History

History

The Southwestern Regional Ballet Association was established in 1963. Austin Ballet Society hosted five companies in attendance for the first Southwest Festival. Our southwest region has grown to represent 5 States; Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas! Now 20 Member Companies strong, each maintains a high profile in their prospective communities through annual performances and outreach programs. We celebrate the three former member companies that evolved into professional companies; Ballet Austin, Delta Festival Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet.

In support of the Regional Dance America activities, the Southwest Region offers valuable scholarships to the RDA Choreography Intensive and contributes to the attendance and volunteer positions at the National Festivals. Over the years, we have had the privilege to perform on the RDA Concert at the USA International Ballet Competitions in Jackson Mississippi.. At IBC in 2010 Concerto, choreographed by John Magnus, was a great success! For unity in our region, each SW company provided dancers to perform in the one “integrated” choreography project!

In addition to our providing scholarship opportunities at yearly Festivals, dancers from the Southwest have enjoyed careers in professional companies such as: American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theatre. Numerous dancers have accepted scholarships to universities across America. We also forge opportunities for creative technical theatre jobs in stage lighting design, set design, costume design, and even in dance photography and videography for the electronic medias of today. RDA/SW inspires many new directors, teachers, and choreographers continue the legacy of RDA!

Our 50 Year History has been exciting! The first ever National Festival was held in Houston, Texas in 1997 where nearly 100 Regional Dance America companies attended. Glenda Brown and her company, Allegro Ballet served as the hosts! Glenda Brown is named the SW – VIP at this Festival for her immense contribution to RDA. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2007 was the wonderful site of our second National Festival. Here in Montreal, our companies, the directors and their dancers are proud to have the opportunity represent the Southwest Region at this beautiful third National Festival!