There’s music and movement for every age at the J Dance Studio—ballet, yoga, martial arts, parent/child dance exercise, drama and performance. The studios are spacious and bright with a lovely view of Mt. Baker.


View all the Dance and Movement Classes on a calendar.


Try something new, and get physically fit while you develop practical skills in the Martial Art of Karate.

Learn, breathe, move, and have fun with Yoga for Daily Living.  Yoga is truly for every body!


NBA teachers left to right above: Emily DesChane, Hailey Forsberg, Amanda Alexander, Ana Uribe, Ona Underwood

The Northwest Ballet Academy also holds practice and classes at the J Dance Studio. Learn more about their programs and classes here.
For registration inquiries and class questions concerning placement for new students, Ballet I through Advanced Ballet, contact Northwest Ballet Academy Director John Bishop at 360-421-4013 or email

Northwest Ballet Academy strives to bring dance awareness to the community through professional dance training, performances, outreach programs and collaborations with Whatcom County’s performing arts organizations. We provide opportunities for students interested in arts-related careers including choreography, teaching, stage production, publicity, costume design and set construction. Audition opportunities for national dance schools and performing companies are provided for students who are interested in expanding their training. We have made enormous strides in providing for our students and are proud to have students studying and working professionally with dance and theatre companies around the country and abroad.

While continuing the tradition of supportive, nurturing dance education and performing opportunities begun by Morca Academy and Pacific Dance Company, Northwest Ballet has distinguished itself as the premiere ballet school and company in the Northern Puget Sound region.

Students at Northwest Ballet can experience full stage productions of ballets like The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giselle and The Firebird. Under the direction of its founder and artistic director John Bishop, Northwest Ballet has brought exciting performances of classical and contemporary repertoire to capacity audiences in Whatcom and Skagit Counties and continues to create dynamic works under the artistic direction of John Bishop. Mr. Bishop and the rest of the Northwest Ballet Academy’s faculty and artistic staff are dedicated to bringing the true art of classical and contemporary dance for many years to come.

School Year Programs

NBA programs present age appropriate material that safely builds strength and artistry through a clear progression of classical ballet technique.  Among the many benefits that our students enjoy are:

  • Nationally and Internationally experienced faculty
  • Comprehensive Vaganova Ballet Syllabus
  • State of the art facilities, sprung dance floors and Pilates equipment
  • Performing opportunities including NBA’s The Nutcracker
  • Spacious studios with large windows and natural light
  • Classes in ballet, pointe, variations, modern dance and lyrical
  • Career and college support

Northwest ballet Academy is a wonderful ballet school. John and all of the other teachers are very nice, and they can train everyone so well and put on such marvelous shows! All of the teachers are respectful and also professional. I, as well as many others love learning and working with John and all the other admirable teachers at NBA/NBT.

– Annie T. (student)



World Tutu Day started at the Australian Ballet School as an annual world-wide celebration of ballet education. This last year, World Tutu Day was celebrated in at least 7 countries, with official host schools in Milwaukee, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Australia, the UK and Canada.

NBA Director John Bishop brought the idea of hosting a celebration to the Jansen Art Center’s Art Council, making this the first time Washington has hosted a World Tutu Day celebration.

The event includes an interactive demonstration in our weaving studio of a tutu pattern using a weaver’s loom, the opportunity to paint and decorate ballet shoes, a ballet-inspired drawing contest for kids, a Tutu Parade through the Jansen Art Center and a performance by the Northwest Ballet Academy.

Everyone is encouraged to wear their best or favorite tutu during World Tutu Day.

‘As someone who has spent over 50 years dancing in various studio spaces all around the country and abroad, I have to say that the studios at Jansen Art Center are not only state-of-the-art, but have an atmosphere that is simply magical. With beautiful artwork constantly gracing the walls around the studios and a magnificent view of the mountains from the alley studio, any student or parent would have to appreciate what is being offered here. In addition there are professionally sprung floors, wall to wall mirrors and adjustable ballet barres to accomodate all student ages.’ This is a tremendous gift for this community’  

– John Bishop, Northwest Ballet Academy Director


The Jansen Art Center is excited to serve as a teaching space for artists. Our instructors are passionate about engaging the community in the arts.

Dancer, choreographer and director,  John 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 including American Ballet Theatre, Eglevsky Ballet and major companies from New York to Japan. He has worked with such dance luminaries as George Balanchine, Mikhail Barishnikov, Andre Eglevsky and many others.
Emily has been a student at Northwest Ballet Academy for 10 years and has danced in almost every production since she was 10.  She has studied ballet, modern, contemporary and Irish Dance. She has performed many lead roles with NBT including Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Crystal Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Lily of the Forest in Alice in Wonderland, and Snow Queen, Russian Girl and Princess Pirlipat in The Nutcracker. 
I began learning martial arts 14 years ago. At the time I was in college and wanting to get into shape. A weight lifting class and karate program were offered at the correct time. I made the life changing decision to learn a valuable skill while becoming physically fit. I took my first class and was immediately hooked! I started training six days a week sometimes twice in a given day.
The increased focus and discipline that my martial arts training instilled was easily transferrable to the class room. As my training progressed I was asked to take a more active role as a teacher and character model at my Karate school. I even ended up teaching a lab class as an assistant instructor at CSU Chico. Now I was teaching my peers about biomechanics in the classroom and Karate in the dojo. Later I started two programs at the Recreation facility on campus. Women’s Kickboxing and a Martial Arts skills and conditioning course. I’ve participated and instructed at multiple Women’s Self Defense seminars for large groups and national sororities. Parents of the students I’ve instructed have consistently expressed their gratitude for the hands on and fun approach I take to learning.
I now hold a fifth degree black belt in Karate through the Shorin-ryu Shorinkan association based in Okinawa Japan.
The benefits of a Karate program are too numerous to mention. When you see a child perform their first form successfully you will understand as I do. There are seldom things in life that bring that sense of accomplishment. Discipline, Focus, Friendships, Enrichment of the community, Physical fitness, Awareness, Personal safety, and Character development are just some of the results of consistent training. The belt system provides a tangible reward and something concrete to measure progress. Performing thousands of kicks starts to make your homework assignment look like a piece of cake! My students will learn that with effort anything can be accomplished.
Shorin-Ryu, the style that I teach is Okinawan in origin and I have been overseas to Japan, Thailand, and China in the last year. Visiting the birthplace of Karate gives me a unique perspective when it comes to introducing this amazing art to others. The Shorinkan association I belong to has hundreds of schools around the world. I’ve had the chance to train with students from South Africa to Canada and back again.
I hope you will be able to sense my enthusiasm and desire to teach the community here.

Danyale studied acting at Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) and Ohio University (Athens, OH). She has worked with students of all ages (elementary-college), teaching acting and speech.  She has also directed high school and college plays.  Most recently, she conducted a week-long Shakespeare workshop at the Jansen Art Center with students ages 9-12 (Summer 2014). She enjoys working with students, providing a safe workshop environment where they might experiment, discover, take risks and have fun while learning about theater and acquiring some skills in acting. Danyale has done commercial acting with Hand Crank Films (Bellingham) and was last seen on stage in The Neighborhood Playhouse’s production of Goodnight Moon.

Danyale lives in Whatcom County with her husband and five children.


Mechelle Sieg has 35 years of experience as a student, teacher and consultant in the fields of fitness, wellness, movement and healthy living. She has a combined background in social work and counseling that provides the ability to communicate with and teach a wide variety of individuals in numerous settings.

Mechelle began with teaching group aerobic classes and rode the wave of different styles – high impact, low impact, step and interval training. As her own body developed aches and pains, she began to explore ways of exercise that were effective, but kinder to the body. This exploration led to yoga and NIA (neuromuscular integrative action).  Since making those discoveries in mind-body fitness, she has not looked back. Mechelle maintains that the workout has to begin from within and encompass all aspects of the individual – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Helping others feel better about themselves and comfortable in their bodies has always been Mechelle’s primary focus in her work. She brings practical tools of breath and movement which empower her students to practice on their own. Additionally, Mechelle encourages those in her classes to tune in to their own bodies and to practice “The Goldilocks’ Principle” of not too hard, not too easy, but just right.

Mechelle and her husband, Greg, live in Lynden with their six horses and their little dog, Sandy. They have one son and three grandchildren.

Teach a class or workshop

We are always looking for artists who are passionate about instructing. If you have a talent or skill you would like to share in a 1 day workshop, or even a 6 week class, please contact the Studio Leader:

Register Now

Online: In the class details, pick the quantity and click “Purchase” to begin the registration process. If you need assistance, please call 360-354-3600.

Phone: Call 360-354-3600. Please have your credit card, billing information and name of class ready.

Walk-in: Payment may be made by credit card or check in the Gallery Shop at the Jansen Art Center, Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

Register early! Classes that do not meet the minimum size will be canceled. Refunds will be given for classes canceled by the Jansen Art Center and you will be notified of cancellation by phone or email.

Please read the Class Policies regarding Cancellation, Refunds and Age.

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

―Martha Graham