Indiana Youth Ballet

nurturing today's aspiring young dancers

The vision of creating a professional youth ballet company began more than fifteen years ago as a dream of Elizabeth Bathurst, Artistic Director of Indiana Youth Ballet. She has been a ballet instructor for over thirty years and has had scores of students selected to perform in various ballet productions throughout Chicagoland. The most prestigious of these was the Chicago Tribune Charities Ruth Page production of The Nutcracker. It presented over fifty of Ms. Bathurst’s students during its renowned productions at the Arie Crown Theatre. Ms. Bathurst’s students have performed many of the leading children’s roles, including Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. In fact, even Ms. Bathurst’s own sons have been cast members in this famous production.

Fall of 1996 was Indiana Youth Ballet’s debut of its first annual production of The Nutcracker. The company was graced with the talent of Meredith Benson, a principal dancer with both Ballet Chicago and The Joffrey Ballet. Since the initial production, The Nutcracker has been expanded and refined to include over 200 youthful dancers from over twenty-five area dance studios. For many years since our 1998 production, audiences were delighted by special appearances made by the principal dancers from the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet, Jennifer Goodman and Michael Anderson during our weekend performances.

Spring of 1997 marked Indiana Youth Ballet’s first production of Peter Pan. The fun and excitement led to expanded productions in the years to follow. The current show includes over 100 dancers from Northwest Indiana and Illinois, and is complete with exquisite costumes, exciting choreography, beautiful scenery, and of course, Peter Pan!

To date, IYB's productions of The Nutcracker and Peter Pan have been viewed by over 75,000 delighted audience members. Our sold-out school shows have been embraced by every school district in NW Indiana and even a few in Illinois.

To further IYB's commitment to spreading the art of ballet with our audience-friendly productions, Ms. Bathurst has decided to concentrate solely on the performance aspect of ballet. IYB will be moving forward as a performance company, with its focus being directed at the region's youth, encouraging them to both participate and view this wonderful art form of ballet.