At 6 feet 4 inches, Steven Goforth is hard to miss in a crowd. Or on a stage. The 2011 Vancouver School of Arts and Academics graduate exploits his elongated features and nuanced musicality in a style that’s equal parts agility and brawn.
Goforth first learned the fundamentals of his art in Vancouver. Though he’s one of several former students pursuing dance professionally, he’s one of few male VSAA alums—perhaps the only—currently performing classical ballet. In just a short period of time, Goforth has leapt from learning the five fundamental positions of ballet to performing with the Nevada Ballet Theatre.
The Goforth family has strong roots in education and in Vancouver Public Schools. Goforth’s mother, Janet, is a kindergarten teacher at Harney Elementary. His father, Brian, is the director of assessment for Evergreen Public Schools. Goforth’s brother, Willie, graduated from VSAA and recently earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from Juilliard. Their sister, Anna, also a VSAA grad, now is a pre-med student at Point Park University.
Goforth’s initial exposure to dance came in a first-grade creative movement class at Roosevelt Elementary, where he was in the district’s program for highly capable students. “Soon after the first class, I came home and told my mom that I wanted to dance,” he remembers. On his teacher Bev Melum’s recommendation, Goforth enrolled in a ballet class at the nearby Columbia Dance.
Ballet, considered the foundation of all dance, elevated Goforth’s natural athleticism. He studied other styles, but ballet “was fun, it was a challenge. As I was immersed in it, the love of ballet, of dance, just grew,” he says.
His gender left him in the minority at Columbia Dance, but he developed a strong background in partnering. His teachers also helped him reconcile the precision demanded by ballet with his rapid growth. Meanwhile, friendships blossomed, including one with eventual-girlfriend Meridith Mason.