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Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre

Various venues


The mission of SCBT, a pre-professional company comprised of dancers between the ages of 7 and 18, is to expose the Santa Cruz community to classical and contemporary ballet; the company does precisely this with its beautifully staged performances. Founded in 1982 by Robert Kelley and Diane Cypher, the company presents classics such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Giselle, as well as new work created by local artists like Pepper Fajans and Diana Law.

Artistic Director Robert Kelley’s early training began at the School of American Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, and with Alonso King. Kelley went on to dance with several ballet companies, eventually becoming Ballet Master and resident choreographer at Fort Wayne Ballet. Over the years he has won many awards for his choreography, staging work for SCBT as well as representing the company as an Associate of the Culture Council of Santa Cruz County and as a member of Regional Dance America.

Artistic Director Diane Cypher danced with the Santa Barbara Ballet and Sacramento Ballet before coming to SCBT. She is the company’s foremost teacher in addition to staging ballets and assuming the role of rehearsal director. Both Cypher and Kelley were honored in 2009 with the Gail Rich award for their contribution to the Santa Cruz arts community.

With its well-honed dancers and beautiful renderings of the classics and contemporary work, SCBT fulfills its mission of bringing ballet to the local community while expanding audience awareness and participation.

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre Information

  • Public Transportation: Varies by venue, but generally easily accessible by bus
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue
  • Performances/Programs: Approximately 15 performances per season
  • Ticket Prices: $20–$40 depending on seat selection
  • Membership: Individual membership starts at $25. Benefits are tiered with every member receiving recognition in the annual Nutcracker program.