What is Ballet Arkansas?

A community, a city and a state thrives when it provides a well balanced atmosphere in which its citizens can partake. This well balanced atmosphere attracts businesses and strengthens the roots of the community. Ballet Arkansas is committed to providing the vital artistic world of ballet. Whether it is through the performers or through the audience, the productions of Ballet Arkansas promise to enrich the lives of all of those involved.

Mission Statement

To provide world-class dance performance to Arkansans through a permanent company of professional dancers. We will position the company as a pillar of Arkansas’s performing arts community and enable it to inspire and educate students across the state, educate the public about dance, and act as an ambassador for the State of Arkansas.




Ballet Arkansas was founded in 1978 as a non-profit organization but traces its roots back to the Little Rock Civic Ballet. In 2009, the organization’s Board of Directors formed Ballet Arkansas Professional Dance Company. These dancers, from varied backgrounds, have unique capabilities in the area of teaching as well as performing. For the 2016-17 Season, Ballet Arkansas has thirteen professional dancers under contract, along with an Artistic Director, Artistic Associate, General Manager, Rehearsal Assistant and Resident Choreographer. This season offers audiences three performance events which include our third Visions Choreographic Competition at the UALR Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on August 20, 2016, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Robinson Auditorium with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra December 9 -11, 2016 and Springtime Fantasies, a mixed repertoire concert at Arkansas Repertory Theatre April 21 – 23, 2017. The company will tour with concert productions and educational programming in Arkansas as well as around the country.


This season also marks the move of Ballet Arkansas’s office and rehearsal studio to 520 S. Main Street in the Arts Corridor in downtown Little Rock.



Artistic Director

Michael Bearden

Michael Bearden, Arkansan of the Year

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Laura Hood Babcock

Artistic Associate

Babcock Headshot

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Erin Anson-Ellis

General Manager


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Lauren McCarty Horak

Company & Pointe Shoe Manager


Kiyon Gaines

Resident Choreographer


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Leslie Dodge

Rehearsal Assistant


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2016-17 Board of Directors


    • Charles Moulton, President, Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission


    • Viviane Ajarrista, Vice President


    • Wendy See, Secretary, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield


    • Mandi John, Treasurer, Thomas & Thomas LLP


    • Dr. Ahmad Brown, Past President, Dermatology Group of Arkansas, P.A.


    • Todd Rice, Colliers International


    • Dr. Julie Harris, Pine Bluff Pathologist


    • Molly McGowan McNulty, Office of Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Abramson


    • Alex Ray, Johnson Controls, Inc.


            • Lauren Strother, Emporium Home
            • Jason Wiest, Owner, Sway Nightclub
            • Kate Dimitrova, WER Architects/Planners
            • Lori Burrows, AR Electric Cooperatives
            • Betty Harrison
            • Katie Pipkin, Iberia Wealth Advisors
            • Sherry Richardson
            • Janis Terry
            • Sarah Thomas, UAMS
            • Megan Gray, Edward Jones