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Sarasota Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 10 months ago

Kate Walsh Honea departs Sarasota Ballet for Colorado position

Walsh Honea will serve as Artistic Director of the Colorado Ballet Society.
by: Harry Sayer Staff Writer

After 19 seasons with the Sarasota Ballet, Kate Walsh Honea is leaving the company to take a position as   artistic director for the Colorado Ballet Society in Colorado Springs. 

“I remember coming into the studio and just being blown away by the students, the talent base, the discipline, the dedication, the staff, the faculty, and how Patty (Hoffman) and her team ran the place," Walsh Honea said in a statement of the Colorado company. "I knew right away that this was a special place, and that I wanted to be in the special society.”

During her career, Walsh Honea, 38, danced in renowned productions from such creators as George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Christopher Wheeldon and Sir David Bintley. She  choreographed works for the Sarasota Ballet School, the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and the Sarasota Ballet Studio Company.

In the past three seasons, Walsh Honea worked alongside Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri in rehearsing company classes as an assistant ballet mistress.

"Together with Margaret, one of the highlights of my time as director has been nurturing and guiding Kate into the principal dancer she became," Webb said. "She has brought to life so many incredible roles in such an extraordinary variety of works and styles, but perhaps the performance memory of Kate that will always be strongest for me is that of her role of Lise in Ashton’s 'La Fille Mal Gardée'.”

Patricia Hoffman, founder and director of the Colorado Ballet Society, has stepped down after 24 years and recently sold the studio to Matt and Lisa Walsh. Dex Honea, Kate's husband, will join her as School Principal and Executive Director.

The studio has two locations in Colorado Springs and Falcon, Colorado. Walsh Honea has performed for the company in the past as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "A Colorado Nutcracker" and has worked as a guest instructor teaching master classes.

Walsh Honea's responsibilities as artistic director will include direction of the school syllabus, making decisions on casting for performances and arranging guest instructors and choreographers to visit throughout each season.


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