Our History

Lafayette Ballet Theatre (LBT) was founded in 1982, filling the need in our artistic community for a classical ballet company. Following its birth, LBT gained non-profit status. Its official school, Dance Conservatory, was established the previous year. The Conservatory currently supplies 90 percent of the company’s dancers. Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, LBT is an important provider of artistic, dance education and community programs.
 
Through the support of the community, LBT has sustained its place as Acadiana’s professional ballet company, offering 28-week contracted positions to local artists, and a long-term student scholarship program. For over three decades, LBT has presented full-length classical story ballets to the entire community. LBT currently maintains an extensive complimentary ticket program, providing underprivileged children and adults, A Night at the Ballet, as well as supporting all of its educational programs that reach over 2500 children annually in schools and at the theater.
 
Leading the Lafayette Ballet Theatre are Artistic Directors, Shannon Heath and Mitzi Heath.

Directors

MITZI HEATH joined the staff of Dance Conservatory (the official school of Lafayette Ballet Theatre) in the fall of 1995 and currently serves as Co-Artistic Director to Lafayette Ballet Theatre. Her previous study includes: The Harkness House (NY), The National Academy of Dance (Champaign, Ill.), American Ballet Theatre (NY), and an extended stay at the Joffrey Ballet (NY). Ms. Heath joined the Joffrey Ballet company as an apprentice member for one year, promoted to Corps de Ballet level the next season and on to Soloist level the following year.

As a teacher, Mitzi has been a faculty member with the Joffrey Ballet School (NY), Colorado Ballet and Ballet Director for the Modern dance company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (Denver, CO). Mitzi returned to Colorado to study the Bourniville Ballet (Danish Ballet) and Bolshoi Ballet syllabus, with the Vail International Teacher’s Workshop and again to study under the Paris Opera Ballet. Mitzi has also studied with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Teacher Courses.

SHANNON HEATH began her ballet studies under Gwynne Ashton’s Acadian Ballet Company. The years to follow included the opportunity to train with premiere ballet institutions across the United States. Through entrance examinations, she was accepted to study with, the American Ballet Theatre (NYC), School of American Ballet (official school of the New York City Ballet), Nubert Ballet Institution/ Carnegie Hall, Harkness Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet. Her studies continued, as well as her opportunities to gain stage and performance experience, with the National Academy of Dance (Champagne, Illinois). Aside from the academy’s classical performances, Shannon participated in a full season of Opera productions with the University of Illinois. As a teacher, Ms. Heath has studied with the Paris Opera Ballet School, Danish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Central Pensylvania Youth Ballet, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Shannon Heath is currently Co-Artistic Director of the Lafayette Ballet Theatre and it’s official school, Dance Conservatory.

Lafayette Ballet Theatre Artists

Camilla Reaux

Rachel Domingue

Anna Paddock

Alanna Grace Hoffpauir

Ciera Johnson

Hannah Ours

Jillian Verzwyvelt

Rheanna Fontenot

All photos by Allen Breaux Studios

Pre-Professional Trainee Program

Kate Kaufman

Eliana Lopez

Evelyn Bercier

Ada McClure

Emma Long

Mary-Alice Talbot

Emily Heinen

Elise Blalock