Hickory – Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts wants to put a spring in your step this spring with a lineup of programs full of fun, movement and storytelling.

“Part of our mission as a ballet and performing arts studio is to engage with the community in as many ways as possible,” says Leanna Bodnar, Executive Director of HBPA. “Springtime is a great season to get out and try something new and we think that families in the Hickory area will have a great time exploring these programs, two of which are free to participants.”Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts

Celebrate International Dance Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at HBPA’s dance studio at 116 3rd St. NW in downtown Hickory. Free classes will be offered in a variety of styles for a range of ages, including Caregiver and Me classes, Ballet and Tap, traditional Hmong dance, Bollywood, African/Brazilian, and Tinikling (the National Dance of the Philippines).

The public is invited to drop in and try a dance class or two at any time throughout the day. A food truck will be available to fuel hungry appetites

Four free performances of Finding Fairies will be offered in May. The interactive, live theatre event will appeal to children of all ages who are invited to join Frankie the Fairyologist as she helps the fairies and other magical creatures find the first raindrop of spring in four Catawba County parks.

Two performances are scheduled on Saturday, May 13, the first at 11 a.m. at Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford, and then again at 3 p.m. at Cliff Teague Park in Hickory. On Saturday, May 20, the event begins at 2 p.m. at Winkler Park in Hickory followed by a second performance at 4 p.m. at Southside Park in Newton. All performances are free and open to the public.

Both the International Dance Day and the Finding Fairies program were made possible thanks to generous support from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of National and Cultural Resources, with funding from the State of North Carolina from the National Endowment for the Arts.

May wraps up with three performances of Giselle, the classic ballet based on a retelling of the Slavic legend concerning the wilis, supernatural beings in Slavic folklore. The ballet will feature special guest artist William Whitney from the University of North Carolina School of Arts. Performances take place at the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 25; 7 p.m. on Friday, May 26; and 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 27. Tickets will be available closer to the event at the theatre box office or online at www.thegreenroomtheatre.org.

Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that offers classes and summer camps. Visit www.hickoryballetpa.com or call (828) 328-3794 for additional information. The studio is located at 116 3rd St. NW in downtown Hickory.