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Sarasota Ballet names community engagement director


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  • | 5:00 a.m. June 12, 2024
Charmaine Hunter
Charmaine Hunter
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The Sarasota Ballet has named former Dance Theatre of Harlem principal dancer Charmaine Hunter as its new community engagement director. 

In her new role, Hunter will oversee "Dance – The Next Generation," Joyful Movement through Parkinson's, Silver Swans and other community engagement programs.  

Prior to joining The Sarasota Ballet, Hunter served as director of community enrichment for Orlando Ballet, where she developed arts education programming for seven counties in the central Florida area, increasing access to dance for over 24,000 children.

“I am excited to step into the role of community engagement director with The Sarasota Ballet," said Hunter in a statement. "It is an honor and privilege to extend the gift of dance to the community and beyond. Celebrating the rich history of The Sarasota Ballet's commitment to giving back, this opportunity allows me to join in elevating our dance outreach offerings and broadening our impact.”

As principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Hunter was known for roles such as "The Firebird" and "Medea." While Hunter was still performing, she began working to provide programs for young people with little or no access to the arts. 

Toward that end, Hunter helped to launch Dancing Through Barriers, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s flagship outreach program in South Africa, before developing it for communities across the United States.

Hunter's rich dance and arts career includes the roles of director of Disney’s "The Lion King" in Toronto, talent scout for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, co-founder of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater and Upper School Principal with Texas Ballet Theater.

“I am thrilled that Charmaine will be joining The Sarasota Ballet,” says Christopher Hird, education director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Charmaine has an incredible background in both professional ballet and community engagement. She has a passionate commitment to bringing dance to everyone, and we are extremely lucky to have her choose Sarasota as her new home.”

 

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