To invigorate life through dance.
A diverse community that believes in the love, joy, and transformative power of dance.
The Big Muddy Dance Company is a St. Louis-based repertory dance company which seeks to build a love of dance by providing fun, experiential, and highly entertaining performances. By engaging both emerging and established choreographers, collaborating across the community through senior outreach, and training future performers through our school and trainee program, we constantly strive to invigorate life through dance.
St. Louis Dance Theatre, doing business as The Big Muddy Dance Company, was founded in 2010 by Paula David, former dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In order to build an audience and donor base with only 6 dancers, the company performed donated works in living rooms and country clubs around the St. Louis area, and picked up momentum very quickly. After developing a small repertoire, the 9-member company premiered its first full production at the Touhill Performing Arts Center's Lee Theater in June 2011, to a sold out house and standing ovation. Since that time, The Big Muddy has increased its membership to 15 dancers, developed a strong enough audience and donor base to produce three full production runs each season, created a successful open class schedule and outreach program, and begun a touring roster across the Midwestern/southern region.
The 2014-15 season brought a new breath of change to the company with the transition to a new Artistic Director, Brian Enos, who has since received countless accolades to his programming and choreographic abilities by audience members and critics. The company has commissioned over 85 works in its repertoire, and has completed over 300 performances as it continues forward with its eighth season in the Grand Center arts district, now operating out of two rehearsal studios.
The Big Muddy has been recognized as “Best Local Dance Company” as either Critic’s Choice and/or Readers’ Choice in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018 in Go! Magazine by St. Louis Post Dispatch. The company was also voted "Best Dance Company" in "Best of St. Louis 2015" by Riverfront Times and appeared on St. Louis Magazine’s “A-List” in 2017 and 2019. The full company was presented in 2018-2019 at the Fashion Footwear Association of New York’s Gala at the Ziegfeld Theatre in NYC, and at the St. Louis Arts Awards. The Big Muddy’s collaborative production “Such Sweet Thunder” with Shakespeare Festival, Nine Network, and Jazz St. Louis was awarded two 2020 St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards for “Best Choreography” and “Best Production of a Musical”.
The organization operates programming through three major entities: The Big Muddy Dance Company, producing both major productions and community performances for fellow nonprofits; our educational program, which offers classes to adults as well as training programs for pre-professional dancers; and Senior Embrace, the company's senior citizen outreach program.
Past and present collaborations with partner arts organizations include Variety the Children’s Charity, Bach Society of St. Louis, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Nine Network of Public Media, Andrea Rizzo Foundation, CommUnity Arts Festival, Artists for a Cause, Ari’s Light Foundation, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, OmniARTS Foundation, and more.