May 6, 2022

Cache Valley Civic Ballet Enters its 40th Anniversary Season

The Cache Valley Civic Ballet is thrilled to announce its 40th anniversary season, led by its founding director Sandra Emile.

“The Cache Valley Civic Ballet is excited to announce its 40th year of performing in Northern Utah,” Emile said. “We look back at what we have done and what our dancers have accomplished with pride and satisfaction, and then turn and look forward with anticipation for what we can achieve in the future.”

Upon arriving in Northern Utah in 1981, Emile and her young family lived near the Whittier Center in Logan. She was struck by the beauty of the historic building, and one day wandered in. There she met the building director, who told her that they had recently renovated studio three in the upper level. Emile was told that the center had received a grant to produce Peter and the Wolf, but that they didn’t have anyone qualified to direct the production. The two agreed that Emile could use the new studio rent-free for a couple of months to see if she could attract ballet students, and in exchange she would direct Peter and the Wolf.

“We held an open audition and found 16 young, talented, and interested ballerinas,” Emile said. “And so, we established the Cache Valley Civic Ballet in 1982.”

After that first successful production of Peter and the Wolf, Emile committed herself to producing The Nutcracker.

“That first year [1982], we only had the budget to perform act two,” Emile said. “We did it on the Whittier Center stage, and I did all the costume design and tech. It was really ‘Sandy making a ballet,’” she recalled.

The next year they were able to produce the full production and by the fourth year the organization received a grant to purchase the original Ballet West Nutcracker sets (which are now out of commission).

Emile graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts and then apprenticed with the American Ballet Theatre before coming to Logan.

She has directed the ongoing production of The Nutcracker for the last 40 years, along with a long tradition of full-length story ballets every spring. The Company performs in Logan’s beautiful Ellen Eccles Theatre, and works with The Northern Utah Symphony’s full 43-piece orchestra for The Nutcracker each year.

Emile added the Cache Valley Civic Ballet-School in 1986, where she could fulfill her love of teaching. She is accredited in the Cecchetti and Vaganova methods of ballet, and in the Paris Opera Ballet Syllabus. Her students have been accepted at many university dance programs and professional companies around the United States and beyond.

The Cache Valley Civic Ballet-Company now consists of about 45 auditioned dancers from around the region, and The School offers quality classical ballet training to more than 400 students annually. As a civic organization, Company auditions are open to serious ballet dancers of all ages, from any school.

“The Cache Valley Civic Ballet extends our deepest appreciation and thanks to all of our Cache Valley community who have supported and encouraged us over the last 40 years,” Emile said. “We look forward to our next 40 years of partnering and growing together.”

The Ballet is launching its 40th anniversary with an updated brand presence. The season begins with The School’s summer semester, beginning June 13. The Company will offer a Summer Intensive and hold Company auditions in August, and will perform The Nutcracker Thanksgiving weekend and a yet-to-be-announced story ballet in March.

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