Ballet Arizona - Our Story

“Ballet takes you somewhere and makes you feel that a door has been opened for your imagination. There is a perfect moment when it is thrilling—when the mind, body and soul connect and carry you past words into artistic exhilaration.” – Ib Andersen

Our Mission:

To ignite the human spirit through the magic of dance.

Building a Community of Culture:

Founded in 1986 from the merger of three companies, Ballet Arizona has become the Southwest’s premier professional ballet company. Today, the company consists of about 30 dancers under the direction of internationally acclaimed choreographer Ib Andersen, who was a principal dancer with the legendary George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet for more than a decade. When Ib joined Ballet Arizona as Artistic Director in 2000, he brought to Ballet Arizona artistic capabilities that had never before been seen in our state. Under his leadership, Ballet Arizona has mounted many seasons of successful ballet performances that have consistently received rave reviews not only locally but also in the center of the dance world, New York City.

Ballet Arizona is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new, innovative works. We are committed to supporting diversity throughout our organization and in our communities and take pride in sharing the rich tradition of classical ballet and the contemporary evolution of the art form with Arizona audiences.

Ballet Arizona also believes that communities thrive in a healthy balance of interests that includes arts as well as work, family activities, sports, leisure-time pursuits, enjoyment of nature and climate, active lifestyles. To help support this belief, we take a collaborative approach to strengthening community engagement in ballet and the arts. With school-day presentations and behind-the-scenes programs, free community performances and family events, we endeavor to provide Arizonans with many opportunities to learn more about our art form and understand how and why the arts can be so universally impactful. These educational and engagement programs touch the lives of more than 35,000 Valley residents of all ages each year and wouldn’t be possible without your generous support.

The School of Ballet Arizona is also an important part of Ballet Arizona. The school offers Pre-K to pre-professional levels as well as programs/classes for the community. With a focus on teaching professionalism, the school provides comprehensive dance training that meets the expectations of professional dance companies and equips students with a broad range of skills that enhance their lifelong success. Students are frequently integrated into professional performances with the main company and are consistently guided to achieve their greatest artistic and creative potential. The school also provides the professional teachers for our many other community engagement programs including Creative Aging Though Dance, Adaptive Dance, and Dance for Parkinson’s.

Looking forward to bright horizons:

With the combination of $3.2 million in voter-approved bond funds and $7.3 million from generous donors to the Next Step Campaign, Ballet Arizona and The School of Ballet Arizona moved in summer 2013 into the organization’s long-awaited, new permanent home at 2835 E. Washington Street in Phoenix. After 20 challenging years in small, dilapidated quarters on Indian School Road, the Company and the School spread its wings into a redesigned warehouse. In this cross-town move, the organization stepped out of a 14,000 square foot facility into a new home more than three times larger — outfitted with an expansive lobby, seven teaching, and rehearsal studios, including a “black box” performance space, as well as dressing rooms, showers, bathrooms, costume, and scene shops, and spaces for education and community programs.

The move ushered in a new era for Ballet Arizona as a community center for dance and dance learning unlike any other. Now begins the fulfillment of a plan for community engagement and creative place-making made possible in this accessible, purpose-built facility in a neighborhood adjacent to central Phoenix.

Creative expression and access to the performing arts build a thriving community. Our donors create a vibrant, engaging arts community by helping us reach over 80,000 people every season. It is because of your support that we are able to look forward to bright horizons and continue our tradition of dance excellence in Arizona.

Gwen's Angels: 1999-2000 Ballet Crisis

Chairman Emerita Gwen Hillis, shares the story of how Ballet Arizona was saved from closing its doors over 20 years ago.

20 Years of Ib Andersen

Ib Andersen reflects on 20 years as Ballet Arizona's artistic director, touches on the company's milestones, and shares a glimpse of our future!
Welcome to Ballet Arizona's official website!