Founded in 1973 by Estelle Mahy, Stage 7 has been under the direction of Kathryn Irey since 1983. Kathryn Irey’s work has earned respect nationally for its cutting-edge concepts and techniques. She encourages high professional standards among the faculty, students and guest teachers. Stage 7 School of Dance has launched a number of emerging independent choreographers and hosted workshops for leaders in theater and ethnic dance.
Professional Training Students trained at Stage 7 have gone on to study at Joffrey, School of American Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham School, and other leading American dance institutions. Some have gone on to get jobs dancing for such diverse companies as San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Marseilles, Hubbard Street, Martha Graham Company, Cats on Broadway, Jerome Robbins Broadway International Tour, Houston Ballet, and others. International students apply through Stage 7 for I-20 student visas specifically to get professional dance training at Stage 7. Stage 7 is proud to have one of the largest scholarship programs in San Diego.
Stage 7’s annual Summer Symposium is a series of classes and rehearsals in June and July that culminate in theater performances at City College Theater. Dances are created by the faculty to showcase students’ technical and artistic achievements. Students are welcome to audition original works for inclusion in the program. Some of the works are based on class work in ballet, jazz, modern, flamenco, etc., while others are creative blends of diverse influences. The symposium performance is given full technical support of lighting and sound design by professionals.