Artistic Development & Education

“As a journalist who specializes in writing about the arts, I have had the pleasure of becoming well acquainted with both Dance Theatre Northwest and its Artistic Director Melanie Kirk-Stauffer. What began as a positive first impression soon reached the level of profound respect and admiration, when I realized the scope and power of one person’s loving influence. Melanie changes lives. She lives to give, not only to her students, but to the community as a whole. Her ability to teach and inspire comes from a very deep place within her. She believes we are all connected and that we all share a divine spark of creative and artistic potential, and it is her passion to help others discover and develop that potential within themselves. The knowledge, skills, artistic taste, historical perspective, and professionalism she has gained through decades of her own training and experience all become evident as Melanie guides her students toward their highest goals. In the end, they too go on to further civilization as they express and share the beauty of life and the depth of human emotion, through dance.”   — Candace Brown, NW Arts Critic 

“Melanie is a visionary who has brought her vision to fruition with her dance company and school.” — Nancy Whyte, Dance Teacher & Choreographer, NY, NY

“I will always remember what an inspiration Melanie Kirk-Stauffer was to me when we danced together in the Joffrey Ballet scholarship program. Her students are lucky to have her. They are very well trained and they know how to take class.” — Francesca Corkle, Joffrey Ballet School, NY