Maggie Wright Tesch

Professor (Lecturer)

Phone: 801-581-8231

Maggie Wright Tesch retired from her 18-year career with Ballet West in 2006. She spent 12 of her 18 years as a Principal Artist and demonstrated versatility transitioning from classical ballet into Balanchine-style works and contemporary ballets with equal acclaim. In 2003 she completed a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah and her Polestar Pilates Certification. In 2006, the Department of Ballet invited her to teach ballet technique, pointe and Pilates-based conditioning as an Adjunct Professor. Promoted to Associate Professor/Lecturer in 2012 and Professor/Lecturer in 2019, she remains one of the primary instructors for many of the university’s undergraduate studio courses. In the fall of 2020 she also successfully transitioned the School of Dance’s Conditioning course to an online-only format that incorporated her passion for training the whole dancer. Additionally, Maggie is the primary author of the Steps of Study used in leveling and grading the Ballet Program students.  

Maggie is an American Ballet Theater Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT’s Teacher’s Training Intensive in Primary-Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has recently become certified in the Progressing Ballet Technique which works holistically to train dancers out of damaging habits and improve their overall stability. As a result, her university teaching and research has expanded to include theory courses in both undergraduate and graduate Pedagogy and Pointe Methodology. She oversees all of the Teaching Practicums required of students seeking the U of U Ballet Program’s Teaching Certificate and Teaching Emphasis. Additionally, she arranged for the ABT’s National Training Curriculum co-authors to present on campus in June of 2014 and again in March of 2017 and served as an adjudicator. Most recently she mentored the Director and Owner of Utah Dance Institute, a school that focuses on the development of the whole child, and created an age appropriate curriculum for her students. 

In 2012 Maggie developed a year-round Joint Trainee program alongside Ballet West’s Professional Training Division. She oversees all of the trainee internships and professional studies courses offered by the Ballet Program which has expanded outside of Utah to include professional companies in Ohio, Pennsylvania and California. While interning with their prospective companies, dancers are permitted to pursue their degrees.  

In 2017, she was appointed Director of the University of Utah Ballet Summer Intensive that hosts 75-110 students every summer. In 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the program smoothly transitioned to an online-only format providing artists much-needed training and opportunities to stay connected to their art form.     

Maggie is regularly asked to teach master classes nationally and recruit at Regional Dance America and Ballet Alliance as Distinguished Faculty. She teaches and coaches in internationally recognized schools worldwide, including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston Ballet School and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. She is particularly passionate about supporting opportunities for dancers to perform in historical works. She mentors and prepares dancers for performances and elite competitions, including YAGP, the Prix de Lausanne and the Beijing International Ballet Invitational.  

“It was clear they had received the kind of excellent care and coaching from Tesch that artists welcome. By this I mean coaching in style, approach (what to think, feel, anticipate in each phrase or section), and overall interpretation. (Dean Speer) 

Demonstrating her commitment to providing DEI opportunities for her students and the community, she helped facilitate the Ballet Program’s participation in the 2021 U of U’s MLK Celebration week. She has been awarded five grants and regularly serves on University, College and School of Dance committees including her most recent appointments to the University’s Academic Senate and Undergraduate Studies Committee. 

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