Virginia Tanner created the Tanner Dance Program in 1949, and today the program continues to nurture an appreciation of dance, music, literature, theater and visual arts in a beautiful home, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. The program reaches over 40,000 children and adults throughout Utah each year.

Vision: An Evening of Dance

See selected company members from the Children's Dance Theatre perform "SHOUT", choreographed by CDT alum Jacque Bell, as part of the Vision performance at Capitol Theatre. Get a behind-the-scenes look at "SHOUT" by clicking the video below!

Vision brings a broad range of choreographic works to stage, each representing individual or cultural transformative moments. Produced by the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts (NYC), works for stage and screen have been curated from a national roster of professional dance artists, and will feature over 70 performers of all ages


CDT in Jacque Bell's "SHOUT" from Tanner Dance on Vimeo.

Momentum Showcase


This year’s Momentum Showcase, Muscle Memory, explores how we remember kinesthetic and creative experiences both individually and collectively. Featuring choreography and performances by the Tanner Dance Contemporary Companies, this concert highlights the process behind the artists’ creations. Also included in this performance are new works by guest choreographers Jo Blake and Meghan Durham Wall. 

Saturday, October 9 at 2:00 PM + 7:00 PM

Tanner Dance Black Box Theatre

Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts + Education Complex

1721 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City

Tickets are $10 each - ticket link below

Audience members are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to wear a mask inside the Tanner Dance building. Thank you for helping us to keep our community healthy!

This is a family friendly performance, however, it is not recommended for children under 5. Please no babes in arms.

A Compassionate and Inclusive Community

To our Tanner Dance community,

We empathize with and share the sadness and frustration that so many in our community are feeling for the many victims of racism, inequality, and violence. At Tanner Dance, we value every child’s unique voice, and are committed to providing a safe, inclusive space for all to create and express themselves. We are dedicated to contributing to a more just and equitable society.

We are increasing our efforts to make the Tanner Dance experience accessible to diverse communities through our scholarship program, Creative Connections class, and outreach into Title One schools, rural areas, and community programs. Our goal is to create a pathway to success that empowers our students to contribute positively to their community no matter their race, faith, gender, or social economic status.

As the flagship university, the University of Utah is positioned to support state leaders in their efforts to shape criminal justice reform, promote social justice and equity, and address pervasive racism. This spring, university leadership began campus conversations designed to bring community leaders and scholarly experts together in search of understanding and solutions to racism, oppression, and hatred.

Please know that all our Tanner Dance faculty and staff are fully committed to creating a compassionate and inclusive community for all.



Welcome to Tanner Dance!

Virginia Tanner began teaching children’s dance classes in the early 1940s,  but it was in 1949 when the Children’s Dance Theatre gave its first official performance at Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus. We mark the beginning of this incredible program of dance for children from that time when Doris Humphrey, a leader in American modern dance first saw Virginia’s small company perform and wrote to Virginia, “Your children have left an indelible impression with me of true creative dance.  Your children offer a wonderful proof of the power of the young artist, guided wisely, untarnished by dogma or routine, un-stereotyped and lovely.  This source of fresh ideas in dance-art is a treasure house to which you have found the key.  Only to one who believes in children and understands them could this treasure have been unlocked. Congratulations for bringing Children’s Dance Theatre to reality, and for being its faithful guardian and creator. Their performance I saw in Salt Lake gave me a lift in spirit which I shall always remember.  I think beautiful children dancing have more to teach us than we have to teach them.”


Children’s Dance Theatre (CDT), the performing arm of the University of Utah Tanner Dance Program, was established in 1949 by Virginia Tanner. The company of 280 young dancers, ages 8 through 18, performs for more than 30,000 Utahns annually. Under Mary Ann Lee’s artistic direction since 1979, the organization continues to grow in size and programming, earning state, national, and international recognition.


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Tanner Dance is located in the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex (BTSAEC) at the University of Utah.
1721 Campus Center Drive Salt Lake City, Utah 84112