Company members are appointed by invitation. The faculty selects dancers that show strong technique in ballet and pointe. Dancers that are invited to dance at the elite level in this discipline, and that show a commitment to class attendance and rehearsals will be considered. Elective classes like jazz, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical are not required for Company membership consideration.
2016 – 2017 Members
Blair is a 17 year old senior at HRVHS. She started taking ballet at CGDA when she was 4 years old and danced as a baby mouse in The Nutcracker. She started jazz in first grade, and eventually took up modern and hip hop as well. Thirteen years later, Blair’s love for dance continues to grow. She is honored to be able to represent CGDA and be apart of the company, for it has always been one of her dreams as a young dancer. Blair has always enjoyed performing onstage, whether it’s in The Nutcracker, school musicals, company fundraisers, or the spring show. She feels that by taking dance, it has helped her become a more confident, well- rounded person, and is very thankful to have dance in her life. She is grateful for her amazing teachers and friends whom she has become super close to. When she is not dancing, she enjoys playing lacrosse, playing piano, and being outdoors.
Anna began dancing at the age of three at Perkins School of the Arts in Norwich, New York. There she took part in modern, ballet, jazz, lyrical, and production. At the age of 12 Anna and her family moved to Hood River and she began training at Columbia Gorge Dance Academy. As a member of the Company she takes ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. Anna has participated in summer dance intensives such as Rebecca Kelly Ballet in Lake Placid, New York, and NorthWest Dance Project in Portland, Oregon. Other dance activities Anna enjoys are working as a dance captain and dancing in musicals, and teaching ballet. Outside of dance, Anna loves to hike, read, and eat gelato.
Casey is an eighteen year old senior at Hood River Valley High and has been dancing since she was 3. She started with ballet and later began hip hop, jazz, contemporary and modern. In her spare time she enjoys writing and running, and in the future she hopes to teach dance/English in developing countries.
Elizabeth is a 17 year old senior at HRVHS and has been dancing at CGDA since she was 4 years old. He first love was ballet, but she enjoys modern, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. She recognizes the importance of being a versatile dancer and feels lucky to dance at a studio that offers so many forms of dance. She has danced with instructors Josh Murry of Éowyn Emerald and Dancers, Nancy Davis and Jason Davis of The Portland Ballet and Anne Muller, former principal dancer at OBT. She has attended summer ballet intensives at The Portland Ballet and CGDA. When not dancing, she can be found sleeping, singing, or just enjoying life. She thanks all of the wonderful instructors at the studio for helping nurture her love for dance, and pouring so much time into their students.
Olivia is a 17 year old Junior. She has been studying ballet at CGDA since she was three, and is currently enrolled in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. Olivia is very grateful for the opportunity to dance with the CGDA company. When she is not dancing, Olivia enjoys poetry, math, and taxidermy.
Fiona is a 16 year Junior at CHS. Her passion for dance started at 3, when she began a ballet/tap mixed class at a small studio in White Salmon. Quickly following that same year, she started taking lessons at CGDA, knowing that dance was what she was born to do. Adding contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and modern to her repertoire was the obvious option for her goals of becoming a Company dancer. From the first time she saw a ballet performance by the Company, she knew that “that” was what she wanted to become. Being accepted into Company was a dream come true, and she cannot express her gratitude to her classmates, and more importantly, her teachers who have helped her reach that goal. When Fiona isn’t on the dance floor she is probably reading, baking too many cupcakes, or out on the water soaking up the elusive PNW sunlight.
Sara is a junior at HRVHS. She began her first tap class at the age of 3. A few years later she was introduced to ballet for her tap technique and quickly fell in love. Since then she has added jazz and modern to her repertoire here at the Academy as well. Along with practicing under all our wonderful teachers at CGDA she has also studied ballet with Robert Atwood and theatrical dance with Scott Thompson at Steps On Broadway in New York. On the fortunate occasions of having at the studio, she also has had the opportunity to study modern, ballet and contemporary from Josh Murry. When Sara is, very rarely, not at the studio (aka her second home) she is an art enthusiast and can often be found in the kitchen. She is so very excited to be apart of this amazing Company full of such incredible people and can’t wait for all the fun memories and dances to come.
Eva is a junior at HRVHS. She began her first tap class at the age of 3. A few years later she was introduced to ballet for her tap technique and quickly fell in love. Since then she has added jazz and modern to her repertoire here at the Academy as well. Along with practicing under all our wonderful teachers at CGDA she has also studied ballet with Robert Atwood and theatrical dance with Scott Thompson at Steps On Broadway in New York. On the fortunate occasions of having at the studio, she also has had the opportunity to study modern, ballet and contemporary from Josh Murry. When Sara is, very rarely, not at the studio (aka her second home) she is an art enthusiast and can often be found in the kitchen. She is so very excited to be apart of this amazing Company full of such incredible people and can’t wait for all the fun memories and dances to come.
Grace is a 16 year old junior at Hood River Valley High School. She has been dancing ballet since first grade and recently began modern, jazz, and contemporary. Outside of dance she is a member of the sailing team in the spring, but she still commits the majority of her time to dancing. She loves dancing with the talented, beautiful group of girls that makes up the company dancers, and she is very grateful to be a part of them.
Audrey is a junior at HRVHS. She has been dancing at CGDA since age 3; starting with ballet, adding modern in 7th grade, contemporary in 9th, and jazz in 10th. Since age 10 Audrey has struggled with scoliosis, after being put in a back brace, dance was her outlet that kept her sane through the craziness of middle school. She has taken classes from many professionals; among others Josh Murry, Joseph Wyatt, Jan Hurst, and Mica Francesconi made a huge impression on her dancing style. She has attended the CGDA summer intensive for the last 3 years along with an intensive at Allegro Studios in the Portland area. Besides dance, Audrey sails with the Gorge Sailing Team; this last season she won the state championship in Cascade Locks. Audrey is also the president of the Venture Crew, is a 4.0 student, and a scholastic art award winner. More than anything she is ecstatic to dance with the company and continue to grow as an individual, friend and dancer.
Isabel is a young, inspired dancer who is a sophomore at the age of 15. Isabel was introduced to dance in India at 4 years old. She learned traditional Nepali dancing for 2 1/2 years. When she moved back to Portland she started folk dancing and ballet. In 6th grade she was taking modern, contemporary, jazz, and ballet at Classical Ballet Academy. Isabel has been accepted into many different summer programs after auditioning. In the summer of 2015, Isabel decided to attend the Joffrey Ballet School for 2 weeks in San Francisco after receiving a merit scholarship. Her dance plans for this summer are to return to Classical Ballet Academy for an intensive and to participate in the CGDA intensive. Outside of dance Isabel enjoys pole-vaulting and running with the HRV Eagles, whitewater kayaking, kiteboarding, reading, mountain biking, and swimming. Isabel feels so privileged to have been accepted into Company and to be able to dance with such a tight knit group of friends.
shley is 16 years old and a junior at HRVHS. Ashley started ballet and tap at CGDA when she was 3. She now takes 10 classes a week including ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, hip hop, and jazz. Outside of dance she enjoys hiking, swimming and generally being outdoors. She also enjoys playing for the high school varsity girls lacrosse team which won its first state championship this spring. She is so thankful for the opportunity to be in company and thanks all her teachers and dance friends for always supporting her!<
2015 – 2016 Members
Ruby is a 17 year old senior at HRVHS. She took her first tap class when she was 3. Her move to Germany at age 6 introduced her to Ballet. She realized that in dancing, the language barrier is not an issue. When she returned to Hood River she started tapping again and eventually added Jazz and quickly Ballet, too, as her goal was to be in Company. Ruby cannot imagine life without dancing and is thankful for her teachers and their constant encouragement and support. Being in Company has expanded her experience on stage by performing at the Art of Movement, Portland Youth Ballet and some other great workshops. When she isn’t at her 2nd home (the dance studio), Ruby loves being outdoors, fitness, and yoga. She doesn’t know where the next year will take her, but she knows dance will be following her wherever she goes.
Anna is a sixteen year old junior at HRVHS. She began her dance training at Perkins School of the Arts, Norwich, NY, when she was 4 years old. There she studied modern, ballet, jazz, acro, tap, lyrical, and production. At age 11, she moved to Hood River and continued her dance education with Columbia Gorge Dance Academy. Anna now takes modern, ballet, and jazz. In the summer Anna attends the Rebecca Kelly Ballet summer Intensive in Lake Placid, NY. When Anna is not in the studio, she loves to hike, hang out with her dog, practice yoga, participate in musicals, and drink tea.
Anna is very excited and honored to be in the CGDA Company and can’t wait for the amazing opportunities and experiences to come.
Elizabeth is a 16 year old Junior at Hood River Valley High School. She began ballet at the age of four and since then has taken up jazz (8th grade), modern (9th grade), and contemporary (11th). Her first love was ballet, but feels that being a versatile dancer is important. She has taken african, lyrical, hip hop and swing classes at summer intensives in years past and has thoroughly loved stepping into new genres of dance. She has attended the Colombia Dance summer intensive, and The Portland Ballet Summer Ballet Intensive, and CGDA’s dance camp in summers past.
Elizabeth has had the pleasure of dancing under instructors such as Jan Hurst, OBT’s Artistic Coordinator Anne Mueller, Nancy Davis, Jason Davis, and Joseph Wyatt. She would like to thank all of the lovely instructors at CGDA for investing so much time and dedication into their students and for nurturing and cultivating her love of dance. She would also like to thank her fellow dancers for making the studio such a great environment to grow up in. This is Elizabeth’s first year in company and she is honored for the chance to work hard and represent CGDA. From doing pirouettes when nobody’s looking in the grocery store, to taking classes, Elizabeth plans to dance for the rest of her life.
2014 – 2015 Members
Megumi has danced at CGDA since she was a baby mouse. Now she is 17 and a senior at Hood River Valley High School. She takes classes in Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Contemporary. Throughout middle school, she danced over the summer in Vancouver. The summer before freshman year, she auditioned and received a spot for two weeks in Walla Walla, at the Whitman Summer Dance Lab. Unsure of where she will go or what she will be, Megumi wishes to keep dance in her life for as long as she can.
Hannah is a 17 year-old Senior at Hood River Valley High School. She started dancing at the age of 4 with ballet, and has been dancing ever since. Currently, Hannah takes multiple ballet classes, hip hop, jazz, modern, and contemporary. She has been able to travel and dance under the instruction of many teachers such as Joseph Wyatt, Dario and Giselle Mejia, and Jan Hurst. Outside of dance, Hannah is involved in the music department at the high school, performing in many ensembles and musicals. Hannah considers the studio to be her second home away from home and is grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people and instructors who encourage her to do her best. After graduation, Hannah plans to bring her love of dance with her to college while she follows the path that the future holds.
Taylor is a 17 year old senior at HRVHS. She has been dancing since she was 2. She started her dancing career with tap, which she did for 11 years, and ballet which she continues to do to this day. She also enjoys taking modern, jazz, and contemporary. When she’s not at the dance studio she enjoys playing soccer for the high school. She is extremely grateful and excited to be a part of the Company and incredibly lucky to have such fantastic teachers to learn from!
Emmalyse is a 17 year old Senior at Hood River Valley High School. Ever since she was little, Emmalyse knew she wanted to be a ballerina. Emmalyse started out her dance career in ballet, and then added modern and jazz. She has attended dance camps at CGDA as well as Evergreen City Ballet, and has taken some contemporary classes at the Northwest Dance Project in Portland. Besides Dance, Emmalyse enjoys working backstage in the theatre, under Rachel Harry, for the productions, and after school events at HRVHS. Emmalyse is very grateful for all her dance instructors, as well as her fellow dancers, she counts every one of them as a special part in her life. Emmalyse hopes to continue dancing through college, and afterwards wants to continue her backstage work professionally.
Alexa is a 17 year old who is a senior at Hood River Valley High School. She has been dancing since the age of 3 at Columbia Gorge Dance Academy and this is her 2nd year as a Company dancer. She hopes to continue dance after graduating HRVHS. Alexa has also attended many dance camps from studied under a variety of different instructors including, Dario and Giselle Mejia, Jan Hurst, Josh Murray, Micah Francesconi, and more. Outside of dance Alexa likes to sew new fashion designs and create her own patterns.
Maddie is an 18 year old senior at The Dalles High school. She started dancing at age 11 at studio Elan with Jayce Tappert and Mimi McDonnell, and was in their Company, until she came to CGDA in 2013. She has studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern and hip hop. When not dancing, Maddie enjoys running, art and going out into nature. Maddie loves to dance and is so excited to be selected for CGDA’s Company Dancers and to be part of this family of artists. She wants to thank CGDA for this opportunity and for being the great teachers and support they are.
Ruby is a 16 year old junior at HRVHS. She took her first tap class when she was 3. Her move to Germany at age 6 introduced her to Ballet. She realized that in dancing, the language barrier is not an issue. When she returned to Hood River she started tapping again and eventually added Jazz and quickly Ballet, too, as her goal was to be in Company. Ruby cannot imagine life without dancing and is thankful for her teachers and their constant encouragement and support. Being in Company has expanded her experience on stage by performing at the Art of Movement, Portland Youth Ballet and some other great workshops. When she isn’t at her 2nd home (the dance studio), Ruby loves hiking, photography and fitness.
2013 – 2014 Members
Hannah, Emmalyse, Taylor, Alexa, Anneke, Megumi, Ansley
CGDA Company 2012 – 2013
Dominique is a senior at Columbia High School in White Salmon, WA. Dominique has been dancing since the age of four when she first enrolled at CGDA. She’s been taking ballet ever since and has done jazz and modern the past few years. Dominique’s always up for trying new styles of dance any chance she gets. She has danced the Bear, Arabian, Doll, and Dew Drop solo in Nutcracker.
Dominique went to the summer dance intensive at Columbia Dance Academy in Vancouver from 2007-2009 and went to Whitman College for the Summer Dance Lab in 2010 and 2011. This past summer she spent six weeks in Michigan at the Interlochen Center for the Arts majoring in ballet and won a Fine Arts Award. In addition to her wonderful instructors at CGDA, Dominique has studied under Jan Hurst, Haruna Yamazaki in Tokyo, Naomi Mason, and Melissa Vovou just to name a few.
The CGDA studio is her second home, and all the teachers and other dancers are her second family. Dominique is very grateful for all the warm help and support she receives from her instructors. She’d like to thank all of them for inspiring her and helping her reach her goals in dance. This is her third and last year with the CGDA Company and she plans for it to be the best.
Megan is a 17-year-old senior at Hood River Valley. She has danced at CGDA since she was five years old and can’t imagine life without it. She began with tap, then added ballet and jazz in fifth grade and has loved it ever since. Over the years she has attended summer intensives at CGDA, Columbia Dance in Vancouver, and spent this last summer at the Rockette Summer Intensive in New York City – an experience she will never forget! Aside from taking classes at CGDA, her freshman and sophomore years she attended Saturday morning ballet classes at Columbia Dance in Vancouver. Besides the amazing teachers here, Megan has had the opportunity to dance with Dario and Gisele Mejia, Jan Hurst, Mark Bourchault, Joseph Wyatt, Heather Rigg, and many more.
She loves performing and enjoys learning new genres of dance. Megan loves dancing at CGDA and is so thankful for all her wonderful teachers and fellow dancers. After spending countless hours at the studio, it has become her second home and she has made many life long friends. This is Megan’s third and final year in the company and she is very grateful for the many experiences it has given her. The education CGDA has given her is invaluable and she plans to dance at college next year, and wherever else life takes her!
Mikayla is a seventeen year-old senior at Hood River Valley High School. She has been dancing at CGDA for 13 years, starting with ballet at the age of 4. Currently Mikayla takes multiple ballet classes, jazz, hip hop, and modern. She dances 5 days a week at CGDA and enjoys every moment of it!
When Mikayla isn’t dancing, she spends her free time playing the piano and learning Mandarin Chinese. She also works hard in school to maintain her 4.0 GPA. She brings her passion of learning to CGDA so she can experience new dances of various styles to add to her repertoire.
Mikayla is very thankful for the all the wonderful teachers here at CGDA who have helped her to develop as a dancer over the past years. She has also been lucky enough to have danced with Joseph Wyatt, Jan Hurst, Giselle and Dario Mejia, and many other dance instructors whom have also helped her to improve her dancing technique. This is Mikayla’s second and final year in Company. She is sad to leave CGDA, but she’s excited for a great last year of dancing with her lovely Company members! Mikayla plans on going to college after she graduates, and wants to continue dancing wherever her future path leads her.
Alexa is a 15 year old dancer who first found her love of dance at age 2 when she took ballet at CGDA. She dances in Ballet, Jazz and Modern and considers the dance studio her 2nd home. Alexa has attended dance camps at CGDA in the summer, especially enjoying studying under Dario and Giselle Mejia of Curio Dance. She has also attended dance camps at The Terpsichorean Dance Studio in Bend Oregon.
Outside of dance, Alexa’s other passion is Fashion and is a member of the Fashion club at HRVHS designing both clothing and jewelry. She also has a passion for Ecology and was among a group of students chosen to present a project to Jane Goodall at Willamette University.
This is Alexa’s first year in company and she is honored to get to dance with the dancers and under the wonderful instructors at CGDA.
Claire started her dance career at age 4 with ballet. She then took a detour to gymnastics advancing to the competitive state level. While still competing in gymnastics, Claire took a few tap and swing dancing classes. She eventually decided to spend much more of her time a CGDA in 7th grade. She began taking ballet classes again and added jazz and modern a few years later. Claire is a senior at HRVHS. She spends most of her time at CGDA, but she also is involved in music, theater, and varsity tennis.
Claire considers Company as a second family and is grateful for all the wonderful memories she has created with the other girls. She is extremely grateful for all the amazing opportunities through the Company and for all of her inspiring and encouraging teachers. They have been such an influence in her life. She plans to continue dancing while pursuing college plans. Claire is overjoyed to be a part of Company!
Sierra “A dream come true,” is how Sierra describes being part of this year’s Company. Last spring she was chosen to be an apprentice with Company. She deeply thanks her teachers at Columbia Gorge Dance Academy for this opportunity and for their many years of teaching and supporting her.
Simultaneously taking gymnastics and ballet, Sierra eventually just chose ballet, dancing for approximately 9 years. Currently she is taking ballet, modern and jazz classes and dancing every day at CGDA.
She has participated in a couple of summer ballet programs in past years and this year was able to attend Columbia Dance Academy in Vancouver, Washington and especially thanks Jan Hurst, Nancy Clement and all who made this possible!
Sierra is 18 years old and a senior at HRVHS so this will be her only full year in Company. She is currently looking at colleges and not yet set on her career choices, but leaning towards art, fashion and design. However, she says, “Dance is an expression of who I am and I will dance the rest of my life.”
Ansley is 16 years old and a junior at Hood River Valley High school. She has been doing ballet since she was three and it has been her favorite genre of dance so far. Two years ago she started taking jazz and last year she took up modern. These genres of dance have helped her to step out of her comfort zone and have improved her ballet. For the past two summers now she has attended Columbia dance’s summer intensives in Vancouver Washington where she has been inspired by other dancers, and improved her technique.
Ansley’s favorite subject in school is French and she considers herself a Francophile. She has taken four years of French and one day hopes to live in France. This is Ansley’s first year in company and she loves being able to dance more and hang out with her dance studio family.
She is very grateful for all of the teachers at CGDA that have helped her and inspired her to become a better dancer.
Sarah is a 17 year old senior at Hood River Valley High School. She started dancing at CGDA when she moved to Hood River from California at the age of 8.
She first began her dance career by taking Hip Hop and Jazz Classes, and the moment she started dancing she knew that she wanted to be in Company. In the seventh grade, Sarah began taking Ballet classes in the hopes of reaching her Company goal. She was placed in a ballet level with girls that were three years younger than her, but with hard work and perseverance, she managed to work her way up to the Company level. She participated in summer dance camps offered by CGDA, and also attended the Summer Intensive Dance Program in Vancouver.
In her spare time, Sarah enjoys volunteering for the Youth Heart of Hospice, working at Lucy’s Informal Flowers, and dreaming of traveling to exotic places. Sarah is extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to represent CGDA at the Company level. She hopes to continue her dance career into college and for the rest of her life. Finally, Sarah would like to thank her parents and all of the teachers at CGDA for encouraging her and helping her achieve her goal.