At the Maine State Ballet’s Masquerade Ball & Auction held on March 5, guests were elegantly turned out and eager to support the professional ballet company at its annual fundraiser.

“If you want to be a ballerina, you come here,” said Don Mackenzie of Cape Elizabeth. MacKenzie and his wife, Christine Mackenzie, who chaired the event, have a daughter and son who have danced with the company for years. “It’s amazing,” he said. “The instruction is unbelievable.”

The party spilled over into two rooms at the company’s theater in Falmouth. One was dedicated to an abundant spread of silent auction items (South African photo safari for two, anyone?), and the other, of course, to dancing.

“We do something different every year,” explained Linda Miele, the company’s artistic director. “It’s always loosely based on the performance we do in the spring, which this year is ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s nice to raise money, but it’s also nice to give our older dancers a fun evening, something to look forward to.”

WGME anchor Kim Block, radiant in a soft shade of pink, was the evening’s emcee.

“Maine State Ballet has been a part of my family for many years,” she said as she welcomed guests, praised the company and encouraged attendees to “bid high, bid often and dance!”

As partygoers mingled in long gowns and glittering masks sporting plumage and intrigue, the dancers kicked up their heels and brought a real jubilance to the party.

“I’ve been dancing here since I was 6, and I’m 18 now,” said Adrienne Pelletier of Raymond, who was joined by fellow company member Nick Anderson of Scarborough. “I love it here. They’re like a family to us.”

Shea Boulanger of Falmouth was joined by fellow dancers and friends Julia McGettigan of Portland, Caroline Routh of Cumberland and Emma Tabenken of Falmouth.

Caitlin Bernard of Portland, the company’s principal soloist, attended with her fiancé, Nick Bodlovick. “I started when I was 4 and I’ve been here 21 years,” Bernard said. “There is no better joy than being out on the stage here. It’s one of the greatest feelings.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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