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  News about MDT, our Students, Alumni, and Related Events

Marin Dance Theatre: A truly special
ballet school in beautiful Marin County
Contributed to Marinscope
A future ballerina to be....
Established in 1996 under the direction of Margaret Swarthout, along with her very talented and committed faculty, Marin Dance Theatre started with a dream of offering the highest level of classical ballet training in Marin County. The curriculum has expanded and now includes contemporary dance, pilates, musical theatre, boys' classes and nutrition education, all taught with the philosophies the faculty mutually value.

Twenty years later, hundreds of parents have driven, and continue to drive, along the beautiful road through the eucalyptus trees that lead to the St. Vincent's campus. The picturesque scenery has become a sanctuary for both dancers and parents.

Currently under the direction of Lynn Cox and Margaret Swarthout, the school is the strongest training facility for classical ballet dancers in the Bay Area. Marin Dance Theatre sponsors an extremely successful Parkinson's dance program, offers outreach dance programs to preschools and elementary schools in Marin County, and houses Marin County's most thriving adult/teen program, directed by Nancy Gallenson.

Focusing on the moment
As a nonprofit, MDT was started with tuitions and donations from friends and families who believed, with passion, in the program! To ensure that the program continues for many years and beyond, we began in 2016 our journey to solicit endowments and strong support from the community. Your support and generosity is greatly appreciated. To support MDT, please visit www.youcaring. com/mdt.

Marin Dance Theatre's faculty and administration look forward to continuing to serve the community with its high standard of training and to expand what it has to offer to students interested in the ever-evolving art of ballet.

Marin Dance Theatre will hold its annual Summerfest performances on August 4 at the Showcase Theater-Marin Center in San Rafael.

For more information about our school, please visit our website at
MDT receives national awards

Marin Dance Theatre's instructors and YAGP coaches Lynn Cox, Dawn Perrin and Margaret Swarthout.

Marinscope: April, 2018
Hannah and Rayan Dridi, invited to perform in NYC and received several top awards including 3rd place for their pasde deux.
Fifteen of Marin Dance Theatre's senior dancers recently participated in and gained numerous awards at the Youth American Grand Prix regional semi-finals competition held in San Francisco. The world's largest and most esteemed international dance competition, the annual YAGP event enables thousands of aspiring dancers throughout the world to gain valuable experience, exposure and educational scholarships. Over 8,000 dancers compete in 18 U.S. cities and in six international locations each year.

At San Francisco's semi-finals awards ceremony, Marin Dance Theatre students were presented on stage with first, second and third place awards across both classical and contemporary dance divisions. In addition we had several dancers place in the top 12.

Three of our dancers were invited to compete at the Grand Prix Finals in New York this month. For Sierra Glasheen, this will be her second year to receive this exciting invitation. A longtime student at Marin Dance Theatre, judges at the Grand Prix finals last year awarded Sierra a short term scholarship to study at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto.

YAGP participants and MDT students: Darby Perrin, Shannon Duggan, Malina Wahl, Mariella Todebush, Marlin Siegel, Mia Glasser, Lauren Marler, Grace Guthrie, Emily Porter, Polina Myers, Casey Cox, Rayan Dridi, Sierra Glasheen, Hannah Dridi, Hannah Eaton.
About this year's Grand Prix Finals, Sierra said, "I am very nervous but I also feel good about the training and support I have received at Marin Dance Theatre. I'm happy to represent our school in NYC!" During the finals, Sierra will spend a week in New York training with other international dancers and leading teachers, preparing for her solo performances and gaining invaluable experience and friendships.

We are delighted that so many dancers were recognized for their skills and accomplishments at this prestigious dance competition and as MDT Artistic Director Margaret Swarthout shares, character development and personal growth are the true heart of each student's training: "The support and camaraderie they showed each other made us so proud of who they are as well as how beautifully they danced. It was a special time and journey that we shared."

Marin Dance Theatre was deeply honored to have been brought onstage at the semi-finals awards presentation in San Francisco as the school selected to receive the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix Award for Outstanding Teaching. This award was especially meaningful since the judges recognized the caliber of training evident in all of our dancers. Three school coaches - Lynn Cox, Dawn Perrin and Margaret Swarthout - accepted the award and all of our dedicated staff is touched that our dancers' performances represented MDTs' values and teaching so beautifully.
MDT student Sierra Glasheen invited to perform in Grand Prix Finals, New York.

We hope you will join us at Springfest
on May 12 and share the special magic
of joy, inspiration and aspiration that
our wonderful dancers offer!


Marin Dance Theatre gives back
through outreach performances of 'Sophie'

Marin Dance Theatre dancers at Stanford Hospital outreach performance. Marinscope article - Photo courtesy of MDT

By Lynn Cox
Marin Dance Theatre School Director,
Choreographer of "Sophie"

Maggie the Marionette, Alexandra Soldier Doll and a Rag Tag from Act 1.
There is a magical moment when a group of dancers join together sharing their talents, energy and joy, especially when the moment is an opportunity to give to others. At Marin Dance Theatre, we have the privilege of giving two very special outreach performances of "Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop," one at The Tamalpais Marin, a senior center, and the other for patients, families and staff at Stanford Hospital.

To bring music, movement and beautiful color to these people is truly an honor. As the choreographer, I want the audience to be touched by the story of "Sophie" and to feel the pleasure and beauty of dance as the students share their craft. "Sophie" 's message is one of compassion and sharing, and these outreach performances give the dancers at MDT the unique privilege of experiencing joy by giving.

Lynn Cox, Choreographer/School Director and Sophie, Hannah Dridi.
The smiles in the audience, the tapping of their feet to the music and the gracious words of appreciation after the final bow all contribute to a rich and wonderful opportunity for us to give generously to others. I continue to be so proud of the dancers at MDT and the poise and professionalism with which they conduct themselves. I know that they have touched many hearts by the way they sparkle up on stage. Sharing our world full of music and movement with these two audiences is our pleasure.

Last evening at The Tamalpais Marin, one of our sweet audience members, who is 102 years old, mentioned how she loved watching the kids dancing for her and her community. At Stanford, we perform in the atrium where some patients come down and sit right in front of the stage, and others come out of their rooms and peer over the railing to watch and listen.

The music brings joy, the dancers share their gifts and we all return home humbled and grateful for our own blessings. We know that so many of these people would not be able to come to the theater for a performance, so we bring ours to them. In turn, it is a true gift we get right back.

Kids get an intro to the world
of dance at Marin Dance Theatre
Contributed to Marinscope
Marin Dance Theatre is well known throughout the Bay Area as a school that trains classical ballet and contemporary dancers, placing many of them in professional companies as well as in numerous university dance programs.

What is not as well known about Marin Dance Theatre is its thriving and very successful "Young Dancer Program."

In addition to its Senior Level Program, MDT offers classes six days a week to dancers ages 3-11. These classes include Introduction to Ballet for 3- to 4-yearolds, Ballet Technique, Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Stretch & Strength and Pilates for dancers ages 5-11. Many of these dancers are inspired by MDT's Senior Level dancers and continue their training through high school and beyond.

Marin Dance Theatre's Young Dancer Program gives its students a very full introduction to the world of dance, making it unique amongst the many dance programs in Marin County. Along with a caring and nurturing faculty, MDT's classes have demonstrators from the upper levels fostering role models and lovely relationships. The curriculum builds session to session, allowing for development of coordination, strength, flexibility and love of movement.

Join us this fall for classes. Registrations are now being accepted and classes begin August 28 for dancers ages 3-19. We also offer ongoing Adult/Teen classes throughout the year. Details can be found at or call 415-499-8891.