The mission of Boulder Ballet is to extend the artistry, passion, and joy of dance through company performances, excellent training, and outreach programs for school audiences.
The Ballet Arts Studio was founded in the 1970s as the Ballet Arts Studio of Boulder by Larry Boyette. In 1982 Barbara Demaree and Wanda Tierney took over the studio and started the first performing ensemble, then named Boulder City Ballet. In 1985, the name was changed to Boulder Ballet Ensemble, and in 1995 the present names Boulder Ballet and Boulder Ballet School were adopted. Our rich history includes bringing classical, contemporary, and uniquely theatrical ballet to venues that range from Estes Park to Highlands Ranch. Boulder Ballet currently performs in Macky Auditorium, the Dairy ARTS Center, and in outdoor venues in Highlands Ranch and Boulder.
Since its founding, the professional company has been influenced by several notable dancers, including Milenko Banovich (Zagreb Ballet), Robin Haig (Royal Ballet), and John Prinz (American Ballet Theatre). Artistic Director Ana Claire has built on this strong tradition of artistic excellence through innovation, programmatic growth, and attention to quality. In 2015-16, additional artistic staff was brought in to assist Ana Claire: Lance Hardin as Associate Artistic Director, and Amy Earnest as Assistant School Director. They challenge their dancers-professionals and students alike-and enlighten growing audiences with versatile productions showcasing world-premiere choreography. Last season we offered 23 performances reaching more than 15,000 people in the metro-Denver region including continuing collaborations with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, additional outreach programs, and new choreographic explorations.
Our students have excelled in a number of competitions, including the world's largest, the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), where BBS students have won first-place awards and the regional Grand Prix (single highest award), and have been invited to perform in New York City among the world's finest young dancers. Former BBS students have gone on to study and dance with world-class companies throughout the world including American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Ballet British Columbia, Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam), Leipzig Ballett (Germany), Milwaukee Ballet, New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet (London), and Sacramento Ballet among others.
Boulder Ballet classes are held in our three spacious studios at the Dairy ARTS Center in central Boulder.
"Solid technique as well as passionate artistry really shine throughout this piece ('Interactive,' premiered at the 2017 winter contemporary dance performance). Perhaps most importantly, however, the dancers seem completely attuned to one another...It is a pleasure to experience." Boulder Ballet's apparent willingness to expand its purview by taking chances on unconventional elements such as electronic music, choreography that directly references traditions such as Irish dance and vaudeville, and non-standard ballerina bodies bodes well for a vibrant future." ~Jane E. Werle, Presenting Denver
"A Nutcracker that's refreshingly musical and studded with sweet moments and memorable characters...a real reason to rejoice." ~Daily Camera
"Boulder has much to be proud of with its resident production of The Nutcracker." Denver Post
"Quintessential Nutcracker - whimsical and delightful." ~KUNC Radio
"I am writing to commend you for the excellent performance, "Steps in Time," that we recently enjoyed at Park Hill School in Denver, thanks to the Boulder Ballet. From start to finish, this ballet kept the students on the edge of their seats...the perfect mix of interesting anecdotes, audience participation, and spectacular dancing to enthrall our diverse student population. I was thrilled to see so many young people, many of whom had never before seen ballet dancing, suddenly expressing interest in learning more about this beautiful art from. What a wonderful survey of ballet history and an artistic experience these students are not soon to forget. Thank you for securing the funding to make such opportunities available to inner city kids. Best wishes in your future endeavors, and we hope to see Boulder Ballet here again!"
Leslie Dawe, Park Hill Elementary, Denver
"What a fabulous assembly! We had a wonderful time! The dancers were engaging, informative, and very talented. My students, colleagues, and I were completely wrapped up in the stories told through dance. This assembly touched so many aspects of the curricula that the students study. Through the material performed in the assembly, students were making connections to history, composers they had studied this year in music, and places they had researched." ~Gwen Waldman, Fox Hollow Elementary, Aurora
"You and the dancers were quite professional and very easy to work with. I was quite pleased when you arrived on time at such an early hour. I really appreciated your flexibility (in more ways than one). Many of our kids here at Coronado Hills don't get out to see these sorts of performances and this type of art, so we try to have an assembly about once a month, but none have compared to what you did here last week. Thank goodness for the grants and funding so that your people could present this wonderful program to our students."
Sara Tyburczy, Coronado Hills Elementary School, Thornton
"I must take this opportunity to highly recommend the Boulder Ballet for school assemblies. Each and every student was engaged and attentive. We had kindergartners through sixth graders in this particular assembly, over 500 students! You could hear a pin drop. They were fascinated and delighted. Many exited the gym on their tiptoes. The dancers were top notch, very professional, and took their job very seriously. We were entertained, enlightened, educated and enthralled. Thank you Boulder Ballet for coming to our school!"
Mitzy A. Lurvey, Academy Elementary School, Westminster