The Competition of Ballet Dancers in Moscow was initiated by leading figures in the world of dance. Galina Ulanova, one of the most excellent ballet dancers of the XX century, who had been prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre for sixteen years and dedicated thirty-seven years of her life to teaching, became the Chairman of the international Jury of the Competition. Igor Moiseyev led the Organizing Committee; he was an outstanding ballet dancer, better known as a master of folk dance, who created the country's first professional folk dance ensemble (now the Igor Moiseyev Folk Dance Ensemble). It became famous all over the world. Another marvelous ballet dancer Olga Lepeshinskaya, also a prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre, devoted herself to teaching after her ballet career, played an essential role in creating the Competition.
On June 11, Ekaterina Furtseva, Minister of Culture of the USSR, announced the I International Competition for Ballet Dancers and Choreographers' official opening at the Bolshoi Theatre.
In 1969, 78 participants from 19 countries got on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. As in the following years, the I International Competition of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers was conducted in three rounds. The final Jury meeting took place immediately after the third round and ended only the next day at 6 a.m. The Closing Ceremony took place on the evening of the same day.