A Letter from Executive Director, Jena Woodbury

Dear Ririe-Woodbury Supporter:

As 2022 draws to a close, I want to express heartfelt thanks for your ongoing generous support of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. For 59 years, the Company has been devoted to performances that evoke the senses, replenish the spirit, and create lasting memories. It has been my great honor to help solidify Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury’s legacy. These two remarkable women nurtured the Company into a renowned institution that continues to influence countless dancers and brings dance education to schools, underserved groups, and communities far and wide.

As Joan’s daughter, I have a rich and complex relationship with this company, so it’s with a mix of emotions that I announce I’ll be stepping down as executive director at the end of June to pursue other endeavors. I initiated this process with the board almost 18 months ago to give ample time to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. The executive search will begin this January with the help of Pathway Associates. 

I’m confident that I’m leaving the Company in a solid position – fiscally and programmatically. During the twelve years I’ve been privileged to lead as executive director, I’ve presided over the Company’s transition to a post-founder organization; witnessed tremendous artistic and programmatic growth under different artistic and education directors; and seen numerous talented dancers develop as artists and move on to impact the world of dance in myriad ways. I’ve also seen administrative and technical staff help strengthen the Company and move on to influence other organizations across the country. Recently, I’ve witnessed the Company, its supporting family, and the wider community come together, weather the pandemic, and emerge stronger and wiser. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished and inspired by the commissions and education programs that have come to fruition, the number of people the Company has reached, and the extraordinary tours we’ve triumphantly completed. It’s been a privilege to work with so many talented artists, donors, board members, staff, volunteers, and colleagues – all of whom believe that dance is a fundamental human experience and a vital part of our shared humanity. Ushering in the 60th year with new leadership will be a great opportunity for the Company to take its next exciting step into a bright and secure future!

Thank you for helping ensure the Company’s mission continues for many years to come.

With gratitude,

Jena C. Woodbury, Executive Director


The national search for a new Executive Director will open early January, 2023 on Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s website with the new leadership set to start in June of 2023. All applicants and questions regarding the hiring process can be directed to Pathway Associates by contacting Joelle Kanshepolsky .