Administrative Staff

Adam Sklute

CEO & Artistic Director, Ballet West

The Elizabeth Solomon CEO Chair

Adam Sklute was named Artistic Director of Ballet West in 2007, and CEO & Artistic Director in 2016. Since 2o07, he has expanded Ballet West’s repertoire, visibility, and overall outlook with exciting company premieres; increased touring and public exposure and greater focus on Ballet West Academy.

In eight years Sklute has presented over fifty-five world/Utah premiers, twenty-three works of which were never before performed by Ballet West by such renowned historical choreographers as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Bronislava Nijinska, and Michel Fokine and contemporary masters Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, and Twyla Tharp to name a few. He has commissioned ten world premieres by leading choreographers of today such as Val Caniporoli, Nicolo Fonte, Matthew Neenan, and Helen Pickett. In 2012 Sklute named Nicolo Fonte Resident Choreographer for Ballet West. 

Sklute reintroduced lost elements of BW founder Willam Christensen’s beloved production of The Nutcracker, and produced the reconstruction of Christensen’s 1967 The Firebird. He has conceived and produced critically acclaimed new productions of Swan Lake (2010) and The Sleeping Beauty (2011), and Giselle (2014) and introduced BW’s Family series featuring BWII and Academy dancers. Notably, Sklute developed Ballet West’s wildly successful annual Innovations program, designed to nurture and present new creations by Ballet West Artists and emerging Utah, national, and international choreographers. To date Innovations has introduced an unprecedented 32 world premieres by twelve different BW Artists and nine different up-and-coming outside choreographers. READ MORE

Under Sklute’s leadership BW has toured extensively, appearing three times at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2008 Ballet Across America – Serenade, and two week-long runs of The Nutcracker in 2012 and 2014); a 2013 engagement at Chicago’s famed Auditorium Theater with his The Sleeping Beauty and a mixed repertory program; twice at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival (Les Biches, 2009; Grand Pas Paquita, 2012); and twice at the Chicago Dancing Festival (Serenade 2010; Sinfonietta 2011). In the past five years, the company has also appeared at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in 2011; The Laguna Dance Festival in 2010; Las Vegas with Nevada Ballet Theater in both 2010 (Sinfonietta) and 2012 (Jewels in collaboration with NBT and PNB); and Aspen, CO., New York, NY, Victoria BC and Dallas Texas all during the 2014/15 season.

In 2009, Ballet West graced the cover of Dance Magazine for the first time in 25 years and again was on the cover in 2013. Since 2007, the company has garnered numerous reviews and articles in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dance Magazine, Ballet Review, and Pointe to name a few. In 2012 and 2013 Ballet West was the subject of the BBC Worldwide Production’s docu-drama television series Breaking Pointe which aired on The CW channel.

Sklute conceived Ballet West’s Fusion and Couture in Motion fashion show fundraisers, the Viewpointe panel discussion series, and its Shoe-in project, a collaboration with Utah local artists. He has lectured at the Art Institute of Chicago and Salt Lake Community College and has served on the boards of Chicago’s Dance for Life, Salt Lake Community College, School of the Arts Advisory Board, and the Salt Lake County Cultural Facilities Master Plan Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Board of the Gerald Arpino/Robert Joffrey Foundation. As a finalist judge and international representative for numerous ballet competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix, Los Angeles’ Spotlight Awards, The International Ballet Competition, The Japan Grand Prix, and an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival Association, Sklute was listed as one of the 25 Movers and Shakers of the Utah Arts Scene in 2007. In 2014 he was named one of Utah’s Enlightened 50 and he received the Utah National Guard’s Bronze Minuteman Award for outstanding service to Utah and to the nation.

Passionate about dance education and the development of young dancers, Sklute actively oversees Ballet West’s Academy, teaching regularly and developing and guiding its syllabus and programs with the Academy faculty. Sklute is also a guest teacher and coach for dance programs and workshops worldwide, including Brigham Young University, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Berlin State Ballet School, The Joffrey Ballet Schools in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, The Southwest Regional Ballet Festival, and The University of Cincinnati, to name a few. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Utah’s Ballet Department. 

A native of Berkeley, California, Sklute began dancing at the age of 16. His early training was at the Oakland Ballet and San Francisco Ballet schools.  After only two years of formal study he joined The Joffrey II Dancers (The Joffrey’s apprentice company). Two years later he was asked to join The Joffrey Ballet. Sklute was one of the last two artists chosen personally by Robert Joffrey.

Throughout his dancing career Sklute performed leading roles by such choreographers as Gerald Arpino, Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Agnes DeMille, Robert Joffrey, Kurt Jooss, Jiri Kylian, James Kudelka, Leonide Massine, Jerome Robbins and Paul Taylor.  Along with The Joffrey Ballet, he has performed with New York’s Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Dallas and California’s Diablo Ballet. Sklute’s television credits include The Joffrey Ballet’s “Dance in America” filmings of Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps and Gerald Arpino’s production of Billboards, the role of The Old Soldier in WTTW’s filming of Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table and Herr Drosselmeyer in the WTTW one-hour special of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker.  In 2003 he assisted with and appeared in Robert Altman’s feature film The Company; and in 2012 he appeared in The Joffrey Ballet: Mavericks of Dance, a documentary chronicling the history of The Joffrey Ballet, and First Position a documentary about YAGP; He both appeared in and was Creative Consultant for both seasons of the CW channel’s “Breaking Pointe.”

 Photo by Quinn Farley


Ken Dodson

Chief Operating Officer



Administration and Finance

Felicia Cowan

Director of Human Resources

Sarah Taylor

Company Manager

Chris Yoakam

Associate Director of Finance

Jennifer Bailey

Accounting Manager

Robin L. Holt

Accounts Payable Coordinator



Sarah West

Vice President of Development

Bill Schuffenhauer

Development Officer

Jyn Van Putten

Manager of Foundations and Government Giving

Tracy Waters

Manager of Special Events

Hannah Bowcutt

Campaign and Benefits Coordinator

Amy Falls

Development Coordinator


Sara M. K. Neal

Director of Marketing

Joshua Jones

Associate Director of Press and Social Media

Lisa Jensen

Retail Sales & Boutique Manager

Alex Moya

Graphic Designer

Marissa Hodges

Marketing Coordinator

Madison Salazar

Academy Marketing Coordinator


Frederick Q. Lawson Ballet West Academy

Peter LeBreton Merz

Director, Frederick Q. Lawson Ballet West Academy

Jennie Creer-King

Principal, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation
Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point

Heather Fryxell

Interim Principal, Ballet West Academy Salt Lake City Campus

Cati Snarr 

Principal, Ballet West Academy Peggy Bergmann 
Park City Campus

Peggy Dolkas
Calvin Kitten
Cynthia Ridler
Jeffrey Rogers
Heather Thackeray

Principal Faculty

Shazell Ellerbeck

Head Academy Administrator

Mikyla Arrington
Sandy Flury
Lisa Hoyt

Academy Administrators

Katlyn Addison
Christa Anderson
Colleen Barnes
Tonia Blomquist
Brenda Butcher
Nikki Bybee
Bruce Caldwell
Ginger Christopher
Patrick Cubbedge
Natalie Desch
Wilson Domingues
Lindsay Folkman
Hanna Gagon
Jenna Rae Herrera
Brittany Holt
Lisa Hoyt
Katie Johnson
Nikolai Moroz
Michelle Player
Sawyer Player
Anne Marie Smith
Connie Smith
Paige Sparks
Jessica Thompson
Sara Turner
Juliana Vorkink
Chelsea Weidman
Natalie Whitney
Alena Wilson
Elise Wood


Maggie Wright-Tesch

U of U/BW Joint Trainee Liason

Jim Kuemmerle
Sarah Lund
John Rukavina
Heidi Slagle

Academy Pianist

Allison Phillips Biehn

Office Manager

Virginia Hicks

Summer Intensive Coordinator

Leslie-Ann Campbell
Sydney Inks
Lindsay Preece
Allene Snow
Cole Walkenhorst



Education and Outreach

Peter Christie

Director of Education and Outreach

Dana Rossi

Education Associate/Assistant Director, I CAN DO

Heather Fryxell

Associate Director Adaptive Dance

Shelly Cordova

Assistant Director Senior Steps/Forward Steps

Temria Airmet
Nikki Bybee
Shelly Cordova
Leigh Cornu
Ashley Creek
Jennifer Heighton
Lisa Johnson
Sarah Lovett
Stacey Mahan
Wendee Fiedeley-McCulloch
Audrey Olsen
Moisés Próspero
Alison Russell
Anne Marie Smith
Joni Taylor
Trish Wilstead
Natalie Whitney


Ticketing and Subscriber Services

Jack E Stahl

Associate Director of Technology and Ticketing

Natalie Thorpe

Manager of Patron Services

Jane Harris

Lead Patron Advisor

Hilary Hancock

Patron Services Coordinator

W. Powell Smith

Patron Advisors


Bob Crowder, Josh Crowder, and Aaron Crowder are the official IT consultants to Ballet West.
Ballet West is an American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Company.Ballet West is an American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Company.

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