The Ballet Lubbock
The Ballet Lubbock Company was formed with the goal to present quality ballet performances for the local community and provide advanced ballet students with the opportunity to prepare for a career in dance. It is the official company of the Ballet Lubbock School.
Ballet Lubbock is a 501(c)(3) educational, nonprofit organization. It was founded in 1969 by Suzanne Aker and has since grown into a successful ballet school.
More than 50 Ballet Lubbock alumni have gone on to professional dance careers and teaching posts in the U.S. and abroad. Ballet Lubbock is the only pre-professional school of classical ballet with a performing company in West Texas/Eastern New Mexico. Students from the school are consistently accepted to the nation’s top-ranked professional summer ballet programs and intensives.
The school provides scholarships to students showing artistic merit and financial need. Ballet Lubbock’s mission has always been to provide classical ballet training to students aged 3 through adults and to maintain a pre-professional performing company. Under the direction of Artistic Director Yvonne Racz, all classes are taught with an emphasis on strong discipline and proper technique.
Whether a student wishes to pursue a professional dance career or simply enjoy the beauty and challenge of dance, our ultimate goal is to nurture a love and respect for the art of dance. Ballet Lubbock fulfills its goals by being able to provide Lubbock and surrounding communities with a school of classical dance and community performances that provide an understanding and appreciation of dance as a vital art form.
Ballet Lubbock’s Founder, Suzanne Aker, served as their first Artistic Director and Choreographer. Ms. Aker holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art from Tulsa University, and has taught professionally for over 50 years. She holds Teacher Certification from the Royal Academy of Dance (England) and was instrumental in the creation of the Department of Dance at Texas Tech University.
Ms. Aker has been honored in many areas, including being named one of the Notable Women of Texas, the Chamber of Commerce Pathfinder Award, Who’s Who of America, Who’s Who of American Women, the National Dance Plaudit Award from National Dance Association and was the 9th person inducted into the Buddy Holly Hall of Fame. In 1998, Ms. Aker was honored as the first recipient of the Founders Award for Outstanding Service to Youth. Texas Tech University has presented Ms. Aker with its Certificate for Outstanding Choreography four times.
Choreography credits include Texas Tech Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Texas Tech Theatre, Lubbock High School and the Garza Theatre, Post. In addition to her dance accomplishments, Ms. Aker has contributed articles to Dance Magazine, national and state physical education journals, authored a children’s book “What Comes in Two’s, Three’s and Four’s”, and illustrated several children books.
One of only a few icon artists in the Southwest, Suzanne Aker’s icons hang in churches in the United States and abroad. She formally retired as an instructor and as the Director of Community Outreach Program for Ballet Lubbock in May of 2000.