VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — After more than a year, Ballet Virginia returned to the theater this weekend for their first live performances since the shutdowns began.  

The professional ballet company preformed “Visions of Hope” in front of a live, socially distanced, audience at Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach.

“We are exploring a lot of deeper topics because we’re not doing so many strictly classical works,” explained company member Julia Stewart.  

Friday’s opening night performance was sold out.

If you weren’t able to make it to the theater, you can still see the performance’s virtual viewing option running May 21 though June 7.

After spending 440 days away from the stage, dancers said they were more than ready for the energy an audience brings.

“It’s s live art form,” said company member Colin Jacob. “It’s meant to be enjoyed in the moment.”

“It’s electrifying when people are out there and it makes you realize ok I love what I do,” added another professional dancer Rebecca Ailstock.

When the pandemic hit Ballet Virginia was still a fledgling company. They were founded in the fall of 2019, barely 6 months befpre the world shutdown. Although some ballet companies were forced to close their doors over the last year, Ballet Virginia pulled through

“We’re just so fortunate to still be here,” said Ailstock. “We have such a good company this year too and I’m just so excited for all of us because we’ve been working so hard to finally go back to that normal.”