Encinitas Advocate Art

Encinitas resident embraces role as executive director of San Diego Dance Theater

Encinitas resident Sara Blodgett polished her organizing skills building a Modern Dance program that began at the Encinitas Ecke YMCA.

She was able to extend that program to several other YMCAs in North County. By the time she was recruited last winter for the job of executive director of Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater (SDDT), she had taught 450 students in North County.

Blodgett started her study of dance in 2006 with a ballet class with Sadie Weinberg at Mira Costa College. Her teacher spotted an aptitude, and soon she had left her habitual gym workouts in the past.

In 2007 Blodgett and her son, Aiden (now a 14-year-old surfer and soccer player), made their first excursion to SDDTs’ flagship creation, the Trolley Dances, a series of site-specific dance performances at or within walking distance of stops on the San Diego Transit Authority’s trolley routes.

By the next year she was taking part in the SDDT Summer Modern Dance Workshop, two weeks of classes from several skilled teachers and professional dancers — a chance for new students to sample what’s on the menu for motivated dancers to increase their range and skills. Each of the 10 days are filled from morning through afternoon with a variety of classes.

Sara Blodgett
Sara Blodgett (Leslie Carter)

That experience led to her auditioning for the Trolley Dances herself, gaining her first professional (paid) experience and continuing to dance in those performances for several years.

As the years passed she added many performances during the LeucadiaArt Walk with “Get Down-Pick up” and a performance in Long Beach with “Global Water Dances.” On June 24 at 5 p.m., a worldwide program of dances took place at 107 locations around the world to raise awareness of the need for clean water for everyone, everywhere.

She most recently performed at Chula Vista in a SDDT project sponsored by the Port of San Diego, called “Bench Party.”

Nowadays Blodgett spends much of her time overseeing day-to-day operations of SDDT in Liberty Station.

“It’s been a fun adventure – I’ve been to two board meetings to begin to get acquainted with the board members,” she said.

SDDT engaged a consultant recently to increase administration efficiency and Blodgett is now working on carrying out some of the suggestions in the resulting assessment.

“I’ve been working a bit on the infrastructure of the company,” she said, “and developing a clearer definition of who is doing what.”

She’s increasing the organization of what goes on in the SDDT office as the number of events on the calendar increase. It is becoming more important. Just in August, there are eight events scheduled.

She is involved, with the philanthropy committee of the Board of Directors in searching for corporate sponsorship for SDDT, and is always on the lookout for new donors.

Blodgett is hoping that some of the parents of the students in the two-week summer workshop will be interested in supporting SDDT’s growth into the future.

Also tentatively planned for Sept. 17 is a Season Kickoff Party “where we are going to showcase what our calendar season looks like.”

Patrons, students and program participants will be invited for a peek at the events and performances planned and “bigger grander ideas” being conceived for 2017-2018.

All of the performances on the calendar for the near future will be in the White Box on the corner of Roosevelt and Truxton in Liberty Station. The Trolley Dances will take place on the weekends of Sept. 30-Oct. 1, and Oct. 7 and 8.

Go to www.sandiegodancetheater.org to follow current developments.

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