Armour Dance Theatre is Celebrating its 75th Anniversary

Our Story, Our Legacy

Armour Dance Theater has a rich history of blazing new trails.

Our namesake, classical ballet dancer Thomas Armour, knew the thrill of performing on the world’s preeminent stages. However, his performing career was cut short by World War II when he was drafted to serve as a military intelligence officer in Paris. After the war, Mr. Armour returned to Florida and opened the Miami Conservatory in 1949. As the area’s oldest dance academy, it has fostered generations of talent. 

Two years later, in 1951, Mr. Armour became founding Artistic Director of the Miami Ballet. The company provided first-class training and stage experience to aspiring dancers through full-scale classical ballets with celebrated guest artists such as Fernando Bujones, Natalia Makarova, Edward Villella, Peter Martins and Violette Verdy, to name a few. 

More than 30 years ago, Ruth Wiesen, today’s artistic director, approached Mr. Armour about making quality dance training more accessible to underserved youth by offering scholarships. He agreed, opening the door to children for whom the study of ballet otherwise would have been impossible. 

Our programs continue to grow in scope and impact. As we enter our 75th year, we continue to uphold a tradition of exceptional dance instruction. We are very proud that the quality of our program has put us among 18 nationally accredited dance schools recognized by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools. In addition, we are excited this year to add a fifth neighborhood program site where we can provide a safe, nurturing, and accepting environment that helps maximize the potential of our students.

The study of dance instills crucial life skills of discipline, attention to detail, tenacity, teamwork, and focus on long-term goals. With an emphasis on exceptional training, our programs work to remove obstacles, open doors, and inspire dreams, using dance as a vehicle to success.


We hope you will join us in celebrating 75 years of transforming lives by sharing this exciting news, attending and bringing friends and family to upcoming events, and, most importantly, learning more about supporting Armour Dance Theatre programs. Explore our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @armourdancetheatre