Our Story


The origins of Boulder Ballet began with the Ballet Arts Studios, founded in Denver and Boulder by former American Ballet Theatre dancer Larry Boyette in the 1970s.  In 1981 the Boulder studio was purchased by Barbara Demaree and Wanda Tierney.  The next year they started the first performing company, originally known as Boulder City Ballet.  In 1995, the company and school became known as Boulder Ballet.

Our rich history includes bringing classic, contemporary, and uniquely theatrical ballet to venues that range from Estes Park to Highlands Ranch. Boulder Ballet currently performs in Macky Auditorium, Vance Brand Auditorium, the Dairy ARTS Center, and outdoor amphitheaters in the Denver-metro area for our free summertime events.

Since its founding, the professional company has been led by several notable former dancers, including Miljenko Banovic (Zagreb Ballet), Robin Haig (Royal Ballet), John Prinz (American Ballet Theatre), Peter Davison, and Ana Claire. Current Artistic Director Lance Hardin is building on this strong tradition of excellence through innovation, programmatic growth, and attention to quality. Boulder Ballet now looks to an exciting future including additional collaborations with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Longmont Symphony and new choreographic explorations.

Barbara Demaree, Co-founder

barbara-dBarbara Demaree is a co-founder of the Boulder Ballet. She was born in Britain and trained at the Bush Davies Ballet School.  Barbara taught, coached, directed and choreographed for the Boulder Ballet company and school until her retirement.  She was the winner of the Pacesetter Award for the Arts in 1996 and has been honored by the Arts and Humanities Assembly of Boulder and the Boulder Arts Commission for her contributions to dance in Boulder.  In 2014, she was selected as one of the first honorees of the Dairy Center Honors awards for her achievements in the arts.

Featured image by Sue Daniels