Dancers at Whidbey Island Dance Theatre attend festival

The theatre joined other pre-professional regional dance companies at a recent festival in Spokane.

Young dancers of Whidbey Island Dance Theatre joined other pre-professional regional dance companies for four days in Spokane at a festival recently. These dancers showed their mettle.

Every year, the Ballet Alliance hosts a four-day festival where dancers take master classes from renowned instructors, participate in dance-related seminars, perform for their peers and forge new relationships.

Mark Thrapp, WIDT co-artistic director with Jamee Pitts, reported that the seventeen dancers representing Whidbey Island held their own among the participating companies, who hail from a variety of states including Washington, California, Idaho, Indiana and Utah.

“I was really impressed by the talent and stamina of our dancers throughout the festival classes and performances. I was proud to see them hold their own in the pack; they looked great,” Thrapp said.

Emmalyn Rochholz, a 16-year-old Logos Academy 10th grader and WIDT dancer, said the festival was one of the most inspiring event of the year.

“It was an honor to learn from teachers with a lifetime of experience and to dance alongside fellow dancers who are there purely for their love of the art,” Rochholz said.

Tabitha Metts, a recent graduate of South Whidbey High School, choreographed a dance for the company entitled “Lucid Dream.” Not only was the piece performed at WIDT’s recent Celebration of Dance concert May 3 and 4 to audiences at WICA, but the company performed it at the festival the following week, which garnered Metts an Emerging Choreographer scholarship to The Ballet Alliance Virtual Summer Project.

“This year’s festival, for me, was super inspiring and fun,” Metts said. “I absolutely loved all of the classes I took and learned so much from all of the amazing teachers there. The social time with the other dancers was really nice, and the performances every night were phenomenal.”

During the festival, member dancers are seen by recruiters from world-class ballet schools, professional dance companies, and college and university dance programs. It is common for dancers to be awarded scholarships to summer intensives, early acceptance to higher education dance programs, and receive apprenticeships or professional contracts from Artistic Directors.

Pitts said the experience was a special one for her and Thrapp as a first-time Artistic Director of the company.

Find out more about this hard-working company of young Whidbey Island dancers at the website,

Photo provided

Photo provided