A Bit of History
Whidbey Island Dance Theatre was founded in 1993 to promote dance as a significant cultural resource for Whidbey Island and the surrounding communities, and to provide pre-professional experience for outstanding young dancers. WIDT presents a broad range of dance styles including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop and ballroom. Strict standards of training and choreography provide dancers with opportunities for personal and artistic growth.
WIDT was a member of Regional Dance America from 2001-2012.
Each year WIDT presents two major productions. Our largest production, The Nutcracker, has enjoyed 25 highly successful seasons. In spring, our Choreography Showcase highlights the diverse talents of our broadly trained dancers and features the works of both resident and guest choreographers. Guest choreographers in recent years include Eva Stone, Aaron Cash, Danielle Wilkins, Laurentia Barbu, Andrea Binder, Leigh-Ann Cohen Hafford, Jenna Kantor, and Daniel Wilkins of DASS Dance. In 2004, Sharon Tyers, formerly of the Martha Graham Dance Company, set the first modern dance master work on WIDT: Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring.
Since 2000, WIDT has performed in Tucson, Salt Lake City, greater Los Angeles, and at the National Dance Festival in Pittsburgh, PA as well as a dozen cities in Washington. Local WIDT guest appearances include a featured evening at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in 2007 and 2004, a performance including Waltz of the Flowers and Appalachian Spring at the internationally acclaimed Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens' May Day festival, the Festival of Friends at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Seattle, and the Ballet Bellevue Winter Gala at the Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Bellevue.
Artistic Director Charlene Brown began her dance studios, Island Dance, on Whidbey Island in 1987. The daughter of a dance educator, Char's whole life has been committed to offering the highest level of dance education and professional instructors to students. Extending this commitment to the art of choreography led to the formation of WIDT in 1993.
Whidbey Island is about one hour's drive and a 15-minute ferry ride north of Seattle. It is 70 miles long and between 1 and 5 miles wide. The largest population center is at the north end at Oak Harbor. WIDT is located at the south end near Langley, the Arts center of the island and county. The company's main performance venues are South Whidbey High School Theatre (the largest and best equipped performance venue in the county) and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. South end population is about 30,000. Combined, there are approximately 1000 students at South Whidbey High School and Junior High.