Copper Coin Ballet Company

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022 (Springfield, IL) - Prominent members of the Springfield, IL, dance community are proud to announce the formation of Copper Coin Ballet Company (CCBC). Founded by Grace Luttrell Nanavati, Julie Ratz, Ronda Brinkman, and Gina DeCroix Russell and supported by a team of experienced and well-respected area artists, Copper Coin Ballet Company has been created to reimagine the context and potential for dance in our community by creating unique collaborations in artistic expression.


Rooted in history, Copper Coin Ballet Company honors Springfield’s original regional ballet company. Mildred Caskey began the Copper Coin Regional Ballet in the Fall of 1959 as a regional branch of a national movement designed to foster dance as fine art; provide a medium of expression for area dancers, choreographers, designers, and musicians; and elevate standards of the regional performing dancer under conditions as nearly professional as possible. The Copper Coin Ballet Company will stay true to the original mission.


“Copper Coin Ballet Company will provide unique opportunities in dance performance and education for our community. In the spirit of cooperation and a desire to excel, this organization will flourish,” says co-founder Grace Luttrell Nanavati who was Artistic Director of the Copper Coin Regional Ballet from 1973-1975 and will serve as the Executive Artistic Director for the current venture.


“The Springfield dance community has given me more creative opportunities than I could have ever wished for. My hope is to give those same chances back to dancers in Springfield,” says CCBC Artistic Director Julie Ratz. “This new company provides an opportunity to rethink dance in our area, reach a broader audience, and diversify our creative experiences.”


Participation in Copper Coin Ballet Company will be free for members, and dancers will have multiple performance opportunities throughout the season. CCBC will hold open auditions on Sunday, April 3, 2022, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts for 2022/2023 season Company membership, as well as roles in CCBC’s productions of Rockballet and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. For more information regarding Copper Coin Ballet Company or upcoming auditions, visit or email CCBC Artistic Director Julie Ratz at 


Copper Coin Ballet Company is a non-profit organization founded in 2022. Copper Coin Ballet Company reimagines the context and potential for dance in our community to create unique collaborations in artistic expression among burgeoning artists nurtured by experienced artists.

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