VDE’s mission is to stimulate the awareness, study and performance of modern and unique dance by promoting community participation and artistic excellence.
Our primary goals are to share the joy of movement and expression, and find new and interesting ways to communicate through the art of dance.
Valley Dance Ensemble (VDE) was founded in 1983 by Marion Andersen and remains as Cache Valley’s only modern dance organization. Marion came from the line of Martha Graham dancers, and studied professionally with May O’Donnell and Gertrude Shurr in New York City. Marion gave those with talent and an interest in the discipline of dance, an opportunity for study and performance. Marion shared the art of modern dance with the Cache Valley community from 1983-2002. VDE strives to carry on the legacy of dance that Marion left to the Cache Valley community.
From 2003 through 2014, VDE was under the direction of Suzann Kienast-Brown. Her hard work and dedication to VDE has made the company what it is today. Under her direction VDE focused on developing community participation in contemporary modern dance through its dance school and performing company.
In 2014, Tessa Evans took the mantle of Artistic Director and Bethany Faux officially became Children's Company Director. Together they continue to expand and promote VDE throughout Cache Valley. Through these inovative directors, VDE has gained a positive reputation and experienced exponential growth. In recent years, VDE has had the pleasure of working with many talented guest choreographers, including Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Artistic Director and Co-founder of NOW-ID, and Lehua Estrada of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. VDE’s adult company has also performed with Repertory Dance Theater twice in their Green Map dances, during their March 2011 residency in Logan, and in their 50th Anniversary performance during their January 2016 residency.
Since 1983, VDE has been Cache Valley’s sole modern dance organization, and serves a dual purpose in the community through our community dance school and our performing company. Our community dance school offers creative movement and modern dance classes for children 3 to 18. Our children’s classes focus on movement discovery, body awareness, the creative process, and the technical skills of dance as appropriate for each age group based on the developing mind and body. We offer a non-competitive, supportive environment for children to explore and develop their minds and bodies through creative problem solving. We also offer a modern dance conditioning class for adults. Our classes strive to provide something for every member of the community, regardless of age or experience level.
Our performing company gives the experienced and committed dancer an opportunity for more in-depth study of the art of modern dance through the experiences of choreography and performance. Each year our company shares the art of modern dance through performance and creative movement workshops for children. Our company also participates in local performances, and is featured in VDE’s annual spring concert. Contact us for more information about the company.
VDE is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and gratefully accepts donations year-round. Please contact us to donate. We appreciate your support!
Celebrating 35 years of movement in 2018!
Marion Andersen: Founder and Artistic Director 1983-2002
Suzann Kienast-Brown: Artistic Director 2003 - 2014
Photography by Craig Kienast
VALLEY DANCE ENSEMBLE
Tessa Evans: Artistic Director 2014 - Present