UVU ballet dancers shine nationwide

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Coveted awards and scholarships were swept up by dancers and choreographers in the two ballet companies that consider UVU their home at the Regional Dance America National Festival in Montreal, Canada.

The two UVU ballet companies traveled to Canada to compete in the festival.“Art does not flourish in isolation,” claims Regional Dance America. “It grows in an atmosphere of candor and understanding.”

Think about the number of ballet studios in America, forming professional and pre-professional companies, blooming with ability and sharing the blossoms with the community out of which it was born.

Regional Dance America (RDA) is a national organization composed of more than 85 ballet companies in the U.S. and Canada. In its 50 years, dozens of members have been professional groups of national acclaim. The five regions of RDA are Midstates, Northeast, Pacific, Southeast and Southwest.

Each spring, the foremost dance companies in each region join together in five different regional dance festivals. Every four to five years RDA holds a National Festival, bringing the finest of its 3,000 dancers together.

It is a time of accelerated learning and growth when dancers, directors, choreographers, costumers, and others meet to be hosted by a certain RDA ballet company for classes and collaboration, association and application, appreciation and, of course, competition.

Elizabeth Stott is the proud artist behind the only piece from the Pacific region to be accepted to perform at the national festival, according to Shayla Bott, lecturer for the UVU Ballet Program and artistic director of Repertory Ballet Ensemble.

Stott recieved RDA’s National Choreography Intensive award. Utah Regional Ballet (URB) and Repertory Ballet Ensemble (RBE) were the two Utah companies to attend the Regional Dance America National Festival in Montreal, Canada in May. According to Bott, UVU was represented at its shining best in front of about 90 other ballet companies.

“It showed the level of our graduates on a composition level as well as the high level of the performers themselves,” said Bott.  “I was so proud of them and I thought that UVU had a very strong presence there.”

Utah Regional Ballet has been performing in RDA’s ballet festivals in the Pacific region since 1986. URB’s founder and artistic director, Jacqueline P. Colledge, former Soloist for Ballet West (SLC, UT), now presides over a school and company of particularly exceptional talent.

Jacqueline’s School of Ballet is the official school of the Utah Regional Ballet. Many former students of the school and members of the URB have gone forward and found great success in the ballet world, receiving scholarships to study with, and sometimes even join, renowned companies in and outside of the U.S.

URB, though based in Lindon, has long been a resident company UVU. It has performed in the Ragan Theater hundreds of times. Its dancers have enjoyed concurrent enrollment, scholarships and school credit for long hours in their strict regimen of classes and rehearsals. Two Pacific Regional Dance America Festivals have been proudly hosted by URB, using mostly UVU facilities.

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