Karla's Story

Karla Sweeney founded St. Croix Ballet in 1991 in the basement of the Sweeney’s Stillwater home. She built the program into one of the Twin Cities top ballet studios. After a gallant 15-year battle with late-stage breast cancer, Mz. Karla passed away on February 12, 2015. Karla graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet. She danced with Ballet West and several regional companies in the Southwest, performing in the Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, and others. She then toured the United States and Mexico as the featured dancer with Disney on Parade Mary Poppins show, and then traveled to England and South Africa with other Disney productions.


Karla has left a beautiful legacy of quality ballet and dance to the St. Croix Valley. For almost 20 years, St. Croix Ballet has maintained a non-profit affiliate to promote ballet and dance education and performing opportunities for students in the St. Croix Valley and the East Metro region.

The Karla Sweeney Foundation

In 2016, the former "Ballet Jubilate' became 'The Karla Sweeney Foundation for the Arts' in honor of St. Croix Ballet's Founder. Since 2013, an annual 'Evening on Pointe' fundraiser at the Grand Banquet Hall in downtown Stillwater has been held. The elegant event includes dinner, a silent auction, and special performances by St. Croix Ballet dancers. Evening on Point has become a beloved yearly tradition for the studio and an opportunity to for the community to further support youth and the arts in our region.