Barbara Crockett, Sacramento’s Doyenne of Dance, Has Died

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barbara crockett

Barbara Crockett, who was responsible for elevating the profile of ballet in Sacramento, died this past Tuesday, a month short of her 102nd birthday, after she fell and fractured her hip.

Her accomplishments were many. As a young dancer, she was a member of San Francisco Ballet, where she met her husband, Deane Crockett. The couple moved to Sacramento in 1945 and opened a ballet school, the Crockett Dance Studio. Soon they started the Sacramento Ballet, then called the Sacramento Civic Ballet. Barbara danced there into her 50s. After Deane died, she ran the endeavor by herself and shepherded it into becoming a professional dance company.

Later in life, she taught at her daughter and son-in-law’s East Sacramento ballet school, Deane Dance Center, until age 96. Many of her students went on to become professional dancers. The school held a 100th birthday celebration for her outdoors during the height of the pandemic, with performances, video calls and decorated cars.

Here’s a story from Sacramento Magazine that was written when Barbara was 90 years old.