Our Mission

Ballet Mississippi seeks to enhance our state’s cultural life by providing quality performances, developing artistic and technical proficiency of our students, and promoting an appreciation of dance through education, outreach, and audience development.

Our History: In 1964, a group of citizens joined forces to promote ballet, one of the world’s most beautiful and expressive art forms. The Jackson Ballet Guild was formed under the artistic direction of Albia Kavan and Rex Cooper. Their commitments to the success of Jackson’s first ballet company resulted in countless hours of training, direction, and artistic development. In 1975, at the request of the Jackson Ballet Guild, Thalia Mara was appointed Artistic Director. In 1983, members of the Board of Directors of the Jackson Ballet and Mississippi Ballet Theater merged to establish Ballet Mississippi whose primary focus was to further develop a professional school and company. In 1994, the Ballet Mississippi Board of Directors appointed David Keary, a Mississippian and former member of New York City Ballet, as the Artistic Director. Under his leadership, the school has grown to over 300 students.

Our Organization: Ballet Mississippi is governed by a Board of Directors whose responsibilities include fundraising, oversight, and ensuring that our artistic vision is continually developed. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization, we depend not only on revenue from tuition, production, and grants, but also on the generous donations of money and time by corporations and individuals. The Ballet Mississippi Guild, comprised of parents and members of the community, provides vital volunteer support to Ballet Mississippi for all productions, school planning, and fundraising. We encourage all parents of Ballet Mississippi students to be involved with the Guild.