Mareck Center for Dance, formerly Missouri Contemporary Ballet, launched in 2006 with a bold vision that Mid-Missouri – and its vibrant and progressive arts scene – was ready for a professional dance company..
Founded by Karen Mareck Grundy, the Company’s Artistic and Executive Director, Mareck Center for Dance has since grown from a handful of dancers and annual performances to a multi-level operation with members, apprentices, and trainees, as well as a non-profit school and numerous outreach programs.
A community endeavor from the start, local arts patrons volunteered their time and financial resources to help build the Company from the ground up. Today the working board of local residents continues to play an integral role in Mareck Center for Dance operations.
Initially, the Company performed and practiced in donated spaces throughout the area. Today, Mareck Center for Dance is headquartered in a dedicated space in the Balsamo Warehouse on Orr Street in downtown Columbia. There we have multiple studios for Company rehearsal, classes for the community, and a black box performance studio.
In addition to local and regional performances, our professional company, Mareck Dance has performed on tour nationally and internationally.
In 2015, as the Company entered its 10th anniversary season, we became a partner of the prestigious University of Missouri Concert Series.
In 2020, our Board of Directors realized that our name was limiting the extent to which the dance company in particular could grow. In addition “The School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet” had become cumbersome due to its length and its narrow focus on the perception of “ballet” as the only form of dance featured. The word “Center” is intentional. “Center” reflects our many artistic influences and expansive scope of capabilities. These include the professional company, Mareck Dance, our school, and the many community outreach programs that show inclusivity of varying groups. The board voted to change the name of the organization to “Mareck Center for Dance” to not only improve the perception of the organization’s mission but also to honor its founder Karen Mareck Grundy.