Who’s Who At The Ballet – In The Office


The backbone of all dance companies consists of a team of arts administrators. This team works together to keep everything running smoothly. From the accountant to the company director, each job allows students, dancers, and instructors to fulfill their passion of dance. In many companies the administrative employees are responsible for multiple departments to help keep costs down.


How did you hear about the show, class, or company? By the artwork and creativity of the companies marketing department. Ads, flyers, logo wear, website, social media, and blogs are just a few of the items the marketing department creates to spread the word about their company. 

Operations Manager:

The operation manager is responsible for coordinating tours, performance schedules, and helps with the company’s needs. They make sure all the dancers get their per diem, have pointe shoes, arraigns their transportation, and special appearances. They are the liaison to make sure everyones needs are covered and people are in the right place at the right time.


The development department keeps new and current customers excite about the company. They are a creative bunch that feverishly writes grants, plans fundraising events, and seeks out fans (donors) to donate, ultimately keeping the company alive and allowing the artist to be creative. 


This department is not only good at math, but they strategically budget the income and expenses for the entire company. They make sure everyone gets paid and that company can thrive even in a tough economy. 

Facility Manager:

From the ceiling to the floor the facility manager has got you covered. They make sure everything is safe, electronics are functioning properly, and the building is clean. 

Public Relations:

This branch of the arts administration team is responsible for communicating with the public. They informing the public about the companies upcoming events by write press releases or giving interviews. Every time you see an news article or catch a dance company on the evening news, you’ll know the PR team was doing their job!

Company Director:

Like a lot of responsibility? The company director oversees everyone in the administrative branch to make sure they are fulfilling the goals and mission of the company set by the executive director and artistic director. This person must be a good listener, able to communicate clearly, and make some tough decisions.

Take it from me, even though working in arts administration is a ton of work, being a part of making a dance company successful is quite rewarding… even if you’re not dancing on stage 🙂

Who’s Who in a Ballet Company – Inside the Studio

Artistic Director:

The artistic director of a ballet company is the official dreamer. It’s their job to create, shape, and lead a company. Many artistic directors find their time split between working with the dancers and in the office. They make sure the whole company is staying focused and continuing to achieve their goals. You might not see the artistic director. However, you will be surrounded by the world they created every time you set foot in the studio or theatre.


Ballet Mistress / Master:

The ballet mistress (female) or master (male) is the artistic director’s right hand in the studio. They are responsible for maintaining the artistic director’s standards, and pushing the dancers to a higher level physically and professionally. You will find the ballet mistress / master in the studio teaching classes and rehearsing the company.

New York City Ballet Principal dancers Ashley Bouder and Jonathan Stafford. Photo by Paul Kolnik.


The highest ranking dancers in a company are the principles. Dancers given this title have worked hard, proved their dedication, and  shown a high level of artistry. Principals are given the leading roles in ballets where they are highlighted in solos or pas de deux.


New York City Ballet Soloists Ana Sophia Scheller and Adrian Danchig-Waring. Photo by Paul KolnikSoloists:


A soloist is a dancer that has been plucked from the corps de ballet. They are recognized for their talent and skill and are give a special position within the company. Soloists might not have the lead in a ballet, but their role as a supporting character is crucial to the story line in any ballet.



New York City Ballet Corps De Ballet. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Corps de Ballet:

The corps de ballet is the sole of a company. They are a group of dancers that move like one organism, setting the stage, and carrying the story from one scene to the next. With their acute attention to detail, these dancers move so precise, it’s hard to tell who is who when they perform.