Cindy Free is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Birmingham Ballet and Birmingham Ballet Academy. In a short period of time, she has grown Birmingham Ballet from a small performing outlet for Academy students into a full scale semi-professional ballet company producing two full-length ballets annually. Her unique version of The Nutcracker at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center is now the largest ballet produced in Alabama. Mrs. Free‚s roots hail back to the well known Birmingham Ballet of the 1970s, under the direction of Alfonso Figueroa, where she held the distinction of being the youngest professional dancer in the company. Free has studied with ballet luminaries Robert Joffrey, Robert Barnett, and Hilda Butsova, and has been associated with the Canton Ballet, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and Birmingham Southern College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. Many of her students have gone on to dance professionally and been accepted into nationally acclaimed schools affiliated with American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, The Rock School and Joffrey.