Minnesota Dance Theatre & School

A nonprofit organization

$10,996 raised by 60 donors

100% complete

$10,000 Goal

CELEBRATING 59 SEASONS, Minnesota Dance Theatre is thrilled to return to the stage and welcome you all to live and in-person performances.  We're delighted that both the MDT Company and School of young dancers are in the studio, daily, as they continue to train with dedication and commitment.  Your unwavering support has inspired us during the past year as we move forward with masterful and inspiring dance opportunities for ALL families in our community.  



The season began October 16 with the debut of two world premieres by brilliant choreographers: Munich based Alexander Hille and McKnight Dance Fellow Elayna Waxse.

 Click here to watch the Company rehearsing Mr. Hille's choreography to the the music of Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein


And now, our dancers are preparing for the return of a beloved MDT holiday favorite in December, Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy!

As a 501 (c)(3), we rely on the generosity of donors to sustain the financial commitments to our dancers, our students and our MDT home.  Let's come together and share engaging arts experiences for everyone in our world. 

We truly cannot do it without you!

About MDT Programs

MDT presents visionary work by established and emerging choreographers, provides professional dancers with contracted work at a livable wage, offers training in classical and contemporary dance forms, and makes performance and educational opportunities accessible to diverse communities.

Company members have a minimum thirty-week contract with health benefits and perform in at least four productions a year. These performances, made available to those in the Twin Cities region, feature dance works on the spectrum from classical to contemporary, including both groundbreaking new works and internationally recognized masterworks.

MDT also produces two masterworks annually: Carmina Burana, choreographed by MDT founder Loyce Houlton and reimagined by current MDT Artistic Director Lise Houlton; and Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy, which has established itself as a cultural treasure for Minnesota, having entertained 1.6 million people since its premiere in 1964.  

MDT has a school that offers one of the most comprehensive ballet training programs in the region and enrolls over 300 students annually. The school includes a Young Children’s Division, a tuition-free Boys Program, Performing Arts Division, and an Open Division for adults. The Performing Arts Division is a pre-professional program for ages eight to eighteen that operates on a parallel track with the company. A pianist accompanies each class from our beginning levels through adult classes, enhancing the learning experience with live music. The MDT school operates in partnership with the company, providing the next generation of dancers with high quality training, performance opportunities, and mentorship from company dancers.

 Continuing a commitment to making dance more accessible, MDT annually provides free tickets to organizations such as Project Success and maintains an outreach program, CAN Dance. Since 2015, CAN Dance has reached more than 4,000 children and offered them free transportation and admission to a special matinee performance of Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy. Schools are chosen through identifying which have the highest rates of participation in the reduced and free lunch program. The multi-phase program continues with school visits, during which MDT faculty members lead classroom movement demonstrations and invite interested students to participate in a two-week, cost-free summer dance program. Participants who show initiative and improvement during the summer program may study at MDT during the school year on full scholarship.

MDT History

MDT was founded in 1962 by Loyce Houlton, one of the first American women to gain international recognition as a choreographer, teacher, and producer.  In 1995, Loyce's daughter Lise Houlton became MDT Artistic Director after retiring from an acclaimed performing career that included Stuttgart Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. In her time at MDT, Lise has revitalized Loyce Houlton's masterworks, cultivated a diverse repertoire, and nurtured the MDT company and school to sustain itself as a cultural gem for the Twin Cities region.

Organization Data


Organization name

Minnesota Dance Theatre & School

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Community

Significantly impacted by pandemic

Significantly impacted by pandemic


528 Hennepin Ave, 6th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55403



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