Ballet West

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Ballet West
General Information
NameBallet West
Year founded1963
Artistic Staff
Artistic DirectorAdam Sklute
Official SchoolBallet West Academy
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Ballet West
General Information
NameBallet West
Year founded1963
Artistic Staff
Artistic DirectorAdam Sklute
Official SchoolBallet West Academy

Ballet West is an American ballet company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was founded in 1963 as the Utah Civic Ballet by Willam F. Christensen, the company's first artistic director, and Glenn Walker Wallace, who served as its first president. Christensen had previously established the first ballet department in an American university at the University of Utah in 1951.[1]

In 1968, the Federation of Rocky Mountain States chose the company to represent that group, and by extension, to represent the western United States. Due to that choice, the group's name was changed to Ballet West.[2] This is not to be confused with Ballet West in Taynuilt, Scotland.[3]

The Ballet West Academy is the official school of Ballet West and is located in Salt Lake City.[4]

Ballet West is featured in the reality TV series Breaking Pointe.

Artistic directors[edit]

The founding artistic director, Willam Christensen, retired in 1978. He was succeeded by Bruce Marks, who had been co-artistic director since 1975. Starting in 1985, the company's third artistic director was John Hart, C.B.E., a former dancer, administrator, and assistant director of The Royal Ballet. From 1997 through 2006, the position belonged to Jonas Kåge, a dancer and choreographer.[1]

The company's fifth and current artist director is Adam Sklute, who has served in that capacity since 2007. Sklute was dancer, ballet master and associate director with The Joffrey Ballet.[1][5]

Dance company[edit]

Dancers with Ballet West as of February 2012 include:[6]

Principal artists[edit]

NameBirth PlaceDate JoinedTraining
Hayley Henderson SmithVentura, Calif2010Clarissa Boeriu in Ventura, Calif
Christiana BennettTownsend, Massachusetts1999Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet
Katherine LawrenceFairfield, Connecticut2004Connecticut Dance School, followed by The Harid Conservatory
Christopher RuudSan Francisco, California1998San Francisco Ballet School, University of Utah Department of Ballet
Tom MattinglyRidgecrest, California2008Virginia School of the Arts
Arolyn WilliamsRowe, Massachusetts2006Pioneer Valley Ballet and University of North Carolina School of the Arts

First Soloists[edit]

NameBirth PlaceDate JoinedTraining
Beau PearsonSan Francisco, California2007The Academy of Ballet in San Francisco
Elizabeth McGrathMiller Place, New York2001The Seiskaya Ballet and The Harid Conservatory
Jacqueline StraughanCarson City, Nevada2006National Ballet School in Toronto
Ronnie UnderwoodTulsa, Oklahoma2011Tulsa School of Ballet, Ballet Hispanico in New York City, and American Ballet Theatre
Christopher SellarsHuntington Beach, California2006Orange County Dance Center and The Rock School for Dance Education
Rex TiltonSan Diego, California2008Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, and School of American Ballet


NameBirth PlaceDate JoinedTraining
Adrian FryOmaha, Nebraska2010Omaha Theater Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School
Sayaka OhtakiTokyo, Japan2010Inoue Ballet School in Japan
Emily AdamsNewtown, Pennsylvania2007The School of American Ballet, Studio Maestro, Ballet Technique, and Princeton Ballet
Allison DeBonaPittsburgh, Pennsylvania2007The Parou Ballet, followed by the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet
Christopher AndersonBaltimore, Maryland2001The Baltimore School for the Arts, followed by the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance
Beckanne SiskLongview, Texas2011The Rock School for Dance Education


NameBirth PlaceDate JoinedTraining
Lindsay DuerfeldtModesto, California2009Central West Ballet and Utah Regional Ballet
Katie CritchlowSan Diego, California2006The San Elijo Dance Academy in San Diego, followed by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Corps Artists[edit]

  • Katlyn Addison
  • Paige Adams
  • Elanor Bock
  • Kaya Aman
  • Jamie Hickey
  • Tyler Gum
  • Kimberly Ballard
  • Jenna Rae Herrera
  • Sarah Hochman
  • Whitney Huell
  • Chase O'Connell
  • Alexander MacFarlan
  • Joshua Whitehead
  • Trevor Naumann
  • Amy Potter
  • Jordan Richardson
  • Jamie Lynn Schultz
  • Ronald Tilton
  • Elizabeth Weldon
  • Zachary Prentice


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". Ballet West. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ Willis, Cherie N. (1994), Powell, Allan Kent, ed., Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  3. ^ "Ballet West - Ichrachan House - Taynuilt - Argyll - Scotland". Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ballet West Academy". Ballet West. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Artistic Director". Ballet West. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Artists". Ballet West. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]