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San Jose Dance Theatre



The organization was founded in 1954 as Paul E. Curtis Jr.’s Los Gatos Academy of Dance and the West Valley Ballet Foundation. The name was later changed to San José Dance Theatre in 1966 and incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization in 1968.

For more than 30 years, San José Dance Theatre trained beginning through advanced dancers for a lifetime of participation in as well as appreciation of the art of classical ballet. The Academy was a school that specialized in the classical ballet training of children from 4 years of age to the pre-professional level. The results of the Academy’s 34 years of educating talented young dancers have been gratifying. Many of its alumni have gone on to professional careers in dance and ice-skating.

The organization delighted local audiences over the past 36 years with performances including Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. San José Dance Theatre produced San José’s first complete version of Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker' in 1966 under the direction of founding directors and choreographers, Paul E. Curtis, Jr. and Shawn Stuart. It is the second longest running production in the Bay Area. Only San Francisco Ballet’s has a longer run. By open audition, dancers from over 20 schools in the area join professional dancers for parts in 'The Nutcracker'. This unique combination of local, regional and national performers makes this production a tradition that is truly a celebration of our world community.
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