Midstate Ballet


A pre-professional youth ballet company since 1982


The Midstate Ballet, under the direction of Lori Garling with Lauren Yentzer as Ballet Mistress, provides both technical and performance training to aspiring dancers. Most members study a variety of styles in order to gain skills and proficiency. Most youth ballet dancers are also college-bound or wish to pursue professional careers. Performance Training through Midstate Ballet membership develops the versatility in dancers that is needed to excel at leading universities and with professional choreographers and companies.

Our emphasis is on excellence and in creating and sharing dance as art. There are numerous performance opportunities for talented, motivated, select dancers. The company hosts countless workshops and master classes with many of the world’s most respected names in dance.

Members of the company perform extensively and are dedicated to the highest standards of their art. Dancers become eligible for membership to the Midstate Ballet after attaining a specified level of dedication. There are a minimum number of Ballet classes required, depending upon level. Dancers who take the full schedule for their level and agree to the requirements are eligible to perform.

In addition to the June Show, dancers are awarded additional performance opportunities such as participation in the Nutcracker Ballet at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts. Dancers in the upper levels are eligible to work with internationally known choreographers who visit often. This program is dedicated to the serious dancer to be trained both as an artist and an athlete.

Choreographic & Artistic Residencies

Guest Artist and choreographer, Peter Merz, is pictured below with members of the Midstate Ballet during Summer Intensive. He has choreographed many pieces for the company. Mr. Merz has moved on to Salt Lake City to serve as Academy Director of Ballet West.


Our dancers have worked with many other professional choreographers including Cynthia Ridler (also pictured above), who set a children’s story ballet. Other visits included the Artistic Director and dancers from River North Chicago who held classes including an audition class where four Midstate Ballet dancers were awarded scholarships to their summer intensive. There are endless opportunities for the benefit of dancers.