Since its inception in 1965, San Jose Dance Theatre has provided the community of San Jose and the greater San Francisco Bay area with quality performances. These performances feature professional artists, working in collaboration with young dancers to deliver outstanding productions. We have delighted local audiences for over five decades with performances including The Original San Jose Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast.

We provide dance education and in the past seven years have developed this program to accommodate over 100 dancers on a weekly basis. Our San Jose ballet school offers Youth and Open Drop-In ballet classes for kids and adults of all levels and abilities.

In December 2022, we will celebrate our 57th annual production of, The Original San Jose Nutcracker for two weekends at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. This will be in collaboration with Conductor Scott Krijnen and the Cambrian Symphony Orchestra.

Mission & Vision

Our core values are to maintain excellence in ballet and contemporary dance training and provide opportunities for dancers of all levels. We seek to enrich our community, through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, connecting with the rich diversity that San Jose offers.

We value and maintain excellence in classical ballet and contemporary dance training in our San Jose Dance Theatre school, providing innovative opportunities for dancers of all levels. We seek to engage our community through collaboration with artists, arts organizations, government and private sectors to enrich the arts community.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

SJDT is committed to cultivating an organization that is inclusive in artistic expression and embraces diversity on stage and off.

Board of Directors

President – Michael Howerton

Secretary – Marji Karlgaard

Treasurer – Brandon Lewke

Board Members – Michelle Yasuda, Steve Kaplowitz, Carmen Brammer and Kay Pettitt

Advisor to the Board – Mark Foehringer

Former Artistic Directors – Linda Hurkmans, Gary Palmer, Robert Kelly, David Roxander, Paul E Curtis Jr and Shawn Stuart (Founders)

Questions or comments?
Contact our board at [email protected]

Special Thanks

San Jose Dance Theatre would like to sincerely thank former board members Ann Timoney, Elizabeth Sweeney, Lee Forbes, Renee Forbes, Stino Tapia, Brian Dougherty, Phylis Dougherty, Miriam Watson, Jennifer Joyce Watson, Willard Roit, Bronweyn Coleman, and all other former board members for their time, enormous talent, and devotion to keeping our legacy alive!


San Jose Dance Theatre was originally founded in 1964 as Paul E. Curtis Jr.’s Los Gatos Academy of Dance and the West Valley Ballet Foundation. The name was later changed to San Jose Dance Theatre in 1965 and incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization in 1968.

Across more than 55 years, San Jose’s Original ballet academy has trained beginning through advanced dancers for a lifetime of participation in, as well as appreciation of, the art of classical ballet. The Academy specializes in classical ballet training for children from 4 years of age to pre-professional level.

San Jose Dance Theatre has delighted local audiences for five decades with performances including Peter and the Wolf, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. The results of the Academy’s training have been gratifying. Many of its alumni have gone on to professional careers in dance and in ice-skating.

In 2015, San Jose Dance Theatre celebrated the golden anniversary of San Jose’s original and esteemed production of “The Nutcracker.”