Displaying items by tag: Utah Ballet Summer Intensive

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. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

This month, the studios of the Marriott Center for Dance will be full of young dancers honing their craft at the Ballet Summer Intensive. Utah Ballet Summer Intensive, or UBSI, is a month-long training program geared toward ballet dancers aged 15 – 23. From 6/17 – 7/12 dancers will have a chance to learn from master teachers and will gain insight into what life is like as a ballet major at the University of Utah.

This year, UBSI welcomes an incredibly diverse and experienced group of guest teachers, including directors of companies and dance professors from esteemed dance programs across the country.

 “We want to expose students who take the program not only to potential work opportunities and the real-world level of training they will be required to have in this business, but also to some of the best teachers out there,” said UBSI Director Maggie Wright Tesch.

UBSI’s guest artist list includes:  
Susan Jaffe Former Principal with ABT, Dean of Dance, UNCSA
Lauren Anderson Former Principal with Houston Ballet
Kevin Thomas Artistic Director, the Collage Dance Collective
Katherin Baum-Hofer State Ballet School Berlin
Tamara King Principal of the Boston Ballet School, Newton Campus
Elizabeth Johnson Assistant Professor, University of Florida
Nick Mullikin Associate Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet
Anthony Krutzkamp Executive Director, Sacramento Ballet
Sara Webb Former Principal with Houston Ballet
Natalie Desch Dancer, teacher, choreographer

Along with University of Utah Faculty:
Maggie Wright Tesch Associate Professor Lecturer
Rob Wood Professor Lecturer
Justine Sheedy-Kramer Adjunct Assistant Professor
Luc Vanier Director, The School of Dance
Rosie Banchero Adjunct Assistant Professor
Christine Moore Adjunct Instructor
Pablo Piantino Assistant Professor
Jennie Creer King Adjunct Professor

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.“The biggest difference between our summer program and others is the amount of time spent in the area of creative research, which in our field is considered choreography” explains Tesch. “We bring in instructors who are experienced teachers of choreography and they spend time teaching the craft. The students aren't just choreographed on, as in most summer intensives, which has its value, and we do that as well, but we teach them the craft. That element of our profession is grossly overlooked in student's training below the university level.”

The summer intensive is meant to be rigorous, and to push dancers to learn and grow. Tesch explains that participants should come ready to dance, be prepared to be faced with a lot of new information and experiences in a short period of time. “Dancing in a university setting is just as challenging as any other pre-professional training program, but here, they will be working towards a degree. I hope they leave with a taste of how challenging our program is and how much they will learn and experience here, from classical work to contemporary, technique in both ballet as well as modern, African and jazz. We try to show what creating movement is. Not something to be afraid of, but another form of expression they should perhaps explore. Most young students are only ever told how to dance, or what steps to do and how.... We want them leaving with a small taste of how to find their own voice in dance through choreographic exploration and critical thinking skills.”

Published in Finer Points Blog