The Jefferson Dancers

The Jefferson Dancers

The Jefferson Dancers is the performing leg of the magnet arts dance program at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon, United States. The company was founded by Mary Vinton Folberg in the early 1980s. Folberg served as artistic director of the dance company from its founding until the mid-1990s. Over the years, the company has worked with dance legends such as Brenda Bufalino, Donald McKayle, and Royston Maldoom.

The company performs annually in Portland venues, such as the Keller Auditorium, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The company also performs annually at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon. Past international tours have included performances in London, Paris, Aix-en Provance and Canada, and in 1991 the company performed in Moscow and Leningrad — a tour financed entirely by revenue generated from past performances.

In 1993, Mary Vinton Folberg went on sabbatical, during which Julane Stites served as artistic director of the company. That year, the company was the subject of the 30-minute PBS program titled "A Musical Encounter: The Dance Program" [] , which was nationally syndicated on PBS stations.

In 1995, Mary Vinton Folberg left the dance department of Jefferson High School to found the The Northwest Academy, an alternative arts high school in Portland. "Jefferson Dancers" alumni Steve Gonzales has served as artistic director since that time. Under his leadership, the company has performed at the Kennedy Center and with the [ White Bird] dance project.

The company for 2007-2008 consists of: Members: Melissa Araujo, Matthew Bade, Maryam Baghdadi, Molly Blodgett, Nate Boddy, Elizabeth Bressler, Kevin Clark, Katie Cowdery, Peyton Eaves, Quincy Hickson, Chelsea Holland, Taryn Jansen, Emma Meskill, Michael Munday, Cameron Packham, Jon Sadony, Lila Simmons, Julia Stafford, Megan Thompson, Austin Tyson, and Bethany Withycombe.Apprentices: Maranda Brown, Hope Hickson, Victoria Holt, Brittnie Marcell, Aubrey Packham, and Jenna Rolle

ee also

* The Northwest Academy
* Willamette Ballet Academy
* Oregon Ballet Theater
* Do Jump

External links

* [ The Jefferson Dancers official site]
* [ Jefferson Dancers Voted Best Local Dance Company (2003)]
* [ Not Your Average High-School Dance]
* [ Jefferson High School Performing & Visual Arts Magnet]
* [ Kennedy Center Article about The Jefferson Dancers]
* [ "Portland Tribune" article about The Jefferson Dancers]
* [ Budget to Bust a Move]
* [ Student Reviews of The Jefferson Dancers performance]

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