COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Founder and Director of the Colorado Ballet Society, Patricia Hoffman, is retiring after 24 years of service.
Colorado Springs residents Matt and Lisa Walsh bought the company’s Briargate and Falcon locations and have now placed Dex Honea as the new executive director and principal of the school and Kate Walsh Honea as artistic director and director of the Ballerina store.
During her tenure as a director, Hoffman initiated numerous educational programs for young people of all ages, directed and produced over 134 productions, created A Colorado Nutcracker, and much more.
Matt Walsh said, “I want to congratulate Patty Hoffman and her daughter Caitlin Hopwood. They
have built an amazing operation. In the 24 years of doing this, it’s pretty amazing to think of
the thousands of young children whose lives they touched and changed.
The company has been in existence since 1997, starting with a small dance studio in the Black Forest community center, with two instructors for twenty-six students. It has now evolved into a Briargate facility comprising six teaching and rehearsal studios as well as a Falcon studio within Peak Gymnastics and Fitness.
Many alumni began their dancing careers with famous companies such as the American Ballet Theater, English National Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and Czech National Ballet.
The Society’s new leaders were former instructors for the Colorado Ballet Society’s masters courses and summer programs, and in recent years they have both played the roles of Nikolai Tesla and the Sugar Fairy. Plum in A Colorado Nutcracker.
Mr. Honea has danced for fifteen years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Eugene Ballet Company and the Sarasota Ballet. He also has many years of teaching experience, having founded the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance at the Sarasota Ballet School.
“I try to make my lessons fun, but I set expectations for students to instill in them the standard of high quality dance instruction,” Honea said. “I plan to develop a men’s program at the Colorado Ballet Society, starting with a no two to classify.”
Ms. Walsh Honea has danced with the Sarasota Ballet for 19 seasons, holding the titles of Principal Dancer and Assistant Ballet Mistress. She also has years of experience teaching ballet, having choreographed four works for the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Ballet School and more.
Ms. Walsh Honea said: “I am so blessed that my career has given me so many amazing opportunities that have helped me prepare for this moment. I also feel lucky that we have built a relationship with Patty, Caitlin and the students. I look forward to continuing to develop this relationship with the Colorado Springs community.
The company has been voted “Best in the Springs” for 8 years, having received four Pikes Peak Arts Council awards and one Arts / Business / Education Consortium award for its Dancer for a Day program.
To learn more about the Colorado Ballet Society, please visit their website.