This year, Palm Beach Symphony's Board of Directors and Mr. and Mrs. Ellis J. Parker, III are proud to present the 2020 Randolph A. Frank Prize award to Colleen Smith, the founder and artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach and its ballet school, Ballet Palm Beach Academy.
Join us for a live-streamed awards program on Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 6:00 PM to celebrate the outstanding achievements of this incredible performing artist and educator.
The mission of the Randolph A. Frank Prize for the Performing Arts is to annually recognize and reward individual performing artists and dedicated educators who enrich the quality of the performing arts in Palm Beach County, Florida. All established and emerging individuals who regularly perform or engage in performing arts education in Palm Beach County are eligible for consideration for the Prize.
Colleen Smith is the founder and artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach and its ballet school, Ballet Palm Beach Academy. Before establishing Ballet Palm Beach, Smith taught for the Kansas City Ballet School in Kansas City, Missouri; served as Ballet Mistress for New Dance Ensemble in Cleveland, Ohio; began the dance department of Trinity Methodist Fine Arts School in Palm Beach Gardens and taught for numerous south Florida schools.
Smith has danced with Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio; New Dance Ensemble in Cleveland, Ohio and Tulsa Ballet Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She trained in Florida with Joan Miller, Brenda Gooden and Cuca Martinez; at the Washington School of Ballet under Mary Day, Choo San Goh and William Buckner and with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. Her teaching mentors are Brenda Gooden, Victoria Leigh and Ruth C. Petrinovic. As Artistic Director Colleen enjoys creating new works for the professional company and enriching the community through outreach performances. As head of Ballet Palm Beach Academy, she delights in being a part of young people’s lives and cultivating dancers for successful careers of their own.
Ballet Palm Beach is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) professional ballet company dedicated to preserving the art of classical ballet, cultivating new visions in choreography, impacting the next generation through the discipline of dance, and enriching the community through this universal art form. Founded by Artistic Director Colleen Smith in 2001, Ballet Palm Beach is the professional ballet company of Palm Beach County. The company strives to enrich the community and abroad through its numerous outreach programs and community performances. Its school, Ballet Palm Beach Academy is located in Palm Beach Gardens with classes offered to students beginning at age 3 years old. For more information about Ballet Palm Beach call 561.630.8235.
Colleen Smith began Ballet Palm Beach in 2001 as a small civic company, under the name Florida Classical Ballet Theatre. Her aim was to give dance students in Palm Beach County the opportunity to perform in full-scale classical ballets through this new organization.
From 2001 to 2012 the company underwent incredible change in becoming a professional ballet company. Professional dancers and trainees were hired and lead the ranks of students as audience support continued to grow. Invaluable staff members were added one by one, first as volunteers and then as paid employees. These changes behind the scenes gave way to thrilling development on our stage, as our productions continued to see a rise in technique, expression, and popularity.
In 2013, Florida Classical Ballet Theatre became Ballet Palm Beach, a company of fifteen dancers: six student trainees and nine professionals. The name change symbolized a new era of productivity and twelve years of finding our footing in a wonderfully supported community.
Currently, Ballet Palm Beach performs four main stage performances each season and has welcomed guest choreographers and repeteurs such as Leslie Peck from the Balanchine Trust, Christopher Huggins of Alvin Ailey, and Roger Van Fleteren from Alabama Ballet to set pieces on the company. Artistic Director Colleen Smith has led the company in creative directions, choreographing a total of 5 full-length ballets based on literature such as Wonderland, Gatsby, and Snow White.