Raleigh Dance Theatre, affiliate performance company of The Raleigh School of Ballet, was founded in 1984 by Ann Vorus to provide performance training to qualified area dancers.
Under her artistic direction, the company grew tremendously as it began to gain local as well as regional recognition for its artistic excellence. Milestones included its performance of Giselle with the North Carolina Symphony in its 1991 inaugural ballet series, its acceptance in 1992 as a performing member company into the prestigious Southeastern Regional Ballet Association (SERBA), and in 1996, in accordance with the Balanchine Trust, performing George Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations.
In 1994 Mary LeGere was named Artistic Director. As the company continued to grow, its name was changed to Carolina Ballet, and the board launched a campaign to develop a fully professional ballet company. The close of the 1996 1997 season marked the final stage in achieving this goal and the artistic staff and pre professional dancers of Carolina Ballet reestablished Raleigh Dance Theatre.
Under the artistic direction of Mary LeGere, with Megan Marvel as Associate Director, Raleigh Dance Theatre now serves its original mission of providing performance training for young dancers while promoting and fostering the art of dance in the community.
Each year since 1999, RDT dancers have been invited to perform with Carolina Ballet’s corps de ballet in many ballets including Nutcracker, Firebird, Cinderella and Swan Lake. Company dancers have gone on to professional careers in dance performing with companies that include Pennsylvania Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Carolina Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders and New York City Ballet.
During The 2010-11 season RDT’s celebrated its 25 anniversary.
The company continues to strive for artistic excellence while providing reasonably priced performances for the Triangle community.