The Creation of Maple Youth Ballet's Cinderella

  Charles’ Cinderella Blog Before I began to choreograph Cinderella, I looked at tradition and non-traditional versions of the ballet and noted the elements I enjoyed and those that I found to be missing. I then pieced together a synopsis of the ballet for Maple Youth Ballet based on those thoughts. The concept of Cinderella can be traced back centuries and individual elements of the story can be found in almost every culture of the world. Told by bards and entertainers from the ancient world, the story has passed from culture to culture and age to age. With each transition it has Read more

2017 Adult Ballet Intensive

Maple Conservatory of Dance is offering a comprehensive world-class summer ballet intensive for adult dancers ages 20 and older. This intensive will cover Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, Conditioning, Repertoire, and conclude with a performance. Tuition includes welcome reception on June 25th, all classes and DVD of in studio showing. Space is Limited – Enroll Today! 949-660-9930 Date: June 25, 2017 through June 30, 2017 Read more

Yes Virginia, Another Nutcracker!

Nutcracker was not a rip-roaring success at its premiere in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892. The art critic Konstantin Skalkovsky wrote in 1899, "Generally speaking, The Nutcracker was staged mainly for children; for the dancers it contains very little; for art — exactly nothing. Even its music was rather weak. As the dance writer Anatole Chujoy pointed out later on, the Nutcracker ballet remained in the Russian repertory for over 37 years! However, even today, audiences in Russia as well as in Europe are less excited than their American counterparts about The Nutcracker. So why do Americans love this ballet? Read more

Maple Conservatory of Dance Master Class Series

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Maple Conservatory of Dance Master Class Series presents New York City Ballet’s Katrina Killian and Darci Kistler. These classes are for Advanced Level Dancers ages 13 to 22. This Master Class is open to the surrounding dance community. Spaces are limited, so please Register Online today! For more information please call (949)660-9930.

Class Dates

Katrina Killian
August 5, 2014
3-4:30 pm

Darci Kistler
August 7, 2014
3-4:30 pm

Class Fee: $40
Payable in Advance with Registration

Diamonds & Dance Gala 2014

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Dear Friends of Maple Youth Ballet,

There is no question that arts education benefits children. Involvement in the arts leads to achievement in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. Arts education has also been shown to improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Communities benefit from the arts as well by exposure to beauty, creativity, and diversity.

Arts educational programs are being cut from most school curricula. This precious part of a child’s education, one that actually is proven to produce better citizens, is becoming more and more difficult to provide. We invite you to become a part of the Maple Youth Ballet, and join us in helping children grow and develop through participation in the arts.

Ballet Etiquette

Maple Youth Ballet is devoted to providing young dancers with the exposure, training and performance opportunities to grow from students into professional dancers. Serving Orange County and adjacent Southern California communities, we offer professional-quality performances at an affordable cost, and the opportunity to learn about and gain a greater appreciation for the art of dance. Helmed by Charles Maple, former soloist with American Ballet Theater, and founded in 2007, Maple Youth Ballet has grown to become one of California’s leading youth ballets.

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the Maple Youth Ballet will present our third annual Diamonds & Dance Gala. Hosted at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, the Gala will feature a wine bar, fabulous hors d’oeuvres, raffle and silent auction, and a special performance by the Maple Youth Ballet dancers. We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Gala Honorees are Ms. Jennifer Condas and Ms. Eve Kornyei.

We invite you to donate an item or experience to the Silent Auction or Raffle. Every dollar raised will help Maple Youth Ballet further its mission, and to provide scholarships to talented students who could not otherwise afford this opportunity. We anticipate over 200 guests will attend the Gala, and all donors will be recognized and celebrated.

We appreciate your support and hope you will join us in helping keep the arts alive for our children and within our community.

Diamonds & Dance is presented by Maple Youth Ballet, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Click Here to learn more and Buy Tickets

Cathy Godlewski
Diamonds & Dance Gala Chairperson

Tickets on Sale Now

Buy Tickets Online

Gala Ticket Price: $75 per guest, payable by cash or check*. We also accept credit card payments via Eventbrite. Tickets may also be purchased directly at the studio or by mail.

*Paying by check or cash will avoid additional fees.

For more information please e-mail

Come Dance with Us in Summer 2014

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The Maple Conservatory of Dance offers two summer intensive age-specific programs for male & female intermediate & advanced-level dancers.

Both summer programs will be taught by notable guest teachers and our world-class faculty using the same curriculum and teaching methods which have established the Maple Conservatory of Dance as the premier training ground in Southern California.

Senior Ballet Intensive Program
June 30 – August 22, 2014

Audition Information for Senior Ballet Intensive | Sunday, February 23, 2014

* Participation in the Senior Ballet Intensive requires a commitment of at least two weeks.

Junior Ballet Intensive Program –  2 Sessions!
June 23 – July 4, 2014 & August 11- 22, 2014

Audition Information for Junior Ballet Intensive | Sunday, February 23, 2014

Learn More About Our Summer Programs

Download & Print our Summer Ballet Intensive Audition Form (pdf)

Charles Maple featured in Riviera Magazine

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When it comes to the arts, wielding true power goes beyond money and moxie. It means forging ahead while others doubt and stepping in when you’re most needed. Meet the Orange County players who are doing just that, and putting the region’s culture conscience first.

The Mentor
Football may seem an unlikely transition to a life in ballet. But Charles Maple, a leading name in ballet instruction, took up the dance genre to help strengthen a knee after he was sidelined while playing tight end. He never went back to the pigskin. “It was athletic and poetic, and I wasn’t getting knocked around like in football,” he muses. He grew up in Pasadena but joined the School of American Ballet in New York at age 18. That led to 10 years with the American Ballet Theatre, where Maple became a soloist, traveled the world, and worked with great choreographers such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lucia Chase. “Baryshnikov was such a charismatic performer, it naturally rubbed off on the rest of us,” Maple recalls. Then came a lengthy stint with the internationally known Ballet Basel in Switzerland. “It was an amazing life,” Maple says. “We were young, traveling to great cities, making people happy.” He returned to Southern California in 1995, and found himself in demand for master classes and teaching summer intensives at the American Ballet Theatre. When Ballet Pacifica closed in 2007, he took over its 13,000-square-foot set of studios in Irvine and opened Maple Conservatory of Dance ( with Kathy Crade. “We started with only a few students, but now we’re up to 250,” he says. “We start them at age 4 with pre-ballet. Serious training begins at 7 or 8. It really takes about 10 years to develop a professional dancer.” Many students have gone on to join acclaimed dance troupes, including American Ballet Theatre. As for the future of Maple? “We want to be known as more than just a regional conservatory.”

View Full Article | Written by: Jerry Hicks | Photo: Angela Marklew | December 6, 2013

Nutcracker Monday Evening Performance Added

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News Flash! Don’t miss the Ultimate Nutcracker Experience – an additional Monday Evening Performance has been added at 6:30 PM

A Magical Journey Where Dreams Come True!

At the beautiful & spacious Northwood Performing Arts Theatre in Irvine

Music by Peter Tchaikovsky
Choreography by Charles Maple

From the moment the lights dim, you will be transported to a magical place filled with dancing snowflakes, a dashing prince, and Tchaikovsky’s majestic score based on one of the world’s most beloved ballets. Share tradition of fantasy as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker Prince and Clara ignite the imagination of you princes and princesses of all ages. Watch as this unique Orange County Experience unfolds, showcases more than 80 exceptionally talented & classically trained dancers from across the Southland! Featuring original choreography by Artistic Director Charles Maple, The Maple Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a full length rendition-with-a-twist of E.T.A. Hoffman’s time-honored classic which centers around Clara, a young girl who yearns to one day become a professional ballerina.

The Nutcracker Experience is complete with Pre and Post Performance Activities. Visit Clara’s Tutu Tent before and during intermission for special offerings that will include photo opportunities, music, gourmet treats and more!

Running Time: about 2 hours with intermission

Tickets On Sale NOW at Economy-Friendly Prices!


Irvine ballet company joins elite group

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The Irvine-based Maple Youth Ballet was recently admitted to Regional Dance America, joining an exclusive nationwide group of companies as its only Orange County member.

As a member, the company will perform at the annual festival and will have to undergo evaluations every year to make sure they’re performing up to par. The 2014 festival will be in Spokane, Washington.

“It puts a fire under everybody to make sure we’re ready,” said Charles Maple, artistic director of the Maple Youth Ballet and …

Orange County Register article By LAUREN JOW
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School of American Ballet’s Workshop for Young Dancers

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We welcome the School of American Ballet’s Workshop for Young Dancers to the Maple Conservatory from July 29 through August 2 and August 5 through August 9.

Please note that during this time, no morning open classes will take place. Our regularly scheduled afternoon, evening and weekend classes will continue.

Locals Dance in ‘Snow White’

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A lovely lightness of being imbues the delicately balanced pirouettes and promenades of ballerina Ali Willson as she skims across the floor during a recent rehearsal for Maple Youth Ballet’s “Snow White,” premiering this Saturday at Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Based on the classic good-versus-evil fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, this weekend’s fanciful and fun family show features deft characterizations and choreography by Artistic Director Charles Maple as well as exquisitely crafted costumes and colorful sets created by the company’s talented family of volunteers.

As Snow White, the 16 year-old Willson brings a refreshingly youthful grace and poise to her leading role. It’s the perfect foil for the reigning beauty the Evil Queen, portrayed by fellow Newport Beach resident Cinamin Stulik. Stulik’s character is the embodiment of machiavellian malevolence, which sets the stage for the final showdown between Snow White’s ingenuous innocence and the Queen’s eaten-with-envy agenda.

“The ballet’s young dancers are very talented, but it’s often difficult to play older roles as a teenager. Charles needed the Queen to have more intense feelings,” says Stulik of her casting as the evil monarch.

A life-long dancer who studied at UCI as well as Joffrey and Boston Ballet’s summer intensives, her experience and mature professionalism is immediately obvious in the sharply effortless lines and beautifully arched feet underlying an edgily dramatic portrayal.

Article by By Pamela Diamond
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