The Jefferson Dancers
The Jefferson Dancers is the performance group of advanced students from 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.
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 England, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, and in 1991 the company performed in Moscow and Leningrad. The group has also performed at Kennedy Center.
In 1993, 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 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program titled A Musical Encounter: The Dance Program. Stites left the program for the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton in 1999.
In 1995, Folberg left the dance department of Jefferson High School to found The Northwest Academy, an alternative arts high school in Portland. Program alumni and MOMIX dancer Steve Gonzales has served as artistic director since 1999.
- The Jefferson Dancers (official website)