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Ballet West Names Scholarship in Honor of Bené Arnold

Last week, Ballet West named an Academy scholarship in honor of the legendary Department of Ballet Distinguished Professor Emerita, Bené Arnold. One of the most respected and distinguished ballet teachers in the United States, Ms. Arnold danced for the San Francisco Ballet and then became their Ballet Mistress. In 1962 she moved to Salt Lake [Read More]

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Character Dance Ensemble Visits Hungary on Research Excursion

The University of Utah’s Department of Ballet Character Dance Ensemble recently returned from a research excursion to Hungary. Eight members of the company traveled to Budapest for a week-long workshop at the Hungarian Dance Academy. While at the academy, the dancers studied ballet, folk dance, and also added new choreography to their performance repertoire, featuring [Read More]

Ballet Senior Showcase 2015

Ballet Senior Showcase

Wednesday, May 6th – The Department of Ballet Senior Showcase Featuring the graduating class of 2015! Admission is free. Read more here.  



Cinderella: A Steampunk Fairy Tale featuring the Utah Philharmonia April 3&4 Kingsbury Hall | 7:30 PM  


Annual Children’s Workshop & Performance

The University of Utah’s Character Dance Ensemble invites you and your students to join us for our annual children’s workshop. This workshop will include a ballet class, character class, character repertory class, lunch, and crafts. In addition to the classes, the young dancers will join the Ensemble members on stage for a performance at 2:00. [Read More]

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Ballet Showcase II

Join us for an evening of original works choreographed and performed by students from the Department of Ballet. Blending contemporary thought with classical style, the Showcase performances give our dancers the opportunity to contribute new material to the grand tradition of ballet.   Thursday, February 19 @ 5:30 pm, Friday, February 20 @ 7:30 pm, [Read More]


Ballet Showcase Packet

The Audition Packet for the 2015 Ballet Showcase II is available now. The adjudication of works by student choreographers wishing to be included in the performance (February 19, 20, and 21) will be held Saturday, January 31 at 9:00 am. Please read through the packet for additional important details.


Ballet Ensemble Performs December 11, 12, & 13

You won’t want to miss this fall’s performance by our Ballet Ensemble, December 11, 12, & 13 at the Marriott Center for Dance. The evening will offer a mix of classical and contemporary choreography, featuring Petipa’s La Bayadère staged by our own Assistant Professor Lecturer Calvin Kitten, as well as new works by Department of [Read More]


Utah Ballet November 13 -15, 20 – 22

Utah Ballet’s Fall performance is coming up.   We are very proud to announce a world premiere piece by Charlotte Boye-Christensen, founder of NOW ID and former artistic director of  Ririe-Woodbury. Utah Ballet will also be performing a new work by visiting faculty member, Eloy Barragan, as well as the classical piece “Grand Pas des [Read More]


Audition Tour Dates

Audition tour dates have been announced for the 2015 – 2015 season. More details can be found here.


Ballet Showcase I

The kick-off to the Department of Ballet 2014 -2015 performance calendar is coming up! Join us for Ballet Showcase I, an evening of student choreographed works, October 2, 3, and 4. Tickets @

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ABT National Training Curriculum

The University of Utah Department of Ballet was proud to host an American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum program on campus June of 2014. The 10-day workshop was a tremendous success. More details can be found on the College of Fine Arts blog, The Finer Points.


Welcome to our new Acting Chair, Brent Schneider

Beginning June 1, 2014, Brent Schneider (MFA, University of Utah) took over the leadership of the Department of Ballet as Acting Chair. Mr. Schneider danced for seven years with Salt Lake’s Repertory Dance Theatre and currently holds an appointment as a Professor in the Department of Modern Dance, which began for him in 1998. In recent years, he has also served as Associate Dean in [Read More]


Senior Showcase 2014

Please join us next Wednesday, April 30 as we showcase works by the graduating senior class of 2014 .


Great Coppelia Video

Utah Ballet’s Coppelia is right around the corner. Watch (and share) this video clip featuring some history of the Department’s connection with Coppelia, as well as some rehearsal footage to give you a taste of the upcoming show.       Also, here is Coppelia’s director, Professor Maggie Wright-Tesch, discussing the production with host Mary [Read More]


Utah Ballet Presents: Coppelia

Coppelia April 10 – 12  &  April 18 – 19 Join us for this classical ballet performed by the University of Utah Department of Ballet’s Utah Ballet. Original choreography by Rene Daveluy, Jan Clark-Fugit, and University of Utah professor Richard Wacko. Directed by University of Utah professor Margaret Wright-Tesch.             [Read More]


Character Dance Ensemble Performance

Come see Character Dance Ensemble perform on Saturday, March 29 and support their trip to Spain in May.   Are you unable to make it to the performance, but would still like to support CDE? DETAILS ON THEIR FUNDRAISER HERE.

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Character Dance Ensemble Fundraiser

All this week, you can help support the University of Utah Department of Ballet’s Character Dance Ensemble by presenting THIS FLYER at Jason’s Deli at the Gateway (178 s Rio Grande) at the time of purchase. 20% of your purchase price will go to support CDE. So, get a crowd together and support Character Dance [Read More]


Jazz Dance Student Club Performance

Don’t Miss This! The Jazz Dance Student Club is presenting their Spring 2014 performance March 28th and 29th. Come out and support this fantastic group of dancers.


Character Dance Ensemble Childen’s Workshop

Join us for the Character Dance Ensemble’s Children’s Character Ballet Workshop. To register, please DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS FORM.      


ABT National Training Curriculum at the U of U

The American Ballet Theatre is presenting the National Training Curriculum Pre-primary – Level 3 at the University of Utah Department of Ballet from May 31 – June 8. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain this knowledge and receive certification. If interested, please contact the Department of Ballet, or download the REGISTRATION FORM HERE.


Ballet Showcase II February 6, 7, & 8

Please join the Department of Ballet February 6, 7, & 8 as we present Ballet Showcase II, an evening of student choreographed balletic works.

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Seeking Applicants

The University of Utah Department of Ballet is seeking applicants for two new faculty positions for the 2014-2015 academic year.   The first is a Tenure-Track position and the other is a Visitor or Lecturer. If interested, follow the links provided for further details. Please submit your online application no later than January 20, 2014 to ensure [Read More]


Ballet Ensemble presents: Paquita

December 12, 13, & 14. The Department of Ballet is pleased to present Ballet Ensemble in their Fall 2013 performance of the classical ballet, “Paquita”. The evening’s performance will also include two comtemporary works, “Weaker” by Shayla Bott, and “Via con Me” by Tong Wang.

From Serenade, Choreography by George Balanchine© The George Balanchine Trust

Review of the Utah Ballet Fall 2013 performance

The Daily Utah Chronicle’s Dylan Griffin was very impressed with the University of Utah Department of Ballet’s recent Utah Ballet performance. Read all about it:


Utah Ballet Fall 2013 presents…

Utah Ballet is honored to present George Balanchine’s iconic work Serenade this month. Serenade  is a milestone in the history of dance and is the first original ballet George Balanchine created in America. Balanchine began the ballet as a lesson in stage technique and worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. A student’s fall or late [Read More]

Photo: Elenor Heyborne

ArtsForce 2013 a huge success

This last weekend, hundreds of students gathered for the University of Utah College of Fine Arts’ first annual ArtsForce conference, a two-day experience with various workshops and sessions to help undergrads understand and articulate the value of their arts education. Check out the Daily Utah Chronicle’s article on ArtsForce here:  

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Utah Ballet ‘Choreographers of the Far East’

In Spring 2013, the University of Utah Department of Ballet presented 8 contemporary series performances of ‘Choreographers of the Far East’ that was directed by Professor Jay Kim and featured 25 Utah Ballet Company dancers and 6 Department of Ballet men.  This production featured four works that included three World Premieres created by choreographers all [Read More]

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Utah Ballet Performs in Seoul, Korea

In May 2013, by invitation, Professor Jay Kim took 11 Utah Ballet dancers and 9 Character Dance Ensemble dancers to Seoul, Korea and participated in a 10-day international exchange and joint presentation performance with the Korean Ballet Theatre in Seoul, South Korea.  Together dancers performed at the Nowon Cultural Art Theatre, a 1000 seat auditorium, [Read More]

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程思 Cheng Si (Lyn) Joins the Faculty

The department of Ballet would like to welcome 程思 Cheng Si (Lyn) as a Guest Faculty Member. As a visiting scholar Lyn will be honoring us by sharing her knowledge and co-teaching the upper-division Technique classes and guest teaching in all levels of Pointe and Variations.

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Michael Bearden Joins The Faculty

  The University of Utah Department of Ballet would like to welcome Visiting Assistant Professor Michael Bearden

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Congratulations to 2013 Graduates

We extend our congratulations to all the graduates from in the University of Utah Ballet Department.   Two students are receiving the MFA degree and twenty –eight students will receive the BFA. This is the largest BFA graduating class in recent memory.  Even more impressive is that half of them have either a double-major (8) [Read More]

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Congratulations Rachel Osterman

Congratulations  Rachel Osterman Congratulations to Ballet BFA student Rachel Osterman on receiving the Student Mentor of the Year Award of the 2013 U of U Student Leadership Awards! More  

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Utah Ballet Opens Next Week!

Choreographers of the Far East – Ma Cong, Dr. Jung Sik Roh, & Jay Kim. March 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 – Tickets @, 801.581.7100  

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Kelly Boal Master Class – February 9, 2013

Kelly Boal Master Class – February 9, 2013 Kelly Boal trained with Olga Kostritsky in her home town of Buffalo, New York and at the School of American Ballet under Suki Schorer, Alexandra Danilova and Stanley Williams among others. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1984 and received a promotion to the rank [Read More]


Live To Dance 2013 Concert Opens January 31st!

Be sure not to miss this year’s LIVE TO DANCE Jazz Dance Concert! It’s a high energy jazz dance concert featuring the University of Utah jazz dance students. It will include Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Bollywood, Fosse, Broadway, Thrash and more!! Choreography by Director of Jazz, Tamara Squires, as well as guest artists Eldon Johnson, [Read More]

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Utah Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’ Sells Out MCD

Utah Ballet, the Department’s premier company, presented Swan Lake to a sold-out theatre, in a private performance to donors to the College of Fine Arts, and to grade school children courtesy of a generous grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.  An excerpt was also featured at the College of Fine Arts Assembly, honoring distinguished alumni.  [Read More]

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Ballet West/UofU Ballet – Joint Trainee Program

The U and Ballet West have formalized a Joint Trainee Program that allows a select few students to take classes both in the Ballet Department and with Ballet West’s Professional Trainee Division. The students are also eligible to perform with both Ballet West and the Department of Ballet.   This year there are three “Joint [Read More]

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Professor Rick Wacko, Artist-In-Residence at CSU

During the month of September, Professor Richard Wacko traveled to CSU to be an artist-in-residence, conducting lectures on character dance history in relationship to dance history, teaching masterclasses, and setting traditional character choreography on CSU dance students. CSU students will be performing his choreography in November. Click here for more info.

CDE Dancers in costume for UN Day Performance

CDE Performs for UN Day

CDE recently performed for invited guests at a celebration for UN Day in Utah.  This event titled “Solutions for a Prosperous World” was held in the Panorama Room at the Olpin Union on campus, and featured speakers, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Michael Beard.  CDE performed several international choreographies from Italy, Belorussia and [Read More]

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Tamara Squires/Students, Perform For U President

Tamara Squires, Director of Jazz Dance has been asked to perform and choreograph for the Inaugural President’s Dinner at the Grand America. She will be performing with the Jazz Dance faculty and students. It is part of Inaugural Week. The theme this year is ‘Imagine U’ and will explore the wonderful relationships that exist between [Read More]

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Freshman Choreographs/Performs In Music Video

Chanel Kostich, Department of Ballet Freshman, was selected by Empath Media LLC to dance in a new music video with the band Cedar Breaks a local Utah band featuring unique, fresh, new age folk with strong harmonies & themes that cause thought & reflection. Chanel did an amazing job choreographing on herself to the song [Read More]

Laura Katz Rizzo

Laura Katz Rizzo – Dept. of Ballet Visiting Scholar

Professor Laura Katz Rizzo of Temple University will be visiting scholar / master teacher in residence from October 24 – 26, 2012.  She is a ballet choreographer, scholar and pedagogue.  Holding a Ph.D. in Dance Studies and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, she will lecture and lead discussions about the agency of women in [Read More]

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Gerard Cuesta Workshop With CDE

The Department of Ballet was pleased to welcome back Gerard Cuesta, Basque and Spanish dance master to work with CDE. This was his second visit to share his knowledge and expertise with the Character Dance Ensemble.   Thank you Gerard!  

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Elementary Students Attend Ballet Performance

On Friday September 28, 2012 three hundred children from East Midvale Elementary School, a Title I school, attended a performance of ballet.  They watched nine original works that ballet majors had choreographed, cheering loudly for each performance.  Rachel Osterman, Sorenson Dance Scholar, had provided their teachers with instructional material about ballet prior to the show.  [Read More]

Acting Chair of Ballet, Linda Smith & Distinguished Alumna, Sandra Allen

Sandra Birch Allen – Distinguished Alumna, Ballet

Sandra Birch Allen, BFA 1964, MFA 1967, Associate Professor of Dance at Brigham Young University, was named the 2012 Distinguished Alumna of the Department.  Sandra began teaching at BYU in 1968, and rose to be the Ballet Division Administrator, basically creating, nurturing and growing the program of ballet studies at BYU for the past 44 [Read More]

Sorenson Dance Scholars

Three Chosen as Sorenson Dance Scholars

Senior Rachel Osterman, junior Meredith Jones, and sophomore Jessica Cetrone were selected by the faculty to serve as Sorenson Dance Scholars.  They will work to bring children from disadvantaged Title I elementary schools to campus to watch all of the department’s performances this year and to take the Character Dance Ensemble into local junior high [Read More]

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Rob Wood, National Choreography Intensive

In July and August of this year, Rob Wood had the pleasure of serving as Director of Music for the National Choreography Intensive 2012 sponsored by Regional Dance America.  It is Rob’s seventh year serving in the capacity.  This year the Intensive was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and brought together 12 choreographers and 50 [Read More]

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Sorenson Foundation Awards Grant to Ballet

The Sorenson Legacy Foundation has awarded the Department of Ballet and the Department of Modern Dance a $48,000 grant to support outreach and education in the public schools.  The funds will permit the Ballet Department to bring children from disadvantaged Title I schools to campus to attend Friday morning performances. Students will see classical ballets [Read More]

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Maggie Tesch Coaches A Winner In Beijing

Adam Sklute, Artistic Director of Ballet West, asked Professor Tesch to coach two of his young dancers for the 4th Beijing International Invitational for Dance Schools held this June, 2012.  Dancers auditioned by DVD and the finalists were chosen to go to Beijing to compete in both classical and contemporary solos.  There were only 16 [Read More]