The York County Ballet was founded in 1978 by Doris McClellan, who had previously served as Artistic Director of the Greenville Civic Ballet in Greenville, SC. The first Nutcracker was performed to a sold out crowd of over 3,000 people in Byrnes Auditorium on the campus of Winthrop University, and became the beginning of thirty years of ballet performance in York County.When Mrs. McClellan retired, her daughter, Anne Blackwell, was named Artistic Director. Under Mrs. Blackwell's direction the company has grown significantly, currently including approximately fifty youth and adult members.
The Company's repertoire includes Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, and, of course, The Nutcracker. In addition to its classical ballet repertoire, the York County Ballet has a growing contemporary repertoire. The Company commissions the choreography of an original piece each year by a professional choreographer which becomes a permanent part of this contemporary repertoire.