En Point For Excellence: Southwest Florida Premier Classical Ballet School Inspires Passion And Talent

By: Claudia Beyers

Fort Myers is home to a hidden gem that has been enchanting residents and nurturing young talent for over 20 years: Gulfshore Ballet. This institution embodies the true spirit of the arts, enriching the lives of students and fostering the love for ballet.

Gulfshore Ballet, our very own not for profit ballet school, stands as a testament to the dedication of its founders and board members who throughout the years have believed in the transformative power of dance. It is a symbol of artistic excellence in Southwest Florida.


With its non-for profit status Gulfshore Ballet offers financial assistance to aspiring young dancers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn and train in the art of ballet.


One of the core strengths of Gulfshore Ballet is its Artistic directors Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero. who together were principal dancers at Miami City Ballet for 20 years. They along with the rest of the instructors are passionate about their craft and take pride in passing their knowledge and skills to the next generation. Students learn about the history, music and cultural significance of ballet and most importantly, the value of discipline, hard work, dedication and commitment. Students become beautiful and dynamic dancers.


Gulfshore Ballet has made a significant impact on our local community. This local gem is nurturing the next generation of dancers and, in doing so, enriching the cultural awareness of our community.

This is why the organization is moving forward and is very excited to announce the formation of Gulfshore Ballet Company. Bringing professional dancers to the stage will continue to evolve the landscape of our community and will attract many patrons to participate in more enlightening cultural activities.

Our 2023/2024 season begins with our annual performance of The Nutcracker in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Symphony at the Barbara B Mann Performance Hall. It is a highly anticipated performance throughout the community and our students eagerly look forward to this event which utilize professional scenery, costumes, lighting, sound and stage crew. The Nutcracker this year will be December 16th, at 2pm and 7:30pm. Buy your tickets now at bbmann.evenue.net for this amazing Christmas tradition!

The next performance is Carmen which will be March 7th, 2024 at 7pm. “Carmen” tells the passionate and tumultuous tale of a free-spirited and seductive gypsy and her love affairs. The ballet explores themes of desire, jealously, and fate, set against the backdrop of the vivid Spanish landscape. This event will be held at Cambier Park in Naples in a collaboration with Opera Naples. The Festival Under the Stars promises to be a gorgeous evening of wine, ballet and pure enjoyment.

The final performance on the schedule is Sleeping Beauty on April 20th, 2024 at 7pm at the Tribby Arts Center at Shell Point. Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale known to generations, filled with elements of magic, romance, and the enduring power of love. This iconic narrative revolves around the enchanting Princess Aurora, who falls into a deep slumber following a spell cast by the wicked fairy, Carabosse. Only true love’s kiss can awaken her from this mystical sleep. Come out and enjoy this ballet with us. You will enjoy every minute of this beautiful performance!

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