Colleen Smith began Ballet Palm Beach in 2001 as a student company, under the name Florida Classical Ballet Theatre. Her aim was to give dance students in Palm Beach County the opportunity to perform in full-scale classical ballets through this new organization. In its first year, Florida Classical Ballet Theatre performed only one ballet, The Nutcracker, to enthusiastic audience response.
From 2001 to 2012 the company underwent incredible change. Professional dancers and trainees were given the opportunity to lead the ranks of students, as audience support continued to grow. Invaluable staff members were added one by one, first as volunteers and then as paid employees. These changes behind the scenes gave way to thrilling development on our stage, as our productions continued to see a rise in technique, expression, and popularity.
In 2013, Florida Classical Ballet Theatre became Ballet Palm Beach, and is now a company of fifteen dancers: six student trainees and nine professionals. The name change symbolizes, for us, a new era of productivity. It represents twelve years of finding our footing, and ties us closely to this community which has so wonderfully supported us. We expect great things.
In the Community
Main Stage Performances
Ballet Palm Beach performs a series of full-length dance productions at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens. Productions include works from classical ballet repertoire and original pieces by Ballet Palm Beach. Student dancers are invited to audition to perform alongside professional dancers in order to experience the joy of sharing dance with a live audience.
Dance Training Program
Dance Training is administered by Ballet Palm Beach artistic staff and provides students with training and performance opportunities appropriate for a future career in dance. Student participants are given the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside professional dancers in full-length productions. Young dancers learn the works of classical ballet repertoire and classical music while participating in the physical training necessary to prepare for a career in dance.
Ballet Ambassadors is a separately funded international outreach program which began in 2009. Since then, Ballet Ambassadors has participated in an annual international outreach trip. Dancers share their talents with an international audience by performing for underserved populations abroad. For many of our students, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world and experience its many cultural offerings.
Ballet by the Book
Ballet Palm Beach partners with the Palm Beach County Library System and Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County to adapt works of children’s literature into the art of dance. Performances are held at local libraries, schools, and nonprofit organizations at no cost to audiences.
Ballet in the Balcony
Each Performance Season, Ballet Palm Beach invites local nonprofit groups and their members to experience the beauty of ballet production by donating tickets to our performances. Additionally, religious organizations and other community groups are able receive discount group rates for their members.
Discover Dance is an offsite dance education program administered by Ballet Palm Beach staff and trainees. Partnering with local nonprofits working with underserved children, Ballet Palm Beach exposes our community’s youth to the art of dance. Discover Dance gives children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in the performing arts a chance to explore personal creative expression.
Contributing Ticket Program
Ballet Palm Beach supports local community organizations by supplying complimentary tickets to aid in their fundraising efforts.