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Minnetonka Dance Theatre

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Marianne Simons, the Artistic and Executive Director of the Minnetonka Dance Theatre and School, was a Principal dancer with the Minnesota Dance Theatre under the direction of Loyce Houlton.
 
During her career, Ms. Simons had the privilege of training and working with such talents as Brian Shaw of the Royal Ballet, Arnold Sphor of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Madame Valentina Perysalovic of the American Ballet Theatre, Mary Hinkson of the Martha Graham Company, Keith Rosen, Rochelle Zide-Booth, Louis Falko, Francois Martinet, Michael Utoff, Frank Bourman, David Hatch Walker, Takako Asakawa and Glen Tetly.
 
After retiring from performing, Ms. Simons taught the professional company of the Minnesota Dance Theatre as well as teaching at the College of St. Catherine’s for several years before founding the Minnetonka Dance Theatre and School in 1986.
 
 
 

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The Minnetonka Dance Theatre and School was founded in 1986 by Marianne Simons to provide training and development in classical ballet for young dancers.  In 1992, the Youth Ballet Company was formed to provide performance opportunities for the advanced dancers in the School.  The YBC is comprised of thirteen pre-professional dancers ages thirteen through eighteen.  Dancers audition for acceptance into YBC each year and are required to take a minimum of twelve to fifteen hours of classical ballet technique classes per week.
 
Through its Performance in the Community program, the YBC does twelve performances a year for area senior centers, schools, and other community centers.  These performances are funded with grants from local foundations and organizations; such as Target Stores and The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
 
For the past fourteen years, the YBC has presented a full-length Nutcracker Ballet.  Students from the school may also audition to perform in the production.  Most major roles are filled by dancers from the Company and special guest artists.
Each Spring the Youth Ballet Company appears in a concert performing works by the Artistic Director, Marianne Simons, and other professional choreographers such as Danny Buraczeski, Lou Fancher, Carol Huncik, Yuliya Levina, Kennet Oberly, Robin Stiehm, Ted Sothern and Matthew Keefe.

Copyright 2004, Alexandra Ballet