About Ballet Midwest

Founded in 1977, Topeka's Ballet Midwest originated to bring the art of classical ballet to Topeka and surrounding communities through education and performance opportunities. The company grew over the years and now presents two full-length classical ballets in addition to other community performances annually. The company is joined by a host of local auxiliary dancers to present a full-length, festive Nutcracker Ballet each December. Ballet Midwest's spring repertory includes Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, Midsummer Night's Dream, Firebird, La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, and Billy the Kid.

For the first forty years, Ballet Midwest maintained the same artistic direction under Barbara Ebert until she retired in 2017. In 2014, the company welcomed artistic co-director, Lacee Sandgren, who now serves as the sole artistic director. As a non-profit repertory dance company, Ballet Midwest is strictly professional in training, standards, and goals. Ballet Midwest is committed to providing first-class performance opportunities for area dancers, advanced training for the serious dance student, and a chance for each dancer to achieve self-confidence and growth according to his or her own capacity.

Company dancers are selected for technical ability and performing talent by open audition. The Junior Company was created to help develop junior high age dancers for the next level of dance performance. Total commitment of all dancers in the corps de ballet is an essential part of the professional dance discipline found at Ballet Midwest.

Ballet Midwest promotes on-going education with guest choreographers and the Artist-in-Residence program. Master classes in dance, nutrition, stage make-up and hair, and conditioning are offered to the community. Dancers are encouraged to attend summer ballet intensives across the nation. Scholarships are available to area dancers who show potential and financial need.

Our Mission 

Ballet Midwest Inc. is a civic ballet company committed to providing quality classical ballet to Topeka and Northeast Kansas since 1977. Ballet Midwest is dedicated to presenting unparalleled access to some of the world's most treasured ballets to our dancers and local community, through performances, interactive outreach opportunities, and a standard of dance education that encourages excellence. Our goal is to preserve the beauty of this great art form for future generations while nurturing character development in our dancers and instilling a lifelong love of the arts among our audience.

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