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Camp for Kids: Virginia Tanner Creative Dance

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the oldest dance camps in Utah was started by Virginia Tanner. Summer camps are just one small part of the huge year-round program at the University of Utah.

Tanner (1915 - 1979) was a pioneer in children's dance in Utah. Mary Ann Lee, director of the U of U Tanner Dance Program said Tanner felt that children had an innate beauty in dance and found joy of movement.

"She knew that children needed strong training in dance technique to give them the roots, but she also felt like they should have their wings," Lee said. "Those wings are the wings of imagination."

Lee says dance is popular in Utah. "The universities have strong, fabulous dance programs; most of the high schools have dance programs; and then there are many trained dancers that just think this is a great thing to do," she explained. "We have a great population that really values the arts, and so you see music and dance in almost every community here."

Summer Camp Schedule
June 4 - August 10, 2012

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Summer camps are offered for kids from as young as 3 and a half to those who are only young at heart. There are even programs for kids with disabilities.

"They're doing visual arts. They're doing movement in all the ways that they can because inside every child is a child who dances even if their body doesn't allow them to do all of that. We also have a program this summer for adults with disabilities," Lee said.

The camp offers programs for girls and boys.

Tanner established the Tanner Dance Program in 1937. It moved to the University of Utah in 1960 and now serves more than 13,500 students annually at the University of Utah and in Utah communities, according to its Facebook page.

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Jodi Saeland


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