Grateful and growing are the two words that come to mind when I think about 2014 at Polaris Dance Theatre. We’ve experienced amazing growth in our programming, performances and staff, and we look forward to continuing on this path towards collaborative outreach and community enrichment.
We face a time when funding cuts in the performing arts and education are increasing, but with the help of our board, staff, dancers, students, parents and most importantly, our supporters, we’re working to continue the important programming we provide to the local community and beyond.
This journey of discovery, which I share with these gifted individuals, is an exploration of passion, challenges, and strengths, which culminates in a rich artistic offering for audiences who overwhelmingly proclaim that they’ve been moved and forever changed by their experience with Polaris Dance Theatre.
Photo courtesy of Jingzi Photography
The more I work with the unique, gifted, and giving group of students and dancers, the more touched I am to be included in such meaningful projects, many of which change lives, including my own.
I am ever-grateful to the wonderful body of students and parents who are drawn to the innovative classes we offer, and I am ever-humbled by the community support that continues to overflow within our organization. All this adds to the mission and spirit that is uniquely Polaris!
At Polaris, we believe that EVERY BODY can dance…no matter age or ability! We proudly reflect this mission in our programming, which additionally this year included tap classes, the launch of our SprindBoard program for teens, parent/child classes for ages 1 and up, and senior classes for ages 55+.
I am honored to be working with such a talented and hard-working group of artists, including Gerard Regot from Spain, one of two international dance company members this year. Regot’s unique movement style, both as a dancer and choreographer, broadens and enriches Polaris’ artistic vision.
Polaris has created 327 original dance works since our opening in 2002. We continue to develop progressive contemporary dance, demonstrated by our 2014 performances, including the much-anticipated annual Groovin’ Greenhouse in January, which brought in 8 guest dance companies; Homegrown in June, featuring distinguished, local choreographers, sound artists and performers; and Word, a riveting blend of dance to spoken word.
This year also brought us new staff, including our Marketing Manager, Mary Overman, with whom we’ve made new strides and strategies, and along with our board, have continued to develop organizational structure and growth. Polaris’ achievements and accomplishments would not be possible without their professional guidance, unwavering support, passion, and yes…a little elbow grease!
Exciting adventures are in store for Polaris, including our search for a new home. Our current home in downtown Portland, one we’ve called ours for the past 6 years, will transition to condominiums. We’re looking forward to the new relationships this move will bring, and hope you’ll remain with us on this new adventure!
As we move into our 13th year, I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue on this journey with you, our supporters. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards our many volunteers, collaborators, and contributors, without whom we would not succeed. With your support, we’ll continue flourishing in the city that we love.
To you and yours, may the new year bring you peace, love, and dance!