Academy of Ballet Arts focuses on developing and training well-rounded dancers in classical ballet and contemporary dance. The Academy provides a superior faculty with teachers who have received college degrees or have danced professionally.
In addition to the structured ballet cirrculum the Academy offers an extensive contemporary program. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, pre-ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, lyrical, character dance, tap, creative dance, pas de deux (partnering) and more.
ABA produces dancers that are fit for a professional environment. Students have gone on to receive scholarships and to have professional careers with such institutions as: Ballet West, RDT (Repretory Dance Theater), Ririe Woodbury, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, New York City Ballet, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Burklyn Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Julliard, RDT, University of Utah Ballet and Modern Dance programs, BYU’s ballet program.
Sheila Cramer – ABA/Head Instructor
Sheila began her training in Rapid City, South Dakota. She then danced with University of Utah’s Ballet Department and at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the American Dance Ensemble. Sheila began teaching at the Academy of Ballet Arts in 1986, under the direction of Karen Chatterton. She served as Ballet Mistress (1988-2000) and Artistic Director (2000-2004) with Mountain West Ballet. Sheila is continuing in producing full length ballets at the Academy of Ballet Arts including the 2012 production of Coppelia and an annual production of the Nutcracker in South Jordan.
Amanda King – Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lyrical & Modern Instructor
Amanda has been dancing since she was five years old. She began her training under Gaye Stevenson, at Gaye’s Dance Academy (later known as Broadway Rhythm). While at this studio, she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. In 1993 she began further training in Ballet at the Academy of Ballet Arts. Amanda also went on to study under Jennifer Wunderli, in Masquerade Dance Company. She has also studied at the Wasatch Front School of Dance and at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem. Amanda has studied dance privately under Reparatory Dance Theatre (RDT) and Gilles Maidon; former principal dancer of The Paris Ballet and of Ballet West. She has attended many professional dance workshops and has participated in many competitions, in which she has won numerous awards, including scholarships and the Class Act Award for Tap from Dance Educators of America in 2003. She has continued her dance education by attending classes at Salt Lake Community College. Amanda was a member of Mountain West Ballet from 1996 to 2002. During that time, she performed many roles including Snow Queen in the Nutcracker. From 2003 to 2007, she performed Thriller for Odyssey Dance Theatre at Rocky Point Haunted House. She has participated in many charitable dance performances, including benefit concerts for Primary Children’s Medical Center and for The Spinal Bifida Foundation. Amanda began regularly teaching at the Academy of Ballet Arts in 2006. She joined Intermountain Ballet Theatre in 2004 and remains a current member of this company. Amanda has received her BFA degree in Modern Dance at the University of Utah in 2014.
Stacie Riskin – Ballet, Pointe, Character
Stacie grew up dancing at In Motion Performing Arts Center in Poulsbo, WA under the direction of Michael Falotico and Sara Milov. While there, she participated in all styles of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, and others. She has trained with many professional companies including Bainbridge Performing Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jillana Ballet School, and Ballet West. She has worked with members from professional companies including Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet, Lines Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, and Ballet West. She graduated from high school with her diploma and Associate’s degree. She was double majoring at the University of Utah and was scholarship in their ballet department where she is completed her major with an emphasis in performance, teaching, and character dance. She has toured with numerous companies in Utah, performing in their leading roles, and has been teaching ballet for the past 7 years at multiple studios across the country. Stacie has just received her BFA degree in ballet at the University of Utah in 2014. Stacie also taught character dance at the BYU intensive summer program this past summer.
David Riskin – Ballet, Pas de Deux
David was born in Modesto, California. The son of a classical violist and guitarist, David was exposed to the arts from a young age. He quickly fell in love with ballet, and it became a defining factor in his life. He became a principle at Central West Ballet in 2004 and danced such roles as the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, as well as roles in Val Caniparoli’s Violin and many original works by Rene Davluey. After serving a mission in Dallas, Texas, David moved to Utah in the summer of 2010 and is now the leading male dancer with Utah Ballet while also pursuing a degree in Computer Science.
Jessica E. Van Klaveren-Ballet, Pointe, Jazz
Jessica received her BFA from the University of Utah Department of Ballet in 2008. Then went on the receive a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning from the University of Utah while maintaining a GPA of 4.0. Jessica has her level 2 Utah Secondary Teaching License with Dance Endorsement and currently teaching the dance classes at Kearns High School. She is also the director of Kearns High School Dance company. Jessica has also taught at several dance programs throughout Utah including Desert Edge Dance Company (Saint George), Valley Academy Charter School (Saint George), Bingham High School Dance Teacher and Director of Dance Company (South Jordan). She has also had professional dance experience performing with Carnival Cruise Lines, Rio Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas), Pacific Venus Cruise Lines of Japan, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Jessica also danced with the Arena Football League’s Gladiators in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Heather Carson – Zumba