COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– Founder and director of the Colorado Ballet Society Patricia Hoffman is now retiring after 24 years of service.
Matt and Lisa Walsh, Colorado Springs residents, purchased the Briargate and Falcon locations of the society and have now placed Dex Honea as the new executive director and school director and Kate Walsh Honea as artistic director and manager of the Ballerina Boutique.
During her time as director, Hoffman launched many educational programs for youth of all ages, set 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 is pretty amazing to think about
the thousands of young kids whose lives they have touched and changed.”
The society has been in operation since 1997, beginning as a small dance studio in the Black Forest Community center, with two instructors for twenty-six students. It has now blossomed into a Briargate facility featuring six teaching and rehearsal studios as well as a Falcon studio within Peak Gymnastics and Fitness.
Many former students have taken off in their dancing careers to celebrated companies like the American Ballet Theatre, the English National Ballet, the Colorado Ballet and the Czech National Ballet.
The new leaders of the Society were former instructors for Masters classes and summer programs at the Colorado Ballet Society and over the past few years, have both performed in the roles of Nikolai Tesla and the Sugar Plum Fairy in A Colorado Nutcracker.
Mr. Honea danced for fifteen years with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, Eugene Ballet Company and the Sarasota Ballet. He has many years of teaching experience as well, having founded the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance at the Sarasota Ballet School.
“I try to make my classes fun but I do set expectations for the students to instill the standard for high-quality dance education,” Honea said. “I do plan to develop a men’s program at Colorado Ballet Society, starting with a pas de deux class.”
Mrs. 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 ballet teaching experience having choreographed four works for the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Ballet School, and much more.
Mrs. Walsh Honea said, “I’m so blessed that my career gave me so many incredible opportunities that helped prepare me for this moment. I also feel lucky that we built a relationship with Patty, Caitlin, and the students. I can’t wait to keep building upon that relationship with the Colorado Springs community.”
The Society has been voted “Best in the Springs” for 8 years, having received four Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards and an Arts/Business/Education Consortium Award for their Dancer for a Day program.
To learn more about the Colorado Ballet Society, please visit their website.