Our Personal History

Dear Dance Students, Parents, Friends and Arts Supporters,

For so many years. I searched high and low for a place to call home, a place to create memories, and a place to grow roots. I saw many beautiful places, but they left me feeling empty hearted and yearning for warmth. Suddenly life revealed itself, as it often does, and I found myself standing right in front of it at 924 N Dixie Highway. The charm, the roots, the history of the building along with the aura, energy, and passion flowing through the halls, conquered my heart. Just then I realized, this was it, the place I had been yearning for: The home for SCHOOL OF BALLET ARTS and its performing arts company, BALLET ARTS DANCE COMPANY . On August 4th, 2015, my lifelong dream of owning my own dance studio became a beautiful reality.

The home of School of Ballet Arts, (SBA) is not just a building, it has a worthy story, which I am honored to be part of. A story I am thankful for. In the mid 1920’s, Grace Thomas like myself dreamed of owning her own studio and began teaching ballet from her home in Lake Worth. Later in 1953, her son Fred saw the potential and built the studio on North Dixie Highway. Through the years three generations of the Thomas family have taught dance. Grace, was followed by her daughter in law, Virginia, who was succeeded by her daughters Teri Szember and Tami Valentine. For almost ninety years, the Thomas family taught dance, sharing their passion and inspiring thousands of young lives with high quality instruction, cultural performance and charitable events. In 2003, Virginia Thomas and Thomas Dance Studio were recognized with a Community Service Corporate Award for their contribution to Lake Worth. 

Now School of Ballet Arts with its own modern flare and ongoing prestige will tell its own tales.

School of Ballet Arts is taking the studio to the next level, remodeling, expanding and continuing to provide a rich legacy of high quality dance instruction with an indisputable love and passion for dance. Our teaching technique is based in the methodology developed by the renowned Cuban Ballet School. The students of SBA have repeatedly distinguished themselves by winning top awards in Ballet, Modern, and Ensemble, at the Youth American Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition and Universal Ballet Competition, South Florida’s premier student competition. Former students are dancing with major American Dance Companies and winning scholarships to renowned college dance programs.  Every year a significant number of SBA students win scholarships into major US and European dance companies’ competitive summer programs including La Scala Theatre Ballet School, Opera of the Vienna, The School of American Ballet, America Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey. SBA produced a 2015 National Young Arts Foundation Merit winner, just one of 20, in dance, who was later chosen as a 2015 Presidential Scholar.SBA, known for their fantastically exciting and beautiful full length classical ballets, is committed to being a major cultural provider and school in Palm Beach County. 

At SBA, we offer  major programs: Children’s Division, Pre-Professional Program, and Adult Classes. Additionally, our students have the opportunity to perform on stage and dance with professional guest artists. SBA’s dedication to pristine teaching technique, and respect for classic ballet repertoire, with a challenging and innovative approach, result in explosive and successful outcomes, where Passion meets Dance.

As we continue to create our story, I and my wonderful staff look forward to the many changes and growth, making SCHOOL OF BALLET ARTS and BALLET ARTS DANCE COMPANY , THE PLACE TO DANCE IN THE Twenty First Century. 


With love and dedication, 

Deborah Marquez Owner of this dream


Experience School of Ballet Arts!


561 577 5355

924 North Dixie Highway Lake Worth, FL 33460