The story of 'Cinderella' returns to Ball State, this time as a ballet

Cinderella will be played by Ball State's Dance and Theatre Department. Opening night is April 25 at 7:30 P.M.

“Cinderella: A Ballet” 

When: 7:30 p.m. April 25 to 28 and 2:30 p.m. April 28

Where: University Theatre 

Cost: Tickets cost $18 for the general public; $15 for faculty, staff, students and seniors; and $10 for children

The Ball State Department of Theatre and Dance is bringing magic and a classic tale to University Theatre through the production of “Cinderella: A Ballet.”

Both students and staff have worked on the production to bring every part of the story to life, from the costumes to the dance set to a score written by Sergei Prokofiev. 

Emily Ruiz-Busha, the director of Ball State’s costume shop, designed original costumes for the production that Shannon Swift, who dances as Cinderella, said make her feel like a true princess.

“My costumes are truly stunning,” Swift said. “All the costumes are a world away from what we wear daily, and will transport the audience into our magical world.”

The junior dance major has experience in several conceptual ballets from immersive learning classes and grants, but this production is her first mainstage ballet.

“I feel incredible as Cinderella, but there’s a lot to do, a lot to remember,” she said. “Occasionally, I questioned my capability, but I was very fortunate to have an amazing director, choreographers and numerous dancers surrounding me to help me stay calm.”

Levi Coy, however, has only been dancing ballet for three years. He has 16 years of dance experience and has been in other Ball State theater productions, but his role as Prince Charming is his first in a ballet performance.

“I absolutely love that I was given a chance to be this role,” said Coy, a junior dance major. “I feel pressure to show off my ballet technique that I have been learning for such a short time.”

In working together, Coy and Swift said it was easy to find the chemistry needed to portray the romance between Cinderella and Prince Charming because they have had time to become friends. 

“The friendship we have really helps build up the love story on stage,” Swift said. 

Because ballets have no spoken words, the dancers have to convey all emotion through body language and facial expression.

It wasn’t until Swift began dancing at Ball State that she realized how important acting was and began incorporating it into her work. 

“Your body must move in a very particular sense,” Swift said. “It can take many tries to understand what would read well to the audience.” 

Both Coy and Swift said the lack of words doesn’t stop dancers from relating to the audience.

“A ballet is a simple story,” Swift said. “Everyone loves stories, this is just told through movement and with real people. We relate to the audience because we’re all human, just doing something slightly different.”

Contact Alexandra Smith with comments at


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