Anything for Their Arts

Anything for Their Arts

Bike team dons tutus to raise money for ballet.

Why would grown men wear tutus in public? In this case, it's to raise money for The Burke Civic Ballet, a non-profit, community-based performing arts organization established in 1993. The group provides an opportunity for local dancers to perform in professional settings.

To raise funds for this year's performance schedule, members of The Burke Civic Ballet are biking in tutus.

One of the Board of Directors, Chantal Leonard, came up with the idea to bike for pledges and suggested the formation of the Burke Civic Ballet Bicycle Team. The concept is not a new one as riders convert miles to dollars in the form of pledges. What is new is having grown men willing to ride bicycles while wearing tutus.

When one of the bicyclists, Matt Ciskowski, was questioned about wearing a tutu publicly for a good cause he said, "Sure, that would be swell, can I get extra copies of the paper to send to my family and friends."

The group has collected over $1,000 in pledges and they have only been riding since Aug. 11, having accumulated 650 miles.

On Saturday Sept. 17, the group met for a fund raiser at the Old Vienna Train Station with the bikers committing to ride as far and as long as they could last on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The ballet will be performing Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m., in the Ernst Theater on the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. For tickets, call 703-425-5676.

To make a donation to The Burke Civic Ballet, call 703-239-9223.