Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

November 18, 2021
Local dance company presents “Snow White”

First live performance since 2019 

The Tooele Valley Academy of Dance will finally perform their rendition of the Snow White ballet on Dec. 4 at Tooele High School.

Originally intended for May 2020, the performance was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dancers have been practicing for countless hours to bring their original Snow White ballet to the stage.

The sound of arabesques, grand Jetes, plies, and chasses could be heard from the gym at Clark Johnson Junior High School on Nov. 13 as dancers practiced for their first real performance since 2019.

“Originally, we were supposed to perform Snow White in May of 2020 and we were shut down with COVID, so we had to stop production,” said Sarah Westhora, artistic director at TVAD. “This is really exciting after all this time. We have had to recast a lot of the original cast. A lot of them left, have gotten injured, or are in quarantine. We are constantly recasting but by the time it’s on the stage in December we will have a full cast.”

The Academy worked hard to create the production.

“All of this is original, including the choreography, costumes, set work, and design,” said Aaron Lovell, communications director at TVAD. “Our production is based upon the original Grimm’s fairy tale that most people are familiar with but we have added our own adaptation.” 

The show consists of auditioned rolls and ballet class rolls, and provides a unique, cultured experience for the viewer, according to Lovell.

“We want to promote classical arts in Tooele County and provide opportunities for people to get to see things like full length ballets, and provide opportunities for students and people in the county to participate in that,” Lovell said. “It’s pretty unique in the small community that we are in to have a ballet that does full length original shows.” 

The production lasts 125 minutes and there are around 125 dancers in the show, according to Westhora.

“It’s been really fun getting ready for [the production] this,” said Hannah Shephard, who plays an “emerald soloist” in the show and has been dancing at TVAD for 13 years. “This is really enjoyable for me and it’s really cool to see all of the different classes and age groups come together and create a really cool show together.”

“It’s been fun getting to know the dancers and all of the amazing people they have here,” said Garin Duersch, who plays Prince Florian.

Prior to Snow White, TVAD has performed Dracula, Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and several other original performances.

They are planning on performing Sleeping Beauty again in spring 2022.

The Academy will be performing Snow White on Dec. 4 at Tooele High School at 7 p.m.

They will also be performing on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake City, located at 138 W. Broadway.

Tickets are available on

Those ages zero to four are free. Tickets for everyone else are around $10.


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