Since 1953, Wichita Falls has been the center of ballet excellence. That distinction was due to the talents of two immigrants, Irina Kladivova and Frank Karhanek. Irina was a Czechoslovakian prima ballerina and Frank was trained in the grand Russian tradition. Adopting the last name Pal, they built their home in Wichita Falls. In 1963, it was incorporated as the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. Frank and Irina Pal were highly revered in our city, and beginning in 1963, The Nutcracker was presented by the WFBT and accompanied by a young
Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. In 1988, the directorships fell to Gari Boehm and Patricia Thornton who served as their assistants. During this period the WFBT was only 1 of only 30 companies recognized nationally as an Honor Company by Regional Dance America, based on a demonstration of artistic and technical excellence. In 2013, new Artistic Directors Valentine & Mishic Liberatore were hired to replace the retiring Artistic Directors. They reawakened the passion for dance in the community by creating their world premier full length Nutcracker in 2014. They have collaborated with several other arts organizations over the last seven years, such as Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, The Wichita Falls Community Orchestra, Kemp Center for the Arts, The Wichita Falls Youth Symphony, MSU, and Backdoor Theatre. In 2017, The City of Bowie invite WFBT to perform The Nutcracker. The WFBT holds open auditions for Nutcracker.