Ketchikan Theatre Ballet's beginnings trace back to the fall of 1961 when Virginia Klepser, a college graduate with a business degree and a graduate of the Novikoff School of Ballet, was in need of a Ketchikan career. She founded Virginia's School of Ballet with 35 paying students, and a mission to "teach more than dance to balance recreational dance with serious dance study". She successfully founded a school that continues to teach dance, discipline, organizational skills and positive self-image. In 1968 Mrs. Klepser recognized the need for her advanced students to have more performing opportunities. Ketchikan Theatre Ballet, a non-profit performing company, was formed with Mrs. Klepser as Artistic Director and a Board of Directors to oversee operations and raising funds to support the company. Upon her retirement in 1980, Mrs. Klepser sold the dance school to the non-profit Board of Directors therein becoming Ketchikan Theatre Ballet 1984 saw the studio struggling financially and trying to find an Artistic Director with a dedication to the original mission of KTB and the community of Ketchikan. The Board of Directors eventually hired former student Marguerite Auger, who had trained in New York City and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. As the new Artistic Director, Auger brought her enthusiasm and dedication back to her hometown and to Ketchikan Theatre Ballet With Auger's dedication and guidance over the last two decades, Ketchikan Theatre Ballet has grown to three dance studios, over 225 students, four instructors, a business manager, a development director and an office assistant. The dance faculty teaches creative movement, ballet, jazz and tap to students of all ages, six days a week, with an average of 100 students taking class each day. Aside from making great strides in its classrooms, KTB works closely with other community arts organizations and dance schools in Southeast Alaska. KTB, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council and First City Players are dedicated to seeing an arts center housing all three organizations, enabling them to share space and resources. KAAHC and KTB work closely to bring professional dance companies to Ketchikan to perform and give master classes to dancers in the community. As a part of the community wide Festival of the North each February, An Evening of Dance features our performance company dancers and has included dance companies from other southeast communities. Our annual Spring Gala performance in May showcases all of our school's dancers, ages 4 through 18, giving each KTB dancer a chance to shine. Our most popular performance is our presentation of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker, performed each December featuring our mid- to upper-level dancers and members of the community.