The Toledo Ballet History

The Toledo Ballet was founded in 1939 by Marie Bollinger Vogt, originating at the Bach Conservatory near downtown Toledo. Throughout its78 year history, the Toledo Ballet has been a leader in the regional performing arts community by cultivating the love of dance through superb education, performance, and outreach. Toledo Ballet boasts the oldest continuously running annual Nutcracker in the entire country.

Older than both the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and the Toledo Opera, The Toledo Ballet provides the highest quality of instruction by a faculty that has trained with professional companies internationally. The school is led by Lisa Mayer Lang. Lisa is an ABT (American Ballet Theatre) Certified Instructor who danced professionally in New York City for 20 years and trained under the direction of some of the best ballet masters in the world. Michael has been the Resident Director and Choreographer for the Toledo Ballet since 2007 and draws from more than 30 years of training and a performing career that has taken him all over the world. Through their leadership and instruction, students are encouraged and nurtured to achieve the highest standards of artistic accomplishment through constant development in the pursuit of artistic excellence.

Moving from the Bach Conservatory to Cricket West in the 1960s, the Toledo Ballet moved to the Franklin Park Mall in 1980. In February 2015, the school moved to their brand new, state-of-the-art studio at 5327 Monroe Street in the Monroe Street Square Shopping Center, where they continue to offer a secure, welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere for families of aspiring young dancers who are seeking quality instruction and performance opportunities in a nurturing environment for their child or young adult. While its name says “Ballet,” Toledo Ballet offers an extensive contemporary division as well as a conditioning division and even musical theatre.


January 1, Marie Bollinger Vogt, Artistic Director Emerita, founded the Toledo Ballet Company, originating at the Bach Conservatory near downtown Toledo, Ohio.
Toledo Ballet Company performs excerpts of “The Nutcracker.”
Toledo Ballet Association was founded to support the Toledo Ballet Company.
Toledo Ballet School moves to independent site, with 2 studios at Cricket West Shopping Plaza in West Toledo.
Toledo Ballet began the tradition of its then-groundbreaking Friday Student Performance of “The Nutcracker.”
Toledo Ballet School moves to larger facility with 3 studios at Franklin Park Mall in West Toledo.
Mrs. Vogt retired as Artistic Director of the Toledo Ballet Association. That year, The Toledo Ballet Association purchased the ballet school from Mrs. Vogt and it became part of the non-profit Toledo Ballet Association.
Nigel Burgoine is appointed Artistic Director.
Toledo Ballet co-presents visiting internationally touring dance companies with Valentine Theatre.
TBA presents “Open Door to Dance” in Northwest Ohio Schools.
First Steps, a dance education program for kindergarteners linking dance and literature is presented in area Title I-funded schools.
Toledo Ballet alumna and Broadway veteran Lisa Mayer is appointed School Director.
Adaptive Dance classes at Toledo Ballet studios for youth with Down syndrome.
Catholic Club Summer Musical Theatre Camp
Premier, “Museum of Dreams” by Resident Director/Choreographer Michael Lang.
Premier, “If These Walls Could Dance” by Resident Director/Choreographer Michael Lang.
Movement classes for adults with developmental disabilities 2012 - present; Second Chance Dance classes for youth at-risk for human trafficking 2013.
New “Nutcracker” set debuts, based on Toledo’s Wildwood Park Manor House.
IBC Dance after-school program for at-risk youth at International Boxing Club.
Premier, “From Heart to Quill” by Resident Director/Choreographer Michael Lang 2014-Present: School Director Lisa Mayer named Artistic Director.
Move to new location with 4 studios and on-site set and costume storage, at 5327 Monroe Street in the Monroe Street Square Shopping Center in West Toledo.
Premier, “Alice in Wonderland” by Resident Director/Choreographer Michael Lang.
Marie Vogt awarded Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts in the category of Arts Administration for lifetime achievement and influence in American ballet, through her history with “The Nutcracker.”
Premier, “Degas and the Dance,” major exhibit of international works by artist Edgar Degas and archival images, costumes, memorabilia and live rehearsals of Toledo Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” presented by Toledo Museum of Art in celebration of Toledo Ballet’s “75th Anniversary Nutcracker.”
“75th Anniversary Nutcracker” (the longest running annual production of “Nutcracker” in the US), with the inclusion of some original choreography by Founder and Artistic Director Emerita Marie Vogt, and a special tribute to Toledo Ballet Alumni 2016: Free public performance of “Awkward Girl” (from “Museum of Dreams”) at Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, as conclusion of “Degas and the Dance” performance opportunities.
“Rite of Spring” by Lang, in collaboration with Toledo Symphony.
Premier, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by Resident Director/Choreographer Lang.
Toledo Ballet
Return to top