Karin Fenn / Dance at SLARTS

Welcome to SLARTS. I teach Dance, Yoga, and other classes as requested. I have been teaching for around 35 years. This is my eleventh year at SLARTS. Like my mentors Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe I truly believe "Dance is for Everybody."  I have danced since my earliest memory and love sharing this beautiful art with students. I enjoy watching students light up with joy as they discover that they can not only move, but do so in powerful, meaningful, and beautiful ways. Dance, like many of the arts, allows students to express ideas, emotions, and stories in unique ways that may not be captured as well with words. Dance also provides students a means to explore cultural values and perspectives that differ from their own. It also teaches students how to care for the bodies which they will inhabit for the rest of their lives. An emphasis on mindfulness is woven into the dance experience as students develop greater awareness of their body and its connection to the dance environment. Through dance, like other art forms, students develop confidence, resilience and tolerance as they become creative problem solving citizens.


I create a safe laboratory where students develop a growth mindset as they learn to:

  • experiment
  • analyze
  • create
  • collaborate
  • plan
  • revise
  • investigate
  • increase range of motion
  • increase physical awareness of alignment
  • increase strength 
  • perform
  • connect ideas
  • respond to critique
  • evaluate their own work
  • increase fine motor and gross motor skills
  • develop persistence
  • critique respectfully
  • refine their work
Students become the experts of their own dance creations.

Dance at the Salt Lake Arts Academy, reflects a balance between technique and composition while integrating core curriculum concepts. Lessons are based upon the Utah Dance Standards  Create, Perform, Connect and Respond. Throughout the year, students explore many different movement styles including Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and cultural forms. Guest artists also visit to share their expertise a few times per year. When possible students attend professional dance performances. There are also mandatory student performances each semester for students to share their growth. 

The classes are leveled according to age and experience. In the first year all fifth grade students have the opportunity to take a nine week term of Dance, Music, Drama, and Visual Arts respectively. This is considered Level one. From 6th-8th grade, students may choose to continue taking dance as either an art or elective and progress through levels 2, 3 and the Dance Company.

A Little About Me:

I have been dancing since my first memories graduating from the living room to the stage in Santa Barbara, CA.  As a young dancer I studied Flamenco, Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Modern and Balkan folk dance. I also studied with Bella Lewitzky during the summers and attended the Ailey School in New York for a summer.   I came to Salt Lake City, to study dance at the University of Utah where I received a BFA in Dance and later an MFA. In 1985 I joined the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company for seven years where I had the opportunity to work with Alwin Nikolais, Japanese choreographer Kei Takei, Phyllis Lamhut, Bobby McFerrin, and many other inspiring artists. Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to perform with diverse choreographers in Iowa, Washington, Canada, California, and Utah including Steve Koester, Beth Corning, and Cathy Casey of Montreal Danse. I also had the opportunity to live and teach in American Samoa and British Columbia for many wonderful years.



In my free time I love gardening, hiking, biking, traveling, reading and needlework.


For more detailed and updated information about the dance program at SLARTS please join your students Google Classroom. 
Thank you,
Karin L Fenn