Bay County Ballet

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The first professional ballet company in Bay County is trying to get the word out about their program.

The Peggy Willis ballet company is a non-profit organization that offers both professional and non-professional programs of classical ballet. Willis is the director of the conservatory and is specialized in classical ballet.

She taught at Texas Tech University where she found four out of the five women who now make up her company of professional dancers. Kimmy Gedie, one of the young teachers, says she joined the conservatory so that she can pursue her dream of being a professional dancer.

“What makes the Willis Ballet so different is that we are carrying along the tradition of Russian Classical ballet and our school is strictly ballet, so we can have our students focus on pursuing their training." The director, Peggy Willis-Aarnio, says the conservatory is unique in what it offers young dancers. “The non-professional program, if the child gets really turned on to ballet and they say, 'hey I want to make a career,' everyday the study has been preparing them for the professional program.”

For more information about the program, visit their Web site at