Promotions and retirements announced for 55th season

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – April 6, 2018 – Ballet West is pleased to announce the promotion of six dancers next season, and the return of every dancer, except for two who will be retiring. 

After nine years, Senior Corps Artist Elizabeth Weldon has decided to retire from the Company. “Soon after I arrived at Ballet West, I discovered Liz at the Orlando Ballet School,” said Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “She has been a valuable and wonderful member of the Corps ever since. She has decided to retire from ballet and move on to other pursuits and I am excited for her future as a brilliant and multi-talented woman. She will always be part of the Ballet West family.”

First Soloist Beau Pearson is also stepping away from full time dancing and will be joining the staff. “Beau was the first dancer I hired at Ballet West. He has been a valuable artist on stage and off. We are excited that he will continue with Ballet West as a videographer and photographer. Audiences can also expect to see him continue sharing his performing genius in many non-dancing character roles,” said Sklute.

  • From Ontario, Canada, Soloist Katlyn Addison joined Ballet West as an Artist in 2011 and will become a First Soloist next year.
  • Coloradan Tyler Gum joined Ballet West II in 2009 and moved into the main company after just one year. Next season, he moves up to First Soloist.
  • Utah-native Chelsea Keefer and Jordan Veit from Seattle, Washington both will move from Demi-Soloists to Soloists. Keefer first took the stage for Ballet West as a Buffoon in The Nutcracker and rose through the Ballet West Academy. Veit joined the second company in 2012 and was promoted after his first year into the main company.
  • Corps Artist Emily Neale, from Massachusetts, joined Ballet West Academy’s Trainee program in 2015 and has quickly moved up the ranks since, next year she becomes a Demi-Soloist. Hadriel Diniz will also move to Demi-Soloist, hailing from Minasgerais, Brazil and joined the Company in 2015.
  • Many patrons will recognize Amber Miller of Texas who has danced as a supplemental artist since 2016; next year she becomes a full-time Corps artist. David Huffmire, who joined Ballet West Academy as a Trainee before entering the second company in 2016, will also become a member of the Corps.
  • Brigitte Edwards, Nicole Fanney, and Savannah Lyle will all move from the Ballet West Academy Trainee program into Ballet West II. Joining them in the second company are Vinicius Lima Pessin who was a Ballet West Academy Trainee and has been dancing for Arizona Ballet, Beau Chesivoir from Pennsylvania Ballet II, Robert Fowler from Boston Ballet School’s Trainee program, and Severina Wong from Pacific Northwest Ballet School.

Of the 40 main company artists, 25 have come out of the Ballet West II program, including four Principal Artists. “I’m delighted to be promoting these wonderful dancers. Moreover, I’m particularly proud of how many have studied and grown from within our school and second company. Indeed, 12 main company dancers grew out of the Ballet West Academy Trainee program, and nine of the 15 Ballet West II dancers are products of our Trainee program. It gives me pride and satisfaction to know that all our efforts at the early levels of training are showing results,” said Sklute. “These dancers have worked very hard and grown into beautiful artists, worthy of a world-class company.”