Houston Ballet has been captivating audiences for years with its professional company and academy that draws in aspiring dancers each and every year. This ballet company is Texas' premier ballet institution.
The History of Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet started in 1955 when the founding members started a ballet company along with an academy that would train dancers to join as they grew to a professional level. It became a reality when the Houston Ballet Academy was formed by a team including Tatiana Semenova, who danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The professional company followed in 1969 with another dancer from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Nina Popova, serving as its first director.
Since then, it has been considered one of the best ballet companies in the nation, and is America's fourth largest ballet company. With 54 dancers (40% of which come out of the academy), it is a strong troupe of talented and beautiful dancers.
However, the ballet's history does not stop in the late 1960s. It moved forward once again in the 1980s when it moved to its new performance space - the Wortham Theater Center in 1987. The company still performs over 75 performances per year at this venue. Prior to moving to this performance space, the ballet enjoyed a renovated facility where all of its dancers and continually growing company worked and rehearsed.
Houston Ballet has been under the direction of Australian Stanton Welch since 2003, and continues to thrive and grow in the United States and abroad. You can catch performances of them in Europe, Asia and Canada. They were the first American ballet company to be invited to tour through China. These and other milestones have guaranteed Houston will continue to offer an unbeatable dance program for both young people and professionals in the years to come.
A Family Affair
Since Houston Ballet realizes that many people purchase tickets to their productions as family outings, they try to make themselves as family friendly as possible. For this reason, their website includes a page of family recommendations and guidelines for parents with young children. Here you will find show recommendations, ways to determine whether or not your little one is ready for the ballet, and what proper procedure is when ballet audience etiquette is broken by a child. This webpage will help you determine whether or not a ballet production is a good choice for your family's next cultural/artistic outing.
Working for Houston Ballet
As a large-scale production company, Houston Ballet often has job openings. Frequently, you can apply to work as a telemarketer to help with the company and academy fundraising. Training is provided, and you can call (713) 535-3277 for more information. Other jobs are posted as available throughout the year, and you can check their employment opportunities for up to the minute openings.
Unpaid internships are also available to those who would like to learn about everything from general administration to theatrical costuming for ballet, such as tulle ballet skirts. Again, check the employment page for details.
Finally, many dancers audition to be a part of Houston's prolific company each and every year. Check their website toward the end of the year to get information for the following season. They do hold open auditions and accept video submissions during certain time periods, so bookmark their information and check regularly if you dream of becoming a dancer with Houston's world-class company.
With perseverance and a little luck, you just may find yourself on the Houston stage someday.