DanceWest Ballet was founded in 1990 by professional dancers Ricardo Moyano, formerly of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Chicago Ballet and Regina Helmer Moyano, formerly of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and San Diego Ballet. In 1994, the company received its not-for-profit status.
Included in its repertoire are a variety of classical ballet, jazz and contemporary pieces. This affords the dancers the opportunity to become proficient in more than one dance style. Graduates of The School of DanceWest Ballet and the Company have gone on to join professional dance companies throughout the U.S.
In May of 1996, DanceWest Ballet was accepted into the Regional Dance America organization as an Intern Company. Regional Dance America is a national organization of pre-professional ballet companies. After participating for one year as an Intern Company, DWB was awarded Performing Company status. In 2000 DanceWest Ballet received Honor Company status; the highest honor for a Regional Dance America member company.
In May 2002, DanceWest Ballet hosted the Regional Dance America MidStates Festival. This was the first time the festival has been held in Naperville, IL. Over 600 dancers, teachers, and choreographers attended the festival. Three days of classes and scholarship auditions were held. Three evenings of performances by members of the MidStates companies were presented at Pfeiffer Hall on the campus of North Central College in Naperville.
Each spring the company performs several works from its extensive repertoire at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville.
In the past, DanceWest Ballet has performed benefit concerts for DuPage PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). Contributions to PADS, which provides shelter for the homeless, have totaled in excess of $5,000. Other PADS benefits have included former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal dancers, Tamar Rachelle and Ernest Tolentino and Greg Begley, formerly of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Throughout the year, the company visits public schools in the area providing lecture demonstrations and performing excerpts from the repertoire.
The purpose of DanceWest Ballet is to provide a well rounded dance education to young dancers through professional training and exposure to guest artists, who bring inspiration to the dancers. To enhance their growth in discipline, poise, skill and creativity, DanceWest provides the opportunity for accomplished students to present professional quality performances to audiences in the western suburbs. It is the goal of the directors to encourage their students to enjoy and respect the art of dance, celebrating the human body’s ability to transcend feelings and emotions into dance form.