Ballet West is celebrating 10 years of learning the art of ballet in Utah county. The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy opened a campus in Utah County in 2014 at Thanksgiving Point and in 2023, relocated to Pleasant Grove.

Led by Principal Heather Thackeray, programs include Adult Ballet, Children’s Dance, Summer Dance Camps, Movement Mentor, and classical ballet training for ages three and up. With over 70 classes every week, 18 instructors, and two pianists, students have numerous opportunities to be immersed in dance.

What makes the Ballet West Academy Utah County Campus unique goes much deeper than numbers. “We focus on the heart and soul of each student. We seek to ensure that our students develop the skills and attitudes that allow them to be creatively engaged in influencing the world around them,” said Thackeray, who has over three decades of association with Ballet West, beginning as a student in The Christensen Academy, now Ballet West Academy, and then as a professional dancer in the company. “I aim to inspire our students to find their own unique voice and discover who they are. I want to develop good citizens with artistic merit and worth.”

The Drumm family has been a part of Ballet West in Utah County since the beginning, with three of their daughters committed to training. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have our daughters at Ballet West Academy. Their instructors are more than teachers. They are mentors who genuinely invest in the personal growth of their students,” said their mom, Pagie Drumm.

“Ballet West Academy has been more than just a dance school for our family; it has been a transformative journey,” she continues. “For over a decade, it has shaped the lives of our children. It has instilled them with elegance and resolve. It has equipped them with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of life with grace.”

When the Utah Campus first opened in 2014, the intention was to expand access to the artform for a broader student base and build a connection with Ballet West.


“There is such a wealth of ballet talent in Utah Valley and families who want their children to experience the arts. Our first Utah Valley Campus, the Babara Barrington Jones Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point, was opened thanks to the great generosity of Barbara Barington Jones,” said Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute.


“Just last year, we were thrilled to move to our remarkable facilitates in Pleasant Grove, thanks to our dear friend Jenny Hill-Barlow. This state-of the art facility allows Ballet West to bring world-class ballet training to Utah Valley and creates a wonderful throughline to The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy's Professional Training Division and more.”


To date, the Utah Campus has taught more then 20,000 ballet classes in 10 years, impacting over 1,000 students. One of those students, Miss Utah 2023 Lindsey Larsen, was enrolled as a student before transitioning to a faculty position with the campus a few years ago.


“I am so lucky to have been at Ballet West Academy Utah County since the beginning,” said Larsen. “Stepping into Ballet West Academy as a student was always a dream of mine. I’m so grateful to all the teachers and mentors that guided me along my path. Now, as a faculty member, I find myself not just teaching steps, but nurturing dreams just as my teachers did. It's been a profound shift from dancer to mentor and I’m honored to get to nurture and watch young talents bloom, the same that once fueled my own aspirations.”

When it comes to teaching students at the Utah Campus, Thackeray says they will find a place for anyone interested in dance, including teenagers who have walked in as beginners. “We found ways for them to start in the adult program, and then incorporate them into student levels,” said Thackeray. “I’ve always said that I will teach anyone that walks in our door.”

Students at BWA in Utah County have even more opportunities in the professional dance world because of Ballet West. “Through our affiliation with Ballet West, Academy students are able to audition for and perform in company performances alongside the professional dancers. This allows our students to experience firsthand the depth and grandeur of the ballet profession,” says Thackeray.

Save the date for the BWA Utah Campus 10 Year Celebration Block Party on Aug. 23 from 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at 564 W. 700 S. #403 Pleasant Grove.