Show must go on after storm damages St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Taking center stage now at the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory are electric fans, plastic buckets and over $20,000 worth of damage.

Last week, a storm caused their roof to peel back and rainwater to pour in, just days before the school’s summer showcase. 

The rain even ruined costumes, sets and parts of their sound system. But Servy Gallardo, the co-founder, chief choreographer and artistic director, tells 8 On Your Side the show must go on!

“We lost our theater. This is where we do most of our shows,” said Gallardo. 

This Friday, students could be seen lacing up their pointe shoes and preparing for rehearsal, just hours ahead of their show.  

“We salvaged shows, some costumes and put together pieces, so all of our hard work – we can still perform,” said conservatory student Kara Buckner.   

With all of the devastation, one might ask why not just cancel the show altogether? Gallardo says his kids have worked too hard to let a rain storm halt the theater’s performance.

“We don’t cancel shows, that’s not what we do,” said Gallardo. 

Instead, Friday’s showcase set for 7 p.m. will be moved to a practice studio that was left untouched by the storm.

In the meantime, the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory is asking the public for help in order to generate funds which would aid in the cost of repairing the storm damage. 

“We are trying to rebuild everything. Whatever help we can get, it will help us rebuild and put the program back together. We would like to put it together sooner because we have more kids coming to do our summer program,” said Gallardo.   

The St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory’s summer showcase is scheduled for July 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and the show is open to the public.   

For more information visit the conservatory’s official website.

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