Dance Theatre Southwest History
Patricia Dickinson, Director of DTSW
Founded by Patricia Dickinson in 1995, Dance Theatre Southwest (DTSW) provides the highest quality dance education to the Albuquerque community. DTSW has always been on the cutting edge of dance in the Southwest, including hosting the New Mexico Dance Festival Fall Workshop. DTSW received national recognition as a school of great quality and integrity and has been invited to dance in Europe.
DTSW continues to gain attention both locally and nationally. Its students have been accepted and attended such summer intensives as provided by New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, North Carolina School of the Arts, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Walnut Hill, Nutmeg Ballet, AMDA in New York, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and many others, with many having been invited to dance in Europe. DTSW has hosted several luminaries in the dance world for master classes in its own summer workshops. These include Gelsey Kirkland, Carl Corry (Joffrey), Elise Flagg (NYCB), Antonio Mark Lopez (SF Ballet), Igor Iakalev (Kirov Ballet), Olga Tozyiakovia (Perm Ballet in Russia), Catherine Oppenheimer (NYCB and Twyla Tharp), Attilla Ficzere (Royal Winnipeg Ballet), Alex Ossadnik (Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux), Warren Spears (Alvin Ailey), Robbie Mackey (Walt Disney World), Rima Vargas Vetter (film and Broadway, “All That Jazz”), Mel Tomlinson (NY City Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem), Peter Pucci (Pilobolus), Antoinette Peloso (New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet), Zippora Karz and Melissa Hayden (both NYCB).
Each year an end-of-year recital allows all DTSW students the opportunity to perform in a concert-like environment that includes a theme and tells a full story. The older dancers are encouraged to participate in the Young Choreographer’s Showcase where they are integrally involved in the production of their own work. This includes choreography, casting, costuming, rehearsing, working closely with the lighting designer, and ticket sales, all under the director’s supervision. When a dancer graduates and moves on from DTSW, they will have invaluable knowledge of both the performing and directing side of producing a concert. Many Young Choreographers students have now set a number of successful works on Festival Ballet Albuquerque dancers.
DTWS’s philosophy is to make dance a very exciting and positive experience for its students. The school’s policies and programs are intended to ensure that every student receives a quality dance education, develops an appreciation for dance as an art form, and develops the discipline so vital to personal success and achievement.