The History of MBT
Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma was founded in 1986. MBT passionately pursues excellence in the training and shaping of our young artists.
Damaris Caughlan began her teaching with the Metropolitan Park District. She taught classes at South Park Community Center and was the head of the dance department. Eventually the program that Damaris was in charge of grew to over 250 dancers strong. Unsatisfied with equipment, politics, and the inability to use live music for her dancers, Damaris decided to open her own school. This school was just up the street on 54th and South Tacoma Way. Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma has flourished in this neighborhood for more than 30 years. Ms. Caughlan studied in the former Soviet Union and is certified by the Minsk Choreographic School and Byelorussian Ministry of Culture. Because of her varied background and many mentors, Ms. Caughlan brings a rich and dynamic teaching style and syllabus to her dancers.
Recently, Damaris studied with the late Philip Beamish and has incorporated Mr. Beamish’s method of teaching into her syllabus. Damaris considers Mr. Beamish a pioneer in the dance world and is honored to be trusted to pass on his method and tools to dancers to succeed. Mr. Beamish coached some of the most prestigious dancers of our time.
Professional instruction is extended each year through a variety of guest artists and choreographers. MBT dancers have had the opportunity to study with professional instructors. MBT has brought to the community master teachers from companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Alley Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Orlando Ballet, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Kirov Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre.
Currently, MBT has several alums who have professional careers in dance.