Our Story


The Ballet Arts Studio was founded in 1982 by Barbara Demaree and Larry Boyette. The first performing ensemble to grow out of the school was the Boulder City Ballet. In 1985, the name was changed to Boulder Ballet Ensemble, and in 1995 the present names Boulder Ballet and Boulder Ballet School were adopted. 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, the Dairy ARTS Center, Boulder Theater, and outdoor amphitheaters throughout the Denver-metro area for our free summertime Ballet in the Park events.

Since its founding, the professional company has been influenced by several notable dancers, including Milenko Banovich (Zagreb Ballet), Robin Haig (Royal Ballet), and John Prinz (American Ballet Theatre). Artistic Director Ana Claire is building on this strong tradition of artistic excellence through innovation, programmatic growth, and attention to quality. Boulder Ballet now looks to an exciting future with the addition of Associate Artistic Director Lance Hardin and continuing collaborations with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, additional outreach programs, and new choreographic explorations.

Barbara Demaree, Founder

barbara-dBarbara Demaree is a founder of the Boulder Ballet School (originally the Ballet Arts Studio above Tom’s Tavern) and of the Boulder Ballet. She was born in Britain and trained at the Bush Davies Ballet School. She has been a professional dancer, performer, teacher and choreographer. She was resident choreographer at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre for twelve years, and was twice nominated for the Denver Critics Award for choreography. Barbara has been an Associate Director of Boulder Ballet – teaching, coaching, directing and choreographing for the company, and is the winner of the Pacesetter Award for the Arts in 1996. Barbara has been honored for her work by the Arts and Humanities Assembly of Boulder and the Boulder Arts Commission.

Featured image by Sue Daniels