Tulsa Ballet News


TULSA, OK – Tulsa Ballet to host the first annual The Nutcracker Alumni Association Dinner on December 21st at The Westby Pavilion to celebrate the rich history of the last fifty years.

With fifty years under the belt and over 100 cast members in each production, there are a lot of people who have been in Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Hundreds of baby clowns, mice on cheese, and toy soldiers have been a huge part of the rich history behind these last fifty years. Some have grown up and moved away, some have now made attending the performance a yearly family tradition, some even have generations after them who have all been in The Nutcracker, and some have even gone on to stardom (Kristen Chenowith was in Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker as a rabbit when she was young).

Because of such a long rich history including so many people, Tulsa Ballet wanted to create a group where alumni can share memories, swap photos, and reunite every year during a special alumni night with dinner that includes old photos, special guests, and commemorative alumni gear. Alumni can also join The Nutcracker Alumni Association Facebook page to reunite with previous cast members through social media and see photos of performances from as far back as 1969.

Georgia Snoke, President Emerita, Historian, and former dancer with Tulsa Ballet, reminisces about her days of dancing in The Nutcracker.

“I was in the very first performance of Tulsa Civic Ballet in 1956,” Georgia says. “Fast forward a generation: Our daughter Heather, at age four, became the first ‘Baby Angel’ in The Nutcracker. Fast forward another generation: in the Angelini choreography, I danced as the Ballet Mistress and the Head Housekeeper in the first act, thereby being on stage with all five of my grandchildren from one time or another.”

Since creating this Alumni Association, Tulsa Ballet has received numerous messages about the stories of children who were in The Nutcracker who are now grown with children of their own in the production. Cheryl Forrest, President Emerita, Chief Historian, and former dancer with Tulsa Ballet, recalls dancing in the first full-length performance of The Nutcracker  in 1969. “I was in Land of the Snow and in the Coda,” Cheryl says. “Many years later, when married with children, I was able to enjoy watching my daughter Stephanie as Mouse on Cheese for two years, Mouse for two years, and Gun Soldier for two years. It has been such fun finding and identifying the photos from that original production, as well as photos from the many productions since.”

About the incredible half-century run of The Nutcracker, Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says,  “I wouldn’t be surprised if the total number of people that interacted with our The Nutcracker during its 50 year run is close to a million.”

Alumni of Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker can join the Facebook group @TBNutcrackerAlumni and join the Alumni by filling out a form at TulsaBallet.org. Alumni Association Night will be Friday, December 21st starting with a dinner at The Westby Pavilion inside the Tulsa Performing Arts Center starting at 5:00pm, followed by the performance of The Nutcracker at 7:00pm. A special Alumni Association section has been blocked off for this special night. Alumni can purchase a variety of packages for the night that range from performance-only tickets to VIP Packages that include Golden Circle seating, backstage experience with a dancer meet-and-greet, a commemorative t-shirt, and a special edition Alumni Association nutcracker.

WHEN AND WHERE: Friday, December 21 at The Westby Pavilion inside Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Dinner begins at 5:00pm, performance begins at 7:00pm.
TICKETS: $50 – $200 | http://bit.ly/nutcrackeralumnidinner
FOR MORE INFORMATION:  tulsaballet.org or 918.749.6030

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:
Bethany Kirby | Marketing Manager
918.392.5949 | Bethany.kirby@tulsaballet.org



TULSA, Okla. – November 26, 2019 – Tulsa Ballet will treat more than 2,000 local social service clients and non-profit agencies with its 19th annual Hope for the Holidays on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Dancers will grace the stage for the first performance of the season of The Nutcracker, dedicated to sharing holiday cheer to this special audience.



Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education

Job Title: Creative Movement, Contemporary Dance and Outreach Program Instructor

Reports to: Director of Education

Status: Full-time position

General Description

Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education is actively seeking a dynamic and talented Creative Movement and Contemporary Dance Instructor to join its full time faculty beginning June 1, 2020.

The candidate will work as an integral member of the TBCDE faculty to support the artistic vision and strategic plan of Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Inc.  In consultation with the Director of Education, the successful candidate will develop and implement a creative movement and contemporary dance program for ages 3 years and up, and will collaborate with a music specialist to deliver TBCDE’s music and dance Outreach Programs. They will support the administrative needs of the Outreach Program, choreograph for performances and may be asked to support recruitment and marketing initiatives. This is an excellent opportunity for a knowledgeable teacher who is looking to be part of a talented and committed team and who thrives in a vibrant atmosphere dedicated to excellence and growth.


Essential Functions and Major Responsibilities

The teacher will:

  • Motivate and inspire students by teaching with knowledge, positive energy and compassion.
  • Be responsible for the effective delivery of children’s creative movement (3-5 years) and contemporary dance classes (6 years and older).
  • Work with other full and part-time faculty to ensure cohesive delivery of the creative movement programs.
  • Partner and collaborate with a music specialist to deliver TBCDE’s dynamic Outreach Programs in public and private schools in Tulsa, Broken Arrow and surrounding areas.
  • Support the administrative needs of the Outreach Programs.
  • Assist in developing relationships to grow TBCDE’s programs.
  • Choreograph for TBCDE performances and rehearse students as necessary.
  • Prepare student placement and evaluations as required.
  • Assist with the coordination of projects and events including auditions and schedules and ensure that deadlines are met.
  • Support the positive development of TBCDE through consistent development and implementation of policies and procedures.
  • Participate in marketing and recruitment initiatives.
  • Attend planning meetings as required.
  • Participate in long-term planning in cooperation with the Director of Education, School Administrators and other members of the Faculty.
  • Build and maintain positive and productive relationships with students, parents, staff and community partners through effective and honest communication.


Education and Experience

The position requires:

  • In-depth knowledge of creative movement and contemporary dance
  • Certification from a recognized teacher training program or equivalent
  • 3-5 years of experience teaching children and youth in a variety of settings
  • Ability to choreograph for children/dancers of varying ages and abilities
  • Professional dance experience is considered an asset but not necessary
  • Knowledge of classical ballet is considered an asset


  • HOW TO APPLY: Please submit resume and cover letter to Arlene Minkhorst, Director of Education @ minkhorst@tulsaballet.org. No phone calls please.


Tulsa Ballet is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


2019 Ballet on the Green: Free Public Event

Experience the Power of Tulsa Ballet

Friday, October 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Tulsa Ballet returns to Guthrie Green with a live, free and open to the public performance during The Tulsa Arts District’s popular First Friday Art Crawl!

You’ll see exciting and innovative dance works performed by both Tulsa Ballet’s Main Company and Tulsa Ballet II.

Pack a picnic dinner, spread a blanket on the lawn, and get ready to experience the power of dance! Enter our free drawing to win tickets to Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker. A perfect event to bring your family, friends, and co-workers!

Register now to win a Tulsa Ballet The Nutcracker prize package! Two packages will be drawn only from online entries. Enter to win here: http://bit.ly/BalletontheGreen19.

For questions, call Tulsa Ballet at (918) 392-5905.

Stay up to date on Ballet on the Green announcements by following our Facebook event.

Special thanks to our media sponsor KOTV Channel 6.

2019 Open House: Free Event

Explore the Power of Tulsa Ballet

Saturday, August 10, 9:30 a.m.- 3:00 pm.

Thanks to all who joined us. We look forward to seeing you next year!

We’re opening our studio doors to the Tulsa community for an exciting day at the ballet! If you’ve ever wondered what a day in the life of a professional dancer is like, then you don’t want to miss this. Perfect for dance fans of all ages!

Join us on Saturday, August 10th, from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm, and attend dancer rehearsals, visit our amazing costume shop, see pointe shoes up-close, meet the Tulsa Ballet dancers, and participate in some dance fun! You are welcome to stop in throughout the day and stay as little or as long as you like.

Admission is free with plenty of free parking.

While RSVPs are not required, you can sign-up in advance to receive quick admission and also be entered to win a fantastic Tulsa Ballet Nutcracker Package! RSVP here.

For questions, call Tulsa Ballet at (918) 392-5905.

Stay up to date on Open House announcements by following our Facebook event on Facebook.

Tulsa Ballet Announces Completion of $25 Million Integrated Campaign

Tulsa Ballet closes one of its most successful seasons with the announcement that it has achieved its $25 million Defining the Future Campaign – the largest fundraising initiative in the history of the company.

The integrated campaign exceeded its goal by raising a total of $25.2 million, thanks to a $450,000 major gift from the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation and trustees Kirk Clausing and Max Vowel.

Funds raised from the campaign are being used to:

  • Broaden the reach of the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education.
  • Build and create new productions.
  • Increase the Tulsa Ballet endowment to provide for the long‐term sustainability of the organization.

The campaign, first chaired by Kayla Vaughn, began in 2015. Billie Barnett assumed the chair role in 2017. Hannah Robson served as Honorary Chair.

“We are especially grateful for the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation’s gift, which has helped us reach the finish line for this campaign,” says Scott Black, Tulsa Ballet’s Managing Director. “As a World War II veteran, Lou Miller became an entrepreneur establishing L&M Office Furniture as a successful Tulsa-owned business and finding continued success through real estate investments. I am sure that Mr. Miller would be pleased that his legacy of philanthropy is being carried out by the trustees of his foundation.”

Marcello Angelini, Tulsa Ballet’s Artistic Director, says, “The Defining the Future Campaign was developed to substantiate the relevance of dance in our community for decades to come, through audience growth and education, and the long-term artistic and financial health of Tulsa Ballet. We are thankful to every individual who contributed to this campaign, and for their investment in the future of the arts, culture and quality of life of our community.”

About Defining the Future – An Integrated Campaign for Tulsa Ballet

Completion of Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow
The Tulsa Ballet Defining the Future Campaign consists of multiple funding areas, the first being capital funds to build The Hardesty Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow, the result of a generous gift of 13.72 acres from the Hardesty Family Foundation and its founders, Roger and Donna Hardesty.

This facility, designed by Bob Schaefer of Selser Schaefer Architects, opened in 2016 as part of Tulsa Ballet’s 60th anniversary season to support the growing needs for ballet training, education and outreach programs.

The school houses the Ann and Jack Graves Studios and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Performance Studio, a state-of-the-art, in-house theater with a seating capacity of 160. Additional funding came from the JE and LE Mabee Foundation in the form of a challenge grant, and the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation, along with multiple individuals, corporations and foundations.

Creation of New Productions
Mollie Williford provided the lead gift to support capital funds for new productions, including this past April’s world premiere of Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music by resident choreographer Ma Cong and the world premiere of Dorothy and the Prince of Oz by Edwaard Liang in collaboration with BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio, that debuted in 2016.

Additional capital funds from the HA and Mary K Chapman Charitable Foundations and the Suzanne and Jim Kneale Family Foundation have been raised to support an all-new production of The Nutcracker to premiere in a future season.

Endowment Growth

Gifts to the Tulsa Ballet endowment have been established to support essential programs in perpetuity.

Lead gifts have been committed by:

  • Bonnie Klein, who has established the Audience Favorite Endowment Fund, providing support for productions with mass audience appeal.
  • Kathy and Bob West World Premiere Endowment Fund, providing support for productions that foster the creation of new works.
  • Margery Mayo Bird Classical Masterpiece Endowment Fund, providing support for productions that preserve the tradition of classical ballet.
  • Judith and Jean Pape Adams Artistic Excellence Endowment Fund, providing support for Tulsa Ballet’s commitment to uncompromising artistic quality.
  • Sanford and Irene Burnstein Arts Access Endowment Fund, providing access to ballet performances for at-risk youth
  • Hannah and Joe Robson Endowment Fund for general support.

Sustaining the level of excellence for annual operations during the campaign has been critical to Tulsa Ballet’s success. Major campaign gifts from George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation are just a few who have made increased gifts to support Tulsa Ballet’s annual performances and educational outreach programs.

Major gifts and donors
Providing a combined $21 million in major gift commitments for Defining the Future are: The Hardesty Family Foundation; E. Ann Graves; Margery Mayo Bird Foundation; Rita Willis Trust; George Kaiser Family Foundation; Bonnie Klein; The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Foundations; Mollie Williford; The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation; Judith and Jean Pape Adams Charitable Foundation; Kathy and Bob West; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation; Suzanne and Jim Kneale Family Foundation; Janet Selser and Bob Schaefer/Selser Schaefer Architects; Bobbye Ruth and Dewitt L. Potter; and Hannah and Joe Robson.

Major gift donors pledging a combined $2.4 million in contributions include: Billie and Howard Barnett and the Barnett Family Foundation; The Albert and Hete Barthelmes Foundation; SemGroup; Monica Williford and Steve Bayles; Kayla and Scott Vaughn; Katrine and Ramez Hakim; The Maurice DeVinna Charitable Trust; The Mervin Bovaird Foundation; Meinig Family Foundation; Oxley Foundation; Sanford and Irene Burnstein Foundation; Wendy and Gentner Drummond/Blue Sky Bank; Jill and Robert Thomas; Susan and Bill Thomas; Jo and Jack Babbitt; KKT Architects; GlobalHealth; David O. Hogan; IBC Bank; Jackie Kouri and Gary Paxton; Betty and Steve Pirnat; Susan Parrott; Patsy Savage; Will Smith; Charles and Marion Weber Foundation; and Karen Young.

About Tulsa Ballet
Since 1956, Tulsa Ballet has evolved from a small regional ballet company to a nationally and internationally recognized arts organization. For 24 years, the organization has thrived under the leadership of Artistic Director Marcello Angelini.

Today, Tulsa Ballet consistently attracts the finest choreographers in the world, employs around 30 professional dancers from around the world, 25 full‐time artistic and administrative staff members and a pre‐professional ensemble composed of 12 American and international young dancers, all graduates from the top ballet academies of the world.

This year, Tulsa Ballet fulfilled its role as an Oklahoma cultural ambassador by representing the city and state in Italy, Switzerland and Spain on the company’s first three-country tour.

Performing to sold out crowds in six of the top venues, Tulsa Ballet received standing ovations and was called by the European press, “without a doubt, within the Top Ten American ballet companies,” and “one that, for decades continues to enrich the international landscape of our field” and “a company made up of 30 dancers from 14 countries, dancers who are absolutely extraordinary for their technique and versatility … Tulsa Ballet’s work was truly exceptional.”

The recently completed season also saw some of the company’s greatest successes to date, including the highest subscription sales ever, the highest selling run of The Nutcracker in the history of Tulsa Ballet, the largest enrollment in the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education, and the highest grossing special event, Icons & Idols 2019, in the history of Tulsa Ballet.

View the Campaign Celebration book here.