What is the lasting legacy of the dance program at Jefferson High School? Clearly the program has survived due to the passion and vision of the key people involved over the years, including Artistic Directors Steve Gonzales, Julane Stites, and Mary Folberg. Folberg’s original vision of creating a technically rigorous program exposing dancers to all forms of dance, and teaching them to become disciplined performers has carried the program through the past 40 years. The program has fostered both academically and artistically motivated students, and recent graduates are attending prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, NYU, and Juilliard.

“Support of the Jefferson Dance program enriches the community, the city of Portland and the world of dance at large,” said Steve Gonzales. “After nearly losing the program in 2005 we’ve relied on the generous support and donations from private and public organizations and the community to continue to engage students in the world of dance. The annual Spring Concert is our opportunity to thank these donors by providing an opportunity for them to enjoy the beauty of dance performed by the company their generous donations helped support."

The Jefferson Dancers have been a consistent source of civic pride for the Jefferson community and the city of Portland. It is now the longest running dance company in Portland. And the future is, indeed, very bright.