Jacqueline Straughan hails from Carson City, Nevada. She went on to study at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto under Mavis Staines in 1995. While at NBS Ms. Straughan worked with noted guest artists Arlette van Boven, Rudi van Dantzig, Christopher House and Denise Schultz. She was the recipient of the Peter Dwyer Scholarship and Christopher Ondaatje Ballet Prize in 2000 for dance excellence.
Ms. Straughan's professional career began in 2000 with the National Ballet of Canada under the directorship of James Kudelka. Within a year she was promoted from Tier 2 in the company's apprentice program to Corps de Ballet. During her four year tenure with NBOC, Ms. Straughan performed featured roles in Ashton's Montones I and Mrozewski's A Delicate Battle and worked with Lynn Wallis and Suzanne Farrell.
That same year Ms. Straughan accepted a position at Ballet West as a New Artist, led then by Pamela Robinson-Harris. In 2008, after working with Peter Boal on Red Angels and Keith Roberts on Nine Sinatra Songs, Ballet West's current Artistic Director Adam Skulte promoted her to Demi Soloist. The Pas de Trois in Fonte's Bolero and a title role in Butler's Carmina Burana, mounted by Malcolm Burn, paved the way to her promotion to Soloist in 2010. Notable roles such as Flora in Stevenson's Dracula, Mercedes in Holmes' Don Quixote, and her role in Kylián's Petite Mort, staged by Roslyn Anderson, led to her promotion to First Soloist in 2013. Rave reviews have highlighted Ms. Straughan's standout performances in Kylián's On An Overgrown Path, Forsythe's In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Balanchine's Rubies Pas de Deux, Fonte's Presto, Ashton's Cinderella, and Dove's Red Angels.
In Ms. Straughan's time with Ballet West she performed at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts, The Joyce Theatre, Fall for Dance Festival, Chicago Dancing Festival, Laguna Dance Festival, 25th International Ballet Festival of Havana and in the inaugural National Choreographic Festival.
In collaboration with BBC Worldwide, Ms. Straughan has appeared on network television as a cast member of Breaking Pointe. Seasons I and II of the docudrama based on Ballet West aired on the CWNetwork in 2012-2013.
While performing with Ballet West Ms. Straughan simultaneously pursued her higher education goals. As of 2016 Ms. Straughan holds a Bachelor of Science Business Degree in Green & Sustainable Enterprise Management.
Ms. Straughan joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer for the 2016/2017 season under the direction of Kevin Irving while also performing additionally with Ballet West as a Guest First Soloist. Highlights from her first principal season with OBT included the world premiere of resident choreographer Fonte's Giants Before Us, Duato's El Naranjo and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.
Ms. Straughan has recently returned to the stage in Fokine's Dying Swan and Kylián's Falling Angels following the birth of her daughter in January 2018.
Lead Couple Jacqueline Straughan and Christopher Sellars tag team with a devil-may-care showmanship...where Straughan's has the lithe folding and unfolding that plays up her magnificent extension." Desert News 2013