The Burch Mann Dancers began in 1960 and soon became a professional dance company in Los Angeles in 1965. Mann unveiled the American Folk Ballet with a debut concert sponsored by the president of the American National Theatre Association. The group went on to become one of the nation's leading touring companies with performances in America's greatest concert halls as well as performances in Russia, Latvia, Israel, and Greece. The company was featured on the Ed Sullivan Show five times, and appeared on several telecasts including the Oscars. In 1971, Mann moved the company to Utah after being invited to provide the choreography for the Festival of the American West at Utah State University. By 1982, Mann once again moved the company to Cedar City at the request of then Southern Utah University (SUU) President Gerald R. Sherratt. Mann retired in 1992 and died four years later, but the company remains rooted in Cedar City with offices located at Mann's former home near the campus of SUU. It is now under the watchful eye of Artistic Director Gwen Grimes, who was one of Mann's core dancers throughout the history of the organization.