Send the Jefferson Dancers to China!

The Jefferson Dancers, Portland's longest running self-funded high school dance company, needs your help to raise funds for their trip to China.


Please visit http://www.jeffersondancers.org for details on how you can still contribute to the company and to stay up-to-date on all the latest Jefferson Dancers' news. And please consider donating to Julie Keefe's campaign, Send Julie Keefe to Photograph the Jefferson Dancers in China! Professional photographer and Portland's Creative Laureate, Julie Keefe, is raising funds to document the dancers' historic trip. Please come see the Jefferson Dancers at Portland Center for the Performing Arts for their Spring Concert May 1, 2, 3, at 7:30 PM, and May 4 at 2 and 7:30 PM. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com and available online at www.pcpa.com, by phone at 503-946-7272, and at all TicketsWest outlets. Thank you!

About The Jefferson Dancers And Their Trip To China

This spring the Jefferson Dancers have been invited by our presenters, Chinus Cultural Productions, to visit China from March 21 to April 1 for a cultural exchange and tour of several cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Xuzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai. The Jefferson Dancers are the elite troupe of the nationally known dance department at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. For 37 years the company has comprised the school's most advanced dance students who come to Jefferson — a Portland Public School — for dance training. It is a multi-ethnic company of dancers, ages 14-18.

The program is dedicated to educating students about the depth of commitment it takes to physically and mentally prepare themselves for a performing arts career. In this professional dance company environment, students begin to understand the responsibility required of them and the rewards of contributing to a product of exceptional quality. The company shares their talent with the community on a regular basis, with outreach demonstrations and performances at civic events, schools, and other locations in Portland, throughout the Northwest and around the country.

Unlike most dance companies, The Jefferson Dancers are trained and perform works in all dance styles. The company's diverse repertoire includes over 100 works of Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, African, Ethnic, and Musical Theatre, choreographed by nationally recognized choreographers including Lowell Smith, Donald McKayle, Moses Pendleton, Josie Moseley, Steve Zee, Joseph Webb, Raymond Sawyer, Josh Hilberman, Royston Maldoom, Sarah Slipper, Brian Sanders, Linda Sohl-Donnell, and Brenda Bufalino. Guest artists such as Broadway star Honi Coles, The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alwin Nikolais have given workshops, and have conducted full-length residencies.

What We Need & What You Get

Arts funding in public schools is at an all-time low in America, and the Jefferson Dancers have been functioning for the last five years with no Federal, State, or Local financial assistance. These young men and women have worked for the last three decades to bring the love and passion of dance to schools around the city of Portland, across Oregon, and around the world. A trip such as this would be daunting for any single dancer, but to bring 25 performers as well as company managers, costumers, and chaperones almost 5,500 miles across the globe has been a massive undertaking.

Through tireless fundraising efforts by parents and students over the last year we've raised the money necessary to cover plane fare for nearly all of the students to go to China, and our presenters, Chinus Cultural Productions, has been kind enough to sponsor us with hotel accommodations and meals while performing in the country. But we still need more help to cover expenses while not performing, and some parents still need aid in meeting their commitments for purchasing plane tickets for their students. We have one month to make this goal!

We have some amazing incentives and rewards to thank you for your aid in our trip, ranging from postcards and Jefferson Dancers apparel, to tickets to our upcoming Spring Concert performance at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts in the early Spring.

The Impact Your Contributions Will Have

Any aid we receive here on Indiegogo will go toward offsetting costs for the students and unpaid chaperones while in China and enable them to see the country and explore its rich history. This trip will change the lives of everyone on the journey, and your help will ensure we are able to provide these deserving students with the best experience possible.  Your contributions could also help in covering the costs of costumes, guest choreographers, visiting lecturers, equipment rentals, lighting, and publicity for the dancers throughout the rest of the school year.

Other Ways You Can Help

So many of you have already helped with your time and emotional support, and if you are unable to assist us with a contribution here you can still help us by spreading the word. Feel free to share links to this page on your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. Like the official Jefferson Dancers page on Facebook at the link below. In the coming days we’ll be launching a YouTube channel collecting video clips from some of our most amazing performances of the past few years – be sure to visit it and send the link to your friends! The more awareness we can raise the better our chances of meeting our goal.

Thank you again for your time. We appreciate your help and hope to be able to share stories of our visit with you soon!!

Team on This Campaign: