The Big Muddy Dance Company

A nonprofit organization

$4,426 raised by 25 donors

30% complete

$15,000 Goal

Our History

The Big Muddy Dance Company was founded in 2010 by Paula David, a former dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In order to build an audience and donor base with only 6 dancers, the company performed donated works in living rooms and country clubs around the St. Louis area and picked up momentum very quickly. After developing a small repertoire, the 9-member company premiered its first full production at the Touhill Performing Arts Center's Lee Theater in June 2011, to a sold-out house and standing ovation. Since that time, The Big Muddy has increased its membership to 14 dancers, developed a strong enough audience and donor base to produce three full production runs each season, created a successful open class schedule and outreach program, and begun a touring roster across the midwestern/southern region.

Now under the artistic direction of Kirven Douthit-Boyd, the company has commissioned over 95 works in its repertoire to date and has completed over 350 performances as it continues forward into its fourteenth season, establishing itself as the premier dance company in St. Louis.  Guest artists that have presented works on the company as part of Douthit-Boyd’s curation have included:  Norbert De La Cruz, Thang Dao, Jessica Lang, Sidra Bell, Omar Román De Jesús, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Joshua L. Peugh, Marcus J. Willis, Bradley Shelver and Elizabeth Corbett.

The Big Muddy has been recognized as “Best Local Dance Company” as either Critic’s Choice and/or Readers’ Choice in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018 in Go! Magazine by St. Louis Post Dispatch. The company was also voted "Best Dance Company" in "Best of St. Louis 2015" by Riverfront Times and appeared on St. Louis Magazine’s “A-List” in 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022. The full company was presented in 2018-2019 at the Fashion Footwear Association of New York’s Gala at the Ziegfeld Theatre in NYC, and at the St. Louis Arts Awards. The Big Muddy’s collaborative production “Such Sweet Thunder” with Shakespeare Festival, Nine Network, and Jazz St. Louis was awarded two 2020 St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards for “Best Choreography” and “Best Production of a Musical”, as well as a St. Louis Arts Award for “Best Collaboration.”  The company’s collaborative documentary “Raising Spirits” with partner Tree 9 Films about the making of “Lemp Legends: A Ghost Story” during COVID-19, won an Emmy award in 2023.  

The organization operates programming through three major entities: The Big Muddy Dance Company, producing both major productions and community performances for fellow nonprofits; our educational program, which offers classes to adults as well as training programs for pre-professional dancers; and Senior Embrace, the company's senior citizen outreach program.

Past and present collaborations with partner arts organizations include Kemper Art Museum, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Variety the Children’s Charity, Bach Society of St. Louis, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Black Rep, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Nine Network of Public Media, Andrea Rizzo Foundation, CommUnity Arts Festival, Artists for a Cause, Ari’s Light Foundation, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, OmniARTS Foundation, and more.

DEAI Statement

The Big Muddy Dance Company stands in solidarity with our beloved diverse communities, in the effort to promote inclusion over prejudice. We believe in the power of art as a tool to transform: to speak up, to heal, to inspire confidence, to bring communities together. We are taking a deep look inward to ensure that every social identity has the opportunity to be successful, supported, and have a sense of belonging. We also invite people forward to express their journeys through life and dance, as part of our resolve to turn intention into impactful action.

Giving Activity


To invigorate life through dance.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Big Muddy Dance Company

other names

St. Louis Dance Theatre

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture

Operating Budget

Small: $250,001 - $1,000,000

Service Area

St Louis City

Audiences Served

General Public


3305 Washington Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63103



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