Jim Lane, Founder/Executive Director
Mr. Lane began his ballet training at age 13 in Southern California at Riverside Ballet Arts founded by Mary Lynn Kunkle. Ms. Kunkle is renowned for nurturing promising young dancers like Darci Kistler, Principal, New York City Ballet and Stephen Legate, Principal, San Francisco Ballet. While at Riverside Ballet Arts Mr. Lane studied with notable instructors such as Stefan Wenta, Kenneth Kreel, Clinton Rothwell and Irina Kovsmoska.
In 1971 he was awarded a full scholarship to the summer program at Harkness House where he studied with David Howard. Mr. Lane continued his ballet studies at the School of American Ballet in New York City on a full Ford Foundation Scholarship. While living in New York he studied with Stanley Williams, Richard Rapp, Alexandra Danilova, Suki Schorer, Luigi and other prominent ballet instructors of that time.
In 1975 he joined Los Angeles Ballet where he was elevated to principal within the first few months. Mr. Lane danced lead roles in John Clifford’s Firebird, Nutcracker, Fantasies, Sonata and Poem Electronique. He also performed lead roles in the company’s Balanchine repertoire including Concerto Barroco, Allegro Brilliant, Pas de Dix and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. He retired from the stage following several knee injuries. After returning to school he found work in the telecommunications industry. While working for a company based in Portland, Oregon he and his wife (Nancy Davis) and their daughter relocated from Los Angeles to the Portland office to manage accounts in Paris and Rome. An automobile accident in 1993 left Mr. Lane partially paralyzed. On June 21, 2001 Mr. Lane and Ms. Davis opened The Portland Ballet in what had been the original Fulton Park Dairy delivery truck repair garage in the Hillsdale section of Southwest Portland. The academy is host to 15 professional ballets instructors, over 300 ballet students and consists of 6,500 square feet of dance space.