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To the editor:

We are an organization of Utah ballet teachers, and we want to publicly applaud the excellence of Ballet West. As serious teachers, we recognize how fortunate we are to have a ballet company of national renown available to our talented and dedicated young dancers.Several years ago, Ballet West decided to close "Nutcracker" auditions to community children and to use only those enrolled in the Ballet West School. Our organization, the Utah Ballet Teachers Association, went to the board of directors of Ballet West and asked that these auditions and the opportunity to perform remain open to our students.

It is to John Hart's credit that when he took over as artistic director, he recognized the significance of this community support and continued the "open audition" policy. As teachers, we feel that he not only listens to us, but that he responds to our concerns.

Several directors prior to Hart hired only imported performers. Almost all local dancers were automatically rejected. Hart, however, has opened the door of opportunity and here we are again, as in the Willam Christensen era, seeing Utah dancers as aspirants, apprentices and artists in the company.

We recognize, as teachers in this community, that without Ballet West as a cultural centerpiece, our success, artistically and economically, would be greatly diminished. We also recognize that Hart's expertise, his attitude toward us and our unique community of traditional values is a big part of the success of Ballet West and ultimately our effectiveness as ballet teachers.

Clytie Adams, president

Utah Ballet Teachers Association