NORTHWEST FLORIDA BALLET was founded in 1969 by dance pioneer Bernadette Clements Sims. The organization’s mission is to provide quality dance performances and instruction for Northwest Florida; identify and develop talented dancers; and increase appreciation of the arts through public education and outreach. The company has performed with such well-established companies as the Atlanta Ballet, the Miami Ballet and the Washington Ballet. Founder Bernadette Clements facilitated the formation of the Florida Dance Association.
NFB has produced many outstanding professional dancers and teachers who perform throughout the US and Europe. In 1995, Todd Eric Allen, former NFB student and native of Northwest Florida, returned to the area to accept the position of Artistic Director of the company after a distinguished career with Louisville Ballet, Boston Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
In August 2002 NFB moved into its new home in downtown Fort Walton Beach, the Sybil Smith Lebherz Center for Dance Education. The 13,000 sq. ft. facility provides much needed studio space, as well as room for costume and scenery building and storage.
Northwest Florida Ballet is a member of the Florida Dance Association.