In an art form with no words, Ballet Mentor gives ballet a voice by connecting the professional dance world with those who desire to love and learn more about it. Ballet Mentor breaks the boundaries of the stage and opens up information & life experiences attained by the world’s top professional artists. Founded by four professional ballet dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Sarah Lane, Eric Tamm, Craig Salstein, & Luis Ribagorda, our goal is to encourage connectivity in the ballet world and develop a supportive environment in which relationships surrounding a love for ballet will grow. We understand what the road to becoming a professional ballet dancer takes and Ballet Mentor was designed to give that extra boost to the next generation.
Letters from Co-Founders Eric Tamm & Luis Ribagorda:
“Ballet Mentor was created to fill a void that I myself experienced as a young aspiring artist, from a family with no dance background, trying to figure out what it takes to make it in the professional dance world. Being able to immediately connect with a working professional at the top of their industry would have proved invaluable to answer all of my questions and help me along my journey. I grew up 20 miles outside of NYC, with access to two major ballet companies, and I still had tons of questions, so I realize now there must have been more people in similar situations with possibly even more questions than me! Thankfully, Ballet Mentor can tackle every subject such as: summer programs and schools, dance attire, stage make-up and hair, ballet technique, company life, the audition process…and the list goes on. It’s a resource I didn’t have growing up that I know so many could benefit from. Our goal is simply to help the future generations of aspiring artists reach their full potential by giving better access to the tools they need to thrive.”
"When I came to America from Spain at the age of 18, it was very difficult for me at first because I was going from living at home to living on my own; studying in school to joining a prestigious company; leaving everything I knew and loved for a country where I didn't even know the language. For other reasons, as well, it felt like a culture shock. In reality, whether you are coming from another country or not, it is daunting for any student transitioning to working as a professional. I didn't have anywhere that I could look to get information, advice, or support. You grow up with so many dreams but you don't understand life enough at that point to know how to make those dreams come true. There is so much that we as seasoned professional dancers have learned over the years that would have been invaluable to me along the way. Through Ballet Mentor I want to make that available to young artists and anyone else who is passionate about the world of dance as much as I am.”