The Dubuque City Youth Ballet gave its premiere performance in 1969 with the University of Northern Iowa Orchestra, Donald Wendt, Conductor. The new company, formed by Tatiana Bechenova, presented works from the Ballet Russe repertoire. The DCYB performed in its earliest years at Clarke College. The company performed at the opening of the Five Flags Theater and performed there for many years. The DCYB is now resident company of the Grand Opera House, and performs throughout the tri-state area.
Dancers from the DCYB perform two major productions each year. Full-length ballets in the DCYB include: The Nutcracker (annual holiday production), Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Giselle, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Midsummer Night's Dream, and original ballets Littlest Angel, Bellissimo! and Fairest of Them All. Every four years, the company performs Dance Gala, a program of one-act ballets.
Dancers are eligible to perform in the DCYB in their fourth year of training. Transfer students to the Academy of Ballet (official school for the DCYB) are invited to understudy for one year before joining the company. Adults from the community are invited to participate in appropriate roles. The company rehearses for ten weeks prior to opening. Group rehearsals are scheduled on Saturdays, with small groups and soloist rehearsals scheduled during the week from 3:00 - 4:00 and 7:30 - 8:30 PM.
The Dubuque City Youth Ballet is a non-profit 501C-3 organization. Donations are tax deductible, as provided by law.
The Heartland Ballet is a division of the DCYB. Consisting of advanced dancers, primarily of high school age, this company performs annually in the Spring. Ballets are from the DCYB repertoire. The Heartland Ballet also serves as a touring group, and for special commissions. Dancers have performed ballets at venues throughout the tri-states. In 2016, the Heartland Ballet will perform Giselle with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra at the Heritage Center, University of Dubuque.
The Academy of Ballet Open House provides two opportunities per year for all students.The week before Thanksgiving, parents are invited to observe class. This is a limited audience due to observation in the studio. On the final Saturday of the Academic Year (the Saturday before Mother's Day) the All-Class Review is open to an unlimited audience. Students are presented in class attire with each class performing a representation of their level of training. The two hour informal review takes place in the Grand Opera House auditorium. This is a free event open to family, friends and prospective students.