History of Regional Dance America / MidStates
On April 14-15, 1972, Tom Steinhoff of the Kansas City Civic Ballet (now Kansas City Ballet) hosted the first Regional Dance Festival in the MidStates. Initial companies included Christopher Ballet, DuPage Ballet, Kalamazoo Junior Ballet, Suburban Concert Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Harbinger of Detroit, St. Joseph Modern Dance Theatre, Jordan Dance Theatre, Wisconsin Ballet, Dieman-Bennett Dance Theatre of the Hemispheres, Omaha Ballet, and St. Louis Dance Theatre. These companies from eleven neighboring states gathered at the Festival to take classes, audition, and perform at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Music Hall.
The MidStates Region came into being at an exciting time in the regional dance movement. It joined with the four other Regional Dance organizations in 1973, and the National Association for Regional Ballet (NARB) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The National Endowment for the Arts recognized the work of NARB in providing an ambience for America’s decentralized dance companies and awarded NARB its first major grant. A New York office was opened with Doris Hering as the first executive director, whose efforts fostered the growth of many national initiatives. NARB helped bolster the growth and development of the MidStates regional organization.