Hello Friends!

Ballet Kalamazoo is a youth ballet company in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ballet Kalamazoo focuses on teaching a high standard of classical ballet technique.

Together, we create a positive, fun and healthy atmosphere to learn dance. Ballet Kalamazoo's goal is to mentor young people of all ages to be beautiful dancers who are grounded with solid values and personal integrity.

Through our commitment to family-friendly programming, age appropriate costumes, and music, we provide an environment that will inspire and empower, leading to the consistent achievement of goals. 


Photo of Ballet Kalamazoo dancers by Picking Photography


At Ballet Kalamazoo, you are gaining so much more than ballet lessons. You are joining the previous generations of ballet dancers  

that have passed on their knowledge to continue to uphold and evolve the tradition that is the art form of Classical Ballet.

You are building strength, grace, confidence, discipline, balance, focus, spatial awareness, musicality, artistry, and flexibility.

You will learn of the great composers and dance the gift of classical ballets.

You experience the importance of working as a team and upholding your responsibilities. You feel the heart-bursting moment of leaping across the floor next to your best friends and on stage, you will always have the feeling of knowing you have someone on your side.

You discover your unique gifts that are nurtured, supported, and developed for success whether you are striving towards a career in dance or becoming something else. You learn from incredible teachers coming together to work with you each day to build your technique while focusing on bringing out the best in you. We will be with you through every plie, tendu, and pirouette, through the blood, sweat, and tears, through the celebrations of achievement of goals and making a plan towards them.

You will be empowered to share your unique, creative ideas and your voices. You will be YOU. You will discover what you are capable of beyond expectations. We will be there and cheer you on once you spread your wings to your next chapter. Ballet provides you with the tools you need

for success in anything, you dream of doing.

And if your day is hard you can come to class knowing you will always have a safe, welcoming place to dance at Ballet Kalamazoo.


The Nutcracker Kalamazoo!

Saturday, December 3rd at 6:00 pm and Sunday, December 4th at 1:00 pm

Comstock Community Auditorium

See us dance through the streets of Downtown Kalamazoo in the Maple Hill Auto Group Holiday Parade on November 19th, 2022!


Join us for our Kalamazoo-inspired Nutcracker and make a new holiday tradition with your loved ones as we celebrate one of the most loved ballets!

Make your holidays magical by strolling through Kalamazoo’s renowned Candy Cane Lane, circa 1865. Follow Hattie’s magical journey with her Nutcracker Prince after her family’s first holiday party at the Kalamazoo House Downtown Kalamazoo!

Presented by Ballet Kalamazoo joined by Professional Guest Artists: Matthew Rusk as The Nutcracker Prince and Joseph VanHarn as The Cavalier to the Sugar Plum Fairy and with Special Guest Artists from Western Michigan University with WMU Dance Department and WMU Dance Team: Aliya VanTuinen, Lexi Rich, Sara Lambrecht, Ji Hae Yepa-Pappan and Jessica Thompson.

Tickets are $10-$20

Children 1 and under are lap child seat


Read about the Nutcracker Kalamazoo Story:

Come with Hattie and her family to share in their excitement as they host their first holiday party at their new home, The Kalamazoo House.

But wait! Who is this surprise guest with an enchanted gift for Hattie? And what a gift! A Nutcracker.

The party ends, and a magical night begins! Hattie sneaks down to get one more glimpse of her Nutcracker and falls asleep. When Hattie awakes, her Nutcracker is doing battle against an army of life-size mice led by their terrible 3-headed Mouse Queen. Just as the Mouse Queen is about to kill the Nutcracker, Hattie distracts her, empowering the Nutcracker to break the spell.

The spell is broken, and the Nutcracker unexpectedly transforms into a prince!

The Prince takes Hattie on a wondrous journey through the Magnificent Pines, full of Whitetail Deer. There, the Prince and Hattie encounter Michigan Snowflakes who carry them away to the Land of the Sweets.

As Hattie’s incredible night continues in the Land of the Sweets, they are greeted by extraordinary beings: the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy and her Sugar Plum Cavalier, the Dew Drop Fairy, Morning Doves, and Monarch Butterflies.

When the pair tell the Sugar Plum Fairy of their adventure, the Sugar Plum Fairy is struck by Hattie’s bravery and bestows gifts of Kalamazoo’s favorite sweets - Donuts, Blue Moon ice cream, Gingerbread, Candy Canes, and Lollipops.

The enchanted evening begins to wane as Apple Blossom flowers dance around Hattie and her prince. As dawn approaches, the Sugar Plum Fairy tells Hattie she must return home. Hattie does not want to go until she and the Prince dance one final dance together.

The Sugar Plum’s final gift to Hattie is the story of what will come - the vibrant future of Kalamazoo, along with the key to The Land of the Sweets.

Hattie wakes up next to her Nutcracker. Was her magical night of adventure and friendship only a dream?

But then, under her pillow, Hattie finds the key to The Land of Sweets! Hattie falls into a contented slumber again knowing she can return to The Land of the Sweets anytime she wishes! 


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Classical Ballet Classes

Dance Lessons for dancers

ages 3-18yrs


Ballet Conservatory

For the more serious dancers

ages 8-18yrs


Kalamazoo Youth Ballet Company + The Dancer Collective

Kalamazoo Youth Ballet Company for dancers ages 9-18yrs

and online store

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Emerging Artist Mentorship Program

Apprentice Instructor Program and a platform to choreograph new works ages 18+


Youth America Grand Prix Training

Train to experience dancing in the prestigious ballet competition


Ballet Performances

From The Nutcracker, Fairytale Ballets and the Ballet Classics


Private Lessons

Take your ballet training to the next level through focused, customized one-on-one lessons


Join us for our 2022/2023 Season of Dance!


Important Dates:

Semester 1: September 5th - January 28th

Semester 2: January 30th - May 25th

August 29th: Kalamazoo Youth Ballet Meeting for Levels 3-5 at 6:00pm

August 30th & 31st: The Nutcracker Kalamazoo Auditions for Kalamazoo Youth Ballet at 6:00pm.

Dancers only need to attend one of the audition dates. Please note: Dancers ages 3-8yrs can sign up to participate in the first week of class. Must be able to attend rehearsal on November 26th.

Thanksgiving Break: November 23rd - 26th unless participating in the Nutcracker Kalamazoo. *November 26th is a required rehearsal date. 


The Nutcracker Kalamazoo ~ December 3rd (Sat) and 4th (Sun), 2022. 

*Tech/Dress rehearsals December 1st and 2nd at Comstock Community Auditorium. 


December 5th-17th: Review weeks of the syllabus and Dancer Mid-Year Evaluations.  


Winter Break: December 20th -January 7th, 2022


Spring Break: March 27th - April 1st,  2023

Snow White ~ A Fairytale Ballet: (Sat) May 20th and (Sun) 21st, 2023. 

*Tech rehearsals May 18th and 19th, 2023 at Comstock Community Auditorium


Dancer Evaluation Exams: May 22nd -25th, 2023

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"Our oldest daughter began dancing with Amy Russell four years ago. I was looking for a studio that would teach technique in an age appropriate way without filling most of the class with games that did not support the training. Now, all three of my daughters (ages 8, 6, and 4) learn from Amy and I could not be more pleased with the training they receive. Amy treats each dancer, three years old through her oldest students, as full-of-potential ballerinas. Her classes are fun, but each activity is chosen wisely and supports the student in learning proper technique.

Above and beyond the excellent content and teaching, Amy sets a tone with her students to be encouragers of others, to support their fellow dancers, and to grow their hearts. I feel so grateful for my daughters to have her as a role model in their lives.

Ballet Kalamazoo events and productions are flawlessly tasteful and creative.  The recital format of performing a ballet as a company allows each dancer to shine and learn to contribute to a greater goal.

My daughters are all so different, and Amy (and the teachers she hires), brings out the best in each of them. I love that she has grown the company so that there are options for dancers who wish to be more serious and engage in more training, but that each dancer is so valued for the individual goals he or she has.  Each year, Ballet Kalamazoo grows in such positive directions and I am always excited to see what’s next!"