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By Grant Butler
The Oregonian
April 13, 2013


In a 2006 School of Oregon Ballet Theatre performance, dancers Grace Shibley and Lucas Threefoot perform Snow White (Photo by Christian Johnson)[Portland, Oregon, USA] – At the end of this season, [Lucas Threefoot is] leaving for Europe, where he’ll dance for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the national ballet of the Principality of Monaco.

“For the past two or three years, I’ve been thinking about going to dance in Europe,” Threefoot says. “There’s a different dance culture there. It’s much more contemporary, and that’s the kind of movement that I feel the most comfortable in.”

For the native Portlander, moving to Europe is a big personal and professional shift. He’s lived here all his life and his parents and friends are all here. And he’s been part of the Oregon Ballet Theatre family for 20 years — he began studying dance in the company’s school when he was just 4 years old and progressed through the school before becoming a company member in 2007.

In a 2002 photo, 13-year-old dancer Lucas Threefoot takes dance class at the School of Oregon Ballet TheatreInterim artistic director Anne Mueller has watched Threefoot’s growth as a dancer from almost the very beginning. When she started dancing with OBT in the mid-’90s, he had been dancing in classes and school programs for a few years. Starting so young helped kickstart his growth as an artist, she says.

Threefoot admits he had his share of teen awkwardness, and found it challenging balancing high school and ballet.

“As a ballet dancer, you have to grow up and become mature rather quickly,” Threefoot says. “There’s not much time for messing around when you’re dancing. I was forced to grow up a lot faster than other people.”

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