The Appalachian Ballet Company is the resident dance company of the Clayton Center for the Arts. ABC is East Tennessee's premier classical performing company that makes its home at Van Metre School of Dance in Maryville, Tennessee. Chartered in 1972, ABC's talented company of dancers performs an annual three-program season, providing the region with the highest quality dance performances. ABC offers a wide repertory from traditional classics to creative contemporary ballets and regularly performs with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Youth Symphony and the Knoxville Opera Company. The company also collaborates with area performing arts groups, and is active in educational outreach.
1. To provide dancers with the highest caliber of classical training and performing opportunities.
2. To produce a first-class season of classical and contemporary ballets showcasing local artists
and encouraging collaboration among the area's performing arts.
3. To promote and foster a love and appreciation of the arts through performances and lecture demonstrations within the community.
Under Founding Artistic Director Cheryl Van Metre, the company developed a strong foundation in classical technique and a repertoire comprised of many great classics. In 1989, the company was accepted into Regional Dance America's (RDA) Southeast Regional Ballet Association (SERBA) and made the prestigious level of Honor Company in just three years.
Presently, under the artistic direction of Amy Morton Vaughn, ABC has kept up its strong tradition of classical repertoire while developing an innovative contemporary repertory to match. After 30 plus years as a talented dancer, teacher and choreographer; Ms. Morton Vaughn has served as artistic director of ABC since 1997. Ms. Morton Vaughn is the current vice-president of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association. She is the chair for the advisory board for The Clayton Center for the Arts, as well as serving on the board of Regional Dance America. The Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts named Amy Morton Vaughn the 2009 teacher of the year. She has also received the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission.