Sallie Carlson established the company as the Augusta Civic Ballet in 1962 and served as its first Artistic Director. In 1964, the name was changed to Augusta Ballet and in the course of over forty years of operation, Augusta Ballet rose from a small civic ballet to a nationally recognized arts organization.
The Augusta Ballet’s choice of programming has been wide in scope yet pertinent to today’s audiences as demonstrated by the acquisition and performance of works by Lar Lubovitch and Merce Cunningham. The Augusta Ballet has consistently reached out to other performing organizations with exciting collaborations such as The Bitter Sweet Saga of Sugar Cane and Sweetie Pie with Wynton Marsalis, Peter and the Wolf with the Augusta Symphony, and The Legend of the Hatfields and McCoys with Grammy nominated bluegrass composer and musician, Sam Bush. Additionally, Augusta Ballet has presented Chuck Davis and the African American Dance Ensemble, Ailey II, Garth Fagan, and Urban Bush Women for the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.
The Augusta Ballet is proud of its efforts to enhance the educational experience for thousands of school children in the CSRA with its Educational Outreach. Augusta Ballet began its outreach in 1994 and over the years, it has been significantly enhanced with a series of dance classes in which the company brings nationally known dance teachers to local studios to provide master classes in all genres of dance. Through the continued support of corporations, foundations, and individuals, the Augusta Ballet offers these classes at no charge to all dance students across the CSRA.
The leadership of the Augusta Ballet is dedicated to providing outstanding programming on the stage and in the community, collaborating with other arts organizations and dance schools throughout the southeast, and welcoming all those who want to experience dance at its very best.