Ballet Pensacola

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Ballet Pensacola, Inc.


Established June 9, 1978[1]
Location Pensacola Cultural Center
400 South Jefferson Street
Artistic Director Richard Steinert
Executive director Bobby Ball
Staff Christine Duhon, Ballet Mistress
Nancy Haller
Valerie Hawkins
Marsha Suarez, Office Manager
Lance Brannon, Production Manager

Ballet Pensacola is a performing arts organization founded as Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre in 1978 by arts educator Gioia Michelotti. Originally located in Eastgate Mall, a training program was added in 1980, and it moved to the old Sacred Heart Hospital in 1985.[2] It became one of the anchor tenants of the newly-renovated Pensacola Cultural Center in 1992. Known for a time as Kaleidoscope & Ballet Pensacola, the Board of Directors formally changed its name to Ballet Pensacola in 2006.

The current artistic director is Richard Steinert. Bobby Ball (who was the previous artistic director) became the organization's executive director in 2007.


In addition to the Ballet Pensacola performing company, the organization operates a school from its Pensacola Cultural Center headquarters. Classes are available for dances aged 3 to adult and cover a wide range of classical and modern dance technique. The school averages around 300 students annually.

The school offers a number of scholarships, each named in honor of six formative members of the organization: Karen Olsen, Patsy Hill, Debbie Parrish, Gioia Michelotti, Judy Gomez and Nannette Grimm.


Pensacola's Nutcracker

Ballet Pensacola presents an average of four performances every year. These include an "Arts-in-Education" production, part of an initiative started in 1988 to make live dance accessible to children in the Escambia and Santa Rosa County School Districts.

Since 1989, the organization has performed an annual Christmastime production of The Nutcracker, called Pensacola's Nutcracker, in collaboration with the Pensacola Little Theatre. In recent years the production has included partnerships with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Society of Pensacola. Due to renovations of the Saenger Theatre, Ballet Pensacola scaled back this production for the 2007-2008 season, calling the abridged ballet the Nutcracker "Sweet" (a play on the word "suite").

Board of Directors, 2007-2008[edit]


  1. record
  2. "Silver slippers." Pensacola News Journal, September 3, 2002.