"Every show is my favorite and every student forever in my heart."
Jill Van Orden is affectionately known as Miss Jill to children and teen performers throughout the greater Fort Collin’s area. Mrs. Van Orden earned a BA in English while dancing her way through college on a variety of performance and traveling teams. Her dance training includes tap, jazz, modern, and ballroom. She completed post-graduate work to earn an elementary education teaching license in both California and Colorado. Upon moving to Fort Collins in 1999 with her husband, Alan, and two young daughters, Amanda and Emma, Mrs. Van Orden became acquainted with local angels of the arts, Barbara Lueck (Momma Lu) and Peggy Rosenkranz (founder of Centennial Children’s Choir) and Linda Hall, and Karen Lesser and Janet Von Forrell (founders of Colorado Academy of the Arts). Mrs. Van Orden soon became a much sought after and loved free-lance choreographer for local high schools and other local performing arts organizations and became “Miss Jill.” She choreographed for Rocky Mountain High School Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, Music Man, and Les Miserables. With Centennial Children’s Choir, she choreographed the first local performance of Seussical, Jr., Once Upon a Mattress, and a number of Spring Broadway Showcases. Miss Jill also choreographed full length musical productions for Liberty Commons High School (Charlie Brown and Cinderella), Loveland High School (Seussical and Music Man), and Windsor Children’s Summer Theater (Tom Sawyer, Pirates of Penzance, Once Upon a Mattress, and Seussical, Jr.). During this time, she was also Dance Director at Colorado Academy of the Arts. In 2012, Miss Jill founded her non-profit organization Arts Reach Center, Inc. offering year-round performing arts opportunities both in her studio and in many area public schools. Through Arts Reach Center (now Foundation), Miss Jill has produced and directed over 40 productions at local performance venues including Lincoln Center Magnolia Theater, bas Bleu, Colorado State Performance Halls, and many local schools. Miss Jill is best known for the inclusive, thoughtful, and supportive environment she creates with each and every cast while teaching performance skills, developing self-confidence, and life-skills to each and every child. She is excited to join forces with Ms. Jalyn Webb of The Academy by divabee to continue providing quality performing arts education for the Fort Collins community.
Rehearsal address: 216 Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525 Phone: 970-231-5309
Mailing address: 1609 East Lake Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524 E-mail: email@example.com
PROVIDE quality performing arts experience to all students, including those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. CHALLENGE youth to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. INVITE them to contribute in a positive way to something bigger than themselves. DISCOVER and DEVELOP abilities and personal qualities that come from participating in the performing arts.
"In an ideal world, Jill Van Orden would be cloned. The guidance and direction she demonstrates child after child, cast after cast, year after year, allows the children she works with to take center stage, and to feel the empowerment and confidence boost they so often desperately need, and deserve. Jill has that rare quality of being everyone's mother and friend. She is the antithesis to the music teacher who tells us we can't sing, or the acting coach who breaks down the actor in an attempt to build them back up. Children of all ages and all levels of talent leave a Jill Van Orden/Arts Reach Center Inc. Production encouraged and enchanted, many of whom will go forward and follow a path they may never have discovered otherwise." Josh R.
"Participating in multiple classes and productions through the Arts Reach Center Inc. has nourished my child's soul and life. The experience has provided her with opportunities to make friends, learn and grow in every way, and has been a huge self esteem booster that has had positive effects in every part of her life." Angie A.
"My daughter Genevieve has taken music theater classes from Jill on and off for 4 years. During this time, Jill was an instructor at Colorado Academy of the Arts until it closed, then she started her non-profit Riverstone, and we are so excited to see her finally at her very own studio called Arts Reach Center Inc. You won’t find a more enthusiastic, motivating, patient, and amazingly creative and talented instructor anywhere! It is absolutely incredible to see her take a group of kids and motivate them to learn lines and songs, develop acting blocking techniques, learn to project and express themselves, and put it all together in an amazing performance. We love that there are weekly classes where kids can develop their basic acting, singing, and dancing skills in short chunks of time, and that there are also big productions to be part of when it fits in with your schedule. Jill has an infectious enthusiasm, a great sense of humor, and a wealth of experience in dance and music theater and we can’t recommend her enough." Diane D.
"I have never had my child involved is such an amazing program like the one offered at the Arts Reach Center Inc. We have tried many programs in the area that teach skills and technique specific to the activity and most programs rely on parent volunteers that do their best to work with kids on techniques not familiar to them. What we have experienced in Jill Van Orden is someone who is not only a master in her craft, but so willingly shares all her skills with each child. She has created an environment where children of all ages and backgrounds come together, are kind to each other, and through teamwork and fun learn so many expert skills taught by some of the best people I have ever met. Watching these children perform plays they have worked so hard to create is a wonderful and touching experience. I have seen my daughter play a leading role and I have watch her play a small part, but as long as she is working with Jill and her team she always feels like the star of the show. I have never seen her happier and I am so grateful for this program!! " Christy P.
Recently merged with Jalyn Webb of The Academy by divabee, Arts Reach Foundation, Inc. serves as the scholarship funding house for The Academy. Please visit Support Us or contact Ms Van Orden or Ms Webb about making private or corporate donations to our student scholarship fund.
We are currently transitioning from Arts Reach Center to Arts Reach FOUNDATION to better reflect our partnership with The Academy. During this time, you may use either.