Ballet Excel Ohio graces the Akron Civic Theatre stage each spring with original storybook ballets for audiences of all ages. These performances fulfill BXO's mission of hosting pre-professional ballet productions danced for children, by children.


"I love Civic week, it's one of my favorite times of the year.  I work so closely with all the dancers throughout the year helping with costumes, props, timings, etc. that I'm as invested in their performance as they are.  The best thing is being backstage, watching from the wings and seeing the dancers' faces light up on that stage as they dance their hearts out. To watch them nail the turns they worried about, make the quick change that makes us all hold our breath, or hear the audience react to something wonderful they've done makes everything worth it. They are the best at hyping each other up before they go on stage, congratulating each other on a job well done as they exit, and picking up those that are not happy with how things are going.  Being a part of this magic and friendship is something I wouldn't trade for the world."

- Jackie Zorich, BXO Board Member and Parent

"I felt so supported and blessed by all the BXO families. Everyone was giving such great advice and support. It was wonderful to see everyone caring for everyone's kids and jumping in wherever needed. So many people loved on Janie that week! I didn't have to fuss over her at all. She isn't very social, but it was great to see her connecting with others, even people she didn't know before. It was a great experience."

- Coleen Wimer, BXO Parent

"After the sensory-friendly performance, I had the opportunity to go out to the audience with a few other dancers to meet the people who came to watch that day. Miss Mia and everyone else always talks about the performance being such an important impact on kids with special needs or disabilities, but there was one group of older women with disabilities that came to watch as well. After taking a picture with us, one of them came over to talk to me. She said that she did ballet for about 10 years when she was younger and she hadn’t seen anyone perform in a very long time, but seeing us brought back so many memories and made her very happy. That opened up a whole new perspective on who came to watch the sensory-friendly performances; it was not only giving an experience to kids, but it was creating an opportunity for so many more people, and I was really able to feel the impact of how important those performances are."
- BXO Dancer

"My favorite part of Civic was at the end of the show - everyone had a group hug and it truly made me feel like a member of company and that we are all one group and everyone congratulated each other. I am so thankful for that because before that I didn't really feel a part of the group."

- Janie Wimer, BXO Dancer

To Director Mia Klinger: "The notes you gave the kids about doing the best you can blew me away. You are a gift to the ballet world and I am so lucky my daughter is training with you. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, your encouragement, and your thoughtful words."
- Claire Monda, BXO Parent

In March 2023, the company performed Snow White, choreographed by Laszlo Berdo, and Miss Spider's Tea Party, choreographed by James Sewell for captivated audiences.

Coming March 2025

BXO will present Peter Pan, choreographed by Laszlo Berdo, March 15 & 16 at the Akron Civic Theatre. Be the first to know about casting, tickets, community performances, and events by subscribing to BXO's newsletter!

Peter Pan for 24 (3)

Upcoming Performances

For more performance announcements and up-to-date information about community performances, join our newsletter and follow us on social media @balletexcelohio.

August 2-3, 2024 - Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival

Performing Do-Be-Do choreographed by James Sewell. Music by The Swingle Singers.

August 8, 2024 - Performance collaboration with the Mustill Store, W. North St. & Howard St.

Performing an original jazz piece choreographed by Mary Sherman. (Rain Date: August 15, 2024)


Each season, since 1976, Ballet Excel Ohio travels throughout the region, performing annually for more than 9,000 audience members.  It is the company's opportunity to make art accessible by bringing it directly to schools, libraries, and local venues.  When performing in schools for young audiences Ballet Excel provides a curriculum guide which addresses the themes, story and arts objectives suitable for Common Core Curriculum standards. Interested in having BXO perform at your school, community center, or venue? Contact Us!


Choreographed by Tom Gold

Music by Vitamin String Quartet

Happy Logo


Choreographed by Tom Evert

Music by Sebastian Anthony Birch

This virtual performance was made possible by a collaboration between Ballet Excel Ohio and the wonderful people at the City of Cuyahoga Falls Parks & Recreation Department. Both the City of Cuyahoga Falls and Ballet Excel Ohio are striving to find ways to safely bring art and entertainment to the community in these uncertain times. Please enjoy the show!

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Choreographed by Ohio native and world renowned choreographer Tom Evert, “I LOVE  SHAPES” celebrates the elementary forms of lines, circles, triangles, and squares in a dynamic modern dance. This imaginative and innovative ballet brings basic shapes to life through a visually stunning performance. It was conceived as a means of introducing young audiences and classically trained young dancers to the concepts of modern dance which tend to be more abstract, through the use of basic shapes familiar to them. Rather than tell a story as a traditional ballet might, it paints a visual picture using the shapes which the dancer’s movements create. Through interweaving and juxtaposing the basic shapes, a multilayered, three-dimensional texture emerges. The dancers create levels of energy from tranquility to frenzy through their movements as set to the mood ranges of the music.

“I LOVE SHAPES” was the first modern work to be added to the repertoire of Ballet Excel Ohio, formerly the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, and the first commissioned for a youth ballet.

Choreographed by Tom Evert
An Original Modern Ballet
World Premiere: March 10-11, 1989
(Akron Civic Theatre, Akron, Ohio)
Reprise: August, 18 2020
( Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
Original Score by Sebastian Anthony Birch