Founding Artistic Director
Chanda Ford is the Founding Artistic Director of Cleveland Inner City Ballet (CICB), a dance education and performance organization that provides a supportive environment to address the unique needs of those cut off from the arts by socioeconomic, race, and class circumstances. CICB's mission is carried out through it's school and company. Both components work together to teach and showcase ballet in Greater Cleveland while providing students and audiences with education, experiences and exposure. In her role, Ms.Ford has oversight of the artistic direction of CICB School and CICB Company and serves as a Board Member for OhioDance and Pink Tutu Outreach Company.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Ms.Ford holds a B.A in Sociology from Cleveland State University and has 34 years of dance experience. She is acknowledged by the City of Cleveland as one of Cleveland's "Hometown Hero's," and has been awarded in appreciation by Collinwood Recreation Center for her work with the Cleveland community. She has studied dance at the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, The School of Cleveland Ballet, The University of Akron for ballet, The Ohio State University, The Governor's Summer Institute at The Ohio State University for ballet, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Cleveland School of the Arts. Ford-White's studies in Sociology and love of dance resulted in the development of an article titled "Black Ballerina?" Which was so well received by Cleveland State University it became required reading for freshman Sociology students. Ms. Ford was invited to lecture on the subject at Cleveland State University during Black History Month.
Ms. Ford's professional dance and choreography experiences includes, but not limited to, Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Cleveland Ballet, PBS Mini Series of Playwriting- How to Write a Play and, Severance Hall Children's Key Concert. She may also be credited for choreographic work in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," for the Ashtabula Arts Center; Sankofa's Sculpting Future African-American Leaders; Fannie Lewis " New Day in Hough" stage play with Pickett Productions and as a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team,
Ms. Ford has extensive teaching experience that includes the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation; Cleveland School of the Arts; First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland Childcare Center, Salvation Army Daycare and Recreation Center; Karamu House; Keyhoe Dance Studio; Broadway School of Music and Arts; Marjorie Jones School of Ballet; Becky's School of Dance; Cleveland City Dance; Dancing Wheels School; Creative Learning Institute; Cantenbury Elementary School; Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre; and Ashtabula Arts Center. In addition to teaching ballet, tap, jazz and creative movement Ford has an extensive background in dance history, choreography, dance notation, non- profit- arts administration, and dance education.
CICB Company and School led by Ms. Ford have performed in the annual presentation of Community Day for the Cleveland Museum of Art; Severance Hall- Cleveland Orchestra Martin Luther King Celebration; Parade the Circle with the Cleveland Museum of Art; and the full length evening ballet production The Nutcracker. CICB also performs excerpts of the production The Nutcracker for community organizations that include National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.; Oriana House; Cleveland State University Black Studies Program; The Museum of Art Holiday Lighting Ceremony; and a CICB annual presentation during Black History month.
Media coverage for Ford CICB works and programs include The Cleveland Plain Dealer; CoolCleveland; East Side Daily News; The Reporter; "Ramona's Kids" on WOIO Cleveland 19; "Applause" on WVIZ-PBS Ideastream; and City of Cleveland Channel 20.