About us

The history of the north Country Ballet Ensemble

Situated on the shores of Lake Champlain and in the foothills of the Adirondacks, the NCBE was incorporated in 1986 under founding Artistic Director, Deborah Guibord-Stay, and Artistic Staff Bonnie Black, Alice Schonbek and Kathy Koester. The NCBE is the Adirondack Coast’s oldest non-profit ballet company. Since its inception, the Ensemble has become a regional ballet company, encompassing the geographical areas that stretch from just south of the Canadian border, west to Malone, Lake Placid and Keene Valley, and south to Westport. The organization was designed to develop a community of young people from the North Country, and to provide performing experience for student-dancers in the art of ballet and contemporary dance. The North Country Ballet Ensemble endeavors offer live concert dance performance in the North Country so that it is understood and appreciated as an art form. At the same time it is the intent of the organization to provide a background in the classics and more modern day ballets for young student dancers to enhance their dance education. Additionally, the NCBE’s mission includes outreach to underserved communities and populations, which might otherwise not see live (dance) performance.

The annual production of The Nutcracker has evolved into a mature production and included, in the past, accompaniment by a live orchestra, and continues to invite professional dancers to perform in principal roles. This event has always enjoyed a high degree of community support and participation. Our performers number about 75. Our audience count in 2017 was approximately 1,750 attendees over 7 performances. This year, we have once again been invited to bring The Nutcracker to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

In 2014, the NCBE formed a small company of advanced students called the North Country Ballet Ensemble Chamber Company, which had its inaugural season in the Spring of 2015, performing new and repertory works.

Over the past 30 years, the NCBE has produced classical and contemporary works including: Les Sylphides; Coppelia, Acts 1 and 2; Pas de Quatre; Alua, Indigo; Peter and the Wolf; A Delicate Balance, Making the Band, and Gershwin Melodies among others.

For more information contact NCBE at GNCBE@yahoo.com

2018 Summer Newsletter


“Dancing with the NCBE has been such an influential part of my life. Throughout my time spent with the ensemble, I have gained a sense of community through dancing, gaining lifelong friends along the way, that will never fade. The NCBE creates such a community through its dancing.  I have learned to problem solve whilst I dance and dancing with the ensemble has taught me to love the arts unconditionally.”
Skylar Curtis, Age 18
“I have expanded my circle of friends, and have made lasting relationships through the NCBE. I look forward to the Nutcracker every year.”
- Jordan Osborne, Age 11
Lexi has loved her years dancing as part of a larger organization. She says “Everyone is nice.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can ask an older dancer, and they can help you out. They know what to do.
Lexi Coffin, Age 11
“Rehearsal is fun. Being backstage at the show is fun because you get to play with your friends from Nutcracker”
Will Coffin, Age 7
“The North Country is very fortunate to have this longstanding holiday tradition. The hard work and dedication of all involved - of every age, in every aspect - is truly incredible. It's a joy to witness and a joy to be a part of.”
Tyler Nye, Professional Adult Ballet Performer.
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Photos by Lisa Keegan, Keegan Photography Design