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About the Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Our professional company aims to inspire our audience through the transforming power of American dance. Energy, athleticism, dynamism, and passion are classic American dance ideals that move our dancers to achieve higher levels of artistry and skill, whether through the drama of contemporary pieces or by making classic ballet storytelling come to life.

As Maryland’s premier professional ballet company we have so much to celebrate:

-Great classical dance
-New and talented dancers
-Rising stars in our company
-New classical and contemporary choreographic works


Our Conservatory of Dance is the only school in Maryland that offers a fully comprehensive ballet training program for the beginner student up to the professional dancer. Our focus on the healthy body aesthetic, healthy body types, and healthy mentoring is a hallmark of our school and company.


We produce high-caliber ballet performances that engage the mind and spirit and express Maryland’s unique voice through movement. Our goal is to make ballet accessible to all while attaining ever-higher levels of artistic excellence.


Please join us in celebrating 45 years of the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and support us in our efforts to bring great dance to all Marylanders in the future.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as it is essential to accomplish our mission and vision. Our goal is to make ballet accessible to all while attaining ever-higher levels of artistic excellence.  The people we serve come from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, many geographies, a range of economic circumstances, as well as different cultures, customs, and languages.  We are dedicated to a policy of equal opportunity and don’t discriminate.


Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s mission is to provide Maryland with a fully professional ballet company and training academy that meets the aesthetic and recreational needs of Maryland through expressive movement by:

  • Performing known and original classical and contemporary works of artistic integrity; 

  • Creating new eclectic works that express both American and Maryland culture;

  • Educating the community by providing a complete training program as well as other services that make the ballet more accessible to the under-served;

  • Preserving the tradition of the classical form, while promoting the continual evolution of dance as an art.


Originally established as The Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, the organization was founded in November 1978 as a private non-profit corporation governed by a twelve-person Board of Trustees and established residency at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. In 1980, Edward Stewart became Artistic Director and led the company until his death in 2002. In 1996, the company achieved professional status. In 2000, the organization’s name was changed to Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Inc. to fulfill a new mission of serving the State of Maryland. Dianna Cuatto joined BTM as Artistic Director at the start of the 2003-2004 season and has since won numerous awards for her choreography with BTM.  Dianna Cuatto is now honored with the title of Artistic Director Emeritus. The current Artistic Director, Nicole Kelsch, was appointed for the 2020-2021 season after being a Principal Dancer, School Principal, and Ballet Mistress for 14 years.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland produces high-caliber ballet performances that engage the mind and spirit and express Maryland's unique voice through movement. We perform a wide range of powerful quality ballets at venues throughout the state.
As the state’s premier professional ballet company, Ballet Theatre of Maryland:

  • Conducts over 20 full-length professional ballet performances per season of both classical and contemporary works, performed at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Prince George's Community College Center for Performing Arts, The Gordon Center for the Performing Arts at the JCC, and other presenting theaters throughout Maryland;

  • Performs in more than 40 outreach lectures/demonstrations in Maryland schools where students experienced 1-hour ballet excerpts and interactive activities from Swan Lake, The Little Slippers, or Alice in Wonderland.

  • Presents 10 Mini-Performances for students and seniors at Maryland Hall in Annapolis composed of an educational literary or historical introduction, a 1-hour performance, and audience interaction.

  • Has been a resident company at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts for over 40 years.

  • Teaches and performs at a 10-week Arts Integration Residency in tandem with Anne Arundel County Schools where BTM faculty work with students and teachers in underserved schools to create sets, costumes, choreography, and a story modeled after BTM’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  The students perform their works alongside BTM’s professional dancers in a final public performance.

  • Provides Access to Classics Outreach to introduce the art of dance to children and teachers from Head Start, school children in under-served communities, and organizations such as CASA, Casey Cares, and the Stanton House with special performances;

  • Conducts a Trainee and Apprenticeship Training Program, attracting top dancers throughout the U.S. to train with Ballet Theatre of Maryland for the season.

  • Educates through BTM’s Conservatory of Dance; offering dance training for students ages 2 to adult, beginner through professional level, including a 5-week Summer Intensive Dance Program. Ballet Theatre of Maryland holds classes at Maryland Hall and our Merritt Annex studios in Annapolis, as well as classes in Grasonville, MD.

2022 Annual Report

Strategic Plan

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