Twin City Ballet Company is chartered by the State of Louisiana as a non-profit organization to enrich the cultural environment of northeast Louisiana and the surrounding areas. The first artistic director of the Twin City Ballet was Mme. Cecilia Kelly, a former soloist with the Sadler's Wells Ballet in England. Since 1979, under the artistic direction of Linda Lavender Ford, the dual aims of the ...company are to create an exciting dance experience in the community and offer an opportunity for training and stage experience to talented young dancers. The year-round program of performances and classes provides young dancers with training by an experienced faculty and world-renowned guest artists as performers, choreographers and teachers. The company, which embraces all styles of dance from classical ballet to contemporary and jazz, has become a haven for exceptional dancers.
Twin City Ballet Company, a member of LANO (Louisiana Non-Profit Organization), depends solely on the support of friends who are patrons and benefactors for the financial operation of the company. Financial support also comes from gifts, grants and fundraising projects undertaken by the Board and Guild.
Three performances are held each year for the Twin City Ballet Company membership. Approximately 20,000 students, teachers and chaperones from all over northeast Louisiana and south Arkansas come to the Monroe Civic Center Theatre for our annual Christmas performances in early December. TCBC also holds an annual Spring Ballet Under the Stars in West Monroe's Kiroli Park. As a presenter of major touring dance companies, TCBC has been pleased to bring companies such as Miami City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ailey II, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance - Chicago, Ballet Hispanico and Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company for area audiences.
Each year Twin City Ballet co-hosts a ten-day Summer Dance Intensive Workshop with the University of Louisiana - Monroe's School of Visual and Performing Arts. The workshop attracts serous dance students from throughout the South with its internationally acclaimed faculty of teachers and choreographers.
The Twin City Ballet is an Honor Member of Regional Dance America/Southwest, an organization of dance companies from five states. Our dancers also participate in four days of classes, workshops and performances each spring hosted by different members of RDA/SW. In 1989 and 2002, TCBC hosted RDA/SW Festival in Monroe. In 1990 and 2002, TCBC was the recipient of the Stream Award, a silver bowl and tray awarded annually to outstanding directors in recognition of excellence in growth and cooperation with other regional companies.
Twin City Ballet Company takes pride in our talented, passionate, dedicated dancers and your support makes it all possible.
Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress
Linda Lavender Ford's lifelong romance with the art of dance has led her through years of dance training and 50 years as an educator in the field of dance. Owner and operator of one of the largest dance schools in the Ark-La-Miss, Linda has been Artistic Director of Twin City Ballet Company for more than 30 years. She has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine, recognized by Leo’s Theatrical as one of America’s Distinguished Educators, has served as President of the Southern Association of Dance Masters of America and President of the Regional Dance America, Southwest. Linda is a two-time recipient of the Stream Award for Artistic Excellence given by Regional Dance America/SW. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for West Monroe High School in 1990. The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council presented Linda with the Outstanding Artist Award in 1997 and in 2008 honored her with the prestigious Mary Lee Milam Award given for a lifetime of service to the arts. She received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in 1997. The West Monroe Chamber of Commerce recognized Linda in 2003 with the A. O. Evans Award given for outstanding contributions to the community. In December 2007 Dance Studio Life Magazine featured Linda’s insights on the value of ballet training to the art of tap dancing. Linda was also featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine as the “Teacher in the Spotlight” in the November 2008 edition. In the spring of 2008 the faculty of Linda Lavender School of Dance, in collaboration with Kiroli Park in West Monroe, honored Linda by establishing the Linda Lavender Ford Ballet Garden celebrating the Joy of Dance.
Linda’s devotion to the art of dance is a credit to her training at the Mary Lou and Pat Young School of Dance and Cecilia Kelly. Her expertise in and devotion to the field of dance is one of the finest artistic assets in Northeast Louisiana. Her original choreography includes three complete ballets for children – A Storybook Christmas, Rudolph, and Scrooge – that have been presented to tens of thousands of school children from across the Ark-La-Miss. Her influence on the cultural enhancement of life in this region is immeasurable.
Programs of the Twin City Ballet Company are supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts as administered by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council.