Why Utah?


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beyond the classroom

"Throughout its history, the University of Utah has served as a thought center and gathering space for the community around us. That’s why the state arboretum (Red Butte Garden), the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, UtahPresents, Pioneer Theatre Company (and the origin soil of the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Ballet West, and more) all call our campus home."

-University of Utah President Taylor R. Randall in his inauguration speech, March 23, 2021


The University of Utah

Established in 1850, the University of Utah is the state’s oldest and largest institution of higher education, offering over 100 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate degree programs to nearly 35,000 students. The University of Utah is also one of the state’s largest employers, is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and is ranked in the top quarter of public research universities in the nation. The University of Utah has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the 115 research universities with the “highest research activity” in the nation and is the flagship of the Utah System of Higher Education. The University of Utah is also a member of the PAC-12. The University of Utah is located in the Wasatch foothills, overlooking Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake, and the Great Basin's west desert, providing easy access to spectacular outdoor environments to explore and exceptional recreation activities to enjoy including hiking, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and camping.


Salt Lake City

The center of a metropolitan area with a population of approximately 1.25 million residents, Salt Lake City is known for extensive arts and cultural activities, boasts a major international airport with direct flights to multiple national and international destinations, and has received international recognition for its light rail system, foodie culture, downtown renewal, burgeoning tech industry, and increasing diversity. Hosting a vibrant arts community, Salt Lake City is home to long-standing nationally-recognized dance institutions such as Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet West, SALT Contemporary Dance, Tanner Dance, and numerous smaller groups, independent choreographers, and teachers, offering students and professional dancers opportunities to engage in a wide variety of practices and collaborations.

Salt Lake City also offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, with ten world-class ski resorts and five national parks within hours of the city. Salt Lake City is home to a robust array of diverse communities facilitating numerous opportunities for interaction with a range of civic and political organizations, given the city’s role as the governmental and social nerve center of the state. Utah public schools serve a diverse student body (statewide average: eight percent English Learners (Els) and twenty-six percent non-white), notably higher in its urban districts. Utah is also home to the first state-legislated and funded K-16 dual language education model in the country. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked Salt Lake City as the 10th best place to live in the nation.  


The School of Dance

Admission for the School of Dance is competitive, and our student body is comprised of approximately 200 undergraduates and 15 graduate students seeking professional quality dance training and meaningful educational experiences in an array of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. The School of Dance is housed in the Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance (MCD), the School boasts beautiful facilities designed specifically for the needs of dance. The professionally equipped Hayes Christensen Theatre seats 333 patrons, and our six expansive studios create the perfect place for aspiring dance artists to hone their craft. MCD also includes two smaller studios, a physical therapy room, a Pilates studio with reformers, student lounge, and spacious dressing rooms.

The School of Dance is one of five units in the College of Fine Arts, including Art & Art History, Film & Media Arts, Music, and Theatre. The University of Utah is located in the Wasatch foothills, overlooking Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake, and the Great Basin’s west desert.

The School of Dance maintains close connections to dozens of dance organizations both in the Salt Lake valley and throughout the country which provides students the opportunity for extra-curricular collaboration. Students from the School of Dance also engage in international touring opportunities, having visited Panama, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Australia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and South Korea. Notably, the School of Dance: