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With a history spanning over half a century, Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute is an acclaimed arts leader in our state, our region and in the nation.

Our Mission: Dance That Dares

The mission of Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute is to create masterful and provocative dance performances which entertain and inspire audiences, and to foster talent by providing a comprehensive classical and contemporary training curriculum focused on the technical and artistic demands of a professional dance career.

Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute remains one of Minnesota’s cultural treasures with an eclectic international voice.

“Being aware of our changing environment without losing the richness of the past we can incorporate and integrate into our program the worthwhile moments of movement that can change the visible world of dance … the art we serve and love.”   – Loyce Houlton, Founder of Minnesota Dance Theatre

Performing Company & Dance School Partnership

Since its inception, MDT has insisted upon the partnership of a professional performing company and a dance school – that there would not be one without the other.

Our faculty is dedicated to providing the guidance and experience that shape the performer both technically and artistically – not only to become professional dancers, but to develop the confidence and discipline in pursuing all life goals. In 2006, the School of Minnesota Dance Theatre and Ballet Arts Minnesota merged, with the newly formed organization being named Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute. MDT/DI is a place where professionals and students work together to share in the goals and accomplishments of this extraordinary art form.

Celebrating the Next 50 Years

In 1962, Loyce Houlton, one of the first American women to gain international recognition as a choreographer, teacher and producer, founded Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT). In doing this she embarked on an artistic journey that would change the Twin Cities’ artistic landscape and have a lasting impact on the world of dance. Under her direction, MDT began drawing attention for the beauty, energy and daring aesthetics of her work. National recognition for its innovative performances helped established MDT as the flagship dance company in Minnesota.

In 1995, Lise Houlton was appointed artistic director, having recently retired from an acclaimed international performing career that included Stuttgart Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

See our 50 Years of History page for more information.

Our Board of Directors

Ann Cazaban, Peter Graham, Andrew Houlton, Lise Houlton, Pierce McNally, Annie Pacieznik