Jacqueline Straughan is a critically acclaimed Principal Dancer. Her career has spanned the globe for over two decades. Ms. Straughan has excelled onstage in a wide range of repertoire having performed over one hundred new and existing works.
Ms. Straughan hails from Carson City, Nevada. In 1995 she went to train at Canada’s National Ballet School as part of school's full-time professional ballet program. She accelerated her studies and graduated a year early with honors in 2000. Ms. Straughan was the recipient of the Peter Dwyer Scholarship and Christopher Ondaatje Ballet Prize for dance excellence the same year.
Ms. Straughan's professional career began with the National Ballet of Canada. Within a year she was promoted from the company's upper level apprentice program to the Corps de Ballet. During her four year tenure with the company, Ms. Straughan performed featured roles in Ashton's Montones I and Mrozewski's A Delicate Battle.
From 2004-2006 Ms. Straughan stepped away from ballet, but not the stage. She performed Broadway style review shows aboard Carnival Cruise Lines bound for ports of call throughout Mexico and the Bahamas.
Ms. Straughan dove back into ballet with South African Ballet Theatre before joining Ballet West in 2006. Two years later, she was promoted to Demi Soloist. Leading and title roles paved her way to promotion to Soloist in 2010 and First Soloist in 2013. Rave reviews 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 eleven years 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 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 educational goals. As of 2016 Ms. Straughan holds her second degree, a Bachelor of Science Business Degree in Green & Sustainable Enterprise Management.
Ms. Straughan joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 2016 while also continuing to perform with Ballet West. 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 returned to the stage in Fokine's Dying Swan and Kylián's Falling Angels following the birth of her daughter in 2018.
Ms. Straughan has returned to Nevada. She continues to pursue creative performance projects with local and international artists.
Ms. Straughan is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. The ABT® National Training Curriculum is a breakthrough 9 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development. The ABT® National Training Curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels.
Ms. Straughan is joining the ballet faculty of the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre for the 2023 - 2024 year.
Ms. Straughan also writes about dance for children and industry professionals. Her articles appear in publications including A Ballet Education's A Ballet Magazine Issue 23 and digital arts magazine Scene4's Issue 257 Vol. 21. Publication with Highlights' High Five Magazine is forthcoming in December 2023. Ms. Straughan completed the 2021 Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program with her ballet-based middle grade manuscript and participated in SCBWI's Southern Breeze Mentorship 2022 in picture books.
In recognition of excellence in her career, Ms. Straughan was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant in Performing Arts from the Nevada Arts Council in 2022. This grant is made possible primarily through appropriations from the State of Nevada.
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