The Wilmington Ballet Company was formed in 1999 to locally produce professional
caliber ballets, to involve area youth intrinsically in these productions, to raise
the standards for dance regionally, to attract college and professional dancers to
the area, to collaborate with other leading youth performing art groups, to bring
the charitable community together with the arts, to provide scholarships to underprivileged
children for dance, to enhance local education with outreach programs, to be an innovator
in Southeastern NC in the art of dance, and to reach new audiences with performing
The Wilmington Ballet Company opened in 1999 as a band of community leaders and an
executive director with a vision. In 2000, the premier performance of Cinderella
opened at Thalian Hall. At that time, there were rented drops, borrowed costumes,
25 young dancers, and a dream. Over the next 8 years, the organization produced seven
new full-length ballets and methodically built an inventory of costumes and sets.
In 2008, all of those pieces were converted to become the first Nutcracker produced
by the non-profit organization. The theater was sold out and a Wilmington Tradition
In 2008, a 25 year Wilmington Tradition , the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, shut down. In 2011, the ballet company joined forces with Minnie Evans Performing Arts Center, Ashley High School Complex, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, and The Star News to create a Holiday Extravaganza, which re-invents the festival of trees. This enormous holiday event includes the Nutcracker, Cape Fear Festival of Trees, a 5k race, A Celebration food festival, a kids' village, a holiday boutique, and a room of remembrance.
The Wilmington ballet company has also collaborated with the Wilmington Symphony, The Wilmington Youth Symphony, The Watson School of Education UNCW, The Cultural Arts Dept of UNCW, The Children's Museum, Cameron Art Museum, Stage Works Youth Drama Group, The Chinese American Association, The Mexican American Association, Traditional Hawaiian Group, Puppeteers of America, Duke University African Dance, The Azalea Festival, and many more in order to bring innovative Dance works to Wilmington.
The Company has also provided scholarships for numerous students. Dara Holmes is the most renowned of those students. She grew up in Jervay Housing Projects, lost her mother at 12 years old, and at 19 years old was awarded a full contract with the internationally renowned Joffrey Ballet. Company dancers have been awarded scholarships at the best schools up and down the east coast including: Kirov Academy, Harid Academy, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, NC Dance Theater, UNCSA, and many more.
The Company is the only area ballet organization to ever produce winners in the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix competition (www.yagp.org). The organization has had three dancers to place in the competition.