The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet (SBFB) was founded in 1971 (then known as Goleta Civic Ballet) to provide challenging performance opportunities to the serious young dancer. The company is dedicated to the training, education, and mentorship of young artists, as well as serving as an outstanding source of cultural enrichment for the community. For 35 years, The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet has presented its hallmark annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to Santa Barbara audiences at the Arlington Theater. This production is unique: it remains the only live, fully orchestrated performance of The Nutcracker on the Central Coast. The chance to perform in The Nutcracker supplies an exceptional opportunity for young dancers to perform alongside seasoned professionals. Company members also have the opportunity to perform in our spring repertoire evening of classical and contemporary ballet and to appear in collaborative programs with other local organizations. Santa Barbara Festival Ballet participates with Regional Dance America Pacific, traveling to participate and perform in the festival each year. Younger students in the school perform both in the Nutcracker and the annual June recital.  

“Our daughter has benefitted from the supportive community and excellent teaching at Santa Barbara Festival Ballet since 2010. She has found a deep dedication and passion for ballet through the age appropriate and individualized instruction, as well as the many performance opportunities she receives there. Our SBFB “family” has been and continues to be a hugely important part of our life, and our daughter has developed strong and meaningful connections with her fellow dancers/friends.”

Karen Abraham