James Canfield was born in Corning, New York and received his early dance training at the acclaimed Washington School of Ballet. After joining the Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., he joined the Joffrey Ballet. He was appointed Oregon Ballet Theatre’s (OBT) Founding Artistic Director and served in that role from 1989 to 2003. Mr. Canfield choreographed
over 30 ballets for the year-round company and established the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan. LeeWei Chao started his ballet training at age 15. In 1996, LeeWei joined Joffrey Ballet Concert Group in New York City, followed by dancing with Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and Milwaukee Ballet. He started his choreography work while he was dancing with Milwaukee Ballet Company. LeeWei was featured in the August 2018 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine.
A native Oregonian, Graham started his training as a competitive Irish step dancer at the An Daire Academy in SE Portland. He went on to train in ballet and contemporary dance styles at Raleigh City Ballet in North Carolina, North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
In addition to teaching ballet classes for youth and adults at NW Dance Project, Casey Davenport is the Director of Ballet + Pointe at Innovative Dance, DOTY Performance/Dance, and is senior ballet faculty at Chehalem Valley Dance Academy (CVDA) encompassing over 15 years at the front of the studio. Casey has taught on faculty at Stites Dance Center and Da Vinci Arts Middle School. Casey’s joy in ballet is impacting as many students as possible with quality, conceptual training, and humor.
One of Portland’s most popular hip hop dance teachers, Mariecella Devine, has taught hip hop in the Portland Metro area for over 20 years. Mariecella has performed and collaborated with Michael Curry in his production of Spirits, and with James Canfield, founding Oregon Ballet Theatre Artistic Director, in his world premiere of CQ (Charmed Quark) at the American Choreographers Showcase and the Joyce Theater in New York City.
Kylie Dimick, from Soldotna, Alaska, began dancing at age three and trained under notable teachers such as Diana Brooks, Aram Manukyan, Clayton Cunningham, and others. In 2018, Kylie graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Science and Minor in Dance, joining Idaho Dance Theatre while earning her degrees. Kylie also serves as NW Dance Project’s Education Coordinator.
From Madison, Wisconsin, Madeline Gambino began training at the School of Madison Ballet under artistic director W. Earle Smith, later joining the pre-professional company for two seasons. After three years of studying dance and arts administration at Butler University’s nationally recognized dance program on an academic scholarship, she studied at University of Oregon and joined Ballet Fantastique in Eugene as a company artist for two seasons.
Corina Gill began her training at Black Mountain Dance Center in San Diego, California. She graduated high school at 16 and was accepted into the University of California Irvine’s well-known dance program on scholarship where she received her bachelor’s degree. She danced in several ballet companies, including San Diego Ballet, Ballet Tech, Ballet Pacifica, and State Street Ballet before joining Los Angeles Ballet at its launch in 2006.
Maranda Jory is a 2019 summa cum laude graduate of University of Cincinnati, where they received a BFA in Dance from the College-Conservatory of Music and a BA in Political Science. Before attending college, they received their year-round dance training at Los Angeles Ballet School, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre, and State Street Ballet. They are a certified Zena Rommett floor-barre instructor and have been teaching floor-barre to people of all backgrounds and skill levels since 2014.
Morgan grew up in Jackson, Wyoming where a passion for the arts, fitness, and the outdoors are a lifestyle. She began her dance training at the age of five, training in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop. She became a member of Dancers’ Workshop’s Junior Repertory Company at age eleven and studied and performed with the company for seven years. Morgan graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance.
Zuzu Metzler grew up in Camas, Washington, and has been involved with OBT and its school since 2008. Having trained with notable teachers such as Damara Bennett and Anthony Jones, she joined OBT2 in 2017. After a year, she was promoted to apprentice with the...
Kelly O’Connor was born and raised in sunny Pasadena, CA where she trained at Pasadena Civic Ballet Center. She earned her BFA in Dance with a minor in applied psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kelly has had the opportunity to perform with the UCSB Dance Company and Motion Theater Dance Company. Kelly’s teaching method is rooted in creating a safe classroom space for students to authentically explore and grow their relationship to movement and music.
From Hillsboro, Oregon, Andrea Parson began dancing to country music records in her living room and went on to become a leading dancer for NW Dance Project where she danced, choreographed, taught, and mentored for 11 years, earning a prestigious Princess Grace Award in the process. Andrea is currently on faculty at Pacific University, working on her own projects, and can be spotted in Sellwood walking her cat in its stroller.
Alejandra Preciado was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before her family returned to Panama, where she began dancing at the age of 3. Alejandra and her family relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she continued her dance training at different institutions such as Ballet West Academy. Upon graduating high school, she attended the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of California.
Amanda Sachs grew up in New Jersey studying R.A.D. before moving to San Francisco for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. In 2014, Amanda joined The Francesca Harper Project in NYC, and in 2017 she joined TU Dance in Minneapolis.