Ballet Arts School

About Ballet Arts

The Professional Dance Training School of Arizona
(Official School of Ballet Tucson)

BALLET ARTS was established in September of 1986 and has since gained the reputation as Arizona’s foremost classical ballet training institution. Our permanent faculty is comprised of highly accomplished ballet, jazz, and tap professionals who have danced in prestigious American companies as soloists and principal dancers.

Our faculty is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in the teaching of the "American" style of ballet. This emerging style combines the best of the Russian, French, and Italian schools with a distinctive dose of American restless energy and youthful spirit. Our teachers share a common technical background and philosophy of teaching and we hope to provide each student with a full and exciting dance education in a creative environment.

BALLET ARTS is pleased to announce the accomplishments of its students who have been awarded scholarships to or are performing professionally with the following institutions:

  • Ballet Tucson
  • American Ballet Theatre
  • New York City Ballet
  • Gus Giordano
  • National Ballet School, Toronto
  • Boston Ballet
  • School of American Ballet
  • Ballet West
  • Oregon Ballet Theatre
  • Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet
  • San Francisco Ballet
  • The Kirov Academy
  • Milwaukee Ballet
  • Hartford Ballet
  • Harid Conservatory
  • Houston Ballet
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Sarasota Ballet
  • Cleveland Ballet
  • Alvin Ailey
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • Ballet Florida
  • Pennsylvania Ballet
  • Dayton Ballet
  • Disney Tokyo
  • Ohio Ballet
  • North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Oakland Ballet
  • Alabama Ballet
  • Dutch National Ballet

MARY-BETH CABANA, Founding Artistic Director, has been a Principal Dancer with Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Arizona Dance Theatre and San Diego Ballet. She received her early training under the critical eye of E. Virginia Williams at the Boston Ballet. At the age of 14 Ms. Cabana began her professional career with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and then graduated from the National Academy of Dance, where she was a full-scholarship student and member of the National Academy of Ballet. She has performed extensively in the United States and Europe in a wide variety of roles by such noted choreographers as Balanchine, Tudor, DeMille, Joos, Forsythe, Fokine, Petipa and Nahat.

Ms Cabana has been on the faculties of the School of Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Arts-Carnegie Hall, Dance Concepts –NYC and was the Principal Instructor and Administrator for Arizona Dance Theatre (Ballet Arizona). She has guest taught for Kiev Ukraine Ballet and the Palace of Pioneers in the former Soviet Union, in France and Mexico and continue to guest teach throughout the United States. Under the direction of Ethan Stiefel, she has designed and conducted summer programs for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine, California.

As a choreographer, Ms. Cabana has produced numerous original works for Ballet Tucson, Ballet Tucson II and has staged dances for Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Burklyn Ballet Theatre.

Since beginning in 1986, she as established Ballet Arts Tucson, branch schools in Nogales, Sierra Vista and Patagonia, the annual Summer Dance Workshop in cooperation with UA School of Dance and international dance/cultural exchanges. Ballet Tucson’s Artistic Director has also founded and fostered the development of Ballet Tucson (Tucson’s resident professional ballet company)and Ballet Tucson II (Tucson’s premiere youth ballet). Ms. Cabana has been nominated for the Arizona Arts Award, for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tucson Pima Arts Council and identified as an Outstanding Individual Artist by the Governor of the State of Arizona. In 2009, she was invited by New York City Ballet Director, Peter Martins, to attend the 75th Anniversary of the School of American Ballet and was recognized as one of the foremost teachers in the United States as part of National Teacher’s Weekend.

A talented costume and scenic designer in her own right, Ballet Tucson’s founder has been instrumental in the overall design of all productions.

Ms. Cabana brings her wealth of experience to dancers of all ages. Her commitment to the cultivation of young talent continues as her students dance professionally in major American and European ballet companies and schools.

Ballet Arts School

photo by Chris Mooney
Mary-Beth Cabana, founder of Ballet Arts and Ballet Tucson
Read about Ballet Arts School in BizTucson