Staff & Board
Artistic Director Position
Rockford Dance Company
Rockford Dance Company, celebrating its 40th season, is a not-for-profit organization that pursues excellence in the art of dance through performance, education and outreach. RDC’s season features 4 established annual performances, including Fall 4 Dance (a repertory of new works), The Nutcracker, a Children’s Dance Theater production (designed for families with young children) and a spring performance. RDC is a resident company of the Coronado Performing Arts Center and a founding member of the Riverfront Museum Park where our offices are located alongside our 5 state-of-the-art studios. In addition, RDC has a school of 300 students managed by a School Director and has a vibrant outreach division which annually serves 6,000 participants in a number of different capacities.
Applicants for the Artistic Director position need a substantial background in performing arts, 5-10 years preferred, with a strong emphasis in ballet and a complementary background in education and non-profit experience. Expertise in working with and teaching youth is critical. Applicants should have thorough knowledge and experience in developing and staging full length and repertoire ballets. Strong communication and written skills are also necessary. The Artistic Director is solely responsible for providing leadership and direction in shaping the artistic goals, choreography and purpose of the Company and School. For a complete job description and further information on the Rockford Dance Company, please visit www.rockforddancecompany.com. Cover letters, resumes and references should be submitted to email@example.com. No telephone calls please.
Artistic Director Matthew Keefe announced his resignation from the Rockford Dance Company following the 2013/14 Gala Season. He plans to return to his hometown of Minneapolis MN with his wife Brittany to raise their infant daughter Olive, and be closer to his immediate family. In his two years with the Rockford Dance Company, Matthew brought new and innovative performances to Rockford audiences including Bold Moves, the collaboration with Fatally Unique, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and Rockford Music Academy. Under his leadership, Rockford Dance Company’s school increased enrollment by 76%.
Executive Director, Cindy Jo Lantz said, “We are very sorry to see the Keefe’s leave Rockford. This has been an excellent relationship. Matthew brought new ideas and exciting energy to the organization. We understand that their family situation is at the forefront of this decision and while we are sad to see them leave, we are very glad to have them with us through our Gala season. A search committee has been formed to begin the process of recruiting a new artistic director and Matthew will serve on the committee.”
Matthew came to the Rockford Dance Company in 2011. According to Matthew, “ Rockford Dance Company, the Coronado Performing Arts Center and the artistic community are huge assets to the Rockford community. RDC’s legacy in the community, the five beautiful dance studios in the Riverfront Museum Park, and the beautiful Coronado Theatre inspired me to come to Rockford. It was an opportunity to do the work I love and make a difference in this community. I truly love living here and appreciate everything Rockford has to offer; leading this organization has been a dream job. Raising a child has made me realize the importance of having family support, and not having family in Rockford has made raising our daughter, and doing this job to the level I demand of myself, exceedingly difficult. Most of my family lives in the Twin Cities, we own a home in Minneapolis, many of my cousins are raising children in the area and it is important to me that our daughter grows up around her family. This decision was not easy, and doesn’t come without regret, but I must do what is best, both for RDC and my family, in the long run. I am committed to the continued success of Rockford Dance Company and look forward to the opportunity to help the search committee find the best candidate to lead this organization into the next 40 years.”
Rockford Dance Company Staff
Matthew Keefe, Artistic & School Director
Cindy Jo Savitski-Lantz, Executive Director
Pam Parkinson, Office Manager & Graphic Designer
Brittany Keefe, Curriculum Monitor/Jr. Co. Director
Meghan Baylor, School Coordinator/Outreach
Susan Estabrook, Registrar
Laurie Oliver, Production Manager
Laura D. Mruk, President
Elizabeth A. Grabin, Treasurer
Melinda S. Lucchesi, Secretary
Lynne F. Istad