Photo by Melissa Nornes
Rachel Närhi is the President and founder of the Oregon Dance Education Organization. With over 20 years of teaching experience, she has had the privilege of working at Dance Fusion NW, NW Dance Project, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Portland Public Schools, Western Washington University and Young Audiences of SW Washington and Oregon, among others. She specializes in developmentally appropriate and anatomically aligned classical ballet, creative dance, and choreography for children and adults, as well as contemporary and modern dance. She has extensive experience in nonprofit administration, board relations, start-ups and small business management. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Närhi was founder and Artistic Director of Open Flame Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company that melded contemporary ballet and fire performance. Her works have been commissioned by The Seattle Opera, The Burning Man Festival, The Seattle Solstice Fire Festival, Western Washington University, and performed throughout western North America. She has a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts and received her early dance training in Seattle from Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Program, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Gwen Barker Harsh, Ann Green Gilbert, Patricia Hon, Terry Sparks, Gerard Theoret, and Sharon Tyers.