Maggie Wright Tesch

Professor Lecturer

Phone: 801-581-8231
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Maggie Wright Tesch retired from her 18-year career with Ballet West in 2006. She spent 12 of her 18 years as a Principal Artist and demonstrated versatility transitioning from classical ballet into Balanchine-style works and contemporary ballets with equal acclaim. In 2003 she completed a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah and her Polestar Pilates Certification requiring 750 training hours. In 2006, the Department of Ballet invited her to teach ballet technique, pointe and Pilates-based conditioning as an Adjunct Professor. Promoted to Associate Professor/Lecturer in 2012 and Professor/Lecturer in 2019, she remains one of the primary instructors for many of the university’s undergraduate studio courses. She has been awarded four grants and regularly sits on both College and School of Dance committees. 

Maggie is an American Ballet Theater Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT’s Teacher’s Training Intensive in Primary-Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has recently become certified in the Progressing Ballet Technique which works holistically to train dancers out of damaging habits and improve their overall stability. As a result, her university teaching has expanded to include theory courses in undergraduate and graduate Ballet and Pointe Methodology. She oversees all of the Teaching Practicums required of students seeking the U of U Ballet Program’s Teaching Certificate Teaching Emphasis. She also successfully transitioned the School of Dance’s Conditioning course to an online-only format in the fall of 2020 which incorporated her passion for training the whole dancer.

In 2012 she developed a year-round Joint Trainee program in conjunction with Ballet West’s Professional Training Division. It has expanded to professional companies in Ohio and Cincinnati. While interning with their prospective companies, dancers are afforded the opportunity to pursue their degree.  Demonstrating her commitment to providing DEI opportunities for her students and the community, she helped facilitate the Ballet Program’s participation in the U of U’s MLK Celebration week. Additionally, she arranged for the ABT’s NTC co-authors to present on campus in June of 2014 and again in March of 2017. 

She oversees all of the trainee internships and professional studies courses offered by the Ballet Program. She is the primary author of the Steps of Study used in leveling and grading the students. In 2017, she was appointed Director of the University of Utah Ballet Summer Intensive which hosts 75-100 students every summer. Last summer, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the program was quickly altered to an online-only format and provided artists much-needed training and opportunities to stay connected to their art form.

Maggie stages a variety of works from all genres for the ballet program and professional companies and schools. She is particularly passionate about supporting opportunities for dancers to perform in historical works. She mentors and prepares dancers for performances and elite competitions, including YAGP, the Prix de Lausanne and the Beijing International Ballet Invitational. 

“It was clear they had received the kind of excellent care and coaching from Tesch that artists welcome. By this I mean coaching in style, approach (what to think, feel, anticipate in each phrase or section), and overall interpretation. (Dean Speer)

She teaches in internationally recognized schools worldwide, including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Boston Ballet School. She has been asked to teach master classes nationally and is regularly asked back to Regional Dance America and Ballet Alliance as a Distinguished Faculty and to recruit for the U of U.