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.
Sugar Space Studio for the Arts offers an expansive and constantly updated schedule of innovative visual and movement-based arts classes, including Ayurvedic and Ashtanga yoga, martial arts, dance, and more. In Aerial Silk classes, students use fabric to wrap, suspend, and spiral their bodies into and out of skeleton-contorting positions. Limbs and trunks can explore movement and response in Contact Improvisation, a form of postmodern dance. For those with previous belly-dance training, Intermediate/Advanced Bellydance with Yasamina translates basic movements into more complex and dynamic combinations, leveling up the wow factor of performances. In addition to movement-based courses, Sugar Space will be adding experimental art and pottery classes for kids 5–12 this fall, so children can spin their imaginations in clay. Reservations are recommended to reserve your space and ceiling-hung ribbons as needed.
Salt Lake Fencing's skilled instructor fuels friendly athletic competition by adaptating fencing techniques to each guest's form and ability. During two-hour group fencing lessons, the savvy instructor gives beginner to intermediate swashbucklers a brief tour of fencing’s noble history while elucidating the weapons, basic attack moves, and this season's most stylish sword holsters. Rapiers in hand, masked guests learn and execute horseless jousts, lithe lunges, intricate footwork, and deft parries while dodging swift jabs and slices. Fledgling swordsmen work up to partaking in a real fencing duel, crossing blades with fellow dueling enthusiasts and freshly made mortal enemies to thwart the rise of such modern fighting techniques as eye pokes and selling false stories to the National Enquirer.
As a dancer and instructor, Tiffany Enger has pirouetted through world-renowned institutions such as Steps, The Broadway Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet School. Today, at Just Dance Academy, she and her staff of dance professionals help ignite passion for the art form in children as young as 3 years old. Though their classes build strong foundations in ballet, hip-hop, and other styles, benefits extend beyond just technical dance skills. The instructors strive to help each pupil become comfortable with self-expression and creativity during recitals and state-mandated flash mobs as well as auditions for the studio's competition teams.
Four-time Tony winner and current Private Practice actor Audra McDonald and Tony nominee Will Swenson star in a contemporary musical adaptation of N. Richard Nash's 1954 classic play The Rainmaker. The story, set in a rural, drought-ridden town in the American Southwest, tells the tale of aging spinster Lizzie Curry (McDonald) as she considers two suitors: a respectable, upright citizen, and a charismatic drifter and con man, Bill Starbuck (Swenson), who promises the moisture-desperate townsfolk that he can make it rain.