First State Ballet Theatre

Delaware's Professional Ballet Company

First State Ballet Theatre, Delaware’s professional ballet company, presents full length ballets and mixed-repertory programs throughout the state, commissions new choreography from internationally renowned choreographers, offers performing opportunities to aspiring dancers, and educates the Delaware dance audience of the future.

Headquartered in Wilmington's beautiful and historic Grand Opera House, First State Ballet Theatre performs under the artistic direction of Kirov-trained Pasha Kambalov.



Joan Beatson
Director of the School

Joan Beatson is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and started her dance training at age five. Joan graduated cum laude from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN with a B.A. in Dance. She later studied in New York with Michael Vernon, Ann Reinking, David Howard and Peff Modelski, among others.

Joan joined the FSBT faculty in 2010 and also serves as a ballet mistress and company teacher.
Joan is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is a three-time recipient of the Delaware Division of the Arts Opportunity Grant to attend the Teacher’s Workshop at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA and teacher training at American Ballet Theatre. Joan is devoted to cultivating the love and appreciation of the art of ballet in all her students. 

Students of FSBT have been accepted at the JKO School of American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet Academy, Kirov Academy, Harid Conservatory, Boston Ballet School and Ellison Ballet, as well as many summer programs, including American Ballet Theatre (NYC), the School of American Ballet, Kirov Academy, Ballet West, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Houston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. FSBT graduates have gone on to dance professionally with Festival Ballet Providence, Milwaukee Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Universal Ballet, Ballet du Capitole, Tulsa Ballet and First State Ballet Theatre. FSBT graduates have been accepted to Princeton University, Duke University, NYU, Boston College, and Barnard College, among many others.

Joan also has over 20 years of experience in non-profit administration and has worked at many local non-profits, including the Delaware Theatre Company, the Music School of Delaware, and most recently as Director of Development at Wilmington Montessori School. 



Get Involved

The generosity of our volunteers and donors is fundamental in sustaining and growing ballet in the Delaware region. 

For volunteer opportunities, contact us. 

Learn More

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