Utah Ballet Summer Intensive returns in person for summer 2021

June 21 2021
Resident Advisors and UBSI students on a tour of campus Resident Advisors and UBSI students on a tour of campus

This Week, the School of Dance will kick off the annual Utah Ballet Summer Intensive (UBSI), which will be returning to an in person format for the first time since 2019. UBSI is 4 weeks of training aimed at sharpening dancer’s skills while immersing participants in a six-day a week program featuring classes offered by nationally and internationally renowned instructors. From June 21 to July 16, dancers will have a chance to learn from master teachers as well as U of U faculty and will gain insight into what life is like as a ballet major at the University of Utah. The dancers have been recruited on a national level, and include some first-year University of Utah Ballet majors, who typically participate in the intensive either the summer before or after their freshman year.

 Maggie Wright Tesch, UBSI Director, gives insight into the guest artists teaching this year: 

“They are all highly skilled in their fields and diverse in their approaches, but all are trained teachers.” says Tesch. “Some are directors of companies, some are current artists or just recently retired. While getting classes from professional dancers is a fun way to go, we prefer to provide the students teachers who are experienced and have been trained in pedagogy. The growth is exponential. Many are graduates from our BFA or MFA programs.” 

"We want to expose our the students to all styles because that's what is needed currently in our industry."

Small class sizes insure personal attention from instructors for each UBSI participant.

“We take pride in having some of the smallest class sizes and teachers get to spend the entire week with their group. This allows for a real understanding between the two and a camaraderie that just isn't the same when teachers jump around each day,” says Tesch.

“We also have all students dip their toes into areas they may not have explored before like learning the art of choreography. Of course, we cover all the pointe technique, traditional men's steps, which we call Specialized Techniques. There are also other forms of dance such as contemporary, Broadway, Modern and Character, and this year Jennifer Archibald is adding Hybrid Contemporary which is a mix of urban street dance and contemporary technique. We want to expose our the students to all styles because that's what is needed currently in our industry.”

The four-week intensive is designed to give students a taste of the curriculum offered by a University level Ballet Program, and to show what makes the U’s program unique. It is a great way to see if the U’s program is the right fit for training after high school.

“Many dancers choose to come here to see if the U of U School of Dance Ballet Program is right for them. It gives them time to spend on campus and explore their higher-ed options. Some decide higher ed is the route they want to pursue after high school after attending and getting to work with the professors here.”

UBSI runs from June 21 – July 16. Find out more about this program at dance.utah.edu/ubsi.