The Northern Lights Dance Theatre is a unique entity in the Eastern Upper Peninsula arts community. The company members, ages 10 to 18, are all students in the GLAD dance program but must audition to join the company and must also meet a variety of additional criteria to qualify, ranging from their experience and skill on the dance stage to their academic performance at school, their behavior in the rehearsal studio, and their comportment in public. While the group operates under the broad umbrella of GLAD, it is also an independent organization, with a student-run board and the students themselves shouldering the responsibility for fundraising and making all of the key decisions. Northern Lights members enjoy additional training and performing opportunities throughout the year, as well as related activities, including the group’s annual Thanksgiving weekend field trip to East Lansing, to see the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan production of The Nutcracker.
Being a member of the Northern Lights Dance Theatre requires extraordinary devotion to dance, additional study, more rehearsal time, and personal sacrifices. But it pays immeasurable benefits in sharper minds and stronger bodies, enhanced dance skills, increased opportunities for dance and personal growth, and overall fun and fellowship.