Salt Dance Co. 1

Local Dance Studio Shakes Things Up


SALT Contemporary Dance, a professional dance company in residence at Artistic Dance in Draper, Utah, recently hosted an incredible opportunity for dancers in the Salt Lake Valley: a Student Choreography Festival.  Diverging from the typical competitive dance scene, there were no rankings, no ‘places,’ and no demand for specific criteria. Dancers from various schools and ages, ranging from very little dance experience to advanced, all had the opportunity to bring their own choreographed pieces, perform them on a stage in front of adjudicators and receive feedback. It was an incredibly unique competition alternative that is turning heads for studios and students alike!

Students were able to put their own dances on a stage, with no pressure and no competition, even if they were created in their own kitchens! Following the adjudications, students were able to take choreography and technique classes with master SALT dancers.  The evening culminated with a Benefit Concert for Make-A-Wish Utah, where several of the festival’s student pieces were showcased.  Participants were thrilled with this rare opportunity to use and build their choreography skills, and ultimately experience more of what dance should be: an opportunity for learning, finding joy though movement and creating a sense of self esteem and self worth that are unattainable through any other activity.

The Benefit Concert showcased the top student choreographed pieces and included performances from companies and studios around the valley including:

Barlow Arts Conservatory

Wasatch Arts Center

Municipal Ballet

Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company

SALT Contemporary Dance

Utah Valley University Hip Hop Team

and more!

The festival was an incredibly unique competition alternative that is turning heads for studios and students alike. Artistic Dance Studio, and SALT Contemporary Dance look forward to welcoming dancers for an even more splendid festival next February. If you’d like more info on next year’s Student Choreography Festival, SALT Contemporary Dance or Artistic Dance Studio, please visit us at

Michelle Nielsen is a seasoned performer, instructor, and choreographer with numerous degrees and awards. She is the owner of Artistic Dance and co-founder and Artistic Director of SALT Contemporary Dance.