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Dance class plans to honor Sierra Newbold with entry into Festival of Trees

Dance class plans to honor Sierra Newbold with entry into Festival of Trees


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SOUTH JORDAN — Dancers at the studio where Sierra Newbold took lessons are celebrating her life.

The 6-year-old West Jordan girl was kidnapped and killed in June. Now her young classmates are collecting items to decorate a tree for the Festival of Trees in Sierra's memory — all the while, still very much mourning a child they say was a very important part of the studio.

With her hair in a bun and a big smile on her face, her teacher said little Sierra was a standout dancer at Utah Dance Artists.

"She was the peacemaker, the soft-hearted (girl), the example," remembered dance teacher Jennifer Tripp.


Point shoes from the New York City Ballet will hang on the branches, and the studio is selling ribbons, bracelets and jewelry in Sierra's favorite colors — pink and purple — to pay for more supplies.

Sierra's mother, Kathy Newbold, works at the studio's front desk, and she and her two daughters were a big part of the studio family. News of Sierra's kidnapping and murder devastated the staff and students.

"When a child is taken in this sort of way, you are in shock for quite a while," said Brooke Maxwell, owner of Utah Dance Artists.

Through the grief, they were tasked with explaining to Sierra's fellow dancers what had happened to their friend.

"She was a really good girl," a fellow dancer named Avery told KSL News. "She was a great dancer."

Avery and the other 6-year-olds in the class now have to dance without their friend — a fact that leaves a constant void in a usually joyful place.

How to help:

If you'd like to help the studio with its project, you can buy bracelets, ribbons and jewelry at the Utah Dance Artists studio, located at 10211 S. Redwood Road.

You can also make a financial donation to the Sierra Newbold Memorial Fund* at any America First Credit Union.

"Every time I walk into class I know she is missed," Tripp said.

Now the studio is raising money to decorate a tree for the Festival of Trees in her honor. Point shoes from the New York City Ballet will hang on the branches, and the studio is selling ribbons, bracelets and jewelry in Sierra's favorite colors — pink and purple — to pay for more supplies.

"We know this precious little girl and family, and we can do something to make a difference," Maxwell explained.

"We love her," Avery said, "and she's the bestest girl in our class."

If you'd like to help the studio with its project, you can buy bracelets, ribbons and jewelry at the Utah Dance Artists studio, located at 11021 S. Redwood Road.

You can also make a financial donation to the Sierra Newbold Memorial Fund* at any America First Credit Union.

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*ksl.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does ksl.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Jennifer Stagg

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