The Professional Dance Training School of Arizona
(Official School of Ballet Tucson)

BALLET ARTS was established in September of 1986 and has since gained the reputation as Arizonas foremost classical ballet training institution. Our permanent faculty is comprised of highly accomplished ballet, jazz, and tap professionals who have danced in prestigious American companies as soloists and principal dancers.

OUR FACULTY is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in the teaching of the “American” style of ballet. This emerging style combines the best of the Russian, French, and Italian schools with a distinctive dose of American restless energy and youthful spirit. Our teachers share a common technical background and philosophy of teaching and we hope to provide each student with a full and exciting dance education in a creative environment.

Ballet Arts places great importance on students gaining stage and performance experience.  Young dancers are exposed to and perform in professional full-length ballets with Ballet Tucson (Southern Arizona’s Professional Ballet Company).  Such ballets include Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, The Nutcracker and more.  See below for information about Ballet Tucson 2.

Showcase 2018 will take place on Wednesday, May 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Students who are enrolled in jazz, tap, modern or variations classes will have the opportunity to perform in an informal presentation. The showcase fee per student is $200 which includes 5 tickets to the show.

This classic story ballet is a wonderful opportunity for young dancers to experience performance at all levels.  Ballet Tucson’s “The Nutcracker” has been awarded “Best Nutcracker” by the Tucson Weekly. This production features elaborate sets, costumes and choreography.

For further information call 520-623-3373



Ballet Tucson 2 is Tucson’s premier youth ballet.  Higher level intermediate and advanced students will learn repetoire and new choreography created especially for them by Ballet Arts/Ballet Tucson’s professional staff.

Auditions:  Friday, August 18 & 25 (6:45–7:15 p.m.)
For more information, please call 520-623-3373.


Artistic Director, Mary Beth Cabana

Mary Beth Cabana, Founding Artistic Director, has been a Principal Dancer with Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Arizona Dance Theatre and San Diego Ballet.  She received her early training under the critical eye of E. Virginia Williams at the Boston Ballet.  At the age of 14 Ms. Cabana began her professional career with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and then graduated from the National Academy of Dance, where she was a full-scholarship student and member of the National Academy of Ballet.  She has performed extensively in the United States and Europe in a wide variety of roles by such noted choreographers as Balanchine, Tudor, DeMille, Joos, Forsythe, Fokine, Petipa and Nahat.

Ms Cabana has been on the faculties of the School of Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Arts-Carnegie Hall, Dance Concepts –NYC and was the Principal Instructor and Administrator for Arizona Dance Theatre (Ballet Arizona).  She has guest taught for Kiev Ukraine Ballet and the Palace of Pioneers in the former Soviet Union, in France and Mexico and continue to guest teach throughout the United States.  Under the direction of Ethan Stiefel, she has designed and conducted summer programs for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine, California.

As a choreographer, Ms. Cabana has produced numerous original works for Ballet Tucson, Ballet Tucson II and has staged dances for Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Burklyn Ballet Theatre.

Since beginning in 1986, she as established Ballet Arts Tucson, branch schools in Nogales, Sierra Vista and Patagonia, the annual Summer Dance Workshop in cooperation with UA School of Dance and international dance/cultural exchanges.  Ballet Tucson’s Artistic Director has also founded and fostered the development of Ballet Tucson (Tucson’s resident professional ballet company)and Ballet Tucson II (Tucson’s premiere youth ballet).  Ms. Cabana has been nominated for the Arizona Arts Award, for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tucson Pima Arts Council and identified as an Outstanding Individual Artist by the Governor of the State of Arizona.  In 2009, she was invited by New York City Ballet Director, Peter Martins, to attend the 75th Anniversary of the School of American Ballet and was recognized as one of the foremost teachers in the United States as part of National Teacher’s Weekend.

A talented costume and scenic designer in her own right, Ballet Tucson’s founder has been instrumental in the overall design of all productions.

Ms. Cabana brings her wealth of experience to dancers of all ages.  Her commitment to the cultivation of young talent continues as her students dance professionally in major American and European ballet companies and schools.

Assistant Artistic Director, Cheiko Imada
Chieko Imada is a native of Tokyo, Japan and received her early training there.  She danced professionally as a Soloist with Inoue Ballet of Tokyo and also served as Ballet Mistress.  She has worked closely with many of the past and current noted professionals of classical ballet and toured Western Europe performing the standard classical ballet repertoire.  She has also toured and performed in Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Upon arrival in the United States, Ms. Imada was offered a position with Arizona Dance Theatre in Tucson under the direction of Jean Paul Comelin and danced with that company until 1986.  When several companies merged (including ADT) to become Ballet Arizona in Phoenix, she continued her ballet career there.

Yearning to expand her horizons as an artist, Ms. Imada returned to Tucson and joined Ballet Arts Ensemble (now Ballet Tucson) as a Principal Dancer.  She also rejoined her former colleague from ADT, Mary Beth Cabana, to help develop Arizonas foremost classical ballet training institution Ballet Arts.  She was also appointed Assistant Artistic Director of Ballet Tucson.

Along with numerous professional ballet credits, she has appeared regularly with Orts Theatre of Dance and Tenth St. Danceworks modern troupes in Tucson.  She has been a guest artist in residence at the University of Nebraska and Grand Valley State University.

Over the years, she has been responsible for staging many classical ballets and has also created numerous original contemporary works on Ballet Tucson, enriching the companys repertoire.  A talented choreographer, Ms. Imada was nominated for the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award in 1996 and the Governors Arts Award in 1997.

She continues to be sought after as a guest teacher and choreographer.  She is the Director of Educational Outreach for Ballet Tucson.