About the Spokane Youth Ballet…
Co-Artistic Directors Kristen Potts and Phaedra Jarrett founded the Spokane Youth Ballet in 2010. Each of these women brought with them a history in the world of dance rich with experience and inspiration. This happy collaboration brought together two women with much in common. Both had lived and worked in the Bay Area of California, both had immigrated to Spokane recently, and both had a passion for the art of ballet. They felt that the young and talented dancers of the greater Spokane area needed high quality performance opportunities in order to round out their training.
For their first production they chose the famous fairytale “The Dancing Princesses”. It was presented in 2010 at the Central Valley Performing Arts Center with a cast of over 60 local ballet students and professional guest artists from Oregon Ballet Theatre. The ballet was such a success that Potts and Jarrett decided to present the ballet again in 2011 at the Martin Woldsen Theater at the Fox. With enhanced sets and costumes and an even larger cast, “The Dancing Princesses” was performed for a packed house…all but six seats were sold. The performance was attended by a true cross section of the community, seniors, adults, teens, children and the Mayor of Spokane, Mary Verner, and SYB’s angel and patron Dr. Elizabeth Welty.
Unfortunately, 2012 and 2013 were very difficult years for SYB, as for many, many arts organizations across the nation. Due to a lack of funding the company was unable to produce any performances. But, the training of the dancers continued. The dancers kept working and developing. They are eager to display their new and stronger technique. Some rearranging of personnel took place…Ms. Jarrett moved from the position of Co-Artistic Director to Resident Choreographer. And now, happily, SYB is about to produce its Artistic Director, Ms. Potts’ original production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. With choreography by both Potts and Jarrett, the performance will take place on January 11, 2014 at the Martin Woldsen Theater at the Fox. The production exhibits the talents of over 50 local ballet students, local former professional dancers in the adult roles, and professional guest artists from Oakland Ballet.
SYB holds open auditions each year at the beginning of September. The group is open to students from all studio affiliations who meet the high standards of the company. SYB is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Contributions are tax deductible. All who are interested in arts, particularly ballet arts, for children and youths are encouraged to contact the company and become involved.