Canton Ballet celebrates 50 years of dance

Canton Ballet will host a 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala and honor its artistic and executive director Cassandra Crowley of 35 years on Friday, November 20, 2015, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. The ballet’s largest fundraiser will be held in the Great Court of the Cultural Center for the Arts at 1001 Market Avenue North in downtown Canton.

The Gala agenda will offer a cash bar, food stations by chef John G. Bahas II of Waterloo Restaurant & Catering, silent and live auctions, and dancing to the music of The Chozen Few Band. Janet Weir Creighton will be master of ceremonies.

Alumni dancers and board members will be recognized during the evening. Special alumni reunion events are scheduled prior to the Gala and on the following day.

Crowley has led the Canton Ballet company and school since 1980. Many of the dancers she and her faculty have trained have gone on to dance professionally with New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Colorado Ballet among others and on Broadway, London’s West End and national and international tours of Broadway shows. Her students also have competed in the Paris International Ballet Competition and placed in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City. Crowley is a founder of Regional Dance America, vice-president of RDA/NE and on the board of directors for Young!Tanzsommer Austria. In addition to a Master’s Degree in Dance from Butler University, she has a strong international background. She spent five years dancing in England, France and Slovenia where she worked with traditional European masters and performed roles ranging from the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker to major roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty.

Reservations are $100 per person and may be made online at or by calling or visiting the Canton Ballet office at 330-455-7220. Tables of eight are available. Cocktail attire is recommended.

The Gala co-chairs are Erin Szekeres and Amy Memmer assisted by fund development chair Lindsay Zimmerman. Proceeds will benefit School of Canton Ballet’s financial aid, student outreach and education programming.