EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Patricia Cantwell oversees all aspects of the program, including building the
entire dance curriculum, assigning teachers, and planning performances. As alumni of the School of American Ballet, she was the principal dancer of Charleston Ballet Theatre and the Savannah Ballet. “Miss Patty” teaches the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the school.
After an illustrious performing career, principal dancing roles in Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet, Patricia, with her husband Don spearheaded the creation of the professional company of Charleston Ballet Theatre in 1987. In her role as Executive Artistic Director of South Carolina's World Class Professional Ballet Company, she has recruited many outstanding dancers, expanded the repertoire to include the finest in classical and contemporary ballet, and created some remarkable productions that have garnered fantastic acclaim. Mrs. Cantwell has been called one of the most articulate voices in the dance world.
Mrs. Cantwell came to Charleston from the Savannah Ballet, where she danced as the principal ballerina, a position she also held with Southern Ballet. She began her training with the Atlanta Ballet and the Southern Ballet. Under a full scholarship, she trained as a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet in New York under George Balanchine, Artistic Director of NYCB. Balanchine found Patricia dancing at a SERBA Dance Festival when she was 13 years old. She retired from the stage 1988 after performing the principal ballerina roles in the entire Charleston Ballet Theatre repertoire. She is the former Board Chairman of the South East Regional Ballet Association and has served on the Board of Directors of Regional Dance America, and the National Association of Regional Ballet in New York.
As co-director of the CBT Center for Dance which teaches children and career track pre-professional dancers from age 3 and up. She has created a highly successful summer workshop, which draws students from Charleston from as far away as Taiwan.
It is Patricia Cantwell's hope that she continues to guide Charleston Ballet's development in a way that involves and enriches the Southeast with excellent and innovative performances and dance education