EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Patricia Cantwell oversees all aspects of the program , including building the entire dance curriculum, assigning teachers, and planning performances.
As an alumni of the School of American Ballet, she was principal dancer of Charleston Ballet Theatre and the Savannah Ballet. “Miss Patty” teaches the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the school.
After an illustrious performing career, dancing principal roles in Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet, Patricia, with herhusband Don spearheaded the creation of the professional company of
Charleston Ballet Theatre in 1987. In her role as Executive Artistic Director of South Carolina’s World Class Professional Ballet Company she has recruited many outstanding dancers, expanded the repertoire to include the finest in classical and contemporary ballet, and created a number of remarkable productions that have garnered fantastic acclaim. Mrs. Cantwell has been called one of the most articulate voices in the dance world.
Mrs. Cantwell came to Charleston from the Savannah Ballet, where she danced as principal ballerina, a position she also held with Southern Ballet. She began her training with the Atlanta Ballet and the Southern Ballet. Under a full scholarship, she trained at the School of American Ballet in New York under George Balanchine, Artistic Director of NYCB. Balanchine found Patricia dancing at a SERBA Dance Festival when she was 13 years old. She retired from the stagein 1988 after performing the principal ballerina roles in the entire Charleston Ballet Theatre repertoire. She is the former Board Chairman of the South East Regional Ballet Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of Regional Dance America, and the National Association of Regional Ballet in New York .
As co-director of the CBT Center for Dance Education, which teaches children and careertrack pre-professional dancers from age 3 and up. She has created an extremely successful summer workshop, which draws students Charleston from as far away as Taiwan. It is Patricia Cantwell’s hope that she continues to guide Charleston Ballet Theatre’s development in a way that involves and enriches the Southeast with excellent and innovative performances and dance education