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Founded in 2001, The Portland Ballet is shaped by the vision, artistic experience and family-centered sensibility of the founding directors. Artistic Director Nancy Davis and Executive Director Jim Lane trained at the School of American Ballet and enjoyed distinguished professional careers in companies throughout the U.S.  After retiring as principal dancers of the Los Angeles Ballet—where their partnership onstage led to a marriage and family off the stage—they moved to Portland, Oregon and founded The Portland Ballet.

TPB’s Artistic Advisor John Clifford, a favored protégé of George Balanchine, works regularly with the students. Teaching authorized dances from The George Balanchine Trust, Clifford provides a living connection to the most influential choreographer of modern times.

Graduates have carried TPB’s reputation for excellence into advanced dance programs and professional companies throughout the U.S. and abroad. TPB alumni have gone on to dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Idaho, Ballet Arizona, Philadelphia Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Mariinsky Ballet, Batsheva Dance Company and other professional companies.