Ballet West will open academy by Kimball Junction
On July 1, Ballet West will establish a permanent toehold in Park City when it opens the Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy.
The new school will be located at Park City Dance, which has been owned and operated by Trish Ryland and Sandy Flury for the past 18 years.
According Flury, their dancers and staff will then, officially, become part of the Ballet West Academy.
"We saw this as an amazing opportunity to expand the program that we currently have and give more opportunities for not only students but also for our faculty," Flury told The Park Record. "Another reason why they came to us is because they knew we have an excellent staff by the ballet world standards, and they will all become part of the Ballet West family."
Ballet West Executive Director Scott Altman said Park City Dance had everything Ballet West needed to open a new satellite location.
"For the past few years, our Park City family and those who love Ballet West have been active in communicating that they would love a Ballet West presence up there," Altman told The Park Record. "We have known of Trish’s and Sandy’s remarkable Park City Dance Academy for many years and speaking with them, we explored the potential to collaborate."
In addition to the high caliber of the staff and teachers, Altman was also attracted to Park City Dance’s 6,000 square-foot facility located north of Interstate 80 at Kimball Junction.
"It’s a beautiful space and it’s self-contained, which is great because we didn’t want people to fight traffic when going to and from the facility," Altman said. "The building has also been well maintained as well and you can tell it’s been loved."
The Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy will join three other satellite locations, which include Trolley Square, the Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre at the Capitol Theatre, and the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation Academy at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.
"Academy students have the opportunity to perform whenever there are child roles in any Ballet West production, such as ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ and such, as opposed to ‘Nutcracker,’ where we select young dancers from the community," Altman said.
That’s something that Flury likes.
"As a member of the Academy, students can audition for all of their ballets," she said. "Our students have performed in the 2002 Olympics and have been featured performers on multiple cruises. And this year, we’re taking students to perform during a parade and showcase at Disneyland over spring break. So, to give them additional opportunities to perform in Ballet West productions is great for us."
Ballet West will augment Park City Dance’s existing ballet program, while keeping the other programs intact, Ryland said.
"Our schedule will remain the same," she said. "We’ll still offer our contemporary classes, as well as our creative, jazz, contemporary, tap and hip hop classes. And we will still host our summer camps."
Ryland is excited that the students will also have access to Ballet West master classes.
"They will have opportunities to learn from [Ballet West Artistic Director] Adam Sklute and Ballet West’s master teachers as well as outside choreographers," Ryland said. "I’m so proud about this. Ballet West is a tremendous organization to be a part of now. I feel excited and honored."
One of their concerns, though, was the fate of their own "Nutcracker," which is a Park City favorite but very different than Ballet West’s 60-year holiday tradition.
"We not only perform at the Eccles Center, but also at Park City School District elementary schools and senior centers," Flury said.
Ballet West Academy Director Peter Mertz has already talked with Flury and Ryland about the production.
"We will continue our own ‘Nutcracker’ this year," Ryland said. "After that, we will see. But it has been a community tradition for the past 18 years, and Peter Mertz, who is the Ballet West Academy Director, is really thoughtful about this. After this year, everything will be open for review."
Applications for the Peggy Bergmann Ballet West Academy will be available beginning March 1. For more information, visit wwwballetwest.org/academy.
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The Park City community will honor the late Joy Tlou with a memorial celebration at City Park.