Pacific Northwest Ballet Alumni Mrs. Heather Sorter to join TCDA-IBF

Heather began her ballet training at the age of five in Lacey, Washington with Virginia Woods.  At the age of 11, Heather was offered a scholarship to train at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School (PNWBS) in Seattle for the summer.  She attended the PNWBS summer program for the next four years and was asked to stay for the year round program on scholarship at age 15. 


Heather danced leading roles in the annual school performances and later danced with the company in many productions including: Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker and Nutcracker Movie, Swan Lake, Fire Bird and George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Western Symphony and Chaccone.  After completing her training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Heather joined the Nashville Ballet as a company member under the direction of Dane Lafontsee and Fiona Furstner and later Edward Meyers. While with the Nashville Ballet, Heather danced roles in ballets including: Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Dane Lafontsee’s Romeo and Juliette, and The Nutcracker.  


After moving to Arcata, California with her family, Heather began teaching ballet to students at Humboldt State University, and locally for Nadine Cole at New World Youth Ballet. While teaching at Humboldt State University Heather was asked to direct the jazz dance company Velocity. During this period Heather created original choreography for productions of Guys and Dolls, Cabaret and Gypsy for North Coast Repertory Theater.


In 2002 Heather started Arcata Dance Studio and a contemporary ballet company, Astrum Dance Theater. In 2004, Heather moved to Vashon Island, Washington with her family and taught for Vashon Island Dance Academy.  

In 2010 Heather opened The Upper studio in Bayside, California where she produced the full length ballets A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Coppelia. 


In 2011, Heather formally started the company Bayside Ballet and Bayside Ballet School where she choreographed and produced original works and staged full length ballets including: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Peter and The Wolf, Carnival of the Animals and A Mid Summer’s Night Dream.  


In 2013, Heather has furthered her training by attending the first summer training program in New York City with teachers from Moscow, Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet School. Heather has been certified to teach Vaganova levels one through three through this program. 


Heather’s students have joined professional companies such as ODC in San Francisco and Bay Pointe Ballet in San Francisco. Many of her students have been accepted into national summer ballet programs such as Joffrey New York, San Francisco and Moscow, Russia programs, American Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, The Bolshoi Ballet program in Connecticut and New York, City Ballet School in San Francisco, Tulsa Ballet, Harid Conservatory in Florida, Ellison Ballet in New York, Paris Opera Ballet School, Master Ballet Academy in Arizona and Theodore Constant Dance Academy in California. Her students have received scholarships to attend Vienna State Opera Ballet School, Premier Division in New York and Pro Arte in Vancouver, Canada.




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