About Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet Mission Statement

To inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs.

In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing our status as:

  • A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works.
  • A company that attracts the world’s best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form.
  • An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences.
  • A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers.
  • A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals and ongoing operations.


Founded in 1969, Houston Ballet performs a wide variety of ballets, ranging from classics like The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake to exciting new ballets commissioned from some of the world’s most prestigious contemporary choreographers. Houston Ballet has a long and esteemed history, having worked intimately with important figures in dance such as Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Bruce, and Carlos Acosta. Houston Ballet’s former Artistic Directors are Tatiana Semenova, Nina Popova, James Clouser, and Ben Stevenson.

Stanton Welch_photo by Pam Francis
Stanton Welch. Photo by Pam Frances

Houston Ballet’s transformation into a fresh and fiery company is spearheaded by Artistic Director Stanton Welch, who arrived in 2003 from The Australian Ballet. Welch has successfully fused classical ballet with a fresh modern approach that audiences and critics alike have responded to with great enthusiasm. “For Houston Ballet fans, Welch has almost certainly been the ‘it’ they were looking for” says Continental Magazine (February 2005).

Hailed by The New York Times as “one of the nation’s best ballet companies,” Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 59 dancers with a budget of $33.2 million (making it the United States’ fifth largest ballet company by number of dancers), a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, Wortham Theater Center, the largest professional dance facility in America, Houston Ballet’s $46.6 million Center for Dance which opened in April 2011, and an endowment of just over $63 million (as of January 2016). Houston Ballet Orchestra was established in the late 1970s and currently consists of 61 professional musicians who play all ballet performances at Wortham Theater Center under music director Ermanno Florio.

To learn more, visit our History page.


Since its founding in 1955, Houston Ballet Academy has provided the highest quality ballet training for those enrolled. Through various programs, the Academy trains over 1,000 students a year. It offers training designed to take students from their first introduction to movement through a full course of ballet study. The Academy’s outstanding faculty includes teachers who have performed with prestigious companies throughout the world.

The company’s affiliated school, Houston Ballet Academy, has emerged as one of America’s foremost dance training institutions, producing dancers who have gone on to appear with such prestigious companies as Houston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

To learn more, visit our Academy page.


Swan Lake_Sara Webb Connor Walsh_Amitava
Sara Webb and Connor Walsh in Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake.  Photo by Amitava Sarkar


Houston Ballet serves as a cultural ambassador for the city of Houston on its many international tours. Over the last decade,  Houston Ballet has toured over the last decade to New York, London, Montreal, Hong Kong, Spain, Canada, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and to cities large and small across the United States.

Additionally, Houston Ballet’s Education and Outreach Program is committed to providing high-quality, community-sponsored educational programming to the diverse populations of Houston and its surrounding areas. ECE has reached approximately 45,455 Houston area students (as of January 2016).

To learn more, visit our ECE page.

For more information on Houston Ballet please visit our website.




2 thoughts on “About Houston Ballet

  1. Hey Houston Ballet, I am a Danseur in training at Contra Costa Ballet in Walnut Creek California, right now I am trying to get into the San Francisco Ballet School for serious training. My dream is to become a professional dancer one day. Please check out my blog. 🙂

  2. My husband’s grandmother passed away and had some ballet shoes encased in a glass box. One has Barbara Bears written on it and the other Rachel Jonelle Beard.
    I looked these two ladies up and it lead me to this site.
    The shoes were from a show in the 80’s.
    Joy Pitts

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