What is the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre?

Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre (CYBT) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization engaged in the performing arts with a youth development focus. Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre was founded by Liza Mata in 2006.

Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre’s official training school is Coastal Dance Centre. CYBT’s company members are invited from among Coastal Dance Centre’s students, age 9 and over, who are enrolled in the Pre-Professional Track and who are seriously committed to dedicating their time and talent. The company membership division is as follows: Senior and Junior Company, Trainees and Apprentices.

The purpose of CYBT is to provide young dancers in the Grand Strand an intensive training program that will prepare them eventually for the professional world or should they decide to choose another career path, be able to use the life skills learned in dance: the value of discipline, hard work, patience, perseverance, determination, persistence, resilience, respect, cooperation and good behavior -all necessary ingredients for success in life.

Aside from CYBT’s resident artistic staff, we bring in distinguished international guest teachers. As a school and performing company,  CDC and CYBT are recognized for the high caliber training and professionally-staged ballet productions we present to the Grand Strand community which allows our young dancers/company members to have the opportunity to have world class training and performance opportunities.


What is the mission of Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre?

The mission of the organization is to promote arts appreciation and cultural enhancement in the community, provide access to high caliber ballet training and performance opportunities through performances, education, scholarship and outreach programs.


What does membership in Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre offer?

Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre company membership are given opportunities to participate in professionally-staged performance opportunities year-round. To be a member of CYBT involves serious commitment, putting in a lot of hard work, dedication, discipline and honing one’s talent. CYBT company members are also able to learn a wide repertoire of popular classical ballets and contemporary pieces within the confines of the studio. (With this set-up, parents are able to save on travel and accommodation expenses as compared to that of competing outside the home base.) CYBT company members also have the wonderful opportunity to work with notable and distinguished guest artists, master teachers, choreographers and dancers.


What recognition and scholarship opportunities have CDC students / CYBT company members attained so far?

CYBT company members have gained recognition and scholarship opportunities to the following:  The Harid Conservatory, Boca Raton, Florida; Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, Massachusetts; School of Washington Ballet; Wake Forest University, North Carolina; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet Theatre; South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC: National Ballet School of Canada, Toronto, Canada; San Francisco Ballet School; North Carolina School for the Arts; Boston Ballet School; New York University; Ellison Ballet; Ballet Met, Columbus, Ohio; Houston Ballet Academy; the Segerstrom Scholarship under the Dizzy Feet Foundation .


What is the significance of CDC and CYBT as a school and performing arts organization in the Grand Strand community?

CDC and CYBT aim to ensure that high caliber training opportunities are offered for its exceptionally talented youth – the students and performing company members who, in the future, will mature into the next generation of great performing artists or as arts ambassadors / supporters.

As a classically based training school and performing company, CDC and CYBT, help to create an understanding of cultural history and traditions and we pass on, not just technical knowledge, but this artistic legacy to the young people who study in our school and participate in our performing company programs. CDC’s training program and CYBT’s performance opportunities are aimed at a relatively small segment of the youth population in the area, specifically, those young people with potential and serious commitment. Our training and performing programs ensure that CDC and CYBT fulfill its mission of propagating arts awareness and the continuity of artistic traditions and reinforce CDC’s and CYBT’s cultural significance in the area / community.


What is the measure of success of the CDC/CYBT Mission / Programs?

Student retention is not always a fair indication of success in the world of dance, unfortunately, as young bodies grow and the physical demands of classical dance increase, some must move from being a performer on the stage to being a member of the audience.

The artistic staff of CDC and CYBT expects about 25 percent of the beginning level students to complete the entire pre-professional training program. Whether they graduate from the training program or not, ninety percent of the students are expected to become active members of the cultural community as an audience member and arts supporter; ten percent are expected to pursue careers in dance, whether as performers, or as teachers or maybe in an administrative capacity.

Professional placements or activity is neither the sole nor necessarily the principal indication of the CDC / CYBT programs’ success. CYBT’s company members are the students who come from the training school (which is Coastal Dance Centre). The CDC / CYBT families’ and the indefatigable volunteers’ serious commitment to the CYBT programs, not just the talented pool of dancers, is the underlying reason for CYBT’s sustained growth and success.

Ultimately, it is the goal of CDC and CYBT that young people who have come from the school and performing company will appreciate the arts, particularly, the dance arts. This will be reflected in the lives they lead following graduation / departure. Some may continue to dance for pleasure, physical health, or professionally. Others will seek additional training. If every student who ever graces the halls of CDC and CYBT attends a dance performance in the future or supports the arts in their community, CDC’s and CYBT’s mission will have succeeded.

Likewise, if their parents and families become more involved in their children’s activities, if they attend performance, get involved in volunteer activities and support the arts in their community, we will all benefit. And if audiences gain a wider appreciation of classical dance and the performing arts in all its glorious forms, CDC and CYBT will have succeeded in its mission.


What is the stand of the Artistic Leadership and the Board now that CDC/CYBT is on its 12th year?

The strength and artistic vision of CDC/CYBT’s leadership remains vibrant and, together with CYBT’s Board of Directors, continues to work hard for the school and performing company to honor its commitment to sustainable growth and the cultural health of the community and will continue to hone Coastal Dance Centre’s and Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre’s vision-mission.


What is the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre Outreach Program?

As part of our outreach program, we invite school children from Horry and Georgetown schools, as well as school children from neighboring counties (even as far as North Carolina) – many of whom do not have access to arts programming, to attend our special school matinees and experience valuable live theater performances. As such, Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre makes a significant impact in the lives of thousands of youth in our area every year.