Waterford Dance Academy

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We teach the timeless art of classical ballet that embodies the highest standards of precision, discipline, and beauty at The Waterford Dance Academy. We foster the growth and development of dynamic and creative movers through Modern Dance. Students will learn from highly trained and respected instructors who have studied and mastered these art forms. We strive to maintain a supportive environment that teaches confidence, poise and strength of character.

Classes and Programs

The Waterford Dance Academy offers after school classes for children of all ages and skill levels during the school year, as well as special summer workshops.

PreBallet (PreK-4 only)

Does your little one love to move and dance? This PreBallet class will give your little dancer a basic introduction to ballet steps and positions, while enhancing their motor skills and coordination with fun exercises. This class teaches music qualities and rhythms, story-telling with movement, and creative dance.

Wednesdays 3:20-4:15pm in Lower School Dance Room

KinderBallet (Kindergarten)

Introduce your little dancer to the beautiful art of ballet! This class will enhance your child’s coordination, balance and flexibility with the teaching of basic ballet positions, steps, and terminology through simple age appropriate exercises. Your child will also continue to learn about This class teaches music qualities and rhythms, story-telling with movement, and creative dance. 

Thursdays 3:30-4:15pm in Lower School Dance Room

Ballet I (Class I)

This twice per week beginning level class is designed to develop awareness of alignment and basic ballet vocabulary and technique for Class I students. Class will include a warm-up routine, stretching and strength exercises, beginning ballet steps, and across the floor exercises. Your child will have a fun time learning the secrets behind becoming a great ballerina or danseur!

Tuesdays 3:35-4:30pm in Lower School Dance Room
Fridays 3:35-4:30pm in Lower School Dance Room

Ballet 2/3 (Class II and III)

This twice per week beginning ballet class teaches basic technique and movements for Class II dancers. This class will focus on ballet vocabulary and technique, with an introduction to barre work, across the floor exercises, including simple turns and jumps. Your child will have a clear understanding of good posture, will learn more steps with turn-out, and incorporate beautiful arms positions. Pantomime is introduced, and counting music and memory skills are honed in this class because students will be unassisted during their performance in the spring. 

Mondays 3:45-4:45pm in Performing Arts Studio 812
Wednesdays 3:45-4:45pm in Performing Arts Studio 812

Ballet 4/5 (Class IV and V)

This ballet level for Class IV and V dancers focuses on developing barre technique, coordination and strength. Upper body (port de bras) and lower body movements are more connected and more steps are introduced. Center work includes balance exercises on one leg, turns (pirouettes), and a variety of jumps. They will learn stage and body positions and learn more steps and patterns. Dancers at this level are expected to be able to do their own hair for class each day. Modern class will introduce Modern Dance technique through warm-up and structured improvisation, where imagination and creativity are fostered. Dancers will explore curving core movements of the spine and dynamic energy use in technical combinations. Stretching and strengthening exercises will be part of the Pre-pointe exercises to prepare dancers for the Pointe test.

Tuesdays 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Tuesdays 5:00-5:45pm (Modern) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Thursdays 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Thursdays 5:00-5:45pm (PrePointe) in Performing Arts Studio 810

Intermediate Level I

This Intermediate level is designed for Middle and Upper school dancers with an understanding of placement and alignment, including proper use of turn out, coordination of the upper body (epaulement), and coordinated and synchronized upper body movements (port de bras). The focus will be on intermediate ballet technique and will include combinations at the barre using reléve and balances on one leg, more difficult turns (double pirouettes), simple jumps embellished with beats (batterie), and pre-pointe or beginner pointe work. In Modern, students will continue to explore Modern Dance techniques including floorwork, curving core movements of the spine, and dynamic energy use in technical combinations and improvisation. 

Monday 3:45-4:45pm (Int Level 1 Modern/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Monday 4:45-6:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 810 
Wednesday 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Wednesday 5:00-6:00pm (PrePointe/Beg Pointe) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Friday 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 810
Friday 5:00-6:00pm (PrePointe/Beg Pointe) in Performing Arts Studio 810

Intermediate Level 2

In this Intermediate Level 2, for MS/US dancers, ballet barre and center combinations move faster, and become more complex and incorporate more center floor combinations using reléve and balances on one leg. Different rhythms are introduced. Turnout based on individual ability and strength continues to be emphasized along with posture and core strength. Center exercises are longer and require more memorization and stamina.  More types of pirouettes, turns across the floor and jumps are learned. Pointe work continues with progression to more sustained and difficult steps. Intermediate 2 Modern is an exciting and challenging technique class that will focus on alignment, rhythm, footwork, and whole body coordination. Built as a layered experience, we will progressively warm up the body in multiple dance exercises, culminating toward full-body physicality. Integrated improvisation will guide dancers to find their inherently unique expression, musicality, and joy. 

Mondays 4:45-6:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Tuesdays 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Tuesdays 5:00-5:45pm (Pointe) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Tuesdays 6:00-7:15pm (Int 2 Modern/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Thursdays 3:45-5:00pm (Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Thursdays 5:00-5:45pm (Pointe) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Saturdays 9:30-11:00am (Ballet/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 812

Advanced Level

In this Advanced Level for Upper School dancers and compliments the Upper School Performance (USP) class during the school day. Ballet barre and center work reflect combinations of advanced steps, such as high-level adagio work, multiple turn combinations, and more intricate jump combinations.  This class continues to focus on body placement and quality of movement, and includes focuses on lyricism, control and artistry. Intermediate/advanced level pointe work is included. Advanced Modern is an exciting and challenging technique class that will focus on alignment, rhythm, footwork, and whole body coordination. Built as a layered experience, we will progressively warm up the body in multiple dance exercises, culminating toward full-body physicality. Integrated improvisation will guide dancers to find their inherently unique expression, musicality, and joy. 

Mondays 4:45-6:00pm (Int 2/Adv Ballet) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Mondays 6:00-7:00pm Adv Level Reserved for Rehearsals
Wednesday 4:45-6:00pm (Adv Level Ballet/Pointe) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Wednesday 6:00-7:15pm (Adv Level Modern/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Thursday 6:00-7:15pm (Adv Level Musical Theater/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 812
Saturday 9:30-11:00am (Ballet/Contemporary) in Performing Arts Studio 812

Modern Only Track

Our Dance Academy has a strong focus on Ballet training, but for those dancers interested only in Modern Dance, we offer a Modern Only track. This includes one Modern class per week. Please email Annie Breneman Semans at anniebreneman@waterfordschool.org, for more information on placement and schedule.

Hip Hop Club (Kindergarten, Class I and II)

This hip hop class is a fast-paced and energetic dance style using the latest street/urban dance moves set to hip hop music. Hip hop encompasses a wide range of street styles including breaking, locking and popping. This class for young beginners specifically focuses on developing rhythm and coordination while encouraging individual style.

Mondays 3:30-4:15PM in Lower School Dance Room

Hip Hop Crew (Class III, IV, and V)

This hip hop class is a fast-paced and energetic dance style using the latest street/urban dance moves set to hip hop music. Hip hop encompasses a wide range of street styles including breaking, locking and popping. This class for young beginners specifically focuses on developing rhythm and coordination while encouraging individual style.

Wednesday 4:00-4:45pm in Lower School Dance Room

Faculty Bios

Annie Breneman Semans, Director of Waterford Dance Academy

Annie received most of her early ballet training from Joan Miller’s Palm Beach Ballet Center, Florida. She graduated from Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts High School, in Florida. She received a scholarship to attend the University of Utah, and later graduated with a BFA in Ballet, with a Performing and Teaching emphasis. After her freshman year, she was hired by Ballet West as an Apprentice and danced her way up the ranks to Soloist in 2005. Annie retired after thirteen years with Ballet West and found her true passion in teaching. She has taught over the last 18 years years at various local dance studios in Utah. She was a Guest Artist for the Department of Dance at Utah Valley University, and spent four years teaching in the School of Dance at the University of Utah. She received her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in 2015. She is constantly inspired by students wanting to learn about ballet and how their body moves.

Brooke Bennett, Ballet Teacher

Brooke Bennett is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. There she began her training with Southern Performing Arts Academy and later began performing with their Pre-professional company, Southern Ballet Theatre. During this time she was able to attend and perform at Southeast Regional Ballet Association and Regional Dance Association. Brooke is a graduate of Utah Valley University where she received her BFA in dance with a ballet emphasis in the summer of 2018. Brooke received various scholarships throughout her studies at UVU, including a half-tuition ballet scholarship along with the Dean Merit Scholarship 2015-2016. She then received a full-tuition ballet scholarship in the fall of 2016, which she maintained until she graduated. Brooke also received UVU’s School of the Arts Merit Award for Ballet. Throughout her 4 years at UVU she performed with the Repertory Ballet Ensemble. Brooke also had the opportunity to work and perform with Repertory Dance Theatre in fall of 2017 and later had the opportunity to perform in the gala at American College Dance Association in spring of 2018. After graduating from UVU, Brooke danced with Utah Metropolitan Ballet for 2 years. Brooke has taught ballet to students of varying skill levels at multiple studios throughout Utah and Salt Lake County.​

Shalina Cabitac, Ballet Teacher

Shalina received her professional training from Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, WA under the direction of Kent Stowell, Francia Russell and Peter Boal. She has also studied extensively with Evergreen City Ballet Company (Professional Division), Oregon Ballet Theater, Cornish College of the Arts, Ballet Chicago, North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theater (the JKO school). Shalina has danced with Evergreen City Ballet Company, Mountain West Ballet, Ballet Ensemble, Utah Ballet and Municipal Ballet. For many consecutive years, she performed in Kent Stowell’s The Nutcracker (in collaboration with Maurice Sendak), and later went on to perform corps de ballet and soloist roles in neo-classical ballets including Balanchine’s Themes and Variations, in addition to original ballets by Wade Walthall and Kevin Kaiser. She has also choreographed numerous classical, neo-classical and contemporary works for Evergreen City Ballet Company as well as the University of Utah Ballet Department. Her choreography has been featured in university student showcases, productions of ECB’s Young Choreographer’s Showcase, Tacoma Dance Festival, Northwest Works, and on tour with Dance Festival Northwest. After dancing with Evergreen City Ballet for three years, Shalina went on to attend the University of Utah’s BFA Ballet program, earning a BFA Ballet with a pedagogy emphasis. She has been teaching throughout the Salt Lake valley area since 2010 at schools including the Dance Company, Creative Arts Academy, Tanner Dance at the University of Utah, and Ballet West Academy. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and loves to teach students of all ages.

Shira Fagan, Ballet Teacher

Shira Fagan has a BA in English from Grinnell College and an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She is a former member of Danceworks Performance Company II in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and of Co.Da in Sugarhouse, Utah. Shira is the Class VI dean, and a middle school English and history teacher. She teaches ballet at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. She teaches Ballet ⅘ on Tuesdays.

Mercedes Hale, Ballet and Hip Hop Teacher

Mercedes Hale is a fourth generation dancer, dance instructor and choreographer. She began dancing at her mother’s locally owned studio, Tracy’s Dance Academy, at age 2. There she was trained in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, modern and musical theatre, becoming a faculty member at 15 years old and eventually the director/choreographer for the Mini, Junior and Senior companies and competition teams. Mercedes has had the opportunity to train under and work with many of the dance greats: Joe Tremaine, Gregory Hines, Ann Reinking, Savion Glover, Doug Caldwell, Jackie Sleight, Marguerite Derricks, Wade Robson, Joe Lanterri, and Mia Michaels to name a few. She spent numerous summers in Los Angeles attending classes at renowned studios such as the Edge Performing Arts Center, The Millennium Dance Complex, The Howard Fine Acting Studio and private voice lessons with vocal coach Seth Riggs. Mercedes attended The Waterford School for grades 7-10, and then at age 16, was accepted into the Musical Theatre program at Idyllwild Arts Academy- a prestigious and highly acclaimed performing arts boarding school in Southern California- where she completed her junior and senior years in high school. Upon graduating, Mercedes was accepted into The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended as a Musical Theatre major. Mercedes is also a proud Broadway Theatre Project alumni. Over the years, Mercedes has attended many national and international competitions and conventions where she was awarded with numerous titles, scholarships and high point accolades–first as a dancer and later on as an instructor/choreographer. From 1997-2002, she was selected to represent Utah in the international touring company: “The Sweethearts and Heartthrobs” sponsored by I Love Dance, Inc. Mercedes has performed in and choreographed performances for the 2002 Winter Olympics, NBA Jazz halftime shows, Norwegian and Carnival cruise lines, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. In addition to being a part of her family owned dance studio’s faculty, Mercedes has also taught and choreographed for studios and programs throughout the state including: Dance Concepts, Linda Fenton School of Dance, Singers Unlimited, The Winner School, Kaleidoscope Dance Studio and the University of Utah. Mercedes received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Utah and was the Media Relations Specialist for the Salt Lake Sheriff’s Office from 2011-2015. She currently resides in Sandy with her husband, Rob Hale, 16 year old daughter Jada and their three dogs: Princeton, Bear and Bella.

Allysen Olsen, Ballet and Contemporary Teacher

Allysen Olsen grew up on a farm in the wild west with an untamed love for cows and dancing. The passion, drive, and work ethic she learned on the farm has led her to fall in love with the ferocious physicality of dance. Graduating Sum Cum Laude with her B.S. In dance with NHSDA Honors has allowed her to combine her love of movement and science to unlock the efficiency and power of the body. She obtained her BASI Pilates certification in 2020 in a 9-month course as well as currently working on her Yoga certification putting value on continuing being a student post graduation. Scholarships have allowed her to diversify her training by working with and performing for numerous artists and companies from around the world at various intensives, conferences, and master classes. She Performed in Footprints for American Dance Festival with Choreographer and company owner Charles O. Anderson in North Carolina 2022 as well as in her undergrad with Micheal Shumacher, Vincas Green, and  Pat Taylor (company owner) Jazz Antiqua to name a few. Allysen is currently based in Salt Lake City where she is a professional performer and choreographer. She has danced professionally with Atlas Dance Collective and Ewell Webb company. She loves to share her passion with her students teaching in the dance department as an Adjunct Professor at Salt Lake Community College, Waterford Private Schools dance program, numerous studios, and with an academy for at-risk youth teaching dance as a therapy. Allysen aspires to continue her research of physicality and the empathetic transfer between dance performer and spectator and use her research to help others unlock their potential to embody fully and dance confidently through life.

Jennifer Tingey, Musical Theater Teacher

Jenny Giauque Tingey has a deep love and passion for dance, teaching, and choreography.  She attended Brigham Young University as the recipient of both dance talent and academic scholarships and later received her MBA from Arizona State University.  While at BYU she served as a team member, vice-president, president, and choreographer of the nationally acclaimed BYU Cougarettes.  Jenny also performed as a contracted singer/dancer at Disneyworld, Opryland, NBA Orlando Magic, UCDT (now Odyssey), Norwegian Cruise Lines, and throughout the world as she originated the role of Cinderella for Disney Cruise Lines. Jenny is currently in her 20th year as dance faculty at BYU and has choreographed for the BYU Cougarettes, Young Ambassadors, Vocal Point, Ballroom Dance, Homecoming Spectacular, and DeJong Theater productions.  She has also choreographed multiple television, film, and commercial projects as well as Disney Audition Tours, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games (associate choreographer), Sea Trek European Tour, HCTO, and multiple high school and private studio teams. Jenny also served as associate director/choreographer under Jeff Whiting in the Broadway workshop of “Fly More Than You Fall”.

Melissa Younker, Modern Teacher

Melissa Younker is a movement artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a collaborator with Heartland Collective, a multi-disciplinary collective directed by Molly Heller. Melissa was a member of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company from 2014-2020 with Artistic Director, Daniel Charon. In 2018, she participated in the cultural exchange program DanceMotion USA℠, travelling to Mongolia and South Korea. She has had the privilege to embody an array of works by choreographers Ann Carlson, Raja Feather Kelly, Alex Ketley, Joanna Kotze, Andrea Miller, Alwin Nikolais, Kate Weare, Doug Varone, Netta Yerushalmy, Yin Yue, among others. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach. She has been dedicated to dance since youth; training in many movement forms, teaching a multitude of communities, touring as a performer and educator, curating costumes and staying curious. Recently she has taught for Utah Valley University, Bucknell University (PA), K-Wheel Dance Project (South Korea), Tumen Ekh Ensemble (Mongolia), Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Brigham Young University (ID), and the University of Wyoming.

Policies & Procedures

It is the responsibility of the students and parents to be aware of Waterford Dance Academy (WDA) policies, as well as studio activities, performances, and dates the Academy is open and closed. Reminder emails will be sent with important information. Please read these to make sure you are informed.​ Please reach out to Annie Breneman Semans with any questions:  anniebreneman@waterfordschool.org

Registration Commitment

Registering commits you to the full term of Fall, Winter, or Spring OR you may register for the full year. An Academy dancer must be registered in the corresponding term(s) to participate in performances.​ Registration re-opens each term. An Academy dancer must be registered in the corresponding term(s) to participate in performances, i.e. dancers must be registered in Fall term to participate in our Winter Performance, and dancers must be registered in our Winter and Spring terms to participate in our Spring Performance.

Registration and Tuition Payments

There is a non-refundable registration fee of $25 per student. This helps cover our administrative costs and helps to keep tuition costs low.

Tuition can be paid through your Waterford account, by check or credit card. Tuition is based on reservation of space, not attendance; therefore no refunds or credits will be given for absences. We do not offer pro-rating for tuition. Due to class size limits, we ask that you and your dancer commit to all the classes in their level. 


The Academy’s training program is rigorous. In order to progress properly, regular attendance is necessary. Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes in their level. Attendance will be considered when placing a student in the appropriate class level. 

Dance Class Etiquette

Dance classes require an expected decorum that is tradition in dance education. In all classes, the teacher gives the students exercises, the students perform them, and the teacher responds to their performance with constructive criticism. Students are expected to be accepting and appreciative of these suggestions for personal growth and improvement. Dancers are encouraged to ask questions of the instructor, but beyond this students should not engage in conversation. Dancers are expected to be polite and respectful to the teacher and the other students in class. A student who is disruptive in any way may be asked to observe class. If behavior becomes an ongoing problem, the student may be dismissed from the program.  Students are to enter the classroom promptly and are encouraged to bring water bottles. No gum, food or other drinks are allowed in the studio, so that we maintain a clean, safe space to dance.​

Discipline and Excellence

Our program relies on a positive atmosphere for our faculty, students, and their parents. We strive to promote a positive learning experience for all involved. All students are expected to strive for excellence to the very best of their abilities. We, in turn, will strive to make a positive contribution to the lives of our students by giving them individualized guidance and attention, while instilling values of commitment, respect, hard work, discipline and artistry. Dance can teach so many skills and lessons for life. Cooperation, teamwork and dedication are also big parts of WDA’s educational process.

Illness or Injury

We want our students to DANCE in their dance class, so we do not encourage sitting out. If a student is ill, they should not attend class, and should wait until they are symptom free for 24 hours before returning to class.

If a student is injured, they must bring a doctor’s note detailing their limitations for class.

For dancers with injuries, Kevin Semans, ATC, is available for consultation. He has extensive experience with dancers. He may be reached at: 801.916.8657.


We expect our students to be on time for class. The exercises at the beginning of class are crucial for warming up the body and it puts the dancer at risk for injury if they join in late without the proper warm-up. If a student arrives late, he/she should enter the classroom prepared to dance, and stand in the doorway until the teacher invites him/her into the classroom. A student arriving more than 10 minutes late to class will be asked to sit and observe the class, and write an observation paper.  If tardiness becomes a habit, a conference will be scheduled with the parent.

Class Attire and Hair

All students must follow the WDA dress code. When students dress like dancers, they emanate the qualities and attitude of dancers. Please see the Uniform Guide for details. Dance training involves correct placement and alignment of the body and the teacher must be able to clearly see how the student’s body is placed. Please no sweatshirts or loose-fitted clothing. Also, no dangle earrings, bracelets, necklaces or watches are allowed in class. We require that students wear a “cover-up” when outside the building. Cover-ups include shirt, pants or skirt, and street shoes. Please do not wear dance shoes outside, and do not wear street shoes inside the studios. Hair should be neatly groomed in a bun or pulled back out of the face if hair is too short for a bun. Modern, Jazz, and Contemporary classes may wear hair in a neat ponytail. Repeated disregard of dress code will result in a student losing the right to participate in class.

Class Placement

The WDA faculty will be meeting regularly to discuss student’s progress and placement. Our goal is to help dancers reach their fullest potential, and we place students in the classes that will best facilitate their personal progress. Placement decisions are taken very seriously and are derived from many years of teaching experience. Please contact Annie Breneman, if you have any questions or concerns about your student’s placement.

Advancement and Promotion

Students advance to the next level according to technical skill ability, maturity level, commitment, and positive attitude; not necessarily the number of years they have taken dance. We want our dancers to have a strong technical basis, so the quality of how certain steps or skills are performed is emphasized more than the number of different steps they can do. “Moving up” should not be expected every year. Students are promoted on an individual basis. Students should not expect to advance through levels at the same rate as their friends.

Pick-up Policy

To ensure the safety of our students, we encourage students to be picked up within 10 minutes of a class ending. The parents are solely responsible for their student after class ends. If your student attends one of the last classes of the day, please be considerate of dance faculty by being prompt so the studios can be closed.

Parent Observation

Parents are invited to observe during Parent Observation week. There will be one Observation Week each term.

Open Communication

The Waterford Dance Academy values your input. It is through productive parent involvement that our program continues to improve. If a parent or student has any concerns, we would like to discuss them and come to a viable solution. We ask parents to be supportive of our teachers and their artistic decisions. Please contact Annie Breneman regarding any questions or concerns: anniebreneman@waterfordschool.org

Photo Release

WDA is hereby granted permission to take photographs and videos of students to use in brochures, web sites, posters, advertisements and other promotional materials it creates. No student names will be used in conjunction with promotional materials.


Waterford is committed to providing a healthy and safe learning environment for all members of our community. With the return to campus, we have developed the Waterford COVID-19 Response Plan: Health and Safety Measures. These protocols have been developed with the guidance of the local health department and the state of Utah and CDC’s guidelines. This plan is fluid and may change in accordance with the latest advice and research from local, state, and national health experts.