Our Story

Our Mission

To inspire the passions and spirit of our community through dance.

Our Story

The Toledo Ballet was founded in 1939 by Marie Bollinger Vogt. A native of Toledo, Vogt taught dance at an early age at the Bach Conservatory in Toledo and studied at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, the premier ballet academy in the nation, bringing back to the region the forefront of dance instruction and choreography including classical Greek, classical Spanish, and Flamenco dance in addition to classical and contemporary ballet.

In 1941, only two years after the founding of the Toledo Ballet, the first production of The Nutcracker in the United States took place in Toledo, Ohio, complete with live orchestral accompaniment by the Friends of Music, a precursor to the Toledo Symphony. Though only an abridgement of the score was permitted out of Russia at the end of the Great Depression and the onset of World War II, more and more of the score would be released over time, and Toledo Ballet continued to grow the production. To this day, Toledo Ballet holds the record for the longest consecutive running production of The Nutcracker in the nation, perpetuating a beloved holiday tradition that has become synonymous with Christmas.

In 1958, a group of citizens interested in supporting Toledo Ballet’s mission to present quality dance education and performances in the region founded the Toledo Ballet Association, and in 1963, the association was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. After a 55-year career as artistic director of the Toledo Ballet, Marie Vogt stepped down in 1995, and Lisa Mayer-Lang took the helm as artistic director. In 2007, Michael Lang joined the artistic team as Toledo Ballet’s first-ever resident choreographer.

Following a decades-long collaboration on various productions, most notably The Nutcracker, Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony realized more synergies in marketing and ticketing operations in 2017, setting the stage for increased collaborations. On January 1, 2019, the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony officially merged to form the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), a new non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional live music and dance performances and education for the region. This partnership is one of only a few in the nation and promises to create new and invigorating programs, provide cost and revenue synergies in operations, and integrate the arts through shared educational missions.

Want to learn a new type of dance?

The Toledo Ballet offers classes in dance of ALL varieties. Whether you're looking for classical ballet training, or modern hip-hop, chances are we have a class for you!

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