Season ticket holder, ballet school parent, supporter, and volunteer, Barbara Storm continues to make an impact on Kansas City Ballet. This year, she takes her next exciting step, becoming President of the Ballet Board of Directors. With Barbara’s extensive involvement she brings an exceptional understanding of the Ballet to her new role.
Barbara’s Passion for the Arts Grows
Barbara Storm’s passion for ballet began in a dance studio in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. In 2nd grade, Barbara’s mother encouraged her to attend a dance class with a neighbor. The studio taught tap, jazz, and basic ballet. “I have always loved the art form since I was very young,” says Barbara.
When Barbara was in high school, she learned of a ballet teacher who had danced with the Rockettes and had a ballet studio in town. She started taking class every night. Opportunities for Barbara to perform arose, and she discovered how much happiness it gave her. “It gave me a euphoric feeling,” says Barbara, “the joy of movement to music, connecting with the audience, and being around other dancers.”
Barbara also finds great joy in music. In college she studied Computer Science and minored in Piano. Her background in both dance and music gives her a unique appreciation for Kansas City Ballet. “When I found out that Kansas City Ballet had pianists in the studios, even with little kindergarteners, I was flabbergasted,” says Barbara. “To me, live music and what we do at KCB on the stage and in the classroom is vital to the whole artistic experience for our audience, our dancers, and our students.”
A Home at Kansas City Ballet
When Barbara and her husband Greg moved to Kansas City in 1994, she eagerly began attending KC Ballet performances. Barbara also shares her love of ballet with her daughter Kaitlyn, who trained at Kansas City Ballet School from kindergarten through high school. Barbara recalls seeing Kaitlyn’s first performance in The Nutcracker as “a proud, weepy-eyed moment.” Through her own dance experience, Barbara knew just how hard her daughter was working in the studio. “I enjoyed that she was so dedicated and had passion for dance at a young age,” says Barbara.
A few years after moving to Kansas City, Barbara was introduced to the KC Ballet Guild by a member. Since she joined the Guild 25 years ago, Barbara says the “quality of our product on stage and the excellence of our school has grown by leaps and bounds.” Over that time, Barbara has served as Ball Chair twice (2003 and 2011) and Guild President twice (2006-7 and 2007-8). “I am honored to be part of a group that has been able to raise money for the ballet and help move this amazing art form forward,” says Barbara.
Barbara’s service as Guild President included membership on Kansas City Ballet’s Board of Directors. Following the end of her term as Guild President, she was asked to join the Board as a regular member. Since jumping at this exciting opportunity for her to help shape the direction of Kansas City Ballet, Barbara has served as Operations and Finance Committee Chair, KCB 60th Anniversary Event Chair, a member of the Endowment Committee, and now as Board President for the next two seasons.
Dance and a thriving arts community mean a great deal to Barbara. In addition to her tireless volunteer work for Kansas City Ballet, she and Greg have been significant supporters of KCB. They saw an opportunity to make a meaningful impact with the Moving Into the Future Campaign by establishing the Storm Emerging Dancer Fund. With her master’s degree in finance, an endowment gift made sense to Barbara. “The earnings from an endowment gift will support KCB operations year after year,” says Barbara. “It is important for me to help KCB continue to be a flourishing, viable organization far into the future.”
Barbara Storm’s dedicated leadership is leaving an indelible mark on Kansas City Ballet and for this we are grateful. You too can make an impact on Kansas City Ballet! If you would like to discuss a gift that is meaningful to you, please contact Director of Gift Planning Rebecca Zandarski at 816.216.5612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header photography by Strauss Peyton.