DANCE FREMONT AT A GLANCE

Dance Fremont is a welcoming dance community for people of all ages. We inspire a lifelong love of dance in each student in a nurturing atmosphere full of joy and creativity. Dance Fremont is committed to creating equity in our art form and justice for Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color. We understand our responsibility to help dismantle white supremacy and other harmful structures in dance and ballet. We celebrate differences, including differences in race, gender expression, and body type, and see this work as crucial to our ability to serve youth, families, and adults.

Dance Fremont acknowledges that we dance on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe. To learn more and take action, please visit realrentduwamish.org

OVERVIEW

  • Dance Fremont was founded in 1996 by Vivian Little and Mary Reardon
  • Dance Fremont began in a small studio under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont
  • Between our youth and adult programs, over 200 students attend Dance Fremont! Student ages range from 3 to 74
  • Each year, over 50 students perform in our holiday performance, The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Story Ballet. In pre-pandemic times the show drew over 1,000 attendees per weekend
  • Our Nonprofit Board, comprised of DF staff, former DF parents, and local business owners, is proudly women-led.

ADULT CLASSES & COMMUNITY OFFERINGS

  • Regular drop-in intermediate/advanced ballet
  • Beginning classes in ballet and modern dance
  • Studio rentals
  • Pay-what-you-can community class card option

YOUTH PROGRAM

We offer classes for youth ages 3-17 in ballet and modern dance. Offerings for youth are broken down through the following levels.

Creative Dance and Primary Dance: Our youngest students begin in these classes, which encourage play and self-expression while introducing ballet and modern technique basics and practicing concentration, group work, and cognitive engagement.

Preparatory Program: At age 7, students progress to holistic technical training in our Preparatory Program, where they take 1-2 classes per week. At this level, dancers continue to expand their dance vocabulary and strengthen their awareness of movement through ballet and modern dance techniques.

Proficiency Program: This pre-professional training requires a class load of 2-4+ technique classes per week. Students wishing to study en pointe must take at least three ballet classes per week. Dancers advance into the Proficiency Program according to skill, not age. Our aim is to provide our students with the skills and confidence to succeed in their next endeavor after leaving Dance Fremont. All students in the Proficiency Program reap the benefits of delving deeply into a subject, working towards excellence, and discovering just how much they are capable of achieving.

RACIAL EQUITY EFFORTS

  • Updated attire and hair requirements to welcome dancers with all skin tones and hair types
  • Formed a partnership with PRICEarts, a Black-founded, BIPOC-led, women-led company as our resident dance company. As our resident company they receive free studio space for rehearsals, and work with our youth program students teaching classes and staging PRICEarts repertory
  • Formed collaborative partnership with TINT festival, which centers People of Color in dance
  • Offers scholarship support and pay-what-you-can class options to make classes more accessible to those impacted by systemic racism
  • Provides Black, Indigenous and POC artists with reduced-rate rehearsal space

DANCE FREMONT DURING THE PANDEMIC

  • One of the first studios in the Seattle area to get classes up and running on Zoom
  • Offered scholarships to anyone in need so that no one had to quit dance classes because of the financial impact of the pandemic
  • Adult intermediate/advanced ballet were offered pay-what-you-can
  • Did not lay off or reduce hours of any staff, teachers, or musicians; we continued to provide a dependable income to people in the hard-hit performing arts field
  • Continues to offer both Zoom and in-person classes so that families can make the best choices for themselves regarding risk and exposure

ABOUT OUR STUDIO & INTERIM SPACE

After 20 years at our Stone Way studio, Dance Fremont is getting a renovation! Our building has a new owner, and will be redeveloped into a mixed-use apartment building which will include a brand new studio on the ground floor to house Dance Fremont!

While the new building is under construction, Dance Fremont has moved to a custom interim location at 8420 Greenwood Ave N, 2nd floor, that features two dance studios, large windows, and a new HVAC system. We love it here!

Greenwood boasts great transit connections, many coffee shops and eateries, a library, and countless other amenities. We’re excited to land in such a bustling community!

DANCE FREMONT ALUMNI

  • Study at SUNY Purchase, Boston Conservatory, Cornish College of the Arts, Oberlin College, Chapman University, University of Washington, George Mason University, University of Oxford and more.
  • Dance for companies including Les Ballets Trockadero (Jack Furlong Jr.), Trisha Brown Dance Company (Raven Blue), Merce Cunningham Trust (Una Ludviksen), Ballet Austin (Grace Morton), Buglisi Dance Theatre (Erika Langmeyer), Ballet Pensacola (Ryan Lutu).
  • Choreograph their own projects/form their own groups (Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor, grant recipient from Washington State Arts Commission; Mariah Eastman, creator of Café Cortado in collaboration with local Chicago coffee shops using live stream dance, recorded interviews and dance film).
  • Careers in the performing arts such as teaching (Jasmine Morgan), film direction (Marley Rankin), costume design (Elysia Roscoe), and arts management (Hannah Wendel).
  • Careers in medicine, public policy and more… (Keiko Leong and Anna Zemke, doctors; Kelsey Barrett, World Health Organization; Tess Wendel, environmental strategy; Amina Kapusuzoglu, real estate).

DANCE FREMONT FACULTY ALUMNI

  • Alethea Alexander creates work for the stage and screen alone and with collaborators, performs for Chamber Dance Company, teaches for Dance Church®, the University of Washington, TeenTix, Velocity Seattle and more.
  • Steve Casteel was the Cornish Prep Dance Division Director from 2009 to 2021. He purchased Dance Fremont in 2015 when Vivian and Mary retired, and helped to establish DF’s non-profit status.
  • Kitty Daniels was Chair of the Dance Department at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts from 1986 to 2015.
  • Alexandra Dickson Lynch, former PNB soloist and Seattle Dance Project dancer, founded Lynch Dance Institute with husband Timothy Lynch in San Diego, California.
  • Alana Isiguen holds an MFA from UC Irvine, choreographs, and teaches integrated movement sessions in the community. Alana is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington.
  • Kabby Mitchell III was the first Black member of PNB, dancing in the corps and as a soloist from 1979 to 1984. The late dancer, choreographer, and beloved teacher co-founded the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (TUPAC), which opened July 2017, just two months after his death. We cherish Mr. Mitchell’s Memory and all he gave to the Seattle arts community.
  • Brenna Monroe-Cook, former principal of the Limón Dance Company, received her MFA from the University of Washington. Brenna is now on faculty at CSU, Long Beach.
  • Christopher Grant-Montoya performed for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Seattle Dance Project, and more before becoming School Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, then Managing Director of Dance Fremont. Chris cofounded Dance Conservatory Seattle in 2021.
  • Jason Ohlberg holds an MFA from the University of Washington, and is now Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Skidmore Dance Department.
  • Paula J. Peters has taught at the University of Washington, Skidmore College, University of Buffalo and Cornish College, among others, and her choreography has been presented by Men In Dance, Cornish Dance Theater, Fremont Danceworks and Cornish Preparatory Dance Company. She is now Associate Professor of Dance at SUNY Fredonia.