South Carolina's Largest Performing Arts Organization Celebrates 60 Years!

William Starrett

Artistic and Executive Director

Dancer, teacher, choreographer, community leader. While all true, those descriptors don’t even begin to paint a complete picture of William Starrett.

From his start at San Francisco’s Ballet Celeste and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, through appearances as a principal for the Joffrey Ballet and as a member of American Ballet Theatre under the direction of both Lucia Chase and Mikhail Baryshnikov, to guest appearances with more than forty of the world’s most renowned ballet companies, Mr. Starrett’s talent as a dancer has earned rave reviews from coast to coast as well as a medal at the very first U.S. International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

Today, though, Mr. Starrett’s formidable reputation revolves most often around his choreographic and directorial accomplishments. As director and primary choreographer for the past twenty-eight years, he has created or staged more than fifty works—including thirty original full-length ballets, ten classical full-length ballets and sixteen original narrated one-act ballets for children—in locations throughout the United States and Europe. Columbia City Ballet’s Educational Outreach Program, which Mr. Starrett implemented in 1989, has introduced ballet to more than half a million school children in the Southeast. He is the co-owner of Columbia Conservatory of Dance with Ballet Mistress Mariclare Miranda.

In 2002, Mr. Starrett was honored by South Carolina’s governor with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for achievement in the arts. Mr. Starrett is the official arts correspondent for WACH Fox and the host of the weekly Arts WACH with William, a segment of WACH Fox Good Day that airs Thursday mornings and gives an in-depth look at unique visual and performing arts events in the Midlands.

Follow William Starrett on Twitter – @BalletWilliam

“As is customary with Columbia City Ballet, the dancers form their stunning patterns with intense concentration and dramatic projection. The choreography calls forth the very best from the accomplished company.”
The Item

“Brilliant performances marked Columbia City Ballet’s staging of the Nutcracker in a show that was professionally conceived and loaded with fine dancing… Artistic Director William Starrett with this show distinguishes himself as the premier dance impresario in the state, and the region.”
The State

“Starrett summons magic in The Ballet Aladdin…A full hall at the Koger Center watched Columbia City Ballet create fabulous exotic movement in scenes taken from ‘The Arabian Nights.’ … a theatrical standout.”
The State

“Starrett is a dancer whose performance would grace any classical company on any stage anywhere.”
The Guardian – United Kingdom