you to join me in the ancient land of pyramids and desert sands for an inside look at the mighty civilization of Egypt and its most celebrated Queen, Cleopatra. Enjoy the performance and thank you for your continued support of Columbia City Ballet.

All my very best,

William Starrett”