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

Classes & Workshops



Studio Events

The Dance Studio hosts special events and performances throughout the year such as World Tutu Day activities held annually on February 2nd. The Northwest Ballet Academy runs a full season of ballet performances that include dancers from classes held at the Jansen Art Center. You will find information about these events here.

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

Northwest Ballet Academy

The Northwest Ballet Academy 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, 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. They 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.

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

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)

Northwest Ballet Academy Presents Swan Lake

Northwest Ballet Theater will be performing this most loved ballet for the first time in NBT’s 20 year history. This ballet offers something special for all ages and tastes. Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score with exciting new choreography by Artistic Director John Bishop will take you on delightful journey where a dark sorcerer named Rothbart deceives a young prince into falling in love with a lovely swan. Elegant costuming and scenery with eye-opening lighting and special effects will have audiences asking for more.


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.

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.

Tessa Head shot boise state

Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Choreography. Tessa Heiberg has been dancing since she was three years old and hasn’t stopped since! She recently moved to Bellingham as a transfer student from Boise State to pursue a major in Kinesiology and a minor in Dance. Tessa grew up receiving classical training in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern and in high school she explored contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and many other styles on her dance team of which she was named Captain her senior year. When she attended Boise State University, she truly blossomed creatively and technically as a contemporary dancer and choreographer. She choreographed two contemporary pieces in the Boise State Dance department show as well as was voted President of the Boise State Dance Association where she directed, as well as choreographed for, the most successful student-run dance show at Boise State! Tessa’s favorite part about dance is the creative outlet it provides as well as the strength and dedication it builds within. “An artist, an athlete, a mover; I am a dancer.”

“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 accommodate all student ages.’ This is a tremendous gift for this community” – John Bishop, Northwest Ballet Academy Director

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