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Ballet Austin is the 15th largest classical ballet company in the country and also operates the largest combined training facility associated with a professional ballet company in the United States. Each year the Ballet Austin company performs ballets from a wide variety of choreographers, including Stephen Mills.
The Ballet Austin Academy serves more than 900 students each year as one of the largest classical ballet schools in the country. It offers classes from creative movement, ages three and four, all the way to pre-professional. The academy students are given the opportunity to perform in the company production The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet Austin during the month of December for more than 45 years. Ballet Austin's Nutcracker is the longest running in the state of Texas.
Ballet Austin's apprentice company, Ballet Austin II, offers an opportunity for post-high school, advanced dancers to hone their skills. Established in 1999 by associate artistic director Michelle Martin, Ballet Austin II is made up of 11 emerging artists.
Founded in 2007, the Butler Community School (BCS) serves over 3,000 people with year-round classes in ballet to modern, hip hop to hula, and jazz to Broadway. The company has developed outreach initiatives that reach 31 Central Texas school districts and 200 other area non-profits.
In its new facility, Ballet Austin offers fitness and dance programs for the public, such as yoga, Pilates, adult ballet, hula, hip-hop, jazz, tap, modern and musical theater.
Ballet Austin has now moved into a repurposed 34,000 sq/ft facility named the Butler Dance Education Center and Community School in the downtown Austin arts district at 3rd Street and San Antonio Street. The center features administrative offices, box office, seven rehearsal studios, fully equipped Pilates studio and the AustinVentures StudioTheater with 287 seats.
Dance Magazine called the ensemble "sleek and sophisticated", while Washington Post dubbed it "one of the nation's best kept ballet secrets". Mills' work with Ballet Austin has been declared" whimsical and fantastic" (Dallas Morning News), "effortlessly striking" (Dance View Times), and "meaningful" (Pointe magazine).
There are twenty full-time professional dancers, recruited from an annual 30-city audition tour. As of August 2011:
Ballet Austin II dancers
As of August 2011:
- "Ballet Austin II". Company Dancers. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Ballet Austin II". Ballet Austin. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
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