WFBT was founded in 1963 by Frank and Irina Pal. In 1987 Patricia Thornton and Gari Boehm officially served as assistant artistic directors and the artistic directorship was passed on in 1988 to the couple. The scope of WFBT dramatically increased through their fresh perspective and vigorous leadership. Boehm and Thornton created a syllabus and, via their inspirational teaching styles, augmented the level of ballet within the school and company. Under their directorship, WFBT was one of only 30 companies recognized nationally as an Honor Company by the Regional Dance America for consistent artistic and technical excellence. During this time only 3 of the 24 companies in the Southwestern Region had been on Gala for as many consecutive years. These companies were from Houston, Dallas, and our very own Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. Many former members of Regional Dance America have gone on to become the professional ballet companies found across America today.
The Studios and facilities of the new Wichita Falls Youth Ballet are used for rehearsals, auditions and development of choreography for the WFBT. Every year, WFBT holds open auditions for participation in its upcoming season- September through May.
The Nutcracker is a staple for the Holiday season in the Wichita Falls area. The Nutcracker continues to attract and entertain progressively larger audiences throughout Texhoma every year.
The Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre is proud of its free programs at Memorial Auditorium to the Texhoma area titled Afternoon with the Arts. In May, 2011, WFBT performed to an audience of 5,100 at Memorial Auditorium. This performing arts education was wrapped up in dynamic entertainment.
In Addition to these major performances and attending the 1st National Festival/Regional Dance America, the WFBT continues to share its talent as featured performers with other arts organizations in its community.
Photo by Jeff Cocoran
Wichita Falls Youth Ballet
1501 Midwestern Parkway
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Spring Semester starts Jan. 6, 2014
Header Photo by Brian Guilliaux