Spokane Youth Ballet History
Kristen Potts and Phaedra Jarrett founded the Spokane Youth Ballet in 2010. Each of these women brought with them a history in the world of dance rich with experience and inspiration. This happy collaboration brought together two women with much in common. Both had lived and worked in the Bay Area of California, both had immigrated to Spokane recently, and both had a passion for the art of ballet. They felt that the talented young dancers of the greater Spokane area needed high-quality performance opportunities in order to round out their training.
Kristen Potts' The Dancing Princesses in 2011
Upon Ms. Potts' retirement in 2018, Naomi Hanvey succeeded her as artistic director. Ms. Hanvey brought with her a vision to expand SYB's reach and mission. Under her direction, SYB received a grant from Spokane Arts in 2019 to bring an educational program to local schools. Using her background as an educator, Ms. Hanvey developed a curriculum incorporating the Washington State Learning Standards for the arts into a lecture-demonstration and a performance of Peter and the Wolf.
Naomi Hanvey's Peter and the Wolf in 2020
Phaedra Jarrett's The Little Prince in 2021
Today, most SYB works are the creation of resident choreographer Phaedra Jarrett. Ms. Jarrett's works are known for their creative interpretation of well-known stories, hamonious blend of classical and contemporary movement, depth of emotion, and unexpected moments of quirkiness and humor.
Spokane Youth Ballet has been awarded several generous grants, including the Welty Foundation, SAGA (Spokane Arts), the Innovia Foundation, and ArtsWA (the Washington State Arts Commission).
SYB has produced a number of classical and contemporary ballets, including:
- The Little Prince
- Spring Waters
- Peter and the Wolf
- Sleeping Rosa
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- The Dancing Princesses
- Cindy Rella
- Alice in Wondrousland