Katie Smythe 
Member since May 21, 2011

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Visit newballet.org Katie Smythe is a native Memphian, she began her training at home,then went on to study abroad at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and as a member of the Banff Centre Master Class in Canada. Smythe began her professional career with the Minnesota Dance Theatre, performing in works by both Loyce Houlton and George Balanchine. Introduced to public school-based performances while touring with young audiences, she developed a passion for taking dance into schools, later designing programming for school tours in Los Angeles and New York City. Returning to her hometown of Memphis in 1997, she recognized the disparity in access to quality dance education between children from poverty and their more affluent peers and in 2003 founded New Ballet Ensemble & School to not only offer high quality access to all young dancers regardless of their ability to pay but to raise professional and college-ready dancers. Ms. Smythe has since then served on the boards of the Memphis Levitt Pavilion, the Salvation Army Kroc Center, the City of Memphis Youth Guidance Commission, and has be recently elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the Tennessee Association of Dance. This season, she participated by invitation in the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College, the National Teachers’ Weekend at the School of American Ballet and the National Summit on Creative Youth Development: a partnership between the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Due to her work with Title 1 schools, the residencies at Dunbar Elementary and Belle Forest Community School, and design of need-based dance scholarships NBE has been named a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

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