A Personal Letter from Ms. Michelle: Director, Owner, Mother of Three
Michelle Jackman is the Director and teaches classical ballet to our 3 year olds through College. Ms. Michelle grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she began her ballet studies at the age of 10 with Miss Jane Reid of June Runyon School of Ballet. She performed with Tulsa Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker for 4 years and Tulsa Dance Theatre for 7 years. She continued her studies with The School of Ballet West and The Christensen Centre (now The Ballet Centre in Murray) studying with the late Willam Christensen (founder of Ballet West) and Michelle Armstrong. She studied and performed with Anatoli Kucheruk, renowned teacher at the Kirov Academy and former soloist with “Stars of the Bolshoi.” She studied at the University of Utah and from there transferred with her husband down to Hurricane, UT. Along with teaching in St. George, she traveled to New York City during summer programs and had the privilege to study with great teachers such as David Howard, Dawn Hillen, Lisa Lockwood, Zena Rommett (floor barre technique) to name a few. In New York she studied at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and American Ballet Theatre. She has continued her teaching studies with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, and Classical Ballet Academy in Bentonville, Arkansas. In August 2009 she traveled to Denver, Colorado and studied with Beverly F. Spell and Annie W. Spell, Ph.D. and certified with their Leap 'N Learn - A Comprehensive Early Childhood Dance Syllabus. In August 2010 she traveled to New York City where she was accepted into the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. Ms. Michelle is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. In 2012 she completed a summer course with Rhee Gold in Pennsylvania with the Dance Life Teacher Conference. In 2014 she completed an Injury Prevention Course with The Ballet School in Lafayette, Louisiana, receiving training from Lisa Howell, physiotherapist from Australia; and other professionals in the area of physical therapy. In 2015 she traveled to San Francisco, CA with her daughter and received training with the Joffrey Ballet summer school. In April 2018 she furthered her studies with Tricia Kizerian, Owner & Creator of BODYWIZE Pilates in Salt Lake City, Utah, and there received her Balanced Body Pilates Reformer 1 Instructor Training. Her repertoire includes soloist pieces in Gershwin, Raymonda, Graduation Ball, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Paquita, Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, and other featured solos. She has extensive training in the Cecchetti and Vaganova methods, the Leap ‘N Learn Early Childhood Program, and the ABT® National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary through Level 3.
Megan Talamantez has a Bachelor's Degree from Utah State University, teaches our Advanced Dancer classes, as well as creates choreography for our Nutcracker and Year-End Finale Performances. She is married to Orlando and they have two beautiful girls, Giselle and Penelope, and two handsome boys, Leo and Miles!
Brooklyn Atkinson is our Office Manager and Assistant Director for our Nutcracker and Year-End Finale Performances. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Utah State University (2017), loves cats, and we love her like a sister in our ballet family!
Natalie Wiles Porter joins our faculty for the 2020-2021 School year. Natalie Willes Porter has danced and been an arts advocate all her life. Starting from age 3, she received professional instruction from some of the very best. She competed in award winning dances in countless competitions, received regional and state championships on drill team, and danced at a pre-professional level as part of the company at Imagine Ballet Theater. There, she performed the World Premier Ballet, "The Secret Garden" and received rave reviews from professional dance critics.Natalie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance from Weber State University in May 2011 where she received full tuition scholarships in choir and dance each semester she was there. While attending Weber State, Natalie performed with Orchesis Dance Theater (2006-2011), Moving Company, attended American College Dance Festival Association, attended a worldwide acknowledged conference at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City where she was able to attend classes there as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Broadway Dance Center. She has been fortunate enough to bestow her love of dance through teaching and coaching others in studios, drill teams, and award-winning solos. She taught for The Dance Establishment (2008-2010), Infinity Dance in Ogden and Brigham City (2010-2016), coached the Box Elder High School Rockettes (2010-2011), and has taught and received awards on countless number of solos through the years as well.
In 2016, Natalie became an ISSA certified personal trainer and was able to train clients pertaining to workouts and nutritional guidance within a gym atmosphere.
Natalie has a great love for all the performing arts but singing and musical theater have a special place in her heart. She has been a member of numerous choirs, special groups, and musicals throughout her young training years as well as throughout college and ever afterwards.
Natalie’s greatest calling and accomplishments in life has been her family. Married in the Bountiful LDS Temple to her husband of 12 years, they are blessed with three perfect children, Paizli (8), Greyson (5), and Beckham (2).
About Classical Youth Ballet
THE BEGINNINGS OF CYB
Classical Youth Ballet began in September 2007 when Ms. Michelle moved to the area from Bentonville, Arkansas. It started with a handful of students, a wonderful man named Clyde Price who rented space to our beginning dancers, and then moved to its second location on historic Main Street in Brigham City. We have Dave and Dixie Walker to thank for the beautiful historic location of our second studio at 33 S. Main. It was an old hotel, built in the early 1900’s, and brought a fabulous classic feel to our dancers’ experience. In January 2011, we relocated to yet another historical building at 331 S. 100 W. The building was built in 1914 originally as a Carpenter’s Dance Hall and still remains with the original Maplewood floors. Under the guidance of Michelle Jackman, CYB provides exceptional dance training for beginning through College-aged dancers in the Box Elder and surrounding region.
CYB offers classical ballet in our Early Childhood Program for young dancers ages 3 to 7, our Elementary Program for dancers ages 8 to 12, and our Intermediate Program for ages 13 and older. In addition, our Open Program offers Ballet Conditioning for Ages 11 & Up.
Our Performance Program includes our youth ballet company, Youth Dance Theatre. This company provides additional performing opportunities in our community, The Nutcracker ballet along with our Year-End Finale Performance in May; this program has been temporarily suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
CYB’S MISSION STATEMENT
Our Vision: Our vision is: We will be kind and loving…We will remember the gentle spirit of your child...We will work together with you for your child to be the best they can be…We will do our very best every class to be your child’s guide in learning and exploring this bright, new world of ballet they’ve stepped into.
Our Commitment: Our commitment is to guide the children through means of classical ballet to express themselves to discover their confidence, magnificence, and inspiration while creating lasting friendships with themselves, their families, and their community.
Our Belief: Our belief is that all human beings are wholesome and beautiful, first and foremost from the inside out, and we are here as a guide to weave into their lives the art of classical ballet, creating a community of stability and peace.
Interested in learning more?
Committed to creating confidence, magnificence & inspiration as our dancers create their own unique dreams!
Dear Families (Past, Present, and Future):
I’m grateful to have been open now for ten years. There have been many, many lessons learned and I’m grateful for each of them, even the difficult and challenging ones; for they have made me who I am and what my studio is today. I want to continue to inspire dancers to be the best they can be in all circumstances, no matter what life throws at them; that when they walk through the doors of our studio, they are safe from whatever is challenging them on the outside. I believe in each one of them as if they were my own children. I believe that there is a place where one can go to learn how to dance (not just learning ‘a dance’), to be empowered by the knowledge they receive, that they can share that love and that passion for dance with others. I believe there doesn’t have to be competition between one sport or another; or one studio or another; or one dancer and another. I believe that our children can applaud others for what they are amazing at – because they know they are amazing at what they do too. There is room for everyone to love, grow, and be who they are meant to be. I believe anyone can learn how to dance if given the opportunity, the love, and the means. Will I ask a lot? Yes. Will I teach commitment? Yes. I believe there is magnificence in every human being. I believe in being my word and others keeping their word with me as well. I believe in showing up and being committed. I believe there needs to be a place where we teach our children not only passion, love, fun, and excitement; but hard work, dedication, respect for our fellow classmates and elders, mastering our minds over our thoughts, perseverance, and learned optimism in an ever-changing world. Does that mean there may be disappointment at times? Yes. Will they get sore muscles? Yes. Will they learn to love themselves despite their mistakes, to learn how to compliment themselves when they feel like belittling? Yes. But, oh, there is so much to learn and it is exciting, passionate, fun, fabulous, awesome, and terrific!! Bring on the exploration, the sweat, the tears, the laughter, the fun, the passion! This is truly an amazing world to explore and I, for one, am so glad my mom gave me the opportunity to explore it at the age of 8 years old! I could never imagine my life without it! So whether you join us for a summer, a year, or ten years – we welcome you and challenge you to leave without having learned valuable lessons for life; for we believe in “finding balance for life.”
My heart to yours,