Tanner Dance at the University of Utah

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.

It may be fall break, but Tanner studio dance, music, and art classes and CDT classes are still happening this week.  Exceptions: There are no classes Wednesday - Saturday for the Contemporary Companies, Leadd program, and Elevate. Satellites may or may not be holding classes. Please check the satellite classes page for your satellite dates.

Tanner Dance at Ring Around the Rose

Tickets are now on sale for "Something to Say"


Each November, several of our Tanner Dance classes  perform as part of the Ring Around the Rose series at the Rose Wagner Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City. This year's show is called "Something to Say".

RDT’s Ring Around the Rose is a “wiggle-friendly” performance series for children and families that explores the magical world of the arts, including dance, theatre, music and storytelling.

Where: Rose Wagner Theatre, 138 West 300 South in Salt Lake City

When: November 9, 2019 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm

Tickets: Only $6 and available by clicking below* or by calling ArtTix at 801-355-2787

*Ticketing fees apply. Ticket fees are usually lower if purchasing in person at ArtTix or over the phone.



Drumming Class begins September 24th!

NEW! Drumming Class  with Wachira Waigwa-Stone

Our new drumming class is designed for beginning to intermediate level, junior high and high school age drummers. Students will learn fundamental technique and basic rudiments (the syllables that are used to form the words and phrases of the drumming language), as well as explore rhythmic patterns, call and response, reading, and improvisation. Drills and exercises will be done each class with a practice pad and sticks, and then students will learn musical phrases, as well as create their own two or three-part layered rhythms using re-purposed and found objects such as buckets, pot, and pans.

Students will be expected to practice an hour a day throughout the week, in preparation for the following week’s class. A packet of take-home exercises will be provided.

During the second half of the semester, the class will have the opportunity to work with the Trash Panda Drum Group (see video to the right), who will come teach some masterclasses, set a piece on the group for the end of semester performance, and help the students come up with ideas for their own group composition, also to be featured in the performance.

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.

Please refer to your Tanner Dance eNews emails, or click below for important studio dates. Bookmarking our calendar on your computer and phone is a great way to stay up-to-date!

The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex is available for rental

Our facility is the perfect location for a range of events.  Our complex hosts a black box theatre, six large studios with pianos, an outdoor deck, and open lobby. Whether you are planning a wedding reception, corporate retreat, community meeting, or fundraising event, find yourself inside the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex. We also have space for film screenings, piano and dance recitals, and studio and rehearsal space. Our professional technical and event support staff are available to help you manage all aspects of your event.

The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex is truly a unique and vibrant space. All areas are accessible to persons with disabilities. Please plan rentals with plenty of lead time, as even the smallest of rentals need at least two weeks preparation.

For information, please contact Amy Buchanan at amy.buchanan@utah.edu or 801-587-3726.


Main Office


University Commuter Services



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