DANCE NEWS: Juan José Escalante Joins Miami City Ballet as Executive Director

DANCE NEWS: Juan José Escalante Joins Miami City Ballet as Executive Director

Published on January 13, 2023
Photo courtesy of Christopher Jones

Miami City Ballet (MCB) is pleased to announce that Juan José Escalante will be joining Miami City Ballet as its new Executive Director, reporting to the Board. He will start in his new role with MCB on February 6, 2023. Escalante brings to MCB more than 30 years of experience in arts management, mainly centered on financial and executive leadership positions. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of National Dance Institute (NDI), the non-profit arts education organization founded by Jacques d’Amboise that has impacted more than 2 million children through inclusive dance and music programs. Prior to joining NDI, Escalante served as the Executive Director of the José Limón Dance Foundation for nine years, where he led the administrative staff in support of the Artistic Director’s vision, the Board’s institutional goals, and enhanced revenue and sustainable strategies. Miami City Ballet partnered with Arts Consulting Group on the national search. 

In the Executive Director role at MCB, Escalante will be working with the Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, the Board, and staff to advance the ambitious goals of the organization in a financially sustainable manner. These goals include: the continued expansion of MCB and the MCB School as premiere national ballet institutions; a digital transformation of the organization, both internally and on our stages; and increased growth in community engagement and touring opportunities. Each of these goals support MCB’s vision to be an institution which is reflective of, and inseparable from, the diverse communities we serve.      

Photo © Miami City Ballet

In speaking of his new role, Escalante commented, “I am honored to be joining a team of talented professionals who are committed to deliver the mission of MCB every day. Having the opportunity to support the exceptional artistic vision of Lourdes Lopez at an organization that is very dear to me is extraordinary.” 

“I’m delighted to have Juan José as MCB’s new Executive Director, helping and working alongside me, the Board, and staff to take the company to new heights,” said Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez. “As a former resident of South Florida, he clearly understands the excitement and huge opportunity ahead to accelerate the growth for MCB and the School one of the most recognized ballet companies and schools in the Americas. Juan José has first-hand experience of the vibrancy, diversity, and characteristics of our communities and will help us to further deepen our relationship with them. This will shape MCB as an important cultural ambassador and economic engine to the State of Florida, as well as one of its greatest jewels.” 

“The Board is thrilled to have such an experienced leader and exceptional community builder join our executive team,” said MCB’s Board Chair, Jeff Davis. “We feel so fortunate that Juan José is returning to Miami to support Lourdes’s artistic vision and to advance our community involvement. It is an exciting time in MCB’s history!” 

Juan José Escalante; photo via

Juan José worked with MCB early in his career when the organization was operating at store front on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. For the past twenty years, he has served as Executive Director for Ballet Florida, Orlando Ballet, and the José Limón Dance Foundation. In each of these roles, Juan José partnered with artistic and community leaders in management of daily operations including fundraising, financial, and marketing oversight.

Juan José holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from the Herbert H. Lehman College City University of New York and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. In addition, he completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Program at Harvard University Business School.

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