(she/her/hers) Tonia Blomquist attended Weber State University from 1999-2004 on an Academic Departmental Scholarship for Dance. During this time she was also the recipient of the Anya Kenley Arts Scholarship, and was featured as the Performing Arts recipient for WSU in 2001. Though her emphasis was in Modern Dance, she studied all styles, and took classes from professors and companies from all over the world including Alvin Ailey, Alwin Nicolais, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Tremaine, and RDT. During her time at WSU she performed with The Orchesis Dance Company for 8 seasons. She also toured with The Moving Company for 3 years which emphasized on teaching and performing in outreach programs in schools across Utah. Tonia is an award winning choreographer and has been choreographing professionally throughout the Wasatch front since 1999. During this time she has also adjudicated for several dance conventions, and taught Master classes in Modern, Improvisation, Jazz and Contemporary. She was a principal faculty member for Park City Dance Academy from 1999-2016, and then became faculty for Ballet West from 2016-2021. She has taught everything from Contemporary, Jazz, Modern, Hip hop, and even African-based.
As well as her passion for dance, Tonia has an extensive background in Restaurant Management. She was privileged to manage several successful restaurants throughout Salt Lake, and Park City for 15 years. She retired from Restaurant Management in 2016 to focus her full attention to Dance. Teaching dance is truly her passion, and she loves being able to share that passion with all of her students.
(she/her/hers) Sawyer’s dance journey began at a young age, studying primarily ballet under the direction of Trish Ryland, Sandy Flury, and her mom Michelle Player, in Park City, UT. She performed lead roles in a multitude of classical ballets and contemporary works. She spent her summers at the Ballet West Academy Summer Intensive, where she was exposed to master teachers from all over the world. At the age of 16, she was admitted into the prestigious University of Utah School of Ballet, where she was able to learn from master teachers such as Gabrielle Lamb (PigeonWingDance), Katie Scherman, Sharee Lane, Jay Kim, Annie Breneman, and James Ady. In 2019, Sawyer accepted a position with SALT Contemporary Dance as a member of their second company, and was recently promoted to the main company as an apprentice. Through SALT she has performed works by choreographers Garrett Smith, Ching Ching Wong, Courtney Mezeika, Eric Handman, Jen Pendleton, Amy Gunter-Lolofie and Joni McDonald. She was recently given the opportunity to set an original work on SALTII. She plans to continue to expand her professional dance career for many years to come.
In addition to performing, Sawyer is an extremely passionate teacher and choreographer. She was previously employed by Ballet West Academy, where she was given the opportunity to choreograph on their advanced dancers. She is now a director of Summit Dance Project, a contemporary dance school located in Park City, UT. She works privately with many of her students, and has created pieces for them that have earned numerous choreography awards and accolades. Her solo choreography on student Dylan Gaddis was awarded the Bronze Medal at the 2021 Youth America Grand Prix. She has set work on thousands of students across the Utah Valley, ranging between ballet schools, competition studios, and public high schools. Sawyer has a close bond with her students and considers aiding them in discovering their artistry her greatest joy.
(she/her/hers) Alena began dancing at the age of three. Her education was memorable and diverse including training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. She danced competitively at Park City Dance Academy up until she began teaching young students in 2013. Throughout her early years of teaching, she graduated from Park City High School and later from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science. With this degree, she hopes to one day pursue a career in medicine and currently works as an EMT at the University of Utah Hospital. Alena was also previously employed by Ballet West Academy where she taught and set Tap and Hip-hop choreography on students of diverse ages and backgrounds. In 2018, she was also the choreographer for the Park City High School cheerleading squad. Alena grew up immersed in the dance community of Park City and values dance as a creative and unique discipline of the humanities. She believes that an education in dance offers structure, a sense of belonging, and most importantly; a safe space for young people to explore their identities and to discover what they have to offer to this world. She is thankful everyday for the light and energy that her students bring into her life, and for the opportunity to serve as a role model and visionary to the motivated and talented dancers within our small-town community.
(she/her/hers) Born in Rochester, NY, Jaclyn Weisenbeck began her formal training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for dance education under the direction of the late Tim Draper and Jamey Leverett. She performed with the Rochester City Ballet for many years in notable roles such as Magical Doll in The Nutcracker, Arabian Temptress in Cinderella, and many soloist roles in original works by Ms. Leverett including Push and Pull, Hoedown, and Gershwin in the Park. As part of RCB’s corps de ballet, she performed in productions such as Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty. She was also a featured dancer in Robert LaFosse’s original ballet Correspondence: Everything but the Kitchen Sink. Ms. Weisenbeck attended The Florida State University where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. While studying at FSU, she was blessed with the opportunity to study under notable instructors including Balanchine muse and Kennedy Center Award Winner Suzanne Farrell, Sheila Humphreys, Rick McCullough, Anjali Austin, Dan Wagoner, and Geri Houlihan to name a few. Ms. Weisenbeck performed in many works during her time at University, both classical and contemporary, including Mr. McCullough’s Endswell and Darshan Bhuller’s Stop and Stare. Upon completing her degree, Ms. Weisenbeck joined The Tallahassee Ballet for one season before moving to New York City to pursue a performance career outside of ballet. She was able to tour as a dancer and magician’s assistant with The Magic of Rob Lake, as well as perform with The American Jazz Company (formerly, The Now Unboxing Project). Since moving to Utah in 2017, Ms. Weisenbeck has performed with the Hale Center Theatre in multiple productions including Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes!. Prior to joining Summit Dance Project, Ms. Weisenbeck was on Faculty at Ballet West Academy Park City where she worked directly with the campus principal to choreograph and stage student productions as well as maintain the highest caliber of ballet education. In addition to performing and teaching ballet, she is a certified Barre fitness instructor.