Idalee Hutson-Fish

Director

Idalee Hutson-Fish began her dance training at the age of 12 in Boise, Idaho after being inspired by a performance of The Green Table by the Joffrey Ballet. Two years later she received her first of two summer scholarships to study with the Joffrey Ballet in Tacoma, Washington. She then went on to San Francisco Ballet School, Ballet West at Aspen and fours summers with Charles Bennett’s Summer Dance Lab. To pursue her ballet career, Idalee graduated high school at the age of sixteen then attended one year at the University of Utah as a ballet major and one year at the Juilliard School. She left her formal education behind to become an apprentice with First Chamber Dance Company. In 1976, Idalee was brought to Walla Walla by Charles Bennett director of First Chamber Dance Company, to be dance captain and lead dancer in the summer musical, Trails West, where she met her husband and settled down to raise a family.

In 1978, Idalee began her thirty years of teaching ballet at Whitman College, retiring in 2012. Idalee moved to Arizona from 1981-83, where she danced as a soloist with the Arizona Metropolitan Ballet. In 1984 she moved back to Walla Walla to resume teaching at Whitman College. In 1986, she opened her private ballet school, The Dance Center of Walla Walla. From 2001-2011 Idalee also taught ballet at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy in the summers. Now she is celebrating thirty-three years of choreographing, directing, teaching and producing dance performances for her students and other organizations as well. Every other year, Idalee takes a group of dancers and parent chaperones on a two-week performance tour of Italy. They compete in an international dance competition, Dance Grand Prix Italia and have consistently brought home overall high point awards in classical/neo-Classical, ballet, choreography, theater dance, contemporary, lyrical and modern. In 2014, the Danza Classica Ballet Foundation was founded as a “Sister Organization” to The Dance Center, to support the art of ballet in the Walla Walla Valley through education.

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Idalee Hutson-Fish