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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

San Diego Dance Theatre

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Dance

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. 

 

 

 

Community Stories

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is a beautiful part of our community that helps many people on a daily basis. Movement, relating to rhythm and music is innate in all of us and is a part of all of our ancestries. This organization is able to fulfill us with the need that we have to take part in dance. Providing us with happiness, health and longevity, and a feeling of accomplishment. Through the amazing art form known as dance, this organization is able to give hope, give a voice, improve heath, educate, and empower individuals of all ages in the community.

I have not only had the amazing opportunity to dance with this organization several years ago, but every year I take part in viewing their beautiful art form and allowing it to touch and inspire my life as well as the lives of my children, family, and friends.

Without this dance organization, there would be a void. My hope is that they will continue to help and empower our community for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so excited about the new program for elders. I know how important this is for their well-being, socialization, and exercise! Thank you San Diego Dance Theatre.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

San Diego Dance Theater is an exceptional, healthy, professional organization with a strong commitment to dancers, dance art, students of dance, and the community in general. I have known SDDT's director, Jean Isaacs, for over 20 years. She has developed a corporate culture based on a vision that embraces individuals and the public through her genuine appreciation for not only the art form of SDDT but for humankind. The company members deliver this vision through their work, their openness, and through their complete commitment to the company and to the art form. San Diego is a better place because SDDT is part of the arts and culture industry here, and because SDDT and its stakeholders are dedicated to dance and to San Diego.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

SD dance theater was my first exposure to modern dance and attending live dance performances. What I appreciated most was the intimate settings for the performances. As an audience member, you felt very connected with each performance, especially since they also allowed audiences to come watch works in progress at the studio. Their annual trolley show is a perfect example of how this organization wants to and continues to stay connected with the city and its people as they use the city elements as their stage and you are there right in front watching.
It is such a valuable addition to the "culture" of San Diego.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed watching the Jean Isaacs dance groups for over 20 years. When you search for a dance that emphasizes artistic expression and development of all aspects of modern dance in San Diego, the name Jean Isaacs heads the list. The performances are frequent, the dancers represent all ages, and the dance routines are fresh and contemporary. One of the many artistic achievements that I notice is the integration of the music and the dancing. Recently, the Trolley Dances, held outside at various locations along the trolley route for several years, exemplify the connection Jean Isaac performances have the general public. Families, groups of children of all ages, and performing arts enthusiasts stand side by side absorbing the wonderful performances. San Diego is blessed to have such a dedicated artist as Madame Isaacs leading our young aspiring dancers. More information can be found at: http://www.sandiegodancetheater.org/

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am writing this review as part of a contest to get the SDDT funding from Guidestar. I appreciate being able to assist.

Jean Issacs company provides theater for the community as well as opportunity for dancers to perfect their craft and perform. As a dance company, they are inventive, lively and so much fun to watch. You hear and see music and movement that is original and exciting. If you wax nostalgic there are programs that mix musical standards with unexpected new movement. I enjoy live performance and feel that all communties should support local talent with attendance and appreciation. When an artist has the passion to dance and desires to be seen by those who celebrate their art, the communion is sublime.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Trolley Dances! The stops change every year and put the rider (you actually get to ride on the trolley) in touch with different parts of San Diego and it's diverse community. The dances are funny, touching, historical, imaginative... The group you "trolley travel" with becomes a backdrop through which the experience is magnified. These performances have deeply impacted my life; my interaction with, and how I perceive the performing arts. Thank you Jean Isaacs and all your troupe. May God bless your every endeavor.
PS To "Rubber Legs" who was part of our trolley travel group 2010: It was a pleasure to meet you and your lovely wife. Thanks for all your kindness and personal insights into the dance world! (And sharing your water spray bottle to ward off the heat also deeply appreciated.)

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I attended By George By Jean on January 15th, 2011. It was a cabaret performance with Gershwin inspired dance music served up with food and beverage. I really liked the guitar player and the live music. The people who helped me find my seat and pick up some self serve foods were friendly and personable. My favorite dance piece was Rhapsody in Blue. Inspired choreography hauntingly danced to a well performed musical take. Recalled my own days of romantic fantasy; days that had been so long forgotten I thought they'd never existed. Pleasure!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cortney Golub's group of students lovce this! I love it! It looks like fun I'm considering joining!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am continually impressed and inspired by the work that DANCE FIERCE, in conjunction with its teachers and SDDT, is able to create. The young middle and high school-aged dancers in this program, many of whom are also my own math students, have grown SO much through their experiences with DANCE FIERCE and SDDT. I have seen a noticable increase in levels of confidence. I have also witnessed that these students have learned about the dedication, hard work and persistence that it takes to be successful and fulfilled dancers...more than that, I have watched them apply these same skills to their academics. I have seen how important and beneficial the arts are to ALL areas of one's life, and specifically I am indebted to DANCE FIERCE and SDDT for all that they have done for my students and for the community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The dance program that Cortney Golub runs and organizes is a wonderful way for students to release some of that school pressure in a positive, uplifting way. I attended the last Dance Fierce performance and saw many of the students that I teach dancing and twirling and running across the floor in wild outfits with wonderful, beautiful smiles on there faces. I was moved to tears in the beginning of the performance while watching some of my students who are quiet, reserved and timid little things blossom on the stage to performers! Dedication and love are key components to this creation and wonderful people are a part of it trying daily to make it bigger and better! I want Dance Fierce to grow and grow!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

San Diego Dance Theater has enriched my life and the lives of my close friends a great deal. Dance is such a central part of my life and SDDT has allowed me to continue my relationship with dance with their work-study and scholarship opportunities. Opportunities like these from a renowned dance institution are very hard to come by but San Diego Dance Theater is exceptional at involving arts in the center of the community. This is definitely an organization that should continue to be supported for its exceptional work.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been attending perfornances of the SDDT for a number of years and believe that they are an important force in the artistic culture of San Diego. There are two annual performances I especially believe to be unique and artistically relevant...a real boon to the local art community.

One is the annual Trolley Dances. This group of interactive performances is always entertaining and the utilization of the local trolley lines is interesting and full of surprises.

The second event I really look forward to is the Cabaret Dances. This evening is sophisticated and often nostalgic. Wonderful evenings!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

San Diego Dance Theater is amazing! I was stunned to see how dedicated the performets and staff were to putting on a show. Not to mention how each performance can be so emotionally moving, where consciousness is raised. Not on merely a personal level for myself, but probably a community level! Being a border town, SDDT include important diversity components, making it an educational experience that expands one's mind. Thanks for all that you do to make our community great!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I fully support San Diego Dance Theater's mission to create and perform intelligent dances that inspire, provide access to the viewing, training in and dancing of dance by diverse audiences and dancers. They have achieved that goal and continue to raise the bar.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

San Diego Dance Theater is the most comprehensive dance company in town. They are inclusive of all ages, interests, and abilities, and they provide numerous opportunities for the public to get involved.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is a beautiful thing to see children dicover their passions. Dance FIERCE allows students the opportunity to grow through dance. Teens often are subject to peer pressure and find it hard to step out away from the crowd, this program is spectacular in its effort to offer young adults a safe place to explore their own genuine interests. Bravo Dance FIERCE, keep up the excellent work!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Loved the trolley dances, thanks for sponsoring such innovative and professional dancers! Keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing lots more fun events!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a teacher working directly with young people served by this dance community I can say that it serves a vital function. Students all all backgrounds are exposed to new experiences and are giving an opportunity that otherwise is nonexistent. Thanks for giving our kids this healthy and inspiring outlet.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched this little dance group grow into an important resource for the San Diego community and most importantly, its young people. The energy displayed by its founders, volunteers and staff is contagious. Dance Fierce presents innumerable opportunities for personal growth for students from any background or experience. I look forward to watching the continued development of Dance Fierce.

Review from Guidestar