NANCY WELLS : OWNER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Nancy Wells began dance classes at age 6 in Wenatchee, WA with Arlene Watkins for tap, jazz, gymnastics and later ballet with Joan Shelton.
After a teen hiatus Nancy resumed her passion for dance by taking classes at Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) when it had a thriving dance program directed by Linda Anderson. She received a full two year scholarship and was soon interning for Ms Anderson at The WW Dance Foundation and at WWCC.
In 1983 she choreographed her first performance piece and in 1984 she was a regular teacher for the young dancers at the WW Dance Foundation. In 1986 she was hired to teach at WWCC. During these years Ms Wells went to Seattle on a regular basis to take classes from the brilliant members of the Bill Evans Dance Company. This company and and members have been instrumental in the modern and jazz world throughout the country.
In 1985 Nancy was recruited by Joanne Rasmussen and Jack Frieman to choreograph the outdoor summer musical The Sound of Music. These two wonderfully talented directors were great mentors and along with Paul Wickline sparked a great collaboration for future shows. Nancy choreographed Fiddler on the Roof, Mame,The Wizard of Oz, Guys and Dolls, Music Man, and Bye Bye Birdie. She also choreographed many of the Children’s Theatre productions.
Miss Nancy became head of the WWCC Dance department and directed, produced, and choreographed many shows there. She also started The Walla Walla Moving Co. for the area’s advanced young dancers. The company performed locally and successfully competed through out the NW and Canada. The tradition of attending and competing at nationally recognized conventions continues. Dancers and teachers have attended LA DanceForce out of The Edge in L.A., Treimaine, NUVO, Jump, and 24/7 to name a few.
Nancy continues to teach, mentor, choreograph, direct, and produce large scale productions. She takes great pride in the quality of instructors and the training at The Walla Walla Dance Company. Our teachers and dancers share the passion, artistry and joy of dance!
JUSTINE CLARK : CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Justine started her dance training in Walla Walla under the direction of Nancy Wells and Idalee Hutson-Fish, studying Ballet, Jazz, and Modern with her teachers, guest master teachers and at Summer Dance Lab/Whitman College. After gaining teaching experience herself at the dance studio, Walla Walla Community College and on faculty of Universal Dance Association, inspiration led her to Westlake Dance Center in Seattle.
Joining the WDC Performing Group directed by Kirsten Cooper, In-Effect by Kari-Lee Florentine, Cruz Control by Daniel Cruz as well as performing and training with Sheri Lewis, Kirsten Barron & Kim Gockel offered many new experiences and would lead to a place on the faculty for years to come.
Justine then received a full year scholarship to the Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood under the direction of Randy Allaire and continued her training with Denise Leitner, Nicole Harlan, Natsuo, Josie Walsh, Terry Beeman, Alex Magno, JT Horenstein, Scott Hislop, Mandy Moore, Tabitha & Napolean D’uomo, Christina Woodard and Phi Nyugen. After scholarship, Justine moved to Seattle to pursue teaching for the next several years.
Visiting Los Angeles, she met Kitty McNamee and was invited to join her contemporary dance company, Hysterica. She danced professionally in Los Angeles for years under the direction of Kitty McNamee and co-director Ryan Heffington in Hysterica as well as with fellow company members Nina McNeely, Marlon Pelayo and Mecca Vazie-Andrews and the performance art company, WIFE.
In addition to some experience with film/music video/television, she enjoyed many live performances including The ford Amphitheatre, MOCA, LACMA, REDCAT, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion/LA Opera, Disney Concert Hall/LA Philharmonic, The Orpheum, El Portal. The Alexandria Hotel, The Unknown Theater, White Wave Fest (NY), GreyAnt/New York Fashion Week (NY), Frequency Electronic Arts Festival (UK), The World Choreography Awards and much more!
Justine thoroughly enjoys sharing her passion for dance in teaching Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary/Modern Jazz to all ages, specializing in pre-professional training. She has taught classes throughout the Northwest at Westlake Dance Center, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Summer Dance Lab at Whitman College (WW), The Walla Walla Dance Company (WW), Turning Pointe Dance Centre, Gotta Dance, The Studios, Cornish College, University of Washington, Idaho falls School of Ballet and in Los Angeles at The Sweat Spot, Heartbeat House, 24 th St Theatre and more…
JENNIFER CLARK : CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Jennifer Clark began dancing in Walla Walla as a student of Nancy Wells and Idalee Hutson-Fish, with her teachers at Summer Dance Lab and various master teachers. She performed with the award-winning Walla Walla Moving Company, directed by Nancy Wells and The Performing Company, directed by Idalee Hutson-Fish and eventually with Walla Walla Community College’s Pom Squad coached by Teri Rowe.
After completing her years as a student and teacher at WWCC, Jennifer moved to Seattle to continue her dance career at Westlake Dance Center, joining Daniel Cruz’s Company, Cruz Control and performing in WDC’s Sign of the Times for Kirsten Cooper, Kirsten Barron, Kim Gockel, and Sheri Lewis.
While in Seattle, she has taught at Westlake Dance Center, Gotta Dance, Just For Kix, Turning Pointe Dance Centre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, including outreach programs Dance This, Reach, and Dance Chance.
She also spent a summer as a student at Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood and performed the works of the amazing Nina McNeely.
Jennifer continues to train as a student and has been developing the advanced program at the WWDCo for the last decade. She is continually inspired by and honored to teach her students here!