I agree with your editorial of June 26 about the positive effects of the arts on our community. The panelists at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on commerce and the arts were inspiring as they described our Valley as a welcoming home to the arts, and they all spoke with enthusiasm of collaboration among the various arts organizations.
But you and the panel both overlooked dance.
Since 1970 the Whitman College campus has been home to Summer Dance Lab, and every summer student dancers from all over the Northwest, Alaska and California audition for five weeks of intensive training under professional dancers. The teachers come from major dance centers of the country, some internationally.
Our community is also home to several independent dance studios and gifted dancers, teachers and choreographers.
We are also home to the Walla Walla Summer Dance Festival. Last year's debut season brought Oregon Ballet Theatre, Spectrum Dance Theater of Seattle, Eugene Ballet and Peter de Grasse and Allison Keppel.
This year's festival will take place July 21-27 with a week of free demonstrations, classes, and performances by the Oregon Ballet Theatre, John Passafiume Dancers of New York City, and Nobility Mob, a hip hop group from Los Angeles. The week culminates with the Grand Festival performance on July 27 at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.
Please help us publicize and promote another art form in the Valley, one as yet less recognized, but surely an important addition to the arts in Walla Walla.
president, board of directors
Walla Walla Summer Dance Festival