Richard Wacko

Professor – Richard Wacko earned an MFA from the University of Utah, a B. Admin from Athabasca University and a Diploma in Marketing Management from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.  Early studies began at the Ukrainian National Federal School of Dance and continued at the Alberta Ballet School.  He received private instruction with Maria Bokor at [Read More]


Melonie Buchanan Murray

Associate Professor – Melonie Buchanan Murray holds a BFA in Ballet from Friends University (Wichita, KS), an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and is currently pursuing a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. At UCI, which she attended on a full fellowship, she studied with the legendary Donald McKayle and [Read More]


Jay Kim

Assistant Professor –  Professor Kim’s career as a professional dancer includes having been awarded a total of 9 medals in international dance competitions, including 2 Grand Prix and 7 Gold Medals earning the top placing medals in Ballet, Modern, and Korean Folk Dance categories from 1989 ‐1998. His professional dancing career spans across 12 years [Read More]


Maureen Laird

Associate Professor  (Currently on Sabbatical)- Maureen Laird received her early training at Point Park College and the Pennsylvania Ballet School. She continued her studies at David Howard’s School and Melissa Hayden’s Studio in New York and then went on to study at the University of Utah. Maureen performed with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet El [Read More]

Conrad Ludlow WEB

Conrad Ludlow

Emeritus Professor – Conrad Ludlow had an illustrious twenty-year career as a principal dancer with both San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, where he was especially known for his skill in partnering. He established exciting partnerships with such well-known ballerinas as Violette Verdy, Melissa Hayden, Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Suzanne Farrell, and Patricia McBride. [Read More]


Maggie Wright-Tesch

Associate Professor Lecturer – Maggie Wright Tesch danced her entire 18-year career with Ballet West, 12 as a Principal Artist. During her career she performed the leading roles in the classics The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Swan Lake as well as all the full lengths in the repertoire. She worked with and was coached by noted [Read More]


Calvin Kitten

Assistant Professor Lecturer – Calvin Kitten began his dance training at the California Ballet School in San Diego and furthered his training at the Tbilisi Choreographic Institute in Soviet Georgia and also at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.  Calvin was then invited to join the Joffrey Ballet, and danced with them, both in New [Read More]

Michael Bearden for Web 145

Michael Bearden

Visiting Assistant Professor – Michael Bearden received his early training at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas and then became a student in the University of Utah Ballet Department. From there, he was hired by Ballet West where he had a distinguished fourteen year career. Michael Joined Ballet West in 1999, was promoted to Soloist in 2004, [Read More]


Annie Breneman

  Adjunct Assistant Professor – Annie Breneman received most of her early ballet training from Joan Miller’s Palm Beach Ballet Center, Florida. She graduated from Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts High School, in Florida. She received a scholarship to attend the University of Utah, and later graduated with a BFA in Ballet, with a Performing [Read More]