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Who We Are & History

Abilene Ballet Theatre (ABT) was founded in 1985 and is a 501C3 non-profit organization. The company, under artistic direction of Nancy Gore and Lisa Gore, holds open auditions each Fall to select dancers for the upcoming season. In 1987 ABT was selected by audition for membership in the prestigious Regional Dance America/Southwest, a six-state organization of 22 select dance companies.

ABT's season consists of The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea,  The Nutcracker and our Spring Showcase. Our Nutcracker has been featured on Good Morning America as well as in Southern Living Magazine. 

Bringing excellent ballet training as well as other dance genres to West Texas, ABT is dedicated to:

  • Encouraging and developing young talent

  • Educating and entertaining young audiences

  • Promoting and developing a love for the art of ballet in the community

  • Promoting education and employment opportunities for company dancers

  • Providing scholarship assistance for continuing education and training​

  • ​​Twelve ABT dancers performed as munchkins and "Winkies" in the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz in Abilene in 2010. Dancers are shown with the Wizard, Robert John Biedermann.

  • Senior I and II dancers performed with the Abilene Opera Association in The King and I in 2015 and in West Side Story in 2019. 

  • ABT was proud to receive the STREAM AWARD 2006 for artistic excellence and growth at the Regional Dance America Southwest Festival in The Woodlands.

  • ABT was the only dance company to perform for Texas Commission on the Arts in 1992.

  • We hosted the Regional Dance America/ Southwest Festival in 1993 and 2005.​

  • Former ABT dancer, Alexander Maryianowski, has danced professionally as a company member with Boston Ballet and is currently dancing with the Paris Opera Ballet. 

  • ABT dancers have been selected by audition for summer intensive programs, most recently with American Ballet Theatre,Joffrey Ballet School, Joffrey Texas, Tulsa Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre and Summer Wind at The University of Oklahoma.

  • Lisa Gore, Ballet Abilene teacher and ABT co-artistic director, was one of 10 in the nation to be awarded the Monticello Scholarship for Choreography by RDA/SW for her work "Valse Triste" in 2002 and attended the Craft of Choreography Conference in Pennsylvania. In 2005 Lisa was awarded an "Excellence in Choreography" Scholarship for her piece "Beyond the Sea" by RDA/SW.

  • Lindsay McGill, former Ballet Abilene teacher and former ABT associate director, was recognized for excellence in emerging choreography and awarded the Natalie Skelton scholarship for her piece "Tribal Drums" during the 2009 regional festival in Sugar Land, Texas. She received a full scholarship and attended the Craft of Choreography Conference which was hosted by Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington.

The King and I, 2015

The Wizard of Oz National Tour, 2010

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