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Sitar Stories

The Washington Ballet

Sitar’s First Artistic Partner Sets the Bar High

The Washington Ballet class at Sitar

Ms. Saki and The Washington Ballet class at Sitar.

Artistic partners are part of the core of Sitar in providing high quality arts classes, and today Sitar is proud to have 10 across all artistic disciplines. But there is only one founding artistic partner: The Washington Ballet. “Quality is an integral part of every program at Sitar Arts Center and it is exemplified by our partnership with The Washington Ballet. By definition, quality is a measure of excellence but at Sitar, the definition reaches much further to also be an expression of value and worth to our students,” shared Maureen Dwyer, Executive Director.

Sitar’s ballet classes are part of DanceDC, The Washington Ballet’s education outreach program which reaches underserved areas of DC. Septime Webre shared that “our innovative partnership with Sitar Arts Center is a win-win: We provide them with the excellent teachers, and they help us fulfill our mission of bringing the best dance education to our community.”

When Sitar moved to our current facility in 2004, The Washington Ballet was key in helping design the state-of-the-art dance studio with the same technical specifications as the Washington Ballet School’s rehearsal rooms. This semester, 59 students are enrolled in the ballet program at the Center – a record-setting number and a valuable reflection of the community’s dedication to this art form. The Washington Ballet’s Saki Scheller, or Ms. Saki as the students call her, has been teaching ballet at Sitar for five years. The students not only learn ballet technique, but also develop confidence and discipline.

“My students come ready to class and want to excel. They work as a team and genuinely encourage each other rather than compete. So much talent has been discovered with some students receiving scholarships at The Washington School of Ballet. When you see that something clicks in your students, as a teacher, that’s the best feeling in the world.”

— Saki Scheller, The Washington Ballet

For more information about The Washington Ballet, visit Sitar Arts Center offers through The Washington Ballet preballet (pre-K to 2nd grade) and ballet (2nd to 4th grade).