Festival Dance & Performing Arts has a deep rooted and colorful history of accomplishments and service in the arts. In 1970, a young and talented couple came to Moscow to pursue degrees at the University of Idaho. Carl Petrick and Jeanette Allyn Petrick opened a small dance school, the Moscow Dance Theatre, on 3rd Street in downtown Moscow. They began producing elaborate dance productions with their students, and it was the great successes of these productions that inspired their dream to start a professional ballet company.
In June 1972, Ballet Folk of Moscow was established with the aid of grant funding from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. In 1974, Ballet Folk of Moscow became the company in residence at the University of Idaho, and dance classes and company rehearsals took place in Ridenbaugh Hall.
The company first began touring in Idaho, and then nationally. Eventually, Ballet Folk of Moscow was later renamed American Festival Ballet. They performed in 32 different states, and represented Idaho at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.S. in 1976. The company moved to Boise in the 1980's to increase financial support, and a school was opened there in addition to the dance school in Moscow, which is now located in the University of Idaho's Physical Education Building.
In 1989, the Boise and Moscow portions of the organization separated. The company, eventually renamed Ballet Idaho, remained in Boise, and Festival Dance & Performing Arts was established in order to continue providing dance performances, education, and outreach for the Inland Northwest area. Now, operating with the mission of "Bringing Arts to the People and People to the Arts", Festival Dance reaches over 15,000 people annually from the 18 communities we serve in north central Idaho and eastern Washington.