History of Regional Dance America / Pacific
On May 28-29, 1966 the Sacramento Civic Ballet (now Sacramento Ballet), directed by Barbara and Deane Crockett, hosted the first Pacific Regional Festival in Sacramento, CA. Doris Hering served as the first adjudicator. Initial companies included Ballet Classique Concert Group of Eugene, Dorothy Fisher Concert Group of Seattle, Cairns Dance Group of Tacoma, Olympia Ballet Company, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Marin Civic Ballet, Ballet Arts of Alameda, Theatre Ballet Repertoire Group of Idaho Falls, Pomona Valley Jr. Ballet, Pasadena Dance Theatre, Whittier Civic Ballet, and Laguna Beach Civic Ballet. The Pacific Regional Ballet Association came into being.
In 1973 the National Association for Regional Ballet (NARB) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization with Doris Hering as its first executive director. NARB together the efforts of the Regional Dance associations from coast to coast. In the beginning, there were perhaps thirty-five local or civic companies spread throughout the United States, which existed in great isolation. The regional movement created opportunity for companies who were committed to standards and the festival experience to locate and connect with other like-minded companies. NARB produced an enormous impact on dance decentralization in the United States and played a significant role in the development of renowned professional companies such as Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Utah Regional Ballet, and Central West Ballet in the Pacific area.
Lila Zali served an eleven-year term as the president of the Pacific Region. During Ms . Zali’s tenure, the Pacific Region’s dancers and directors were encouraged to attend the Craft of Choreography Conference (now RDA’s National Choreography Intensive), which had been founded by Josephine Schwartz to encourage the development of original choreographic works. Doris Hering was a guiding force in implementing the Conference.
The fourth RDA National Festival took place in Phoenix, AZ in May of 2017. A renewal of membership in the Pacific Region is underway as Regional Dance America rebuilds a brand new Pacific Region in its 2021-2022 year.