Michiana’s Premiere Classical Ballet School and Home of the Southold Dance Theater Pre Professional Ballet Company

The Early Years:

In 1973, several dancers came together because they shared an important common bond — their love of dance. The newly formed alliance made a commitment to respect distinct dance traditions by giving each artist the freedom to pursue her chosen idiom. Founding members included Ann Dunn, the company’s first Artistic Director, who was soon joined by Bonnie Boilini Baxter and Jill Engel Tulchinsky. Their vision guided the young company throughout its early years. Performances and classes were held at Dancenter, a 100-year-old church converted to dance studios and theater space. SDT remained there until 1981 when the company moved temporarily to Center Century before relocating to its current home at the Colfax Cultural Arts Center, a cooperative arts and neighborhood complex with national historic site status.

Important Milestones Include:

1974 An alliance of dancers is formed under the leadership of Ann Dunn, the group’s first Artistic Director
1975 Articles of Incorporation are established under the name of Southold Dance Theater; first Board of Directors is formed
1977 Non-profit 501 (c) (3) status received
1978 SDT launches a touring program of elementary schools in northern Indiana
1979 An apprentice company is formed as a training program for future company members, the precursor of today’s company. A volunteer support group is formed, Southold Dance League
1980 First classical production of The Nutcracker Ballet
1st Annual Holiday Walk Tour of Homes
1981 SDT names Bonnie Boilini Baxter as Artistic Director
Introduction of the Youth Concerts program for area schools
1982 Jill Engel Tulchinsky becomes Ballet Mistress for the company
1984 SDT moves in as the anchor tenant for the newly renovated Colfax Cultural Center developed by the South Bend Heritage Foundation
1986 SDT adds musical accompaniment by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra to The Nutcracker Ballet
1987 Nutcracker Nostalgia, SDT’s annual Patron Gala, begins
1988 JoAnn McCarthy Barkes takes on the role of Ballet Mistress for the company
1990 SDT Adult Ensemble reintroduces school touring program with Peter and the Wolf
1991 South Bend Tribune becomes principal sponsor of The Nutcracker Ballet. SDT Board of Directors establishes an endowment fund
1992 SDT introduces the Family Concert in appreciation of widespread community support
1993 SDT Board creates first strategic plan for the organization, adopts a new mission statementCreation of Marijke Niles Artist Fund, an endowment for support of outstanding artists
1995 Debut of new sets commissioned for The Nutcracker Ballet
1997 Bonnie Boilini Baxter and JoAnn McCarthy Barkes share artistic leadership as co-directors. Exploring Dance Outreach program begins in cooperation with Charles Martin Youth Center
1998 SDT completes challenge grant from the Brenay Philanthropic Fund to begin an organizational endowment fund at the Community Foundation of St. Joseph Co.
2000 SDT’s Board of Directors acquires Southold Dancenter, the school that had served Southold Dance Theater, continuing the long range strategic plan for the organization. The school is now called The School of Southold Dance Theater. Patrick Hinson is hired as the Director of Ballet while Bonnie Boilini Baxter assumes the position of Director for the organization. Southold moves back into the newly renovated Morris Performing Arts Center and is named the resident dance company.
2001 Marcus Galante named Southold’s Artistic Director.
Malana Maher named Southold’s Executive Director.
2002 Kimmary Williams and Jacob Rice named Co-Artistic Directors
2005 Alexei Kremnev named Artistic Director, Anna Reznik named Artistic Associate


Erica Fischbach named Artistic Director

Calin Radulescu named Artistic Director

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