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Captivate the public through artistic excellence in the presentation of world-class performances and education programs. Grow, develop, and educate a devoted and diverse audience of dance enthusiasts. By enriching lives and bringing joy to the masses, Ballet Arkansas epitomizes excellence in the arts. 


Over the course of its 44 year history, Ballet Arkansas's world-class programming has touched the lives of nearly HALF-A–MILLION Arkansans. Ballet Arkansas's roots can be traced to the Little Rock Civic Ballet, founded in 1966 by Donald C. Cranford. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation in 1979 with a dream to become the region's foremost professional ballet company. In its early years under the direction of Lorraine Cranford, Ballet Arkansas presented performing greats such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and Edward Villella, in addition to a number of internationally celebrated dance companies.


Each season, Ballet Arkansas presents a vibrant repertory of the classics, masterworks of American dance, and premieres by the world's most daring dance makers, reaching an audience of more than 40,000 per year. The organization's programming now reaches all 50 states and 24 countries. Under the visionary leadership of Michael and Catherine Fothergill, Ballet Arkansas's company of 15 dancers is ranked among the Top 100 Ballet Companies in America by the Dance Data Project.


A statewide leader in dance education, Ballet Arkansas provides children and adults of all backgrounds with exceptional training from a distinguished staff. Its interactive lecture demonstrations and community outreach initiatives reach more than 8,000 k-12 students per year, and more than 300 children participate in its annual Community Cast productions.


The organization is firmly committed to equity and inclusion and to bringing diverse populations together to experience the power and beauty of dance.


Audience Size | 40,000 

K-12 Students Served | 10,000 +

Broadcast Reach | 50 States/21 Countries

Performances | 50 + 

Audition Applications | 900 

Community Cast Members | 350 + 


500,000 +


  • Set new standards for artistic excellence, innovation and creativity

  • Attract the most talented performers, collaborators and staff 

  • Anticipate and respond to the programming needs of all Arkansans 

  • Educate and develop the next generation of dance artists 

  • Build a devoted and growing audience

  • Strengthen financial and organizational foundations

  • Create and celebrate an atmosphere of inclusiveness


Ballet Arkansas recognizes historical inequities in ballet and those present today. Through meaningful action and reflection, Ballet Arkansas is committed to advancing the culture of its operations and artform, and to presenting programming that is relevant and welcoming to all. 


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