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A This is Utah special

Art in Motion

Experience the dynamism of the performing arts up close and personal with Ballet Folklórico de las Américas, a Latin American folk dance troupe, Erba Jean Woodruff, a 96-year-old ballroom dancer who refuses to let age keep her from doing what she loves, and the Jingle Dress Project, a traveling piece of performance art from Diné fine arts photographer Eugene Tapahe.

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Ballet Folklórico de las Américas

Ballet Folklórico has been bringing traditional folk dances from México, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, and other Latin American nations to Utah since 1979. For Artistic Director Irma Hofer and the young members of Ballet Folklórico de las Américas, learning the traditional folk dances of their ancestors is a new way to connect to their families and their heritage.

Erba Jean Woodruff, Ballroom Dancer

At age 94, Erba Jean Woodruff has been dancing the Fox Trot for most of her life. Together with her late husband, Bill, Erba Jean taught ballroom dance from their Bountiful dance studio for over 25 years, and danced competitively at Hotel Utah, Saltair, Lagoon, and more. Now, Erba Jean and her friend Molly have found a new dance community in the Ballroom Utah Dance Studio in Salt Lake City.

The Jingle Dress Project

Fine arts photographer Eugene Tapahe’s idea for “Art Heals: The Jingle Dress Project” came to him in a dream. Legend has it the jingle dance originated from an Ojibwe man who dreamt of its healing power during the Spanish Flu. Now, Eugene travels the west photographing his daughters and friends in National Parks and Monuments as a way to reclaim indigenous spaces and bring healing to the world.

Supported By

Willard L. Eccles
Utah Life Elevated
Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation