Ballet Discipline

The Ballet Program at the University of Utah has a history of excellence dating from 1951. In this groundbreaking year, Willam F. Christensen — noted dancer, teacher, and founder of the San Francisco Ballet Company — returned to his native Utah and founded one of the first ballet programs in an American university. As faculty was developed and the curriculum grew, the excellence of this program served as the foundation for other university ballet programs.

Faculty and graduates of the University of Utah’s Ballet Department were fundamental in the formation and growth of Ballet West, Utah’s major professional ballet company. Through the excellence and professional success of our faculty, students, and alumni, the School of Dance continues to attract a cosmopolitan enrollment of students from all 50 states and abroad. Numerous alumni are currently dancing professionally or working as ballet instructors and administrators in colleges, universities and other educational and professional organizations throughout the world.

In 1989 the beautiful, contemporary and ideally functional facility, The Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance was built specifically for dance. From 1996 on, surveys of dance administrators have consistently ranked the University of Utah undergraduate programs in Ballet and Modern Dance in the top 10% across the nation. In the summer of 2009 the first Utah Ballet Summer Intensive was created, creating a rigorous 4 week program combining classical training and creative exploration. 

The School of Dance is an educational training center that prepares majors for professional performing and teaching careers, and encourages creative and scholarly research in undergraduate students. A balanced and comprehensive curriculum created for the 100-plus professionally-oriented students leads to the BFA Degree. The Department offers many opportunities for performance and/or choreography through participation in the Pre-Professional Trainee Program with Ballet West, Utah Ballet, Character Dance Ensemble, Ballet Ensemble, Ballet Showcase, Senior Concert.

Men's Program

The Ballet Program supports the training of male dancers through our curriculum, which insures that male students may focus on their specific training needs through opportunities to enroll in Men's Class and Partnering courses every semester. Additionally, the program provides individual mentorship by male faculty members who bring their own impressive professional careers and backgrounds to their relationships with students. Further, there are multiple performance opportunities both on and off campus.