History

The dream of Joy Johnson and Karen Carothers, Owensboro Dance Theatre, Inc. became a reality in 1982. Karen and Joy wanted to provide high quality performances to a diverse and expanding audience as well as provide  dance instruction and educational services to enhance community life and the cultural environment of our region.


ODT trains young dancers in a variety of disciplines and provides clinics and workshops available and open to all young aspiring dancers in the Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana region. We present two major productions each year featuring Owensboro Dance Theatre Company members, local dancers and guest artists from nationally recognized professional dance companies and a third production featuring a nationally recognized professional dance company.  


Karen Carothers retired as Co Artistic Director in 2009, but continues to teach at our home school, Johnson's Dance Studio.  Linda Taylor, former ODT board member, rejoined the ODT family in 2015 as the Executive Director. Jaysie Beth Royal and Jennie Boggess, former ODT alumni, came back to ODT as the Assistant Artistic Director and Development Director, respectively.


Mission and Purpose
Owensboro Dance Theatre, Inc.’s mission is “changing lives…one dance at a time.”  Four core values are stressed in all ODT programming: (1) exceptional quality without compromise, (2) education for all, (3) innovative programs enriching the lives of a diverse community, and (4) emphasizing health and wellness through dance.

Owensboro Dance Theatre, Inc. is 1 of only 5, 501 (c) 3 dance companies in the state of Kentucky. ODT stages three major productions each year, The Nutcracker, In Concert, and a production with a guest professional dance company. Additionally, each performance is accompanied by two area school performances in collaboration with RiverPark Center's Arts Teach Kids program.
 
Owensboro Dance Theatre, Inc. also provides dance education to the community through its Triple A (Arts Access for All) outreach programs. Each of these programs is designed to reach underserved community members, providing the opportunity to experience the art of dance at a reduced-cost or free of charge. In 2014-2015, ODT served over 33,000 people through its performances, education and outreach.