With a grand opening on September 9, 2009, Studio Roxander is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Roxander's mother, Jody White. Before her passing a promise was made that she would never be forgotten and that all of the children who came through the doors of Studio Roxander would know her. A dance teacher herself of over 55 years, she was and, through the Roxanders, will continue to inspire and educate thousands of children. It is our greatest wish that our studio environment will aid in instilling in our students a great respect and love for all art forms.
A teacher and director in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1954, Jody was a founding member of the Marin Ballet as well as a founder and director of San Francisco Dance Theatre's Junior Division and company. Twice winner of the Marin Arts Council's Individual Artist's Grant for Choreography, she has created a body of work that includes two full-length ballets. In 1980 she wrote a dance syllabus, En Avant, The Complete Dancer. Printed in 1982, it is now used by over 1000 ballet schools internationally and resides in the Library of Congress.
Jody was very involved in the Pacific Regional Ballet Festival for over 20 years and her choreographic works were presented by numerous dance companies during these festivals. In 1988 she joined her son, David Roxander, in opening Dance Theatre Seven in Marin County, California. Jody retired from teaching in 2006 and moved to Southern Oregon.
After complication arising out of what was supposed to be a minor surgery, Jody White passed away on March 25, 2009. Before her passing a promise was made that she would never be forgotten and that all of the children who came through the doors of Studio Roxander would know her. She, through the Roxanders, will continue to inspire and educate thousands of children. Her syllabus, En Avant, The Complete Dancer, as well as our 18 years of experience teaching by her side will continue to be the cornerstone of Studio Roxander's system and philosophy.
Quotes about Jody
“Anyone who has been taught by her — even for a short time — has been blessed by her craft, keen eye, focus and devotion to the art of ballet, to making it sing in each person's heart.”
- Hillary Fox
Stage Manager for Cirque du Solei and the Paris Opera Ballet
“Her work has the potential of creating a new vision of what it means to be a dancer!”
- George Leonard
Author, The Ultimate Athlete
“It is a tribute to Jody that so many of her former students have become teachers. I thank her daily for her guidance and hope to provide the same environment of quiet, consistent encouragement and challenge to my own students. We learned to work for ourselves within the discipline that ballet requires but were never asked to let go of who we were as people.”
- Kathleen McCormick
Preparatory Dance Program, Cornish College of the Arts
“Jody White matches technical knowledge with imagination. And then there is that mysterious Creativity Box. In her special studio environment, it quite eclipses Pandora's.”
- Doris Hering
Executive Director of the National Association for Regional Ballet
“This ballet mentor tells how to teach artistry as well as technique. Her philosophy and her system could be ballet's future wave.”
- Dance Teacher Now magazine
“Jody White is that special teacher that inspires her students to become more than they ever dreamed they could.”
- JoAnn Warner
1979 President, Pacific Regional Ballet Association
Jody White was a brilliant teacher, choreographer, artist, mentor, mother, grandmother, and friend. Her career in the arts lasted well over 60 years. Many people do not know that Jody’s father committed suicide when she was just 16. We think this single event plunged her into a world of fantasy and make-believe. The arts offered her a safe haven and a place of limitless self-expression. Rocky (David Roxander) grew up in this world and always saw her as a real-life Peter Pan – someone who really, truly lived in the metaphysical world of imagination and creativity. We also believe that the thousands of children who had the honor to work with her as a teacher and choreographer will always reflect back to the world the best part of who she was.
We hope you enjoy this video we made in her memory.