The Story of Ballet

Jody Gifford is the new executive director at Ballet Des Moines.
Jody Gifford is the new executive director at Ballet Des Moines.

By Belle Du Chene

Jody Gifford, the new executive director of Ballet Des Moines, admits that moving from a 20-year career in journalism to the dance company “looks like a pretty big leap–no dance pun intended. But my skills and background in the communications field are a huge asset to an organization like Ballet Des Moines.”

A Marshalltown native, Gifford has been hooked on ballet ever since seeing her first performance in high school. “We have (in Des Moines) this incredibly beautiful art form that begs to be seen and talked about,” she says. “I was hired, in part, to help start that conversation using my ability to tell a story.” 

With two daughters (ages 8 and 6), Gifford looks forward to this year’s “The Nutcracker” Dec. 11-14 as part of a family tradition. But she is “positively giddy” about “3 + One: A Triple Bill”Oct. 24-26 for its non-traditional storyline. “It’s perfect for a wide range of audiences, from the first-timer to the ballet aficionado,” she says.

This season’s lineup also includes “The Wizard of Oz” on April 4, 2015. For more information on the season, click here.

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