Dancer, choreographer and director, John Paul Bishop has long been associated with prominent dance companies and schools in the US and abroad and has worked with some of the most notable artists in the world of dance. He began studying classical ballet and piano at the age of 8 and began his professional career at 16 with the Milwaukee Ballet Company. He has since performed with over twenty professional companies from New York to Japan. He has worked with such dance luminaries as George Balanchine, Mikhail Barishnikov, Andre Eglevsky and many others. As a principal dancer he has performed an array of roles in both classical and contemporary repertoire including Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Ziegfried in Swan Lake, Basil in Don Quixote, Franz in Coppelia, Prince Florimund in Sleeping Beauty, Jean Brienne in 'Raymonda', Oberon inA Midsummer Nights Dream and Bryaxis in Daphnis et Chloe.
After a long professional career as a dancer, Mr. Bishop has transitioned into a well-respected choreographer creating over fifty original ballets. In his 20 year tenure at Northwest Ballet Theater, he has staged full-length ballets including Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Dracula and The Nutcracker. Some of his classical one-act ballets include Paquita, Graduation Ball, The Firebird, Petrushka, Spectre de la Rose, Beethoven's 7th Symphony, Four Seasonsand Daphnis et Chloe. In 2004, he and six of his dancers competed in the St. Petersburg International Ballet Competition in Russia where he received the Award for Best Choreography and his dancers placed highly in the competition. Former students of Mr. Bishop's now dance with prestigious dance programs and companies in The United States and overseas. He has also trained several professional figure skaters, including Shizuka Arakawa, gold medalist at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Mr. Bishop's ballet productions for NBT have also attracted students and professional dancers from Washington to Russia.
In June of 2020, due the Covid-19 pandemic, the couple decided to close their NBT studios in Bellingham and Lynden. They have since moved to Port Townsend and John is excited to work with PTB this Nutcracker season!
Executive Director, Founder
Jen grew up in Paradise, California and started dancing at Northern California Ballet when she was 7 years old. She immediately fell in love with the art form and from age 11 onward she started going to summer intensive programs around the country. She attended intensives through Boston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She also spent a summer training with George Balanchine's protégé Suzanne Farrell on her private island in upstate New York.
Jen got accepted on scholarship to Walnut Hill School of the Arts (now Boston Ballet School), a boarding school for ballet dancers and other aspiring artists in Natick, Massachusetts where she attended high school. She had the opportunity to perform at the Wang Center in Boston and the Kennedy Center in New York City.
She then went on to pursue a college education and received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in Gerontology from University of San Francisco. After graduating, Jen moved north to pursue her doctorate in physical therapy from Pacific University outside of Portland, OR. After working as a physical therapist for 5 years she founded PTB in 2019.
Jen balances work with lots of family time - enjoying her husband and two kids.
Jazmin Van Lelyveld
Hi, my name is Jazmin Van Lelyveld. I was born and raised in Port Townsend and have been passionate about dancing for 18 years. I started taking classes at O’Meara Performing Arts Academy when I was 4 and fell in love with the art, the studio and the family. I started teaching tap when I was 16, then later on, contemporary, hip hop, and ballet. I’ve coached and brought students to competition in 2018. My favorite style of dance is contemporary because of how different each choreographer interprets the meaning of the genre, and how much emotion is poured into each dance. Dancing is a practice of vulnerability, and strength and it is where I have found the most healing in my life.
Krystal grew up dancing in upstate New York. During college, she got a minor in dance from Ithaca College and a major in Therapeutic Recreation. She has continued dancing with local ballet schools, like the Pacific Northwest Ballet, depending on where she lived. Outside of dancing she has worked as a Recreation Therapist with both kids and adults and is the current Parent Educator for the Port Townsend Cooperative Playschool. When not dancing, Krystal is busy being Mom to her 3 boys! She transitioned into teaching once here in Port Townsend and loves sharing her passion for ballet with youth and adult alike.
Greta has been teaching dance for the past 14 years and dancing almost all of her life. She has studied dance and theatre at London Academy of Dramatic Arts, at the Boston Conservatory and at Western Washington University. She has extensive training in modern/contemporary, ballet and jazz dance. Greta danced for Repertory West Dance Company in Bellingham as well as various groups in Olympia and around the peninsula. When she’s not at PTB Greta teaches elementary music and performing arts at Quilcene School!
Lauren fell in love with ballet when cross-training for competitive gymnastics in 1989. She danced professionally in ballet as a teenager, performing as a soloist in a small Northern California company. In 1999 she discovered modern dance while studying at The Juilliard School in NYC. Lauren danced with a variety of small concert dance companies (mostly modern) out of Seattle and abroad while getting her BFA and then Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington and working for design firms. In 2011 she moved to Port Townsend to start a family. Lauren has her own residential design business and dances whenever she has the chance. She loves supporting PTB's mission and sharing her passion for dance with others.
Rachel Levin is from El Cerrito, CA and received her training at The Ballet Studio in San Francisco and various other studios in the area, as well as summer intensives across the country. She has danced with several small companies in California, including Bay Pointe Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet and Peninsula Ballet Theatre, and spent the last season at Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina. Rachel has
taught or assisted with classes and private lessons for students ages 4-adult. When she isn’t dancing, she works as an administrative assistant for a math tutoring center and enjoys baking, reading and going for
I was raised in Hoquiam, WA. I started tap lessons when I was 4 years old and continued till I was 21. I taught tap class at that dance studio when I got into high school. I got back into tap when we moved to Port Townsend. I took classes and taught for several years at the O’Meara tap studio. A quote I like…”you can’t be in a bad mood and tap dance. “
Ashley A. Friend, born and raised on the Central Coast of California, she left that idyllic haven to forge a path in NYC. In 15 years of residing in Brooklyn she found peace, fortitude and a supportive community in the untamed city. Due to the global viral circumstances she arrived in Port Townsend in December of 2020… and stayed!
After attending Reed and Evergreen she graduated with her BFA from Cornish and then completed her MFA at OSU in Dance and Technology. Her choreography has been performed throughout the USA and abroad. Her work has been presented by venues such as the Joyce SoHo, 92nd St Y, Movement Research at Judson Church, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Women in Motion, New Dance Alliance, GVA Sessions, and Lincoln Center. She taught college for 8 years at 3 institutions, LaGuardia (CUNY), Cal Poly (SLO, CA) and SUNY Brockport.
Ashley currently works as an archivist and assistant to renowned choreographer and educator Bill Evans and an events coordinator for storyteller and musician Judith-Kate Friedman. She teaches Joy In Motion (Contemporary Dance & Improvisation) and Pilates at Madrona and is excited to begin teaching Contemporary Dance Practices, Pilates and Gentle Ballet for adults at Port Townsend Ballet in June! She is grateful to the PT residents for embracing the performing arts and for the generosity of spirit that resides at the heart of this community!
Ashley’s motto: “Dance in all conceivable places.”
May Weinmaster is an interdisciplinary movement artist and yoga facilitator. They have been dancing almost their entire life, training in the styles of ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and musical theatre. After practicing yoga for nearly a decade, they pursued their 200hr RYT, and have been teaching for around three years, to both kids and adults. May absolutely loves facilitating movement spaces and believes that yoga is a very special portal for deepening into the connection between breath and body. In their classes, they love to offer a well-rounded flow with different options for everyone.
Board of Directors
Tessie started ballet in 2006 with Hanneke & Co. in Davis, California. She was in biannual shows including the Nutcracker, A Midsummer's Night Dream, La Sylphide, and Coppelia. She stopped dancing in 2015 after a knee injury. These days, she practices yoga and even teaches occasionally. She still adores dance and the performing arts and is so honored to be a part of the board of directors.
Board of Directors
Sarah Dimon has over 25 years of teaching Early Childhood Education in the public schools, and many years as a ballet parent. Sarah’s interest in classical music and art forms has been nurtured through her lifelong love of cello, string ensembles and orchestral repertoire.
Board of Directors
Born in Seattle, William, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest from the moment he could start exploring the mountains and coastlines. Besides hiking and outdoor exploration, William is an electronic musician with a knack for digital audio production. He does his best to blend the two by recording sounds from nature and including them in his productions. He has performed his own music around Port Townsend.
As a founder of the Ravenswood art community and homestead in 2017, William is interested in bringing together the people of Port Townsend and in cultivating the creativity of groups. He is honored to be a member of Port Townsend Ballet and will be contributing his musical engineering and community-building talents towards the success of this project.