Gwinnett Ballet Theatre was founded in 1977 by Lynn Snipes, becoming the first performing non-profit organization in Gwinnett County. The original mission continues: to provide local dancers with the training and performing experience necessary for a professional dance career while serving the community with entertainment, outreach, and education. During the decades that followed GBT was led by several other artistic directors including Lisa Sheppard Robinson who nurtured GBT for 15 years, Wade Walthall and Angela Harris. GBT produced many dancers who became notable professionals around the world, including Princess Grace Award winner, Alessandra James (Charlotte Ballet), Jessica Collado (Houston Ballet) among many others dancing across the country.
In 2020, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre and Sugarloaf Youth Ballet forged a partnership. The two prestigious organizations joined forces in February 2020 to create a premier dance studio that brings opportunities for professional dancers and students who aspire to perform at the highest levels. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Lori Zamzow-Wire, GBT transitioned into a professional ballet company offering paid company contracts and a full performing season.
The Gwinnett Ballet Theatre performance season includes three major productions each year performed at the Infinite Energy Theatre in Duluth, GA. GBT’s most popular performance and holiday gift to the community is The Nutcracker. In 2021, GBT will mark our 40th annual production of The Nutcracker! Our Nutcracker is the second largest production of this holiday classic in the Northeast Georgia/Metro Atlanta area, offering 16 performances over 3 weekends in December, reaching over 12,000 audience members annually!
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre and the Sugarloaf Youth Ballet are based at the Sugarloaf Performing Arts Center in Suwanee. It is the largest location for dance instruction in Gwinnett County and features a dance instruction school, youth ballet company, daytime ballet conservatory and professional ensemble.