San Diego Dance Theatre

Rating: 4.89 stars   143 reviews

Issues:

Location: 2650 Truxtun Road Suite 108 San Diego CA 92106 USA

Mission:

To create and perform intelligent dances that inspire the people of our region and beyond and to provide access to the viewing, training in and dancing of these dances by diverse audiences and dancers. 


Programs:

San Diego Dance Theater has truly carved a creative niche in the San Diego arts scene. Trolley Dances was created in 1999 as a collaboration between SDDT and the Metropolitan Transit System. Each year, Artistic Director Isaacs invites choreographers with diverse aesthetics and styles from around the U.S. and Mexico to create six site-specific works for different venues along an established San Diego trolley route.  Past performance spaces have included the escalator of a shopping center, the banks of the San Diego River, the inside of a hotel room, a library, a sports bar and a fountain.  The distinctiveness of these different venues creates creative challenges for the 50 dancers who bring each piece to life.  In 2008, we inaugurated our Kids on Board program that enabled students from underserved neighborhoods the opportunity to watch a special performance of Trolley Dances and to participate in workshops teaching public art/dance. 

 

 

 

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Jean Isaacs and Sand Diego Dance Theater have been very influential on my life as a dancer/choreographer. I consider Jean my first dance teacher; her teachings deeply informed my dancing and choreography, which have in turn informed almost all other aspects of my life.

San Diego Dance Theater was one of the first producers of my solo projects through their summer workshops. These early opportunities allowed me to discover my voice as a choreographer and solo performer.

Currently, I am studying architecture, another way to look at form and movement through space. I also still perform. Dance my have been an unusual way to arrive at architecture, but I think it was a good one.

Jean's enthusiasm in the studio is exciting to see, as is her commitment to her art; it is this enthusiasm and commitment which led me into the deepness of dance, which altered the direction of my life.

many thanks to Jean Isaacs and San Diego Dance Theater!
Amanda Waal

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways, through refined technique to many performance opportunities as a young and emerging artist.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it easier for them to export their model to other cities. San Diego Dance Theater gives emerging performers and choreographers so many wonderful opportunities.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Jean Isaacs and San Diego Dance Theatre have long been a symbol of creative and innovative dance in the San Diego dance scene. The work Jean does both onstage and off has been vital to the development of modern dance in San Diego. She has trained many young dancers in the community that have gone on to be performers, teachers and choreographers across the continent. Her classes are rich with imagery and detail, refining the artistry of each dancer while challenging their physicality. Her ability to inspire and nurture curiosity while challenging ones intellect is inspiring to me as a teacher and choreographer. Ms. Isaacs work is often clever, engaging and rich, full of lush movement and laced with detail. I always look forward to my return visits to San Diego to see her work and take class.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Danced with Jean in the 90's

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Assist in development and funding resources.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

Not only is the San Diego Theatre an exaple of fine art, but also of passion and perseverance.
I have enjoyed the collaborations we have had together, and have grown with the experiance.

Isabel Beteta
Mexico City

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Organization, caring, and generosity

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

Jean teaches classes that are lush, engaging, musical, and ask commitment of the dancer. You also feel a real sense of community among the students. I simply like being around Jean, moving in her style, and being a part of this warm community. I feel like she is a real light for san diego dancers.
Trolley dances, which I have seen for 3 years, is a wonderful bringing together of a larger community, where we get to see excellent professional and touching dance as well as feel like we are on an adventure. It is what she does so well in so many realms---brings people together and reminds us of our shared warmth and spirit.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

performances, classes

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n/a

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

San Diego Dance Theatre (SDDT) is like a dance home to me. When I first moved to San Diego from Boston 15 years ago, I didn't know anyone. As soon as I walked into San Diego Dance Theatre's studios I felt like I was at home: I made new friends, was able to take professional-level classes, but most importantly I connected with the finest modern dance company in all of San Diego. SDDT, under the director of Jean Isaacs, has been a mainstay in the San Diego Dance world for many reasons: SDDT attracts talented dancers to the company, develops emerging dancers (such as Monica Bill Barnes), sponsors partnerships with dance companies all over the world by offering master classes and performance opportunities, has a wonderful Summer intensive dance program, and offers many opportunities for the community to be involved in dance, such as the now-famous Trolley Dances and the current partnership with High Tech High. Lastly, SDDT performances are beautiful, funny and entertaining.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My child attends High Tech High and I have seen how the classes that SDDT offers have changed the lives of the students who attend classes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

love to see them sponsor more out-of-town dance companies and master classes. However, I realize that this requires funding to accomplish.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

The quality of the choreography, the experience of the director, the connection with dance outside of San Diego.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I have really enjoyed taking class from Jean Isaacs and all the teachers at SDDT. I've also enjoyed their shows - their Cabaret dances in the winter of 2004/5 was the first dance show I'd ever seen, and how keenly did it whet my appetite. Jean has also hosted a wonderful series inviting some outstanding Mexican dance companies to come to San Diego to teach and perform. I'm really grateful to Jean and to SDDT. They are wonderful people and wonderful performers and wonderful curators and wonderful choreographers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My dance training, my positive attitude when I'm in San Diego, my artistic appreciation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger! Have more choreography competitions!

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Rating: 4 stars  

I have really enjoyed taking class from Jean Isaacs and all the teachers at SDDT. I've also enjoyed their shows - their Cabaret dances in the winter of 2004/5 was the first dance show I'd ever seen, and how keenly did it whet my appetite. Jean has also hosted a wonderful series inviting some outstanding Mexican dance companies to come to San Diego to teach and perform. I'm really grateful to Jean and to SDDT. They are wonderful people and wonderful performers and wonderful curators and wonderful choreographers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My dance training, my positive attitude when I'm in San Diego, my artistic appreciation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger! Have more choreography competitions!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have supported Sand Diego Dance Theatre and enjoyed multiple performances for over 10 years. Jean Isaacs is an innovator, mentor, and outstanding Artistic Director. She has inspired, taught and given multiple beginning dancers their start in the modern dance world. Jean Isaacs through her invention of The Trolley Dances has exposed a vast number of new audience members to Modern Dance. Who knows how many tiny tots to teenagers has her work and the work of other National and Internationally known choreographers introduced and helped create the future modern dancers, choreographers and Artistic Directors.
Jean Isaacs is a visionary.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As an audience member and frequent introductions to the modern dance community of San Diego

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give this organization more funding.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My first involovement was taking workshop dance classes many years ago. I found the dancers welcoming including dance company members. The experince was so good I continued to take weekly classes as often as I was able. Once I participated in a summer workshop & perfromance I wanted that opportunity in my own community. With the help of a grant, Jean Isaacs and the dance company generously came every summer to teach and perform in Ramona CA for 20 years. Jean and her dancers not only gave the gift of dance but life experiences and lessons to many students ages 10 years to 60 years old. I'll always remember the high student from a foster home who took part in the workshop, learned her part in the dances, then watched as the professional dancers, now her friends, took the stage. She turns to me and says "I feel like they are dancing just for me". What a wonderful experience this dance company made available for this young person and many others!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization while taking dance class, observing dance company members give instruction to all levels of dancers and watching numerous concerts at all sorts of venues, with performers of various abilities - this organization always performs with dignity, integity and character.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The changes I would make to San Diego Dance Theater would be to offer more opportunities to students outside of San Diego to train and learn about choregraphy

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

SDDT did a fabulous job at two events revolving around TEDxSanDiego. They had an incredible duo perform an innovative in the midst of a reception. They stopped everyone in their tracks it was simply incredible, almost beyond belief. Jeanne Isaacs, the lead and one of her key performers, John also performed for the TEDx audience at the main event. They actually created a short dance right in front of our eyes. It was a highlight of the day and one we'll never forget. It opened our eyes up to this amazing group that has brought dance to all corners of San Diego County. Their innovative Trolley Dances bring dance toa new level. Regretfully I forget the specific name, but it's location specific and requires an insane ability to improvise.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our event.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get them some strong marketing assistance and encourage Jean to let go a bit.

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Review from Guidestar