Dancer, Ballet School parent, volunteer, teacher, supporter, and connector: Lisa Sirridge has been all those things and much more for Kansas City Ballet. She has much passion and dedication for the Ballet. “Basically, I love the Ballet,” Lisa says. Her path has taken many forms since she danced with the Kansas City Civic Ballet (now Kansas City Ballet) in the 70s. “It’s been a fun journey to watch,” Lisa says, “both being a part of it as a dancer and to support and teach at it.”
Beginning as a dancer
At age 3, Lisa’s mother introduced her to ballet through classes at the YWCA. Her mother was not a dancer but enjoyed the art and hoped to pass on that passion to her daughter. Seeking a deeper education in dance for Lisa, her mother moved Lisa to a small neighborhood dance studio in Kansas City, Kan. When she was 14, Lisa was invited to train with KCB founder Tatiana Dokoudovska and dance in the Kansas City Civic Ballet. Through the Civic Ballet, the company had the opportunity to share the stage with renowned dancers Patricia McBride, Edward Villella, Melissa Hayden, Jacque D’Amboise, and Gelsey Kirkland. After these wonderful opportunities, Lisa left performing and began a new ballet journey.
Bringing joy through dance
Following her own mother’s example, Lisa introduced daughter, Grace to ballet at the Kansas City Ballet School (KCBS). Through these years, Lisa began her volunteer journey that lead her to the opportunity to chair the school’s annual fundraiser, the Sugar Plum Fairy Children’s Ball (SPFCB). To this day, she is eager to help with planning and executing this huge event, as it brings so much joy to countless children and their parents. For Lisa, the most gratifying moment at the Children’s Ball is seeing the joy on the faces on both the children and adults when the doors open to the magical ballroom. Lisa chaired and co-chaired the SPFCB from 2008-2010 and again in 2019.
Her volunteerism through KCBS led her to the Kansas City Ballet Guild where she has been a member since 2009. She has been on many of the Guild’s social committees, planning luncheons and parties. Additionally, she has been a part of the Nutcracker Ball fundraising committee and has volunteered many times at the Nutcracker Boutique.
Lisa has always been passionate about volunteering and instilled this value in her daughter Grace from a young age. She showed Grace how rewarding it can be to give back to the community and how it brings her joy. Lisa’s passion for dance has undoubtedly influenced her daughter, Grace, who has followed in her mother’s footsteps. Grace has taught adaptive dance classes, lower school children’s classes, and she worked with KCB to help facilitate a low sensory Nutcracker, which was a huge success. Presently, as the Manager of Events and Philanthropy at KCB, Grace is an integral part of the KCB team that plans and executes events like the Children’s Ball. She has truly inherited her mother’s spirit for service and is carrying on the legacy with passion.
Sharing her love of ballet
After more than 25 years performing and teaching ballet, Lisa has incorporated Pilates into her fitness arena. She earned her certification in Pilates and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) and has been a faculty member at KCBS for over 15 years. Lisa says, working with both dancers and non-dancers is incredible rewarding. “It’s like putting a puzzle together and helping each individual find the pieces that makes everything click”. She loves to watch the dancers grow from Pilates while performing on stage and as for the non-dancer, she reminds them “You don’t have to be a dancer to train line one.”
Lisa is also a connector. She loves sharing her passion for ballet with others. “I like to encourage people to get involved,” Lisa says. Whether it is volunteering for KCB’s many opportunities or just attending a ballet, Lisa is the catalyst for many people’s ballet journey. She has seen where the company has been and where it is today. “We’ve grown so much as a company,” Lisa says with pride. She hopes that when people come to Kansas City, they will attend the Ballet.
Lisa knows that KCB would not be where it is today without financial support from individuals. “Whatever you give comes back to you,” she says. “To have a permanent home at the Todd Bolender for Dance & Creativity and the opportunity for our company and school to perform on the incredible Muriel Kauffman stage at the Kauffman Center is a dream come true.”
You can get involved!
You too can support the ballet. For more information on how to get involved in events such as the Children’s Ball or other volunteer opportunities, contact Grace Ingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.