The Beginning

Rochester Dance Company (RDC) was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Minnesota in March of 2006. Wendy Jahraus, Chair of the Board of Directors and Ellen Huston, Artistic Director, formed RDC to expand the opportunities for dance students to perform in professional-quality productions. RDC would also provide a serious training program for students with a passion for dance, and the opportunity to work with and learn from professional guest artists and choreographers.

Early Years

RDC staged its first production, The Nutcracker, at Mayo Civic Center. With elaborate costumes, hand-painted sets and superb dancing by professional guest artists and company members, the production amazes audiences with its quality and beauty. The Nutcracker is an annual holiday production of RDC.

In April 2007, RDC brought award winning storyteller Odds Bodkin to Rochester for the premiere of The Door to Imagination. In this fanciful production, Odds told his engaging tales while company members interpreted his characters through imaginative choreography and costuming. RDC re-staged The Door to Imagination in March of 2008 making creative additions that were met with standing ovations from the audience.

With its nonprofit status, RDC is able to attract corporate donations and tax-deductible individual contributions to help support its operations and productions. RDC is funded entirely through fees paid by company members, donations, grants and ticket sales.

Each RDC season begins in August and continues through May. RDC produces two productions a season, providing company members with the opportunity to grow in technique and artistry.

RDC holds open auditions each spring to select company members for the following season. Auditions are open to ballet students from any Rochester area dance studio and who have at least two years of ballet training.  Check the website in March for audition details.

RDC members place the company first in their extracurricular activities, following family and academic obligations.

All RDC members are expected to attend two ballet classes each week, in addition to company class; participation in a jazz class is encouraged. All company members sign a 10-month contract to confirm their commitment to RDC. All classes and rehearsals are mandatory.

RDC members are divided into Apprentice, Junior, Senior and Pre-Professional companies. RDC members support and encourage each other, serving as role models for the dedication and discipline required of a serious student of dance.

The parents and guardians of company members are important to the operation of RDC. Through the Rochester Dance Company Associates (RDCA), parents and guardians are asked to volunteer their time and talents to one or more of the many activities needed to create RDC’s productions.

The are many volunteer opportunities, including providing hospitality for dancers and guest artists; costume construction and maintenance, stage crew, dressing room assistance, program ad sales, marketing and publicity, ticket sales, fundraising and special event coordination.

For more information contact Aimee Lake, Administrator at rdc@rochesterdancecompany.org.