Guest Performer Auditions for A Nutcracker Tea 2018

Sep.12, 2018

Fall is in the air, which means Nutcracker season is upon us! Guest dancer auditions for A Nutcracker Tea 2018 are open to the public, and will be held September 22nd for ages six and older at June Taylor’s School of Dance in Tualatin. Come be a part of this magical production!

Performances will be held at the PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center on Dec 15-16 and 21-23, 2018. Please contact us at 503-925-3263 or via e-mail at nutcracker@nwdt.org for more information.

A Nutcracker Tea 2018

Sep.10, 2018

Lindsey Hile Photography

This adaptation of the beloved Nutcracker story has become a Portland family tradition that continues to sell-out each year for all seven performances! Follow Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they conquer the Rat King, journey through the magical Snow Kingdom, and visit the Land of Sweets. With beautifully crafted sets and costumes and enchanting choreography by June Taylor-Dixon and Kim Schroeder, this holiday classic brings joy to audience members of all ages. Performances will be held at PCC Sylvania’s Performing Arts Center. Please contact tickets@nwdt.org for further event and ticket information.

Tickets go on sale later this fall!

Colleen Dishy Photography

Performance Dates and Times

December 15th at 2pm

December 15th at 7pm

December 16th at 2pm

December 21st at 7pm

December 22nd at 2pm

December 22nd at 7pm

December 23rd at 2pm

 

 

Snow White and Other Works 2018

Apr.17, 2018

Many thanks to our wonderful dancers and guest dancers; Miss June, Miss Kim, our choreographers, and backstage crew; our parent members and volunteers; and all our amazing audience members and NWDT patrons! Our debut of Snow White this weekend was a full house, sold-out success. It was an empowering experience full of beautiful memories, and we are so grateful to have had the chance to share this joy with all of you.

Meet Northwest Dance Theatre’s Michelle Oakman

Apr.6, 2018

As our graduating dancers transition to the next dance or the next act of their lives, the impact these dancers make on their community is long-lasting. Michelle Oakman has been a part of this beautiful NWDT tradition. Michelle’s poise and strength carries across the theatre, while each movement expresses a quality of purposeful meaning with emotive resonance. Michelle and her graduating peers, Sofia Nelson and Emma Anderson, all provide their fellow NWDT dancers support and encouragement. Likewise, Michelle’s vibrant enthusiasm and attention to detail inspires dancers and non-dancers of all ages to pursue their passion.

Michelle performed her Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal Exam in Vancouver, B.C. on March 9, 2018

Just last month Michelle traveled to Vancouver, B.C. to enter for her Solo Seal examination – a performance award that is determined on a pass or fail basis and is only open to RAD students who have passed their Advanced II examination with Distinction. Miss June attended and said she was “awesome.” Since then, Michelle has also been accepted to State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, California, as a trainee, which is a wonderful opportunity and fantastic accomplishment. We will miss Michelle’s presence both onstage and in the studio, but as Michelle says, “these [NWDT] dancers are my family and this company will always be home for me.”

Come join us April 14th and 15th, 2018, at the Portland Community College Sylvania Performing Arts Center for Snow White and Other Works! Experience for yourself the power of dance: Michelle, Sofia, Emma, and all our dancers will move you.

Where do you train?

Currently, I train at June Taylor’s School of Dance.

When did you join NWDT? 

I joined Northwest Dance Theater in the fall of 2014.

What is your favorite company memory?

I have so many amazing company memories, it’s hard to think of one specific one. But if I had to choose I’d probably say my favorite company memory was all of the retreats we had for NWDT. Being able to spend a whole day or an all-night retreat just learning about each other and bonding and being as crazy as we wanted was really awesome.

What do you love most about performing

For me, performing has really become much more than just a showcase of my abilities. Over the past four years, I have really begun to see the art of performing and making.

What was your favorite role to dance?

I think my favorite NWDT role was probably Sugarplum Fairy in the Nutcracker. Just because it had always been my dream to be Sugarplum and it was really an amazing feeling to finally live it out.

Michelle as the Sugar Plum Fairy in NWDT’s 2017 production of A Nutcracker Tea – Photo by Colleen Dishy Photography

What challenges have you learned to overcome as a dancer?

As a dancer, my biggest obstacle has been to just let go. I naturally have a tendency to look very tense and focused while I’m dancing and I feel like I have come a long way, but I am definitely still working on relaxing more. Kind of a paradox but that’s okay.

How has your work with NWDT impacted you? 

Being a part of NWDT has given me many tools and experiences that I know will prepare me for a career in dance. Miss June and Miss Kim really emphasize all the responsibilities of dancers as if it was a professional company, and I think the way they challenge us and push us out of our comfort zone is a really important experience. In terms of academic studies, it has definitely helped me with my time management skills.

Who has inspired you the most? 

I’ve been taught by so many amazing teachers but Miss June will always have my highest respects. All the work that she put into me personally and to all the girls is incredible. She inspires me every day and if I could achieve even half of what she has accomplished in her life, I would be pretty happy.

What is your favorite piece in this year’s spring show?

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be Snow White this year. All the partnering and the acting is something that I don’t get to do very often, so it’s been a really fun challenge for me.

What are your future plans and goals?

After I graduate, I plan to attend a 32 week pre-professional trainee program at State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, California. I will probably take a few online classes at a community college as well just because I think it’s important to continue with school even if it’s not your priority.

What lessons will you take away with you from your time with the company?

Michelle performing role of Clara with Guest artist Ethan Schweitzer-Gaslin of Ballet Idaho in NWDT’s 2016 production of A Nutcracker Tea – Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

From my time with NWDT, I have grown a lot just in how I am able to communicate with people, how I handle stressful situations, how I solve problems; most of the lessons I have learned have been stress-related lessons. But I’ve also learned  a lot about responsibility and taking initiative, not cutting corners, and being kind to everyone. I really think NWDT has had a tremendous influence on who I am today just because of how great of an environment it is for young people. I feel so blessed that I was able to grow as a dancer and as a person under Miss June.

What is on your mind as you prepare for your last NWDT performance?

I really haven’t thought of it like that, to be honest. I’m hoping that in future years I will be able to come back as a guest dancer. I know that this last spring performance is going to be so much fun and I know everyone is going to love it. But the people of NWDT will always have a special place in my heart and even though I am graduating and leaving the company, these dancers are my family and this company will always be home for me.

Snow White and Other Works will be held April 14 at 6:00pm and April 15 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Tickets run $12-18 ($10 for youth) and are available at nwdt.org/snow-white-and-other-works. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

Meet Northwest Dance Theatre’s Sofia Nelson

Apr.3, 2018

A Nutcracker Tea 2017 – Photo by Colleen Dishy Photography

We are constantly inspired by our Northwest Dance Theatre dancers’ love of learning and passion for sharing the joy of dance with their community. Sofia Nelson is one such dancer whose love of dance and passion for performing and community is overflowing. She approaches each role with full-commitment and focus, which makes her a joy to watch from the very first moment she steps onstage. Her positive energy and tenacious work ethic is contagious among her peers and sets a wonderful example for younger dancers. As we approach this year’s spring production, we know Sofia will be greatly missed at NWDT, but we are also excited for her as she graduates and begins her next life chapter. We are very proud of Sofia and her achievements, both on and off stage, and wish her the very best in all her future endeavors.

Come join us April 14th and 15th, 2018, at the Portland Community College Sylvania Performing Arts Center for Snow White and Other Works! Experience for yourself the joy that Sofia and her peers bring to our community through dance.

In this NWDT interview, Sofia shares with us a little about this year’s spring production, as well as some of her favorite company memories.

Where do you train?

I’ve trained at June Taylor’s School of Dance since I was four, and I couldn’t imagine growing up anywhere else!

When did you join NWDT? 

I joined NWDT when I was twelve (in 2012).

Sofia (far left) and Emma Anderson to her right performing Spanish with fellow company members in 2017 production of A Nutcracker Tea Photo by Colleen Dishy Photography

What is your favorite company memory?

My favorite company memory was touring Keller Auditorium with the company and dancing on the stage. It was an incredible feeling to get to dance on a stage that size, and afterwards we got to tour the dressing rooms where all the OBT dancers stay. It was amazing!

What do you love most about performing?

I absolutely love performing. The bright lights make the audience completely dark, and reminds me that I’m dancing because of I love the joy it brings me, and I don’t have to worry about what others think of me. When I perform, I can let go of everything in my life that has pulled me down, and become a new person. I get to embody a new character every time I step foot on stage, and I love that about performing.

What was your favorite NWDT role to dance?

My favorite role to dance was Dewdrop in A Nutcracker Tea. Dewdrop was always a dream role of mine, and I was so lucky to have been given the opportunity to perform it this year with new choreography by Miss Kim that was absolutely beautiful!

Sofia pictured as the Dewdrop Fairy on the far right – Photo by Colleen Dish Photography

What challenges have you learned to overcome as a dancer?

Dance requires a lot of dedication, and trying to maintain good grades and still dance 5-6 days a week has been extremely difficult. I’ve learned to manage my time better, and thanks to dance (and Miss June in particular), I was taught the power of hard work and where life can take you with drive and passion for something you love.

How has your work with NWDT impacted you? 

NWDT has been an incredible opportunity for me. Not only did it stretch me as a dancer and student, I was gifted an amazing second family. I’ve grown so close with all of the girls in the company, and it’s going to be really hard to let that go next year.

Ragtime by Thorey Mountain – featured in 2015 spring production Peter and the Wolf and Other Works

Who has inspired you the most? 

My mom is constant inspiration for me. Day in and day out, she is the one that pushes me to do what I love and strive to be my best. She never danced as a kid, yet her unconditional love and support makes it feel like she is dancing alongside me every time I step foot on the stage.

What is your favorite piece in this year’s spring show?

In this years spring show, I’m so excited to perform the role of the evil queen. At the dance studio, I feel like I’ve always been given very energetic and smiley roles, but performing a villain has always been a dream of mine and I’m excited to showcase it in the upcoming performance.

What are your future plans and goals?

I will be attending Linfield College in the Fall of 2018 for pre-med studies, and I’m hoping to continue dancing on the side. I hope to later attend graduate school to get my MD, and we’ll see where life takes me from there. From my 14+ years of dance, I’ve grown to love learning about the human body and the way everything works together to create movement, so ideally in the future I’ll be helping others as a physician, orthopedic surgeon, or physical therapist. We’ll see. 🙂

What lessons will you take away with you from your time with the company?

2013 Nutcracker Tea Outreach Program at the Tulatin Public Library

I will always remember to strive to be my best and never give up. There have been many times when something in dance feels too hard. I feel defeated and immediately want to give up. Miss June always brings me back up, helping me through the bumps in the road and teaching me that I can do anything I can put my mind to with hard work, dedication, and a smile on my face.

What is on your mind as you prepare for your last NWDT performance?

As my NWDT experience comes to a close, I can’t help but feel sad. I don’t ever want this incredible journey to end, but I’m beyond grateful for all of the wonderful experiences Miss June and the rest of the company has given me these past five years.

Snow White and Other Works will be held April 14 at 6:00pm and April 15 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Tickets run $12-18 ($10 for youth) and are available at nwdt.org/snow-white-and-other-works. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

Meet Northwest Dance Theatre’s Emma Anderson

Mar.29, 2018

Hometown Glory by Alise Craig-Dixon – featured in Peter and the Wolf and Other Works 2015 spring program

Each NWDT dancer has his or her own story to bring to the audience. Over the past few years, Emma Anderson has grown as a dancer, as her hard work and dedication to her art form has been evident with the joy she emits onstage. This giving spirit has made her a wonderful role model for younger dancers and her peers alike. While we will miss Emma’s presence here at NWDT, we are also excited for her as she graduates and begins her next life chapter. We are very proud of Emma and her achievements, both on and off stage, and wish her the very best in all her future endeavors. We hope you join us next month for Snow White and Other Works  in celebration of the beauty Emma and her peers bring to our community through dance! Come see the next generation of brilliant young professionals perform April 14th and 15th, 2018, at the PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center.

In this interview, Emma shares with us what she looks forward in this year’s spring production, as well as her favorite NWDT moments and the lessons she will carry with her into the future.

 

Where do you train?

June Taylor’s School of Dance

When did you join NWDT? 

2014-2015 (my freshman year)

What is your favorite company memory?

Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

My favorite company memories are the tech and dress rehearsals before each show because I love going to the theater all day and being backstage.

What do you love most about performing?

I love everything about performing–the amount of work that goes into it, the costumes, the sets. I love being able to transform my character onstage, and I love that the audience has no idea how hard we’re working or anything about what happens backstage. I love the mystery and the magic of it all, and how time stops in the theater and everyone is transported into the world of the characters onstage

What was your favorite role to dance and why?

I loved being a rat in the nutcracker, because as a child, I always loved watching the older girls dance as rats. I knew the steps before I could even do them and I loved the costumes.

Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

What challenges have you learned to overcome as a dancer?

I’ve learned to push past my own discomfort and my doubts about myself, because there is always room for improvement, which is the beauty of dance. I’ve also learned that everyone learns and improves at a different pace, which has been difficult to deal with for most of the time I’ve been dancing.

How has your work with NWDT impacted you? 

Being in NWDT has obviously improved my dancing abilities, but it’s helped me academically because it’s important to be able to juggle a tough course load and extracurriculars at the same time. Being in the company, which takes about 15 hours every week, has taught me about time management and hard work.

A Nutcracker Tea 2016 (Emma pictured on right) Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

Who has inspired you the most? 

My peers have inspired me the most. Being able to watch the same girls that I danced with as a child grow up to be such beautiful, talented dancers has been inspiring for me and helped me to believe that I can do the same.

What is your favorite piece in this year’s spring show?

I really enjoy the piece Crunchy Granola because broadway jazz is my favorite type of dance. I love the music and the articulate steps and the whole feeling of the piece.

What are your future plans and goals?

In college, I want to major in mathematics or accounting, since I want to be an accountant, and I want to minor in music. I love playing in an orchestra, because it has the performance element of dance, but it’s not nearly as much about the appearance as it is about the music. I do want to continue dancing at least a little, though I may only take a few classes since I want to focus more on music.

Nutcracker Tea 2017 | Photo by Colleen Dishy Photography

What lessons will you take away with you from your time with the company?

I will remember the importance of hard work and determination, because for the last twelve or thirteen years, that’s all I’ve known to be true. Success requires hard work, and I know I can achieve that if I put my mind to it.

What is on your mind as you prepare for your last NWDT performance?

As I get ready to leave the company, I’m trying to focus on all of the good experiences I’ve had. I’m sure I’ll be very emotional as the last performance approaches, because while I’m excited to go to college, I’m also sad to leave the company and also the studio where I’ve danced and performed my whole life. During the shows, I’m going to do my best to remember everything about the theater, my friends, and what it feels like to dance onstage, since this may be my last time.

Snow White and Other Works will be held April 14 at 6:00pm and April 15 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Tickets run $12-18 ($10 for youth) and are available at nwdt.org/snow-white-and-other-works. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

Second Annual Nutcracker Tea Screening and Snow White and Other Works Fundraiser

Jan.31, 2018

Photo by James McGrew

Northwest Dance Theatre is happy to present the second annual screening of “A Nutcracker Tea” 2017 and fundraiser for NWDT and our upcoming spring production of Snow White and Other Works! This is an exciting opportunity to view “A Nutcracker Tea” on a big screen at Lake Theater & Cafè (106 North State Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034) with family and friends who may have missed the 2017 performances or wish to have a second viewing. The event is free, but a $10 per-person donation is suggested. Attendees must RSVP by email at office@nwdt.org as space is limited.

 
Tickets for the spring show, “Snow White and Other Works,” which will be held April 14th at 6pm and 15th at 2pm, will be available for purchase. One Hope Winery will offer free wine tasting, and there will be small bites and non-alcoholic drinks, as well. We will raffle off five fantastic baskets (see below). Dancers can view and order “A Nutcracker Tea” 2017 photographs, and pick up pre-ordered DVDs. Tickets for “Snow White and Other Works can also be purchased online.
 
NWDT Fundraiser Raffle Baskets
Raffle Tickets are $10 EACH – Most baskets have $300 value!
 
1) DANCE – Two tickets to the NWDT spring performance – “Snow White, and Other Works,” Free tuition for a 2018 summer session class at June Taylor’s School of Dance, Water bottle, yoga mat, ballet shoes and leotard and tights (may be exchanged for appropriate size)
 
2) MOVIE NIGHT – Two Lake Theater movie tickets, DVDs of Academy Award winners, Blanket, boxes of candy, microwave popcorn, Store gift card for snacks
 
3) FITNESS – Two passes to Anytime Fitness – “Free Month of Fitness and a free personal training session,” yoga mat, weights, fitness DVD, water bottle, fitness towel
 
4) BOOK CLUB – Best selling books, wine, gourmet snacks, Amazon gift card
 
5) SPA – Certificate to Bela Hair Studio for haircut and style, Certificate to Beaumont Nails & Spa for a
manicure and pedicure, bath salts, candles, Meditative music CD
 
*Smaller items in the basket may vary from description and are subject to change.

Help Support Northwest Dance Theatre

Aug.1, 2017

DSC01265It is our mission to make dance accessible for all by providing educational outreach programs and quality productions at low-cost ticket rates, while creating opportunities for young emerging dancers to grow in their art form as they share the gift of dance and the performing arts with the community. But we are able only to exist and put our NWDT founder and artistic director June Taylor’s vision into motion because of our patrons, donors, and sponsors. Ticket sales actually only cover a small portion of production costs, but each tax-deductible donation helps us provide young dancers the opportunity to perform and serve the public through affordable performances and free educational outreach programs that are made accessible to all members of our community. You can make a difference. Whether it is by making a tax-deductible direct donation through Arts People (learn more NWDT community sponsorship benefits), or by choosing Northwest Dance Theatre as your nonprofit of choice for each AmazonSmile purchase you make throughout the year, your support makes NWDT possible.

Thank you for supporting NWDT and helping us touch the lives and hearts of all ages with the joy of dance!

 

Support NWDT on Amazon Prime Day 2017

Jul.10, 2017

Amazon’s Prime Day starts July 10, 2017! Deals start at 9:00 pm ET tonight, July 10, and run through July 11. When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon donates to Northwest Dance Theater!

Shop for great deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3098613

By choosing Northwest Dance Theatre as your nonprofit of choice on AmazonSmile, you can support NWDT, your local youth ballet company when you shop throughout the year. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price each time you make an eligible AmazonSmile purchase.

Northwest Dance Theatre would not be able to provide performing opportunities for our talented young artists or bring outreach programs to the underserved members of our community without your help. Thank you for continuing to make Northwest Dance Theatre possible!

Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

NWDT Company Auditions for the 2017/2018 Season

May.17, 2017

We’re looking forward to beginning our 29th year this fall! We are inviting pre-professional young dancers to attend company auditions on June 4th, 2017, at June Taylor’s School of Dance located at 19318 SW Mohave Court, Tualatin, OR 97062. Audition times are as follows:

Returning members: 1:00-2:30pm
New members: 3:00-4:30pm

There is a $10 audition fee, which can be made payable at the door by cash or check only. Dancers are asked to arrive early to complete registration and warm up, as the audition will begin with center work. Pointe shoes (for girls) and jazz shoes are required for the audition. Dancers must be at least 12 years of age and have had at least six months of pointe work training. For more information, please contact us at 503-925-3898 or office@nwdt.org

NWDT dancers have the opportunity to improve technique, learn classical and contemporary works, explore different styles of dance, increase choreography learning skills, gain pre-professional performing experience, and work with renown choreographers. Here are some words from NWDT alumni about their experience as NWDT company members:

“NWDT has helped me build the strength and sense of commitment I need to dance in college and pursue a dance career. NWDT has been a pivotal part of my dance training, and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without it.”

“My work with NWDT not only pushed me to be a better dancer, but also helped me in academic studies. I learned how to manage my time efficiently and to stay calm even under stress.”

“The extra four or five hours a week I spend in the studio for company rehearsals has helped me improve my technique because I get to dance more, so I get stronger by coming to rehearsal.”

Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

We are so grateful to all our generous sponsors

NWDT operates as a non-profit organization. Many of the performances and outreach programs wouldn’t be possible without the donations and support of our sponsors. With this funding, we are able to bring our shows to venues that allow the public to see our companies talented dancers perform. In 2013, we sold out all 7 of our Nutcracker performances. That’s over 3,000 people! We couldn’t be more proud. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to NWDT, please click here to contact our Sponsor Director.