Ballet Lubbock’s Nicholas Dragga to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Ballet Lubbock’s Nicholas Dragga to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Somer Jaynes, president of the Ballet Lubbock Board of Directors, has announced that Nicholas Dragga, Ballet Lubbock’s Executive Director will be stepping down, effective October 20, 2023, to become the next Executive Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. 

“It is with immense pride and gratitude that we make this announcement, but it is also particularly poignant for anyone who knows or has had the pleasure of working alongside Nick. During his time as Ballet Lubbock’s executive director, he has given nothing short of the best to everything he has been entrusted with, as evidenced by the unprecedented and unparalleled growth that Ballet Lubbock has experienced during his tenure,” Jaynes said.

“Undoubtedly, Nick’s leadership has allowed Ballet Lubbock to deliver on its mission to change lives through dance. Under his direction, Ballet Lubbock has thrived, quintupling the organizational budget, tripling student enrollment, and enhancing the capacity for community engagement, both in our area schools and local children’s hospitals. He was also instrumental in Ballet Lubbock’s relocation to its new, 22,000-square-foot facility at the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences, stewarding the Ballet Lubbock family into the organization’s next chapter.

Because of his vision, his dedication, and his tenacity, Ballet Lubbock is truly primed for an incredible next era. We will miss his heart, his humor, and leadership, and we will continue cheering him on as he steps into his exciting new role at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.”

Dragga has served as the Executive Director of Ballet Lubbock since 2011. Reflecting, he shares: “It is with incredible emotion I make this move. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is a very compelling and exciting opportunity, but one that would not be possible without all of the people of Ballet Lubbock and West Texas.

I’ve had the great fortune of being surrounded by intelligent, passionate, and visionary people who are generous with their time, guidance, and encouragement. I have learned so much, struggled through tough decisions, laughed a lot, and sought opportunities alongside brilliant and kind colleagues who are now friends.

Yvonne, Ballet Lubbock’s Artistic Director, especially will always have a special place in my heart as we have been partners through the thick and thin for the past 14 years. She gave me the opportunity, believed in me, showed me grace, and was always there for bold, audacious thinking. Yvonne instills in you the confidence that with perseverance, care, and intention, anything is possible.

When I look back at what Ballet Lubbock has accomplished during my 14 years here, I am proud and inspired knowing the organization is primed for its best years yet. Truly, the vision and capacity of Ballet Lubbock is profound and contagious. With this esteemed team, there is nothing Ballet Lubbock cannot achieve. I look forward to always championing Ballet Lubbock.”

Looking ahead, Jaynes shares, “The organization is truly primed for success. While we do a national search for the next executive director, Ballet Lubbock is full-steam ahead in implementing our 2023-2025 strategic plan.”

Ballet Lubbock impacts over 18,000 audience members a year and 1,000 students a week through cultural and educational programming. This year alone Ballet Lubbock has added to its staff a preparatory program manager, and adaptive dance manager, and launched a new partnership with Lubbock ISD to provide dance education to Lubbock and Estacado High Schools.

The Nutcracker is expanding to two weekends and will have a live orchestra for their Spring production, Four Seasons.

“Thus, this is the most ambitious season ever for Ballet Lubbock, and we’re just getting started. We have the people, systems, and funding in place for a transformative next chapter, ” Jaynes concludes.

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