East Coast Ballet

East Coast Ballet

Best of 2022
10 employees
25 years in business

About this pro


East Coast Ballet (ECB) is a Christian classical dance-training institute committed to advancing artistic excellence through comprehensive pre-professional and college preparatory instruction. ECB has seasoned dance professionals committed to a positive learning environment.  The school provides diverse dance training in our three state-of-the-art studios with safe sprung dance surfaces and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. 

Excellence is our specialty!

Learn the art of dance from highly trained, experienced instructors at our school in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.  East Coast Ballet's staff consists of artists with extensive classical ballet upbringing in Cecchetti, Vaganova, and American influence.  ECB’s tap and jazz staff consists of artists that passionately stay up to date with the latest styles of choreography.  

Our dance instructors teach because they find their line of work stimulating, uplifting, challenging, and worthwhile.

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Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Drop in Classes

Interview and audition

Explain training, performance opportunities, progress reports, promotion

Private and Semi-private lessons available

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Rick Mende & Mindi Mende are the founding Directors of the East Coast Ballet.  Mr. Mende holds a degree in Human Resources with an emphasis on education, training, and development.  He is the Executive and Marketing Director of East Coast Ballet.  Mrs. Mende is the Artistic Director. Classically trained by her mother, Katha Bardel, Mrs. Mende has followed a professional dance career path from corps de ballet, principle, ballet mistress, instructor, choreographer, and director over the past 30 years.  She studied in classical ballet along with jazz, tap, and musical theatre under acclaimed instructors including Hilary Cartwright, Edward Villella, Conrad Ludlow, Kelly Brown, Wilhelm Burmann, David Holliday, and Olga Kostritsky.  She toured throughout the US, Asia, and South & Central America via secular and Christian platforms.  Mrs. Mende has performed and choreographed for various theatre, TV, video, industrials, and film productions.  In 1989 she invented and patented the Jazz Pointe Shoe, known today as the Dance Sneaker.  Rick and Mindi Mende developed and patented a tight design, which is on the market by BodyWrappers.  Their joy is guiding, training, and mentoring students, many of whom have gone on to excel as accomplished performers, choreographers, instructors, and directors in various professional dance endeavors, such as: Nashville Arial Company, ABT NY Company, OKC Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Ad Deum, and East Coast Ballet!  They are passionate about directing performances that reach into the heart of both the performers and audience, challenging and encouraging a deeper relationship with the Lord.

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What types of students have you worked with?

All ages, abilities, & body types

Describe a recent event you are fond of.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Go to where they teach and see the facility, dancers, classes, schedules, cleanliness, flooring, instructor resumes, performance opportunities.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Schedules, committment level, styles of dance desired to study, type of ballet training, does the facility produce professional dancers.