Elizabeth Hard-Simms joined Kansas City Civic Ballet in its seventh season in 1964. The Civic Ballet was still under the care of Founder Tatiana Dokoudovska. The following year Liz was selected as a soloist.
Demystifying ballet for others, especially students, became a goal for her and In 1967 she gave her first pre-performance talk and demonstration at the Kansas City, Kan., public library. She started a new career when she opened Westport Ballet School of Dance in 1974. She later added a ballet company and created performances that catered to children and seniors. It closed in 1997.
Liz also served on the Kansas City Civic Ballet board of directors and as chairman of the first Mid-States Regional Ballet Festival. She also co-chaired the first Kansas City Ballet Ball in 1968.
For her contributions to dance, Kansas City Ballet Guild presented her its Pirouette award in 2017—during its 60th Anniversary Season.
ELIZABETH HARD-SIMM’S OBITUARY
Liz passed away on Dec. 27, 2020 in Overland Park, Kan. Read her obituary here.
Please share your favorite memories of Elizabeth in the comments.
Header photo taken at the 2017 Ballet Ball Benefactor Dinner. Elizabeth Hard-Simms with 2017 Kansas City Ballet Guild President Gigi Rose. Photo by: Larry F. Levenson