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Ballet West Academy opens Utah County facility

Published: Saturday, Aug. 16 2014 2:00 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 2:37 p.m. MDT

Joshua Whitehead and Toi'ya Leatherwood rehearse for 2010 production of a "Sleeping Beauty" suite at Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City. The Academy is expanding its reach by opening a new facility at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.

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LEHI — Ballet West is set to open a new training facility in Utah County.

Ballet West Academy, the dance company’s training school, will now have a home at Thanksgiving Point, located at 3003 Thanksgiving Way in Lehi, in addition to its current studios in Trolley Square in Salt Lake City and the Utah Opera Production Studios.

Several free classes for adults and children will be offered Aug. 18-22, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 22, to celebrate the opening of the new facility. An open house and registration will be offered Aug. 23 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sara Neal, marketing manager for Ballet West, said in an interview with the Deseret News that the company’s desire to open this new facility stemmed from an increased demand from the community in Utah County and that the expansion of the facilities will allow the academy to continue to reach hundreds of students.

“It’s such an exciting time for growth and expansion for Ballet West, and we’re thrilled for this opportunity to serve an even larger community with this new Academy location,” said Scott Altman, Ballet West's executive director, in a news release.

Former Ballet West dancer Jennie Creer-King will direct the Utah County program as part of Ballet West Academy’s mission to provide “the highest caliber of ballet instruction to the pre-professional student as well as those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of this beautiful and demanding art form,” according to Ballet West Academy’s website.

While the Academy is well-known for offering classes for children ages 3-18 and a professional trainee program for graduates, the Thanksgiving Point location will also offer classes for adults. Neal said these classes are open to all interested adults, not just those with previous ballet training.

“There is such a passion for the arts in Utah County, and we’re honored to bring renowned Ballet West training to children and adults alike,” Altman said in the news release.

A schedule and registration form for the free classes offered Aug. 18-22 are available at balletwest.org/thanksgivingpoint.

Academy classes at Thanksgiving Point begin Sept. 7. Auditions to be part of the Academy will take place during the open house on Aug. 23. Auditions to be part of the Salt Lake extension of Ballet West Academy will take place at Trolley Square the same day. Additional information about auditions can be found at balletwest.org/academy/auditions.

Email: wbutters@deseretnews.com, Twitter: WhitneyButters

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