Academy of Ballet ArtsDec 15, 2015 08:50AM ● By Bryan Scott
It’s not your average dance school. The Academy of Ballet Arts is a dance studio that believes dance is an art, not a competition. Because of that belief, the curriculum taught focuses on teaching technique and performance skills, while fostering a love of dance. Their goal is to make every student feel successful.
Sheila Cramer, director and head instructor at the Academy, began her training in Rapid City, S.D. She then danced with University of Utah’s Ballet Department and at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA, where she was a member of the American Dance Ensemble. Sheila began teaching at the Academy of Ballet Arts in 1986, under the direction of Karen Chatterton. “I took over in 1993 in Sandy,” says Sheila. “We moved to South Jordan in 2009, and just opened a second location in West Jordan this year.”
The productions the Academy puts on are theater-based, which is what you would experience dancing in a professional company. This gives the students experience, and produces dancers that are fit for a professional environment. Many students have gone on to receive scholarships and to have professional careers with elite institutions such as Ballet West, New York City Ballet, and Julliard, to name a few.
In addition to the structured ballet curriculum, the Academy offers an extensive contemporary program. There is something for everyone from age 3 to 93. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, pre-ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, lyrical, character dance, tap, creative dance, pas de deux (partnering) and more.
Sheila is continuing in producing full length ballets at the Academy of Ballet Arts including the 2012 production of “Coppelia” and an annual production of the Nutcracker in South Jordan. “The Nutcracker” will be performed at South Hills Middle School for four days near Christmas—the 18th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd—at 7 p.m. “We don’t do recitals; we do productions,” explains Sheila. “This past October we just finished ‘Just Another Day,’ a Halloween contemporary show that has a story behind it. The dancer’s dance throughout the production telling a story. We are doing [the annual production of] ‘The Nutcracker’ in December, and in the spring we will present a contemporary production and a full length ballet production.”
You can drop in either location—10512 South Redwood Road in South Jordan, or 1646 West Sunrise Place in West Jordan—or visit their website www.aba-studios.com to learn more about the classes offered at the Academy of Ballet Arts. You can also reach them at 801-907-5731 to discuss enrollment or preorder your tickets for the holiday showing of “The Nutcracker.”