Our History

The history of Spectrum Dance Theater (SDT) begins in 1982 with the intention of bringing dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds.  SDT’s principal objective is to make the art form of dance accessible through contemporary dance performances and high-quality dance training in a variety of dance styles.  Three organizational components comprise SDT: the professional Company, the School, and Community and Outreach programs. 
Under Donald Byrd’s visionary artistic leadership since 2002, the organization has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world-class dancers, produced some of the most avant-garde works in contemporary dance, and generated local and national praise.  In addition to its main stage productions, SDT launched in February 2006 its first Studio Series in its own studio theater on Lake Washington.  Plans for national and international touring continue to grow. The history of Spectrum Dance Theater continues to be celebrated in the community and beyond as we enter the organization’s 40th Anniversary and Donald Byrd’s 20th Anniversary as Artistic Director.



* More than 500 students of all ages come through our studios each
week to take one or multiple classes amongst the 64 classes offered per
week, representing 90 hours of dance instruction weekly.

* 35-41 scholarships are allocated every year to students age 4 to 21.

* Spectrum Dance Theater’s youngest students are one year
old, and most “mature” are in their 80s.

* Spectrum Dance Theater’s Studios are open 49 weeks per
year, Monday through Saturday from 9am to 9pm.

* Spectrum Dance Theater provides at least 120 hours of
dance education per year in schools throughout the Seattle metropolitan area.

* Spectrum Dance Theater has performed throughout the US,
and in Europe, reaching out to an estimated 3000 people.

* Spectrum Dance Theater has become a champion in partnering
with local arts organizations.  These collaborations have included the
Moore Theatre, the 5th Avenue Theater, Northwest Sinfonietta, Music of
Remembrance, Seattle Men’s Chorus, the Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Opera.

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