Presenting Snow White and other works!

Dec.3, 2017

Northwest Dance Theatre is excited to invite you as we premier our very own production of Snow White.

Saturday, April 14 @ 6:00pm

Sunday, April 15 @ 2:00pm

PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center

Join us to see the evil queen, adorable forest creatures and the fun loving dwarves as they tell the beloved tale of Snow White.

A treat for the whole family!

This production also features new innovative works by renowned choreographers and guest performers from the MAC company dancers.

Tickets on sale now, click here to purchase!

Don’t miss our Holiday special:
Tickets purchased by 12/31 will receive a 15% discount!

For ticket information and questions please email tickets@nwdt.org or call 503-925-3898.

The Nutcracker Tea at the Tualatin Public Library

Nov.28, 2017

Come join us this Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 2pm for our Nutcracker Tea Outreach program at the Tualatin Public Library.

This is a FREE production open to the public!

Northwest Dance Theatre is excited for the opportunity to once again present our program of The Nutcracker Tea at the Tualatin Public Library. Each year proves to be a very special and empowering experience for both our dancers and members of the community. It’s a fun way for the public to learn about dance, storytelling, costumes and props while getting a taste of the Nutcracker ballet which we will be performing at the PCC Sylvania Performance Arts Theater on December 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17.

For some young audience members it is their first time seeing dance performed, and for us this is an extraordinary honor.

We look forward to sharing the gift of dance with you all this holiday season.

Please contact 503-925-3898 or email office@nwdt.org  if you have any questions or would like to make a donation to support future outreach events.

 

A few tickets left for our Nutcracker Tea!

Oct.16, 2017

Northwest Dance Theatre’s “Nutcracker Tea” is SOLD OUT!

Thank you to everyone for supporting us!

Saturday, December 9 @ 2:00p

Saturday, December 9 @ 7:00p

Sunday, December 10 @ 2:00p

Friday, December 15 @ 7:00p

Saturday, December 16 @ 2:00p

Saturday, December 16 @ 7:00p

Sunday, December 17 @ 2:00p

We hope to see everyone at this year’s fantastic production held at Portland Community College Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center.

For questions please email tickets@nwdt.org or leave a voicemail at 503-925-3898. Thank you and see you at the show!

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

Thank you all and farewell to our 2016/2017 Season!

Apr.11, 2017

Many thanks to our wonderful audience members who joined us this past weekend for A Festival of Dance! Thank you to our brilliant NWDT dancers, Artistic Director June Taylor-Dixon, choreographers, guest dancers, production crew, parent members and volunteers who made this production such an incredible experience! Well done everyone – we are so proud of you all. And thank you to our donors and patrons for letting us share the joy of dance with you and for making NWDT possible. We look forward to seeing you all again in December for A Nutcracker Tea 2017!

NWDT full company cast of La Bayaderè 2017 with NWDT Founder and Artistic Director June Taylor-Dixon

Meet Felicia Zhang

Apr.7, 2017

Each NWDT dancer brings an energy to the stage that is uniquely powerful and beautiful. Ever since Felicia Zhang first came to join the company as a freshman at Tualatin High School, she has approached each role with enthusiasm and poise. And as you will see by her performance this weekend in Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère (set by June Taylor-Dixon), M’Liss Stephenson’s Clear Vision, and Leonid Shagalov’s Córdoba, Felicia possesses a quiet strength and distinctly graceful quality that stuns the audience.

Over the years Felicia has continued to grow both artistically and technically. She is a brilliant source of positive energy for her fellow peers through the rehearsal and performance process. It is a bittersweet time saying farewell to our senior dancers, but it is also a beautiful feeling to see the incredible work they have accomplished in such a short period of time. We are very proud of Felicia’s wonderful accomplishments both on and offstage! We wish Felicia the very best this performance weekend, and we look forward to seeing all Felicia will accomplish as she begins this next life chapter!

We invite you to join us for A Festival of Dance where you can see the next generation of brilliant young professionals on stage this weekend, April 8th and 9th, 2017! It is going to be an amazing experience you won’t wish to miss.

Performing Arabian solo from A Nutcracker Tea 2016 | Photo by Lindsay Hile Photography

Where do you train?

I train at June Taylor’s School of Dance.

When did you join NWDT?

I joined NWDT during my freshman year.

What is your favorite role in A Festival of Dance?

This weekend I’m looking forward to dancing the modern piece, Clear Vision, by M’Liss Stephenson the most. The style is drastically different from the type of dance that I am use to, and I feel the most relaxed while performing that piece.

What has been your favorite role to perform?
My favorite role to dance is the Waltz of the Flowers in the Nutcracker. I think the music is really beautiful, and the choreography fits the tone perfectly. I was part of the role for two years, so I was really comfortable with the choreography, and I was able to focus on the details to make the dance even more polished.

What have you learned while dancing with NWDT?

A Nutcracker Tea 2015 (Felicia on right, Lauren Wattenburg on left, and Sarah Valesano in the center | Photo: Carrigg Photography & Design

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. I was able to balance school work even with the amount of dancing that I was doing because I found that dancing was a much needed relaxation. It allowed me to step out of my usual environment for a while and adjust by doing what I love the most. Also, by performing on stage, I learned to only focus on my actions instead of the pressure around me. I learned to trust on my own ability.

What are your future plans and goals?

For the future, I will be majoring in International Relations and Mathematics at Northeastern University in Boston. I want to continue dancing because I’m not ready to give it up yet, and I will also have lots of opportunities to watch Boston Ballet’s performances on my free time!

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

As I prepare for my last performance, I’m a little sad to leave something that has been so important to me for the past 4 years. But I am looking forward to making my last performance my best one.

 

Tickets for A Festival of Dance run $12-18 ($10 for youth)* and are available at nwdt.org/tickets. Showtimes are April 8 at 7pm to April 9 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

*Performance week special offer: Get one free youth ticket with one adult ticket purchase when you enter discount code “freechild”.

Meet Lauren Wattenburg

Apr.4, 2017

The anticipation and excitement in the air is contagious as Lauren Wattenburg and her fellow dancers prepare for this weekend’s mixed-bill production of A Festival of Dance. Lauren brings a vibrant energy to every role she meets and positive enthusiasm to each step of the rehearsal process. Through the last few years, Lauren has come to brighten the stage with her graceful poise, powerful technique, and long elegant lines – as you will see April 8th and 9th, 2017.

Lauren placed first in the 2016 RAD Canada Dance Challenge, adjudicated by Lynn Wallace (pictured here).

After training with June Taylor-Dixon and traveling twice to Canada for coaching with recently retired Royal Academy of Dance Examiner Lynette Kelley, Lauren entered in February of 2017 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. Lauren also auditioned and was accepted to Ballet West Academy’s Summer Intensive and is on the waitlist for the very prestigious Royal Ballet School Summer Program in London. In 2016, Lauren was accepted to Boston Ballet’s summer program and attended Texas Ballet Theatre School’s summer program. She also traveled with her classmate and fellow company dancer, Sarah Valesano, to the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School in York, England, and trained with professionals from the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. In March 2016, she placed first in the RAD Canada Dance Challenge’s Advanced Division, which was adjudicated by Lynn Wallace, former artistic director of the Royal Academy of Dance. In addition, Lauren has attended the June Taylor’s School of Dance Summer Intensive for the past six years as well as multiple training sessions with Lynette Kelley in Vancouver, B.C.

Lauren’s tenacious dedication, commitment to detail in the studio and heart-felt passion on stage will be missed, but we are very proud of her many accomplishments and excited to see what she will continue to accomplish! Come join us April 8th and 9th, 2017, and witness the magnificent work that Lauren and her fellow company artists have accomplished these past few months in preparation for A Festival of Dance: our dancers will move you.

Where do you train?

During the week I train in the Bend area where I live, but I primarily train at June Taylor’s School of Dance.

When did you join NWDT?

I joined company in 2012 when I was in 8th grade.

What is your favorite role in A Festival of Dance?

Gamzatti in La Bayadère is my favorite role in A Festival of Dance. The role of Gamzatti is a delicate balance between grace and power, and I am grateful for the strength that I have gained from it. La Bayadère is a timeless ballet, and it’s an honor to perform this classic with the company. In addition, I’ve never had the opportunity to perform pas de deux or partnering work, and I’m looking forward to performing the pas de deux with Seth Parker.

What is your favorite company memory and performing role?

My favorite company memory and performing role was the Sugar Plum Fairy, which I performed during A Nutcracker Tea this last year. Performing this role had been a dream of mine since I was very young. Ever since I was seven years old, when I first saw the Moscow Ballet Company perform the Nutcracker in Reno, Nevada, I dreamed of one day dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy variation. After my first performance as Sugar Plum, I was overwhelmed by how amazing it felt to perform the role that I had dreamt of for so long.

Lauren Performing Sugar Plum Fairy in A Nutcracker Tea 2016 | Photo: Lindsay Hile Photography

Another favorite company memory of mine is being able to dance alongside my best friend, Sarah Valesano. We have had the opportunity to perform many duets together, as well as share numerous roles, and I have loved experiencing company with her.

What do you love most about performing?

Lauren and Sarah performing duet from Dennis Spaight’s “Gloria” as part of 2015 Spring Production Peter and the Wolf and Other Works.

I love the feeling when I first step on stage. The audience is completely captivated, and nothing else seems to matter…that is when I feel the most present and focused. It is an amazing experience to be able to transport your audience to another world through your dancing, and to share the timeless art of dance. Performing is truly exhilarating, and it is my favorite part about dancing.

What challenges have you learned to overcome as a dancer?

I’ve learned how to deal with the mental blocks that can develop when I am faced with an obstacle. As a dancer, I have been pushed with various roles, styles, and movements that are challenging both mentally and physically. I’ve learned how to have the tenacity to keep working and never give up, and I’ve seen that with enough hard work and faith in myself, I can achieve more than I once thought possible. It is always incredibly rewarding when I look back and realize that what were once my greatest challenges, are now part of my daily routine.

What lessons have you learned while dancing with NWDT, and how has this helped your dance training and academic studies?

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 NWDT and June Taylor’s School of Dance. As a dancer in NWDT I have learned that hard work, dedication, and passion are the keys to success. In order to be involved in NWDT, I’ve been commuting five hours round trip every weekend from Central Oregon while attending public school at Sisters High School. As a result, I miss at least one day of school each week, and I’ve had to develop time management and multitasking skills needed to maintain involvement in both school and dance. And all that work has paid off, as I’ve been nominated Valedictorian at my school! This entire experience has taught me how to be a self-starter in academics and dance, and it has helped me develop the work ethic needed to pursue both as fully as possible.

Who are you most thankful for and inspired by?

Lauren with NWDT Founder & Artistic Director June Taylor-Dixon after Solo Seal Exam February 2017.

In dance and in life, Miss June has been very inspiring to me. She exemplifies hard work and perseverance, and she is like a second mother figure to me. Her dedication to teaching, her students, and her passion for dance is incredible. There has never been a day where she hasn’t supported me through my endeavors, and she’s always there for all of her students in this way.

I’m also inspired by my Mom who has been by my side through everything. She has commuted with me back and forth every weekend between Bend and Tualatin for the past five years, while still being committed to her family and work. I am so thankful for my entire family – without the support of my Dad, Mom, and brother, none of this would be possible. I’m grateful that they’ve always encouraged me to follow my passion, and loved me unconditionally along the way. I will always be grateful for the unwavering support and encouragement from my family, and I am humbled by the selfless people that they are.

What are your future plans and goals?

I am going to attend Ballet West Academy’s summer program, and in the fall I will begin college at the University of Utah. I will be majoring in Ballet with a course emphasis that will enable me to go on to Physical Therapy and graduate work later on. At the moment, my primary goal is to pursue my passion for dance while I can.

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

I am grateful for all the opportunities NWDT has offered me, and the company will always hold a special place in my heart. I am also grateful for the people I’ve met along the way, such as Miss June and my fellow dancers, who have been with me on this journey. While it is sad to be preparing for my last NWDT performance, I am overcome by a feeling of gratitude for these last five years. On April 9th I may be taking my last bow as a company member, but NWDT has given me the strength and confidence to take the stage in the future.

 

Tickets for A Festival of Dance run $12-18 ($10 for youth)* and are available at nwdt.org/tickets. Showtimes are April 8 at 7pm to April 9 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

*Performance week special offer: Get one free youth ticket with one adult ticket purchase when you enter discount code “freechild”.

Meet Sarah Valesano

Apr.3, 2017

As a NWDT company member, Sarah Valesano is a shining example of positivity and resilience, and it is evident when you see her perform onstage. Sarah’s hard work is never ending. In rehearsals, she is always eager and devoted to practice, practice, practice till she reaches that next level of mastery. She participated in the very first Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) Dance Challenge competition to be held in the U.S. in 2015, and went on to compete in the 2016 R.A.D. Dance Challenge competition in Vancouver, B.C. Later in the summer of 2016, she attended the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School in York, England where she had the opportunity to train with renown professional dancers from the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet alongside her fellow company dancer and classmate, Lauren Wattenburg.

During her years dancing with NWDT, Sarah’s stage presence has continued to deepen and reflect a rich range of artistry and technique. She has been a wonderful role model for younger dancers and her peers alike, as she leads by example with hard work, determination, poise, and grace. We wish her well this performance weekend, and while we will miss her presence here at NWDT, we look forward to seeing all she will accomplish in her future endeavors!

We invite you to join us this weekend for A Festival of Dance where you, too, can enjoy and share the great joy Sarah and all our NWDT dancers, as well as our guest artists – the MAC Company Dancers, will bring to this production!

 

When did you join NWDT, and where do you train?

I joined NWDT four years ago in 2013. I train at June Taylor’s School of Dance.

What is your favorite role in A Festival of Dance?

Rehearsing “Danse Manu” solo from La Bayadère for A Festival of Dance 2017

My favorite role is my solo called “Danse Manu” in La Bayadère! It is a very joyful dance that fits my personality. The whole solo is me dancing around, trying to balance a jug on my head, which has been challenging but a fun experience. It is a very unique role that I have never done before, and I look forward to performing it.

What do you love most about performing?

After all the rehearsals and practice before the performance, my piece becomes engrained in my muscles. So, when I perform, I am able to relax and enjoy the music and movements as I dance. While the music plays, my body seems to just follow the music without any concerns. When this happens, it is an amazing feeling.

Who are you thankful for and who inspires you the most?

I am extremely thankful for my family who is my #1 support system. Always cheering me on through my years of dance, my family has genuinely cared about my interests. My dad is always involved in my dance life, either backstage, or asking me detailed questions about ballet on our way home from dance. My mom cheers me on through stressful ballet exams, tough roles, and travels alongside me for encouragement.

Sarah and Lauren performing in A Nutcracker Tea 2016 “Snow Scene” | Photo: Lindsay Hile Photography

Aside my wonderful family, I am thankful for my best friend and fellow dancer, Lauren Wattenburg. I can always count on her for support and a good laugh while at the studio. Only being friends for a few years, we have travelled the world together, been considered as twins by many, and have become the best of friends. Lauren inspires me daily by the way she is always striving to be a better dancer. We both know how to push each other to reach goals and to grow in our dancing.

I am extremely grateful for Miss June! She has challenged me to become a great dancer and committed hours upon hours to helping me perfect my technique and artistry of ballet. Miss June is a big reason why I love ballet. She knows how to encourage me, make dancing fun, and is always looking out for my best interests.

Lastly, I am inspired to dance by watching videos of the Royal Opera Ballet and other companies. I look up to Natalia Osipova, Darcey Bussell, Steven McRae, Sarah Lamb, and other ballerinas for motivation.

What has been your favorite role during your time at NWDT?

My favorite role was the Sugar Plum Fairy. Growing up, that has always secretly been my dream role. Last December, I was able to perform this role in NWDT’s Nutcracker Tea. It was definitely a difficult dance, but the opportunity to work so hard and perform it on stage was a dream come true.

Performing Sugar Plum Fairy in A Nutcracker Tea 2016 | Photo: Lindsay Hile Photography

What is your favorite company memory?

There are so many amazing memories I have had in company, but one of my favorite times is the long break in-between two shows. I love being with all the girls while we eat our dinner and talk. We always put on warm fuzzy socks, wrap ourselves in blankets, and then rest in the auditorium before another show. It is such a fun time to be together and laugh as a company.

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

As my time with NWDT wraps up, I only can think of how I have been so incredibly blessed! These past few years with the company have created so many fond memories and experiences that I will always cherish. Though it is sad to leave, I cannot help but smile. My life has been made so sweet because of the lessons I have learned, and the friendships I have gained because of NWDT.

As I begin a new chapter in my life, pursuing a career in nursing at George Fox University, I still plan on taking ballet classes in my spare time between my studies. Although I am not seeking a career in ballet, dance will always be a great part of my life.

 

Tickets for A Festival of Dance run $12-18 ($10 for youth)* and are available at nwdt.org/tickets. Showtimes are April 8 at 7pm to April 9 at 2pm at PCC Sylvania. Please contact 503-925-3898 or email tickets@nwdt.org for more information.

*Performance week special offer: Get one free youth ticket with one adult ticket purchase when you enter discount code “freechild”.

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.