Founded in 2004 by acclaimed dancer, mentor and choreographer Sarah Slipper, Northwest Dance Project is dedicated to the creation and performance of innovative, contemporary new dance works from established and emerging dance makers created in an open and artistically stimulating environment.

Northwest Dance Project has fostered the creation and premiere of over 170 original contemporary dance works to date. Our dedication to providing dancers and dance makers the resources and creative room needed to realize new, inspired dance works led Dance International Magazine to proclaim that we are "changing the way dance is created" and that Northwest Dance Project has become "a laboratory, factory and repository for risk-taking new works from the next generation of choreographers from Europe and North America."

In order to produce the next wave of significant dance works, we are also committed to advancing dance education and community involvement. Northwest Dance Project established our Creative Center in the heart of Portland where we lead dance education for adults and children through our various Projects, intensives, workshops and classes as well as opportunities for established and emerging dance makers to choreograph and refine new works set on our company of classically trained, fearless contemporary company dancers.

Because dance cannot survive without new audiences and a deepened appreciation of the art form, we strive to engage individuals and communities with dance through accessible performances by our Company, studio sessions, dance samplers, outdoor performances, special events, master classes, collaborations with artists of other performing arts and visual genres and conversation with artists. We even do the unexpected - bringing performances to the streets, coffee shops, hospitals and the occasional escalator in shopping malls! We also love offering the experience of dance to all youth (of all ages from 4 to 80!) through our interactive Dance Moves community outreach program.



Northwest Dance Project celebrates excellence in dance. It is our mission to close the chasm between the best emerging dancers and the field's leading dance creators and mentors by drawing them together to work in an open, collaborative and creative environment. Our focus is on the art of dance as a whole, providing artists at the threshold of their careers the chance to hone their craft, as well as fostering an environment for our artists to take risks, experiment, develop and explore their art without demands or commercial concerns. We perform, educate, create, cultivate and champion diversity while engaging and deepening public appreciation and support of dance.

Our guiding principles are:

  • To provide a training center of outstanding and exemplary quality and bring together local, national and international artists.
  • To support and develop dance creation by providing a laboratory for established and emerging choreographers to work, research and experiment while providing an opportunity for directors of dance companies to work with, mentor and observe new talent.
  • To provide a showcase for dancers, choreographers and directors to present new, emerging and established dance works, and advance Portland's reputation for producing new and inspired art.
  • To create a collaborative and inclusive environment that actively promotes respect for diversity in all areas of the organization and to further establish Portland as a rich kettle of arts and culture by bringing together a diverse group of citizens and entities to achieve a shared goal.
  • To acknowledge the presence and strength of Portland's dance artists and companies and their contributions to the evolution and advancement of dance.
  • To serve the community by providing a unique and meaningful arts program, thereby making Portland a destination for dance artists and dance audiences.
  • To build, inspire, entertain and nurture audiences for dance while engaging and deepening public appreciation and support of dance.
  • The Northwest Dance Project, its employees and Board of Trustees, conducts business in an ethical manner and provides a positive and respectful environment for both internal and external constituents.

© 2015 Northwest Dance Project  |  All Rights Reserved