Jill Landrith - artistic director
Jill has been teaching dance since 1978. She is currently on faculty in Wichita State University’s Dance Department lecturing in Dance History. Jill was Artistic Director of Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita (now known as Ballet Wichita) for twenty years, after being Associate Artistic Director for five years. She created an innovative introduction to dance and the arts open to all children five to ten years of age for Unified School District 265 in Goddard, Kansas, and directed that program for nine years. Her teaching experience includes working with students aged four to seventy-two, in all levels of ballet from the beginning level to advanced, including pointe, variations and pas de deux, as well as creative movement and dance kinesiology.
She returned to Kansas after her performance career as a soloist with the Aachen Ballet in West Germany and a member of Ballet Met of Columbus, Ohio, with an intense desire to choreograph and teach. While she was still in Germany, Jill appeared as a Guest Artist with noted choreographer Robert Wexler, and had many roles created on her by Thorsten Muller. It is her goal to make similar opportunities available for her students now. Jill’s dance training includes extensive work with David Howard, Maggie Black, Rebecca Wright and Francoise Martinet in New York City, and Bill Martin-Viscount in Texas. Jill began her studies in dance with her mother, June Landrith.
Jill expanded her movement studies and choreographic potential with her work merging trained dancers with people who are disabled. She choreographed “Ride” to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” using wheelchair athletes and ballet dancers, “See?” for visually impaired children, and she also worked in a funded program for USD 259 for two years, working with children with various disabilities in dancing classes and choreography. In 2007, Jill was also able to work with regular education students at Woodland Elementary School, in dance and exercise benefits, thanks to a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.
Jill Landrith was featured in an article in the October 2004 issue of Dancer magazine. Recently, she was a guest teacher for the Washington Ballet School, and has also been a guest teacher for The Springfield Ballet, as well as for schools in New Jersey, Florida, and throughout Kansas.