Academy West gives restless young Utahns a chance to expend excess energy in the form of choreographed dance, tumbling, cheer, or gymnastics classes. The adroit staff of CPR-certified safety gurus is composed of deft dancers and top-notch tumblers who teach thrilling routines to children craving more choreography in their lives. The 22,000-square-foot facility is packed with high-quality equipment and enough protective foam to swaddle a Herculean toddler attempting a triple aerial in place of his or her first steps.
The team at the Wasatch Arts Center teases out the creative passions of children without fostering any kind of competition. Instead, the staff prioritizes performance, hosting recitals every six months that highlight their protégés' progress. Whether they teach dance, private music lessons, or preschool, they strive to nurture each student's skills by respecting his or her interests and planning an age-appropriate curriculum.
Professionally and university-trained dance instructors school youngsters in styles such as ballet, tap, hip-hop, and tumbling. Their one-on-one music classes cover the piano as well as string or brass instruments, imparting the value of consistent practice and a strong tuba-throwing arm. For both disciplines, they emphasize proper technique over speed of advancement—this emphasis on fundamentals steadily builds self-confidence and enthusiasm for the art.
Preschool sessions admit a maximum of 12 students—all 3- and 4-year-olds—for activities that cater to diverse learning styles. Teachers present works from famous artists and composers in addition to standard topics, including letters, numbers, colors, and building hooks to help reach doorknobs.
Wiseguys Comedy fills Salt Lake City’s state-mandated laugh quota with its rotating schedule of local and national joke handlers. Upcoming appearances include rising comic Spencer King performing an atypical set of irreverent musings at Ogden on February 25 and 26. Equally all-ages-appropriate joke spinner Steve Soelberg, "not Kevin Bacon," steps up to the mic at Trolley Square on March 3, making audiences guffaw as hard as dentists’ trifecta of nitrous oxide, gum-tickling mouth feathers, and insistence on doing old Steve Martin routines during a fluoride treatment. Wiseguys recommends checking the comics out on YouTube to get a flavor for their acts before catching a show.
The name doesn't lie—located in Salt Lake City, The Off Broadway Theatre is about as far from The Great White Way as you can get. But geography hasn't stopped the space from staging New York-caliber classic musicals and original comedies for nearly 20 years. The auditorium rings with laughter during beloved productions such as Little Shop of Horrors and The Pirates of Penzance, and house-written parodies including The Adventures of Sheer-Luck Homes and Snotson, The X-Mas Men, and Dracula vs. any number of monsters once portrayed by Boris Karloff. Audience members get the chance to join in on the hilarity during interactive sets from the resident jokesters of the Laughing Stock Comedy Troupe.