Category Archives: Blog

Smith’s Community Rewards supports Imagine Ballet Theatre!

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Nutcracker Perspectives! Thoughts from first-time dancers and seasoned professionals. Part 1

 Week four was a difficult weekend, I had two young dancers have to pull out of the Nutcracker due to some problems at school so they could concentrate on their studies.  I have always maintained that a dancers education is very important and must be a high priority,  however this has left me a bit short in a couple of numbers so I have to rework or find some replacements for these parts.  Never is an easy task getting this large show onstage.  We will make it because the show must go on! Right! Right!discovering tree


                My favorite memory of performing the Nutcracker ballet with IBT is the very first year Ray choreographed it. Can you imagine being the first one to dance a part? To be the first one in a brand new costume designed to fit you? Of course, every corps member had one just like mine. But it wasn’t the same one. And all of us together, we were dancing brand new choreography in our brand new costumes. It was magnificent. Never had I felt so beautiful in my life. My part is special. I performed Clara’s friend as a Party Girl, a Snowflake, a Flower, and Spanish. And I am very protective of those parts. I strive to help the people in them because I want them to look good, doing my part. I, myself, work very hard at the new parts I’m given, because those parts had an original person to them too. They even had multiple people before me. My mother role that I have now was even played by a dancer who danced with Ray at Ballet West. Nobody can tell me that isn’t intimidating.

The best part about dancing with IBT is I’m lucky enough to not get 1 part, but more than one. And some schools, you get one, and you even share that part with another person. But I will never complain if it gets cut down because we have more people. Why shouldn’t other people get the opportunity to dance with us? Can you imagine watching a little girl take your spot that you had originally, and dancing it the best she can? I remember the joy I had when I performed Spanish and I love seeing other people get the opportunity to do it.  Written by Tessa Parkinson

Third week of Nutcracker rehearsals, took back seat to a show by the Choreographer Carrie Lee Miles “Gatherings” which took place Saturday night at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater.  However, we did do a bit with our Angels and I might say they are retaining and remembering rather well.  I worked with Tessa Parkinson on her new role as Snow Queen.  I have had Tessa as part of the company since 2003 which was the first year we IBT.  She is a very conscientious dancer and thinks about everything, it is finally her turn to shine in this new role. Tessa








Imagine Ballet Theatre is now into it’s second week of Nutcracker ballet rehearsal and already the magic has begun.  I would guess I might be considered the seasoned professional around here, as this will be the 42nd year I have been involved with Nutcracker. First I danced as a child with Ballet West and then I danced with the company for 17 years, moving from the corps to Principal dancer, and later as a guest artist for Clytie Adams School of Ballet (Utah), Ballet Etudes (Phoenix), West Virginia Ballet, Ballet Pacifica (California), Dance West Ballet (Chicago), Grandiva Ballet (Japan), Tyler Texas Ballet. Eight years ago I created my own Nutcracker ballet for IBT in Ogden, Utah.


It’s hard to believe we are two weeks into Nutcracker rehearsals! This past Saturday we had our second angel rehearsal. These are some of our youngest and newest dancers. In this number, at the opening of Act II, the dancers hold candles. During rehearsal we have the dancers practice by holding a water bottle to get used to the weight. A couple of dancers were holding magic wands. Suddenly, one of the youngest dancers — I believe she is 4 — tapped me with her wand and informed me that I was now a frog. So I obliged her and got down on all fours and started jumping.  I asked for a kiss on the cheek so I could become a prince and she said no. Finally, after a lot of laughter she tapped me and made me a prince.  Back to rehearsal we went.

Imagine Ballet Theatre to Hold “The Nutcracker” Auditions Sept 6, 2014

discovering tree


Ogden, Utah, August 15, 2014: Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT), an Ogden-based ballet company, will hold auditions on September 6 , 2014 for the upcoming production of “The Nutcracker” ballet. Auditions will be held at their studios on 2432 Washington Blvd., Suites C & D, in Ogden from 10:00 am to 11:30 am Boys and girls ages 6-11 and 11:45-1:15 Boys and girls ages 12 and up are welcome to audition. Cost is $25.


Imagine Ballet Theatre’s 2014 production of “The Nutcracker,” with original choreography by Raymond Van Mason, will be performed in December at The Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden. Opportunities within the ballet for those selected include Party Boys and Girls, Rats, Soldiers, Gingerettes, Angels, and more. Dancers en pointe may audition for roles such as Snow, Waltz of the Flowers, and divertissements.


The company is widely recognized in the region as providing quality and professional-level performances. IBT received a Utah Best of State Award in 2005, and Mason received a 2006 Utah Best of State Award for Best Choreographer as well as the Ogden Mayor‘s Award for the Arts. In November 2006, company members were invited to perform at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, CA at the Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival where they were awarded the Judy G. Mayer Small Group Award.


When:                          Saturday, September 6 , 2014

Registration 9:30-10:00 pm Ages 6-11; audition 10:00-11:30am

Registration 11:30-12:00pm Ages 12 and up; audition 11:45-1:15pm

Where:                        Imagine Ballet Theatre, 2432 Washington Blvd, Suites C & D, Ogden

Dress:                          Young Women: Black leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes, if dancer is en pointe bring pointe shoes, hair in a bun

Men:  White shirt, black tights, ballet shoes

Registration Fee:         $25.00, non-refundable

Other:                          Dancers must bring a photo

Registration for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015!

July 14, 2014 through July 25, 2014 is open registration.  Please stop by the studio between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm to register your dancer.  Class space is limited.

We have schedules at the studio.Richardson414-Ti

Class placement is at the Director’s discretion.  The school of Imagine Ballet Theatre reserves the right to cancel any class if enrollment is insufficient. Any tuition paid will be refunded in full. Registration fee is $35.00/dancer, $50/multiple dancers within the same immediate family.  Registration fee is due at the time of enrollment.

Tuition: 8/50 minute class, $10/hour class, $14.25/hour and half class, $18.00 two hour class,  There will be $10.00/month studio fee in addition to monthly tuition.  All tuition is due by the first day of each month.  A late fee of $15.00 will be assessed after the first day of the month if payment is not received.  Invoices will be billed monthly and sent via e-mail.  A return check fee of $20.00 will be assessed for any check returned to the bank.

Annual finance charge of 18% will be added to the account each month at the rate of 1 ½ % on the unpaid principal.  Should it be necessary to assign the account to a collection agency, the responsible party agrees to pay a collection fee of 40% of the total unpaid principal, and all legal fees of collection, without suit, including attorney fees, court costs and filing fees.

Credit or refunds cannot be extended for missed classes. However, a dancer may make up a missed class during the same month as missed.  Open classes cannot be used as a make-up.  We accept personal checks, money orders and a major  credit cards.

Ogden Art Stroll watch dancers perform solos for the American Ballet Competition in Boston.

YAGP 2014 SEATTLE SEMI-FINALS Dancers will be performing solos from Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Don Q., Flower Festival, as well as contemporary works created for this competition that will take place in Boston.  Please join us for a bit of dance along your stroll. Featured dancers are Danielle Dries, Catherine Aoki, Katerina Winkler, MaKayla Finlinson, Aleksandra Winkler and Sonya Krzhanovsky.

Christina Stockdale joins the faculty at Imagine Ballet Theatre.


Christina began her training at the age of five in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 11 she was accepted to train at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet where she was able to perform at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Ballet. In high school Ms. Stockdale also trained at the Academy of International Ballet and performed with International Ballet Classique.

After graduation high school in 2005, Christina Stockdale accepted a position at Manassas Ballet Theatre in Manassas Virginia. While she was there she performed as a soloist in many ballets including Mina in Dracula, The Butterfly in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Snow Queen and Flower Soloist in The Nutcracker and many others.

After two seasons with MBT, Ms. Stockdale decided to move cross country and dance for a ballet company in Washington state: Ballet Bellevue. Ms. Stockdale spent four years with the company as a principal dancer and teaching in the school. She also directed and choreographed several Ballet Bellevue School productions. Her featured roles while in the company were: Aurora and Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Jack Frost in the Ballet Bellevue premiere of The Snowman, Sugar Plum and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and many others including contemporary choreography by Stacy Lowenberg, Kabby Mitchell III, Jennifer Porter, Keith Derrick Randolph and Angela Sterling.

In 2011, Ms. Stockdale auditioned and was accepted as a company member in Nevada Ballet Theatre. While she was with the company she worked with world famous ballerina Cynthia Gregory and Tara Keating on Georege Balanchine’s Serenade. She also performed with Cirque du Soleil in an NBT Cirque du Soleil collaboration.

At the end of the season in 2012, Ms. Stockdale left Nevada Ballet Theatre and decided to pursue other areas of dance in the fabulous Las Vegas and auditioned and got a job dancing ten shows per week in the now longest running show on the strip: Tournament of Kings at Excalibur.

This year Ms. Stockdale followed her husband to Ogden UT when he was transferred to the military base here. She continues to work at the show as a swing whenever she is in Las Vegas and also guest performs with several ballet companies including Las Vegas Ballet Company, and Kelly Roth Dancers. 

Love Utah Give Utah: Support IBT Thursday!





We have the great opportunity this week to be a part of the Love Utah Give Utah campaign! What’s it all about? This Thursday, March 20th, 2014, you can make an impact by joining with other Utahns for 24 hours of unprecedented giving. It’s one day devoted completely to supporting the organizations, like Imagine Ballet Theatre, that make Utah special! IBT can also win great grants and prizes!

How do you help? First, visit the Love Utah Give Utah website and find Imagine Ballet Theatre:











Once you’re on our page, you can choose to donate any amount over $10.








Thanks to an incredibly generous donor, this year we will receive a matching grant of $1,000 if we reach or exceed $1,000 by the end of the Love Utah Give Utah event! We would be grateful beyond words to our supporters for this funding if we reach our goal. We hope you’ll donate to Imagine Ballet Theatre this year on our state’s day of giving. Know that each dollar received here at IBT goes directly to improving our program and putting quality, beautiful, and inspiring art on the stage in Ogden.

We appreciate your continued patronage and contribution to our organization, and hope to see you as we present “An Evening of Folktales: Peter and the Wolf and Urashima Taro” on April 11th & 12th!

Thank you,
IBT Artistic Staff

A Tribute to a Friend: Bill Salerno

A Tribute to a Friend: Bill SalernoImagine Award 2010 Nancy Schlagel and Bill Salernoresized

by Jessica Barraza

I’ve been struggling to write this for a few days. In my own life, the last six months have been full of loss, but one never fully accepts that it continues to happen. And yet, happen it does. The news of Bill’s illness, rapid decline, and passing happened so quickly that I and many others who knew Bill well didn’t have time to process that he was leaving us; and now he’s gone. I’ll start at the beginning, and try to do some justice to the incredible man I’ve come to know over the past nine years.

The Salernos came to The School of Imagine Ballet Theatre in its infancy, back in 2005. We had just moved out of the Eccles Community Arts Center and officially declared ourselves The School of Imagine Ballet Theatre, in conjunction with Imagine Ballet Theatre the pre-professional Company that had been founded the year prior by Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason. At the time, Ray, myself, and one other instructor made up the entire Faculty and Artistic Staff of our school, and we used the single rehearsal studio in the Peery’s Egyptian Theater. I taught all of the “little ones” classes, and that’s where Bill and his family came in. Bill’s daughter Marissa was ready to be a ballerina. From the instant I saw the Salernos, I knew these three belonged. I loved seeing a little Marissa holding her Daddy’s hand, walking from his office down 25th street to and from ballet class.

As most know, Bill was a hugely influential member of the Ogden community. He designed many of the structures and buildings that truly define the revitalized face of downtown Ogden. I don’t believe Ogden could be what it is today without Salerno Architects. I know Imagine Ballet Theatre wouldn’t be what it is today without Salerno Architects, either. Bill lent his talents and skill to our sets, designing and constructing most set pieces for IBT’s The Nutcracker. Bill personally and pro bono designed our current home across the street from the Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, as we yet again faced a difficult situation and were forced to move quickly. Because of his incredible talent and unimaginable generosity, we have a space that is customized for our every need as a state-of-the-art dance facility. We could never thank him enough.

Bill served IBT continuously as a board member, as well. I was honored to work with on the board and learn from him as he upheld this position, and many others, throughout the area. He kept us in line, in a lot of ways. Being a small non-profit arts organization is hard. Being a small business is hard. Being an artist is hard. Bill had an eye for all three – and it seemed like he knew what to do in every situation. I’ll always be grateful for the advice he gave us, the directions in which he led our board, and the many occasions he worked with other members of the community on our behalf.

Lastly, I must honor Bill as a dancer. I was privileged to share the stage with Bill as my stage “husband” in IBT’s The Nutcracker in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. When injury took me off stage in 2011 and 2012, and then him in 2013, we sighed and laughed and said we’d dance again. I’ll miss our little moments – the times when he would sigh out loud instead of pantomime, roll his eyes at me and almost make me laugh, or when that hobble with a cane was a little too real. We used to talk about his dancing days in college and how much he missed it, and how he wished his knees didn’t give him so much trouble. He appreciated the art of dance so much, and you could see it in his enthusiasm for this annual performance.

Thank you, Bill. Thank you for being my friend and mentor. Thank you for your legacy. Thank you for your work and your dedication to the good things in your communities. We’ll think of you when we see Clara in her sleigh, our giant Christmas tree, and every time we walk into our beautiful home studio. Thank you for your families. Thank you for sharing your lovely daughter with us for so many years. Thank you for trying to make the world a more beautiful and inspiring place.

I believe that’s what Bill wanted to do – make things better, and he supported everyone who wanted to do the same. I know he’s at peace now, no longer with aching knees and back problems, nor facing the debilitating illness that ended his life earlier than we would have liked it. I wish that we had him for a bit longer, or that I’d been able to say goodbye, but for now, I’ll remember all those sunny days along 25th street.

Keep your dancing shoes on, Bill, and we’ll waltz again.