Jade Butler

Apprentice since 2017

Originally born in the United Kingdom, Jade moved to the United States in 2001. At the age of eight, she began training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School in the Dance Chance program. After three years on full scholarship, she joined the main school in 2005 and eventually joined the Professional Division in 2015. While there, she performed in company and school productions.

As a Professional Division student, she was chosen to participate in the Palucca School exchange in Dresden, Germany. While in Germany, she performed as a guest apprentice with Dresden Semperoper Ballet. Jade has attended summer intensives at PNB, Boston Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

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Whom do you most admire and why?

This is so cheesy, but my dad. He has never stopped supporting me, and he taught me that you can achieve anything with hard work.

What excites you creatively?

For me, it has always been dancing to live music. Nothing makes you appreciate dancing like feeling the orchestra growing and swelling around you, the violins being plucked, and the deep bass trembling in your chest. And of course, taking pictures of all the beautiful dancers here is incredibly inspiring. But the music will always top the charts.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?  

Aside from dancing at Grand Rapids Ballet, I wear many other hats including photographing the company in studio and onstage in addition to being our Social Media Coordinator. To be honest, these three jobs are all a dream to me, and I feel so incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to do everything I love every day. My dad always told me, that I should never work a day in my life, that my job whatever it may be should be my passion and that is truly what I have here.

What is the best piece of dance advise you’ve ever received?

You can’t do anything without a tight fifth position, and a crossed tondue.

What are your favorite roles? 

  • • Swan Corps and Mazurka, Swan Lake, choreography by Aaron Watkin with Dresden Semperoper Ballett (2017)
  • • Soloist (Hopping variation), Raymonda Variations, choreography by George Balanchine
  • • Demi-soloist (Oompa girl), Walpurgisnacht, choreography by George Balanchine