New England Dance Theatre

Our Mission is to create a greater awareness and appreciation
for the Performing Arts through dance.

New England Dance Theatre (NEDT) is a 501c3 performing arts organization
located in New Canaan Connecticut.

NEDT is the non-profit production arm of
New England Academy of Dance (NEAD),
a pre-professional ballet academy.

Quality Productions

NEDT shares a common problem with world renowned dance companies. Tickets sales alone do not cover all the costs of producing a Nutcracker, spring production, or community outreach programs.  Production funding comes from ticket sales, concessions, an annual appeal, and fundraising events supported by our NEAD families and alumni.

The NEDT Board plans and conducts fundraising events throughout the year to fund production expenses for: venue, costuming, set design, props, lighting, special effects, and other hard costs of the production.

NEAD Artistic Directors are in charge of planning and the creative development for each production including choreography, auditions, and casting.  They rehearse the cast and manage the stage, lighting, and audio crews for each production and performance.

Community Outreach

NEDT’s Community Outreach programs provide the opportunity for all residents of surrounding communities to see a live performance regardless of age or ability to pay. NEDT’s Annual Nutcracker Benefit Show and Outreach Performances are free of charge.

Each year, our Annual Nutcracker Benefit Show and Outreach performances are attended by more than 800 residents of Fairfield County. Our Nutcracker Benefit Show is a special performance for constituents from more than 20 area family and youth social service organizations. This year over 650 constituents came to the show. We offer free bus transportation for some of the larger organizations. Outreach performances are performed at area senior care facilities, Yale New Haven hospitals, local schools, and town events.

NEDT’s Community Outreach Committee works with corporate sponsors such as UBS, Bankwell, Hero Foundation, who provide funding for our Annual Nutcracker Benefit Show, including free bus transportation.  Additional support for outreach programs comes through grants from local foundations such as the New Canaan Community Foundation and International Rotary Club of New Canaan.

Dancer Enrichment

Annually, NEDT funds performance and enrichment opportunities for NEDT Company dancers.  The exposure and experience helps to build a lifetime of confidence and character on and off the stage.

Performance Opportunities:  two high quality dance productions: Annual Nutcracker Ballet and Spring repertoire.

Community Outreach Performances:   Annual Nutcracker Benefit show and up to seven community outreach performances for those who are not able to come to a theater.

Dance Technique:  NEDT funds up to three Master Classes for NEDT Company dancers to supplement their NEAD training and expose them to world class dancers such as Wendy Whelan and other renown dancers.

Annual Field Trip:  NEDT Company attends a professional ballet performance, typically in NYC Lincoln Center. NEDT provides the show tickets.

Health and Fitness Workshops:  NEDT invites experts in health, nutrition, and fitness to come speak to Company dancers.

Board of Directors

Frances Ortiz, Artistic Director
Ginna Ortiz, Artistic Director
Ted Thomas, Artistic Director

Melissa Engel, President

Denise Brereton
Nikki Mitchell
Anne Marie Davis
Jill Stute
Amedee Maggard
Meg Joyce
Marie Scanlan


Dance, by nature, is a costly art form.
From licensing, royalty fees, costume creations, lighting
and stage design, to hours of coaching.

Every aspect of the final production is a significant investment.
Ticket sales cover less than
30% of these costs.

That’s why we need friends and patrons to help make the difference!

New England Dance Theater relies on community support
to maintain high level performances community, outreach programs,
and dancer enrichment activities.

Please make your tax deductible donation via PayPal.