SMB was founded in 1973 as Ballet Lyrique by a group of citizens who wanted to give local dancers a performing outlet and to bring classical ballet into the Shreveport-Bossier City Community. The Ballet has been operating continuously since that time, making it one of the oldest continuously-operating arts organizations in Shreveport-Bossier City.
SMB annually presents two full-length classical ballets, including the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker" and a performance each spring of ballets from the classical repertoire. In 2012, SMB piloted a collaborative program with the Volunteers of America's LightHouse program called "A Chance to Dance." "Chance to Dance" participants receive free ballet instruction and perform each spring alongside SMB dancers.
SMB shares our major productions with local school children through free performances, reaching more than 8,000 students every year. The Company also does lecture demonstrations and performances in schools, nursing homes, pediatric wards, community centers, and public libraries and takes part in community performances such as the Red River Revel.
Dancers from ages ten to adult are chosen each spring by open auditions to become members of the Junior and Senior companies of the Ballet. SMB has provided these dancers with the necessary training and experience to go on to dance with companies in other cities and to study dance at the university level. Dancers gain valuable experience by being able to dance alongside professional guest artists brought in each year for the performances. Guest artists have come from such ballets as the American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, and San Francisco Ballet
SMB has continued to grow since its founding in 1973 thanks to the support of the community and the dedication of hundreds of volunteers. We are a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing a cross-section of the community. SMB is supported by private and corporate donations, memberships, fundraisers, and grants, which enable SMB to present professional quality performances each year.
"I definitely enjoyed this performance and look forward to many more events like this in our community. It was great to see so many young people in attendance! Their eyes were wide with wonder and influence seeing themselves performing on stage." - Victor L. Thomas on SMB's presentation of Ailey II
"We always enjoy bringing our 3rd graders to this performance as many of our children never get to attend the ballet. I wanted you to know that one of our boys cried during the ballet because "it was the most beautiful thing" he had ever seen. What a wonderful impression to make on a child about the arts. What a wonderful reminder of the joy of the season. Thank you for allowing our children to experience "The Nutcracker" each year." -Cathy Turner on SMB's Nutcracker School Performance