Instructional Faculty

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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Rob Wood

Associate Professor Lecturer - Rob Wood has directed the music program in the Ballet Department for the last twelve years. He is currentlyAssistant Professor Lecturer in the Department of Modern Dance as well. Rob’s professional music-for-dance career spans 30 years having worked closely with many professional dancers, teachers, and directors. This includes recording ballet CD’s with [Read More]

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Brenda Butcher

Adjunct Assistant Professor – Brenda graduated from the University of Utah in 2004 with a BFA in Modern Dance and a minor in Health Promotion and Education. Since that time she has received certification from the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (mat pilates, group fitness, youth aerobics), from Streamline Bodyworks (pilates) and in Zumba Fitness.  [Read More]

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Sarah Franco

Adjunct Assistant Professor - Sarah Franco Adjunct Assistant Professor– Sarah Franco teaches the Kinesiology course (Ballet 4400).  She graduated from BYU with a BA in Ballet Performance in 2004 and received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah in 2007.  While in the Modern Dance Department Sarah was the Teaching Assistant for Pamela [Read More]

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Kimberly Ballard

Adjunct Assistant Professor - Kimberly received her BFA in Ballet with emphases in Performance, Teaching, and Character Dance in December of 2009 and her MFA in Ballet Performance in December 2011 from the University of Utah.   Kimberly began her dance education in southern California at the Looking Glass Studio of Performing Arts and The School [Read More]

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Cati Snarr

Adjunct Professor – Cati Snarr began her career at 15, dancing with Ballet West at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. During her ballet career she has danced many roles including,Myrtha in Giselle and Swanilda in Coppelia.  She is versatile in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap and Musical Theatre and has both worked and appeared in TV and film. [Read More]

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Lisa Hoyt

Adjunct Assistant Professor - Originally from Salt Lake City, Lisa Hoyt began her serious dance training at Christiansen School of Dance where she began performing with the International Folk-Ballet.  At the age of twelve Ms. Hoyt started studying with Ballet West Conservatory/Academy.   As a Willam Christensen scholarship recipient, Lisa received her BFA in Ballet, with a [Read More]

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Allison Farnsworth

Adjunct Assistant Professor – Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Allison Farnsworth received her ballet training and began teaching at Ballet Memphis School, where she performed with the Ballet Memphis Junior Company. She also attended summer programs at Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and Kansas City Ballet. She received her B.A. in Dance from Brigham Young University, [Read More]