The Jefferson Dancers are the elite dancers of the nationally known dance department at Jefferson High School. For 40 years the company has comprised the school's most advanced dance students who come to Jefferson High School for dance training. It is a multi-ethnic company of dancers, ages 14-18.
The program is dedicated to educating and preparing students for the depth of commitment it takes to physically and mentally prepare themselves for a performing arts career. In this professional dance company environment students begin to understand the responsibility required of them and the rewards of contributing to a product of exceptional quality.
Unlike most dance companies, The Jefferson Dancers are trained and perform works in all dance styles. The company's diverse repertoire includes over 200 works of Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, African, Ethnic, and Musical Theatre, choreographed by nationally recognized choreographers including Lowell Smith, Donald McKayle, Moses Pendleton, Josie Moseley, Steve Zee, Joseph Webb, Raymond Sawyer, Josh Hilberman, Royston Maldoom, Sarah Slipper, Brian Sanders, Linda Sohl-Donnell, and Brenda Bufalino. Guest artists such as Broadway star Honi Coles, The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alwin Nikolais have given workshops, and have conducted full-length residencies.
Dancers for the company are auditioned in the spring and those selected make a commitment to perform with the group for one school year. They are expected to attend at least 1-1/2 hours of technique class and 2-1/2 hours of rehearsal five days a week. In order to develop their technical skills to performance level, numerous lecture-demonstrations, community performances, and concerts throughout the Northwest are booked. The company has performed internationally in Russia, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. Providing students with diverse performing experiences serves to prepare them for the professional world of dance. The skills of the dancers are reviewed after each performance. Students are given constructive feedback, and are evaluated on how well they apply the feedback, their performance quality, musicality, and technical application.